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Olympic Peninsula Beach

LET’S GO CAMPING!

 

With long days + loads of sunshine, summer is a time to get outside. Day trips are great, but overnight camping can’t be beat. Camping is a sure fire way to unplug, relax, and spend some quality time with friends and family. Each and every summer we cram in as many camping trips as we can manage before rain and colder days return.

An added bonus of camping is that it’s a chance to leave household projects behind. I’m a big fan of household projects, but everyone deserves a break from thinking about organizing the basement, sprucing up the garden, or painting the spare room.

When you camp you create a temporary, stripped down version of home, often centered around the fire ring. Camping pushes me to think about what is really most important when it comes to home and a good life. We’d like to share a few thoughts about creating a comfortable home away from home when camping. These thoughts may (or may not) help you think about setting up your actual home, but for sure they can help you camp in comfort and style.

And we can’t resist sharing one of our favorite camping spots and two places that are one our list to visit just as soon as we can.

MAKING CAMP

 

TAKE a SEAT

Some comfy chairs are a great addition to any campsite and they let you shift around to avoid campfire smoke. We like the REI Co-op Camp X Chair.

 

REI Camp Chair

HAVE a DRINK

For us, coffee is essential.We normally use our camping french press and we LOVE it! 🙂

French pressAnd in the evening a whiskey or brandy is nice in an unbreakable glass.

unbreakable whiskey glass

MOOD LIGHTING

A simple LED lantern is oh-so useful, whether it’s for reading, doing dishes after sunset, or getting organized inside your tent. We love the Black Diamond Moji Lantern available at REI.

muji lantern

TIME for DINNER

Cooking over the open fire can be a bit of a risky proposition, best attempted if you’ve got a bit of time on your hands and some snacks + an aperitif so no one gets too cranky while waiting. You can always hedge your bets and cook some of dinner or dessert over the fire.

Hobo packs are easy and a crowd pleaser. Basically they are a simple assortment of vegetables, meat or fish (optional) olive oil, herbs + spices, wrapped in tin foil and cooked over the open fire. The food is both grilled and steamed and it usually emerges moist and delicious (if a bit unevenly cooked because it is an open fire, after all). We are huge fans of roasting quartered golden beets doused in olive oil, wrapped in tin foil directly on the coals! Delicious!

You can find some recipes for hobo packs here and here or just trust to your instincts.

Hobo packBanana boats are a fun dessert, especially if you’ve got kids in your party. Cut a banana lengthwise and add some chocolate and marshmallow (if you like). Wrap the whole things in tinfoil and cook. The banana will emerge gooey and deliciously sweet and caramelized. If you feel you need more instructions or want to get some ideas for add ons, you can find them here.  ¡Buen provecho!

Banana boats

LOST LAKE

Lost Lake

We love Lost Lake! It’s drop dead beautiful in typically PNW ways (water, trees, mountains!) and it’s also a quite cosmopolitan camping experience. The campsites and yurts make a sort of small village and there’s a camp store in case you forget fixings for smores’ or run out of wine. You can rent all sorts of boats and stand up paddle boards.

Lost Lake

 

OLYMPIC PENINSULA

Beach - Olympic National ParkThe Olympic Peninsula has it all – lush rainforests, remote beaches, massive trees, and rugged mountains. And there are plenty of out of the way first come, first serve camping sites.

Ruby Beach

PAGE SPRINGS CAMPGROUND

page springs campgroundWe haven’t made it out to Steens Mountain, yet, but it’s on our list. We hear that Page Springs Campground is a good base for exploring this spectacular area. Hoping to make it there soon.

Steens Mountain