Come to the Island – 7 great reasons to float on an island.

As you know we are social campers, not back country hard core campers. We love to gather with friends and family at a lake and hope for sun. This usually involves several women blowing up individual flotation bed and paddling several feet into the lake. I realize this sound terribly laborious and you must marvel at all the obstacles we have endured.img_5004

  1. How can so many women chat while continuing to floating away from each other?
  2. How can your drinks still be full by the time you reach your destination?
  3. Doesn’t the lake keep pushing us back to shore, resulting in constant paddling.

img_7566You are correct, we needed to find a solution. Sure enough the solution arrived. On our way to a camping trip in Osoyoos we stopped at Costco to pick up some steaks. As we wondered through the aisle we saw the solution,  right there, hanging from their ceiling. Now if you are familiar with Costco you will know how big something has to be if it is hanging from a Costco ceiling. This flotation is huge, but we were heading to 40 degree weather and impulse shopping has never been our strong suite so $250 later we left Costco with 4 steaks and an over sized flotation the could house a small town.

Was it worth it? I think you can tell from the photos that is solved many of our serious flotation issues.

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Pros and there are manyimg_7778

  1. It seats 9 comfortably: we could finally visit without the stress of floating apart.
  2. All the chairs have cup holders: necessary when social camping.
  3. It has two cooler spots, we use one for drinks and one for empties: saving the constant trips in for refills.
  4. The center netting is very helpful for climbing in and across: very helpful as our ages seem to advance quicker than our drinks empty.
  5. The swim grid makes climbing on much easier: picture a seal approaching at Sea World to get a fish, that’s us trying to get back to our beverages after a swim.
  6. It comes with an anchor bag: keeps us from floating back to shore unnecessarily
  7. The huge size and bright colour makes you visible in the water: great for when you need to head back out after a bathroom break.

Cons

  • It is very, very, very heavy: It takes a team of sober people to get it into and out of the lakeimg_7774
  • It will never fit back in the box: I am not sure how they got it in in the first place, but trust me, it wont go back in.
  • The size makes it hard to inflate and deflate: more than a foot pump is needed for this job.
  • You will lose track of time: once on the island only trips in for more drinks and bathroom breaks will keep you connected to land.

We have used it on two trips this year and we love it. We have kept it tied to the dock during one trip giving an entire new meaning to lazy but it was easier for bathroom breaks and new arrivals to come aboard.

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If you spend any time on the lake in the summer and have the room to store it, I would say get one. The fun times and endless laughs make all the over-sized efforts worth it.

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Ice Ice Baby – camping with a portable ice maker!

69E4B2FB-2077-4479-97B6-9767AC1FF847-959-000003BD23F350F1The older I get, the more conveniences I seem to acquire and a portable ice maker is just another example. We are social campers, meaning, we mostly camp with other families and are often in private campgrounds with hook ups. It also means we go through a lot of beverages!

Regardless of our camp set up we like to keep our beverages in a cooler packed with ice. Nothing says camping like digging around in freezing water and being rewarded with a cold beer. Keeping that cooler full of ice during a hot summer trip is really the only stress we have camping so we decided to buy a portable ice maker. I do agree, if this is our biggest stress, then life is great!

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Lightning Lake Campground, E.C. Manning Provincial Park

Manning9We camped at Lightning Lake Campground a couple years back on our anniversary but just realized I did not do a complete review. Lightning Lake Campground is one of 5 campgrounds located within E.C. Manning Park and it is by far the most popular making it difficult to get into.  We also stayed at Coldspring Campground the same trip and you can find it’s review here.

Canyon Trail Sign

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Otter Lake Provincial Park, Tulameen BC – Revisited 2017

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View of the Princeton Fire as we approached

We used to visit Otter Lake Provincial Park every year with friends and I completed my first review back in 2015. I was excited to head back to Otter Lake and even more excited that we were camping in one of my suggested sites. As our trip approached it became clear that BC was in one of the worst forest fire seasons ever and the area about 20 km east of the campground was being evacuated. We were a worried whether we would be able to access our campground and how thick the smoke would be around us. As it turned out we were lucky, although we could see a haze and smell the smoke, we managed to have a relaxing weekend away.

 

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Okanagan Falls Provincial Park, OK Falls BC

okanagan-falls-campground-signOkanagan Falls Provincial Park is a small park made up of only 25 unserviced sites which are 100% reservable. The park is now officially called  sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ Provincial Park, and is located in the small town of Okanagan Falls. The park lies  below the outlet of Skaha Lake on the Okanagan River. 

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No Mess Individual French Fry Packets

I am always looking for easy recipes to  make while camping. I often find lots of meat recipes but am looking for an option to roasted potatoes. This option would be much higher in calories but my kids would love it and it looks like an easy clean up.

Grilled Foil Packed Cheesy Fries

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Ingredients

1 bag (14 oz) frozen crinkle-cut french fries
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup grated cheese
2 tablespoons sliced green onions (2 medium)
2 tablespoons cooked real bacon bits
  • Heat grill to medium-high heat. Toss frozen French fries with melted butter.
  • Tear off 2 (12-inch) lengths of  Heavy Duty Foil to make foil boats. Place half of the fries in a single layer in the center of 1 piece of foil. Loosely fold foil around edges to form a boat, leaving large hole at top to allow steam to escape; repeat with remaining fries and foil.
  • Place foil packets on grill over indirect heat. Cover grill; cook 20 to 30 minutes, stirring once, until fries are crispy and baked through. Top each packet with grated cheese; cook about 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and bacon bits just before serving.

 

Haynes Point Provincial Park, Osoyoos BC – Revisited 2017

It has been several years since we have stayed at Haynes Point Provincial Park now named swiws Provincial Park. I did my first review several years after our stay so had to rely on my memory. After reading my review back I can say it was fairly accurate but I felt an updated review would be a benefit.

I have to thank my sister for getting the site. For 3 days she went into work early so that she could be logged onto Discover Camping in order to hit the booking button as soon as the reservation system opened. It was a difficult task but on day 3 she had success and was able to secure a site for 6 nights. Due to the popularity of this park you can only book 7 nights at a time but really it is still near impossible to get a reservation.

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BC is Burning! Residence Step Up!

We are  2 weeks into one of the worst forest fire seasons in British Columbia’s history and there is little relief in sight. Currently there are 162 fires burning and a total of 131000 hectors of forest scorched. With little rain in the forecast it is hard to know when things will improve.

HO / THE CANADIAN PRESS

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

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Chuckle Monday -Getting Away From It All

When camping is no longer camping! Let’s hope they are not in the site next to you.(Whoops, a day early, just getting back into figuring this all out again after a long break, Chuckle Sunday!)

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