Home > Outdoors > Vacation #4: Camping II

Vacation #4: Camping II

Camping on Mt. Desert Island or Acadia was a special treat for the family. Fortunately, we had excellent weather, and I did not need to plan for rain. We were also lucky to not have to wait in a line to get our tent site.

Having experienced campers brings not only speed in the set up but order, too. In less than 20 minutes we had two tents, clothesline, water and bedding in place. The Educator was amazed at the speed with which this was all done. I give credit to Youth 1.

After reviewing the campground map for bathroom, water and drainage areas, we were ready for camping life. What was the first thing we did? We went out to dinner at Subway. Admittedly, I was too tired to break out the stove and cook a meal. The drive had worn out the two adults. Let’s just say it was an early night to bed for two of the four (8:30). The remaining two would go to bed by 9:30.

Breakfast was a two person deal. Youth 2 prepared the sausages while I handled the eggs. Nothing like having breakfast outside with the mosquitoes. Clean up took longer than anticipated. You improve each day and as the routines are learned.

What did we do about bathing? There was no showers at the campground and the store a mile down the road had showers $2/2minutes. It was the Educator who came up with the brilliant idea of a wash basin. This method of washing is simple. You wash from head down to feet. You use a wash rag with some soap. Don’t use too much soap or you can rinse yourself. Yes, we were able to wash everything. After the wash, we washed our hair. I will proudly state we were cleaner than the other campers. We were really taking a bath in a very small bathtub.

Our campsite was nothing more than a base camp. We ate our lunches and dinners on the road while breakfast was at the site. This meant waking up very early in the morning and leaving as early as possible. Since noise time didn’t start until 8a, stealth was necessary. It didn’t always work.

As for our other meals, we packed the stoves with us. In fact, all of the non-sleeping gear was maintained in our vehicle. This is food, stoves, propane, towels and electronics. The meals were cooked at Bear Brook picnic area on the Park Loop Road. This provided us the mobility needed to see everything we were interested in. Also, this limited our need to eat out.

Planning ahead allows you to prepare tasty meals. Know what stove system you have and then plan your meals. Most of our breakfasts were cereal. This allowed a quick clean up and a quick meal. Some of our meals were steak sandwiches, beef stroganoff, hamburgers and grilled chicken salad. These meals were made at Bear Brook. Our steak and hamburgers were purchased at a farm near where we live, and they were pre-made. The chicken was prepped at home and food saved. The beef stroganoff was prepared at home as well. This saved time for us. Yes, you can cut up onion and green peppers and freeze them. The chicken marinated in Italian dressing saves well. My buying live lobster and cooking them at the site was shot down by the Educator. I really wanted to do that. Oh, think about dry ice as a way to keep items frozen. We used 30lbm of dry ice and it lasted three days. This saves a lot of money in buying ice and keeps your food frozen.

There was wood provided where we stayed. Thankfully, we overloaded on wood the first night, so we had plenty for a while. The wood was normally gone by the time we came back to camp. You CAN NOT bring wood onto the island, and you’re not allowed to gather wood on the campground. Please do not bring wood from home. You can introduce an invasive species that can devastate the island. Google or Bing Emerald Ashe Borer to see what an invasive species can do. In fact there may not be any healthy Eastern Hemlock trees in New Jersey or Eastern Pennsylvania because of an invasive species.

We were only 1/4 mile or less from the ocean. This provided some opportunity to walk along the shore. What was also nice was the campfire talks held by the park at our site. Just a five minute walk, and we were there.

The insects were there at all hours. Even the wind hindered them little. I recommend Repel. I hate insect repellents, but it was worth it.

Our campground’s bathrooms were nice except for many of the people using them. Sadly, there are people that do not take of things that is not their own. The treatment of toilets by these people is rude and makes it miserable for those cleaning the bathrooms. The sinks are not much better.

There were a few changes I could have made to our camping experience. Water was a big issue. We were using 3L jugs, and this resulted in many water trips. Fortunately, it was only a thirty foot walk. 5L collapsible jugs next time. The Educator thinks a campsite with a pool would be a good idea. I say camping without children, too. Just kidding.

If you do not camp, think about trying it. It is a cheaper alternative to a $200+/night hotel. If you plan well, you’ll have a great time.

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