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!

Continue reading

Lightening Lake – 8 Reasons Why This Is One Of BC’s Top Campgrounds

Manning9

We 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. It is by far the most popular campground, making it difficult to get into.  We also stayed at Coldspring Campground the same trip and you can find that review by clicking here.

Skip directly to advise about this campground.

Canyon Trail Sign
Allison Pass Sign

There are two loops in this campground.  I would recommend the large loop if you have a choice. We camped here in early September and stayed in site 13. It was a very large level site that had limited trees but because the sites are so spread apart it still felt very private. There are 92 sites in the large loop and they are all generally good. The park is located high in the mountains so the days were  warm but the evenings were very chilly. Camping in this park is a hiker’s paradise with endless trails for every level. The park does an amazing job of providing literature on all, including: the trail name, starting point, level, distance, elevation, estimated time, special features and a short trail description. We did the Canyon Nature Trail and part of the Lightning Lakes Chain. Both were very scenic and easy hikes that almost anyone can handle. There are so many trails it is difficult to decide which one to do.  If you’re lucky, you will see some wildlife along the way.

Hiking Trail information can be found on this link and it’s worth reading.

IMG_2367
IMG_2375

After completing your hike you can then enjoy some time at the lake. The campground is located next to stunning Lightning Lake, which is perfect for kayaking, canoeing and, if the weather is warm enough, swimming. They offer boat rentals at the lake for those who want to give it a try.  Some trails require a short portage.  The park also has several horse and bike trails. If you like the outdoors this is the campground for you.

Boat Rental information can be found in this link.

IMG_2377
IMG_2364

Here is my advise for this campground:

Recommended Sites:

  • Large Loop SitesColdspringsite1
    • Let me start by saying this is a great park and I would be happy to have almost any site. Even the poor sites are not that bad.
    • Lake front sites are the top pick with no one behind you and lots of privacy
    • Site 38 back onto the lake and gets lots of sun.
    • There are not many double sites but, if you can get one, site 12/13 is huge and very private.
    • Site 49 is very large with lots of privacy.  Great if you have a big rig.
    • Site 51 is also very large but does back onto the group site.
    • Sites 15 & 16 back onto the amphitheater with the playground right in front.  If you have kids this might be great.
    • Site 37 is very open to the road and picnic area.
  • Small Loop Sites
    • Double site 99/100 is very large and flat with forest behind.
    • Double site 136/137 looks poor on paper but is actually a good site.  It is set back from the road and has lots of privacy
    • Double site 134/135 lacks privacy and is open to the road.
    • Avoid site 112, the picnic area is exposed to the camp road.
    • Avoid sites along the back road due to traffic noise and lack of privacy

Campground Highlights:

  • Large, clean shower houseIMG_2485
  • Great kids park, playground, amphitheater, grassy areas.
  • Easy access to lake with great picnic area
  • Endless trails and hikes that are clearly marked.
  • Large and private sites with wide access roads for RV parking.
  • Boat rentals nearby
  • Horse trails
  • Sani dump nearby
  • Manning Park resort store and restaurant close
  • Pet friendly area.

Campground Lowlights:

  • Due to high altitude this park gets very cold at night
  • No hook ups
  • No cellphone reception but you can access Wifi at the resort if needed.
  • Very difficult to get a reservation and there is no First Come First Serve sites

Things to do:

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

7ff676cf-998e-4e8d-b017-c4222bed78ae

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 Revisited – 8 Tips To Ensure You Select The Best Campsite

Haynes Point Provincial Park – Osoyoos, BC

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.

Skip directly to advise for this campground.

We stayed on the north side of the park in site 33. It was a beautiful lake-front site with a small hill that accessed the lake. The site was a good size and easily fit their 24 foot fifth wheel with its 3 feet slide and both our trucks. There were trees on all sides that provided morning and late afternoon shade but mid day your only relief from the 40 degree heat was the lake or an air conditioned winery. I can confirm that both solutions work great.

This Provincial Park does not have hook ups so if you don’t like extreme heat then this is not the park for you. Osoyoos is considered a desert and the high temperatures confirm it. There are no showers here and the toilets are flushing outhouses. I will say the staff did an amazing job keeping all the facilities spotless and the grounds clean. As with all BC Provincial parks generators are allowed twice a day from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and then again from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. We don’t have a generator but that is not to say I am against them, what I am against are people who choose to turn them on outside the assigned hours or who feel they don’t want to listen to the noise and plant them in the bushes closer to their neighbour’s site than there own. I am pleased to report this park staff did a great job of enforcing the generator rules.  This made everyone’s stay much more enjoyable because you could predict when the hum of generators would start up.

