Category Archives: camping

A Haunting Catfish Memory at Fremont Lakes

Today, a memory popped into my head. It was the satisfying memory of a 21-inch catfish I caught years ago at Fremont Lakes near Fremont, Nebraska. Last night, I stopped at this state recreation area for the night on my way to North Dakota from Lincoln. It was dark when I arrived, but this morning everything was illuminated with a soft glow—a crisp fall dawn, with pink mirrored lakes and lacey silhouettes of trees. If you know me, you know it’s unlikely for me to be up that early. But I woke up early thinking about the catfish and I had to get up and take a turn around the 18 sandpit lakes to see if I could remember which shore had yielded that prize.Fremont Lakes pink dawn

I’m not sure I found the right shore, but I found many other treasures: mist along a finger of lake disappearing into a thicket, geese chilling at the edge of an abandoned beach, deep red sumac. Even the silhouette of a spiral slide on the playground provided a nostalgic view for me. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under camping, Lakes

Under a Pile of Blankets: Cold Weather Car Camping

It goes without saying that you need long johns if you are going to sleep in a Jeep in cold weather. I have a lovely pair I bought in Lake Louise, Alberta, last fall. I sprung for the best: a merino wool base layer designed to lie next to the skin. They are soft and magnificently warm. Sometimes a base layer isn’t enough, but either way merino wool adds a note of warmth hard to get with other materials.

Last night it got down to single digits when I camped in Rocinante, my red Jeep, in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Carthage, Missouri, and I’d have to say my long johns are the one item I appreciated most. However, I have many other ways I deal with the cold. I’m a cold-weather backpacker and tent camper from way back, so camping in the truck is a breeze for me. The walls of the truck are, of course, better insulation than the nylon walls of a tent. They also keep me safer, since I usually travel alone now. The simple fact that the truck keeps me off the ground also keeps me warmer.

Do you let cold weather keep you from hitting the road for adventures in the winter? You don’t have to! Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under camping, Uncategorized

Camping Tip #237: Certified Safe Outhouse Use

Canada has really clean outhouses. Notice I didn’t write “really, really clean.” Any outhouse has it’s innate germiness. I have used more outhouses in the past four weeks than maybe in the last decade of my life. However, because I’ve been camping since before I can remember, I’ve used a lot of outhouses. You have to do it a certain way to not throw up every time you go. I thought I’d share my wisdom in this area for those who might need a little instruction on this very delicate, but very important, topic.

Certified Safe Outhouse User Procedure:

20130915-144202.jpg Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under camping, canada