Our Camping Style
Camping means different things to different people. Some people like to party it up out of doors. Some need to have all of the comforts of home. Some families need lots of activities for surly teens. Some people park their RV at a campsite all summer long and use it as a weekend retreat. Some like to use their pickup trucks as a jukebox...
When we camp, we are looking for an experience entirely unlike home: a chance to spend time in the great outdoors. Smelling the fresh air and hearing the sounds of nature. Following physically-active days with mellow nights and sound sleeping. Eating the best food ever! Playing cards or a boardgame in the screenhut. Sitting around a crackling fire sharing stories with good friends. Hearing the rustle of crisp autumn leaves while hearing the hooting of distant owls. There is nothing better!
There are a number of things we look for in a great campground...
- Enforced quiet hours!
- Tent-only and/or generator-free loops
- Drive-up sites with room for a car
- Wooded sites that offer a bit of privacy
- a Level pad for pitching the tent
- Nearby water spigots
- Creature Comforts:
- Flush Toilets
- Hot Showers
- Dishwashing Station
- a Ranger station with firewood and ice for sale
- Rangers who drive through the loops in the evening
- Maps of the park
- Information about local flora, fauna and/or geography
- Freshwater swimming (summers)
- Easy access to hiking trails
- Supermarket within ten miles or so
...and a number of things we try to avoid...
- Places without an alcohol policy
- Don't get me wrong—I like a beer as much as the next guy, but given the choice between a quiet campground that prohibits alcohol and a noisy one full of drunken idiots, it's a no-brainer. I go alcohol-free every time. I've even heard that quiet and discreet campers who keep the alcohol out of sight have no trouble at no-alcohol campsites.
- Campgrounds with "Family" in the name
- Let's just say we have some bad history...
- Kampgrounds of America (KOA)
- Nothing wrong with these in a pinch. It's just a little too pre-packaged for our tastes. The on-site laundry is fantastic if you are traveling for any length of time. And the activities & rec hall are great for the kids and teens. One night should be sufficient, though.
- RV Loops with "hook-ups"
- People who live the RV life are generally fine folks. Hook-ups mean electricity and electricity means noise. Ditto generators.
- All-night music jams.
- I love music! It's what I do professionally. The problem is, I don't always love your music, and when I camp I am looking for quiet and sometimes an early bedtime. The drum circle at 12:30 AM is definitely not cool.
- Group Campsite Areas
- When it's half-a-dozen families camping together, these are great. If it's two or three families, you are better off getting adjacent sites in a quiet loop.