A Spontaneous Camping Trip

Hope everyone had a great labor day weekend! I took Friday off and decided to make a last minute trip to Sky Meadows State Park. Normally I set all my gear out the day before and have everything packed up ahead of time. Because of schedules, that just wasn’t possible this time. backpacking gearMy trip started with me getting off work later than expected. Not really a big deal, but since I didn’t have anything set aside yet and I still had to drive to the campsite, I knew I’d be running out of daylight by the time I got there.

When I got all my stuff together, I noticed that I only had one of my little homemade fire starters left in my kit. Now I also couldn’t be lazy about getting a fire going or there’d be no camp fire. The camp fire is my favorite part of camping!

I don’t usually take my ax for camping that requires backpacking in, but it really does make life a lot easier when trying to make kindling out of big logs. And since I was so pressed for time, I was a little worried about using the ax with a headlamp, but it ended up being no prob and I was really happy I decided to bring it.

So 20 minutes after stuffing my bare essentials into my pack I rushed out to the truck and headed down the highway. The drive wasn’t bad at all and I made really good time. I thought I might get to the campsite with some daylight left, but hold on there buddy, there’re problems to come.

I pulled up at the overnight parking lot and got all my info but the combination provided wouldn’t open up the gate! After about 10 minutes messing with it, a park ranger showed up and helped me out. Can’t say enough about how helpful he was! He finally got me in, parked, and ready to hike out to the campsite.

It’s about a mile hike to the campsites at Sky Meadows, so at this point, I knew I’d be building a fire in the dark. No biggy. I’d make it work. The park provides firewood for a couple sticks per dollar, but if you want kindling you have to make it yourself. I knew I’d have to take my time getting everything setup because I only had one firestarter.

fire in a fire pitMy homemade fire starter comes from a Cody Lundin recommendation. I take cotton balls and rub a bunch of vaseline into them. Then when you’re ready to make a fire, tear open the cotton ball and light the dry cotton in the center. Then the vaseline burns long enough to get your kindling going well. It works great!

After spending about 20 minutes making shavings and splitting kindling out of bigger longs the fire was up and running! We really take for granted being able to flip a switch and get fire. I find I appreciate it so much more when I’ve done all the work to get it going. Starting a fire really is one of my favorite things. It’s way better than watching TV!

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