The main attraction of the park is the lake and its warm temperature. What is even more impressive is the city has a machine that rakes the lakes shores of weeds regularly making swimming that much more enjoyable. There is a lot of boat, seadoo, kayak and paddle board traffic on the lake so people watching from your campsite is a great past time.

One thing to keep in mind when camping at this park is the wind.  It comes from both directions and can gust up in minutes. We were sitting in the screen house playing cards one night and with 5 minutes it went from no wind to blowing the screen house over. This is important to keep in mind because the wind can destroy your awning in seconds so it is best to leave it closed unless you are sitting at your campground. We only put up the screen house because the bugs were so bad it was annoying to sit at the table and play cards.

A couple of other things to note about this park is the poison ivy and the rip tide. The park has done its best to post sign near and around the poison ivy and have included a photo to help you recognize it but if I had small children I would be sure to keep then away from the bush. I would also be aware of the rip tide at point. The park has put up signs to warn you but I certainly would avoid campgrounds near this point if I had family that intended to swim.

Here is my advise for this campground

Recommended sites:

  1. Double site 27/28 is a winner. It has the most trees, is across from the bathroom, is fairly large and is lake front with easy access to the lake.
  2. Site 22/23 would be my second choice but really any lake front site on the north side is very good offering several trees and fairly good privacy
  3. Site 26 is not lake front but is was very well treed and very private. Would be my choice if I could not get lake front
  4. The lake front sites on the south side are not as treed and felt like they would be more impacted by the wind but the south side did have much better beach space between sites.
  5. I would avoid sites 16,17 and 20 due to the undertow at the nearby point.
  6. Site 7, 10 are both very exposed and open
  7. I would also avoid 1,2,3 and sites 37-41. This run along the main access road and are much smaller with very little privacy. You also get the traffic both coming and going so they are a bit busier.
  8. This campground also has RV overflow which run the length of the park access road. There are essentially parallel parking stalls along the road but at least it is a solution if you have no where else to go. You can only stay in these spots for one night.

Campground Highlights:

  1. The weather; you are almost guaranteed dry hot weather
  2. The lake; it is warm and free of weeds.
  3. Flush toilets, if you have to live with pit toilets it is nice they are flushing ones.
  4. Short drive to town where there is lots to do and buy.
  5. Lots of winery and golf choices
  6. Amazing fresh fruit if you visit in the summer.

Campground Lowlights:

  1. No showers nor bathrooms with running water
  2. Due to the heat there is a lot of
  3. generator noise as people want to use their Air Conditioners
  4. Limited shade options
  5. Unpredictable high winds makes tarping for shade impossible

Things to do:

  • Winery’s: Over 40 winery’s in the Oliver/Osoyoos area
  • Golf: If you can handle the heat there a several courses in the area.
  • Desert Center: Guided tours to  learn about desert ecology, habitat restoration and conservation of endangered ecosystems
  • Rattlesnake Canyon: entertainment center for families

T -24, Why You Need To Be Ready To Plan Your Summer!

Let the count down begin! In less than 24 hours campers across BC will plant themselves in front of computers, anxiously ready to hit ENTER, and crossing their fingers hoping to reserve a campsite at one of BC’s coveted Provincial Campgrounds.

Cultus lake 8.jpg

You can only book 3 months in advance so reservations for dates of June 15th and prior are only accepted. In June, if you are able to camp during the weekdays, you should be okay getting a reservation but weekends will  book up within minutes. campground full As the calendar moves into July and August any date is near impossible to secure. We have been able to get into most of the popular Provincial Parks at some point over the last 20 years but each year it gets harder and harder.

Continue reading

Chuckle Monday – Really, We Are Packing This?

This is a bit of an exaggeration but sometimes I think my husband feels like this. It’s just so hard to pack light!

image

Chuckle Monday – The Importance Of The Right Shoes!

Between my new Fitbit and this blog my feet can relate to this. I really need to investigate some new footwear.

image

Chuckle Monday – Another Problem When Hiking!

All our hikes look great on paper, that is until we check the altitude gain. It’s easier not to think about it until it’s too late.

image

Why Tarp Your RV? Valuable Tips To Make The Right Decision.

image1 (2)

We have yet to tarp our new RV

We are now into our second winter storing our RV and each year we debate whether we should buy an RV cover or not. When we had our tent trailer we did the unthinkable and covered it with a blue camping tarp. I can hear the collective gasp. What might surprise you is we did this for 10 years and not once did our trailer leak.  Adding to our inexperience, not once did we (get ready to gasp) reseal our seams or treat our roof. I know shocking!!! Continue reading