Hometown: Brookfield, WI
November 10, 2011
I love any of the Wisconsin State Parks; the nicest I have camped at regularly is Kohler Andre State park just south of Sheboygan on Lake Michigan - but they are ALL great. Other good ones are Devil's Lake, Mirror Lake, and Governer Dodge. I also love the UP - Michigan/Canada border, but haven't been there in years - too far to drive for a weekend. I'd love to see the Sylvania National forest again. I'm also probably not up portaging a canoe anymore; my back won't take it. I can paddle for a couple of days, but can't lift a canoe anymore. My absolute favorite place to camp however, isn't a 'campground' - it's camping on the sandbars of the Wisconsin River. There's something magical to me about paddling and picking your very own island for the night. It's been my favorite place since I first paddled it as a Girl Scout in my teens.
I LOVE potlucks, and belong to a Dutch Oven cooking group where we cook out about once a month and share. If we did a trip where we cooked as a group or for the whole group, I would certainly volunteeer to assist with cooking! It kinda depends on what else we're doing - sometimes meals are an event in themselves, and sometimes bringing your own sandwich just works better. I like group campsites for the comraderie and low cost... but I'd really like to get more use out of my pop-up camper - so individual sites usually work better for that. (Most group sites are limited to tents only, or are not accessable by vehicle - there are a few places where you can mix campers and tents at a group site) I'm really flexible, it depends on the event - obviously, my camper doesn't float, so it would be tough to bring on a canoe trip, for example! ;-)
Mostly I weekend camp. I'd be open to 3 day/ 2 night trips sometimes - taking an early friday; especially if a long drive is involved. I'd say about 5-6 hrs away is my max for a weekend, but usually try for under 3 hrs away - especially if I have to get there after work but before dark to set up. I'm already near the WI/IL state line, which helps some.
I own a 1973 pop up camper I've been rebuilding. She's ancient, but quite comfy and watertight. I 'like' to have electric for lights, but it isn't necessary. My Pop-up doesn't have a bathroom,and I don't use it's sink anyway - so I don't need hookups. Water nearby is always nice, though. I'd say most of the time I haven't reserved early enough at the state parks to get an electric site and I haven't needed it. I grew up tent and canoe camping with my parents, was a very active camping girl scout/ camp counselor, and led Boy Scouts from Tiger Cubs thru Eagle with my son - so I'm very used to camping in any conditions and with or without amenities. I enjoy the comforts of my camper with it's memory foam mattress and a campground with flush toilets and hot showers - but I still like to 'rough it' once in awhile -sleeping on a beach under the stars and digging my own toilet - as we have to do on canoe trips.
As mentioned above - the Wisconsin River is my favorite camping trip. It IS 'roughing it' & everything has to be packed in & out. However, there are ways to make it less rough on those more sheltered. There are many canoe outfitters up there that rent canoes & handle shuttling you to your put-in /take-out points. Trips can be a few hours or more than week - if you want to paddle all the way to the Mississippi. The route is well documented & mapped,with places to car camp, get water, food, showers, etc if needed, or you can do like we usually have & wait until you get home for showers. I have paddled this river with meetup groups & many more trips with scouts & family groups. I arranged one very successful trip for me & about 20 friends in 2007. I would strongly suggest such a trip be planned for late July/ early August. The water tends to be warm, nice for swimming & the islands high & dry, &weather more predictable at that time of year.
Lifetime camper, scout and scouter. I enjoy woodland wandering with my Golden Retreiver, Canoeing & Dutch Oven cooking. I mostly camp in my re-built 1973 pop-up camper, but also enjoy tent/ canoe camping - especially on the lower Wisconsin River.