We camp with a couple of serious fishermen and their wives will tell you this is not that far from the truth.
Hang on tight, here we go!
Back in June I did post on my “girls camping weekend” and I have always thought it would be fun to do a rebuttal post about my take on “guys camping habits”. Now this is all meant in fun so men grab a cold one and settle in….
Food: Steak, bratwursts and bacon top the shopping list and not necessarily in that order. Red meat is a staple in the male camping diet and trying to tackle a 2 inch steak on an under powered, under sized propane BBQ is a necessary challenge on every mans list. How these fat laden pieces of meat turn out is not important. What is important is that you have them at each meal, regardless of your intestinal discomfort.
Mr. Fix it: I have noticed that whenever we camp the men must fix something. Our last trip they repaired; a camp chair, sewer hose, hot water tank and water filter. It is an interesting ritual to watch. One will start a job and soon the others have halted everything to give their opinion and offer their assistance. Even the simplest of jobs become group therapy. The camping chair they fixed this trip was in no way safe to occupy but it was left set up, as if to pay homage to their effort. It was interesting to see the even chair made its way back into the RV at the end of the trip, like an injured family member returning home.
Tarping: Sometimes I wonder if the men in our lives hope for rain. The joy they get when they are require to tarp a campsite is like watching small children enter Disneyland. They each pull out all their ropes, tarps, pegs and ladders and gather together to plan the best way to protect their families from the showers that ensue. Questions such as; where will the low point go, how should pooling dips be avoided, and which tree will provide the most height, are all debated at great length until decisions are made and the challenge is complete. This tarpping fetish is proven when you see that my most popular post ever is one that features a gadget to make this job easier, Skyhooks.
Campfires: Chopping wood and building a fire is another male ritual that is fun to watch. Yes, we woman are more than capable of completing this task, but why? It would be like turning off the television right before your favourite sitcom. Listening to men debate the best way to build a fire, teepee vs. log cabin, and then watch as they bring out a blow torch big enough to ignite a forest, only to beat their chests with pride as the fire burns for the evening.
Bonding Time: During a camping trip men who have never golfed will golf, men who have never fished will fish, men who don’t smoke will puff a cigar, and men who only drink beer will bring out the rye. I can’t really explain why but it seems to happen on each trip. I have yet to see a fish enter the camp site but it doesn’t deter these determined warriors. Rye flows like water even when their wives complain about the snoring that will inevitably result. Cigars are smoked to rave reviews even if they are not inhaled. It is all part of the male ritual that is fascinating to watching and entertaining to listen to.
Regardless of the differences in habits, men and women seem to survive in these small camp environments that we call home. The ritual events that occur during these trips provide hours of stories for future campfires to come. Camping is one of the most memorable vacations a family can take regardless of whether you are chopping wood or floating in the lake. The point of the journey is to get outside and enjoy life.
For the purpose of this post we were generously provided Skyhooks to help with the male tarping tasks. These hooks help to make tarping at high level so much easier and quicker. Watch for a full review on Skyhooks shortly.
Cariboo Bonanza Resort on Horse Lake, BC
Another big group camping trip is in the books. The memories, laughter and stories will live on forever, only improving with time. We received an email to advise the campground we pre-booked for 2015, Moondance Bay Resort, was closing. It was difficult to find another campground that could give 7 families totalling 26 people lake front sites without a year’s notice. After calling several resorts I stumbled upon Cariboo Bonanza Resort which is also in BC’s Interlakes area. We were so happy they could offer us 5 lakefront sites with 2 more just behind.
This week was so full of stories and events that I will break it down to a few posts and focus this one solely on the campground. Cariboo Bonanza Resort is located less than 15 minutes from 100 Mile House on Horse Lake. It is best known as a fishing lake but big enough for swimming and boating activities.
Here are my thoughts on the campground.
If you plan to camp at Bonanza remember it is a private campground and the layout is that of an RV park. The sites are very close together and offer no real privacy, but we sought this type of layout for our large group.
Recommended Sites: here is the campground map
- We were in sites 39 to 43, which are lake front sites with fantastic views. FYI, we have booked them for 2016. There are some considerations for these sites along with site 44: they are only 15 amp power, and are quite short and narrow, so won’t work for bigger units
- If you are traveling as a group or wanted a more treed private environment then head to the back of the campground in sites 2-6. They back onto the forest and are grouped in a small cul-de-sac area.
- Sites 29-32 are also lakefront but overlook the tent sites so do not offer the same lake view feel as 39-45. They are a bit wider and, I believe, offer 30 amp power which might be a consideration.
- There is an overflow camping area which offers full hookups. It is an open field areas so keep that in mind if you select this area. Large units fit nicely in these large spaces
- The campground offers several cute cabins. I did not look inside any of them but several are right on the lake and a few along the creek. They were fully booked during our stay so I have a feeling they are hard to get.
A local told us that one cabin was built for Prince Andrew and Fergie’s honeymoon, although we found nothing on the internet to verify. Bonanza’s owner, Bruno Sprecher, was the Royal Family’s ski guide who once saved Prince Charles’ and other’s lives in a deadly avalanche.
- The Management/Owners: These people were so friendly and really set the tone for this trip. As soon as we arrived we could feel the hospitality. The sites we were in had a narrow entrance road and right away they offered their tractor to park the RV’s in the site.
- The campground was spotlessly well maintained
- Clean washrooms, shower house and laundry room
- Lakefront sites and access
- Full hook up options
- Onsite activities including fun archery targets, and a very impressive children’s playground
- Several docks & a boat launch
- Basic supply store
- Limited privacy, no different than what you expect in most RV parks
- Showers were nice and clean but all of us felt they lasted less than their advertised 2 minutes, perhaps because even the cold shut off without warning making it impossible to rinse off.
- Bathrooms only have 1 toilet so people have to wait occasionally.
- Power and water on every second site so cords and hoses had to be run across on some sites
- Forest trail behind the campground leads to a smelly sanitation pond.
Things to do:
- Swimming and boating activities
- Kayak, paddle boat and pontoon boat rentals
- Volleyball, bike ramps, a dock slide and a large playing field.
Finding fun activities while camping often takes a bit of research. I have put together my 5 favourite family attractions when camping in BC. It was very hard to get this list to 5 and there was no way I could rank them so I took the easy way out and I will list them in alphabetical order. I have selected activities that are unique to BC and represent our landscape and environment. Continue reading
Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park is located about 1/2 an hour south of Kamloops and a bit over a 1/2 hr north of Merrit, just off Highway 5. The elevation, of almost 1,300 meters, can be both an attraction and deterrent when considering this park. Residents of Kamloops and Merrit flock here is the summer to get away from their often extreme desert-like temperature. You will find Lac Le Juen is on average about 10 degrees cooler than either of those cities. This park also has a nice beach and swimming lake although it can be very cold early in the season. The area is popular for fishing and there are also a couple of other good fishing lakes nearby. It is surprising that you are only 1/2 hour away from the city but once in the park you feel like you truly are getting away. Continue reading
Written by guest blogger Fourroys, Surrey, BC
Shuswap Falls RV Resort is located 22 kms east of Enderby, BC, Canada, on the banks of the Shuswap River and with a view of – you guessed it – Shuswap Falls. Many of the sites in the resort are owned by the members of the Shuswap Falls RV Resort Club but they do offer some rentals. Because of this, making a reservation is a good idea. The sites are spacious, and offer a variety of types of sites – sun, shade, partial shade, all with full hookups. Continue reading