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Not So Urban Athletics: Camping in the Jersey Wilderness

  • Apr 20, 2013 · 11:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Okay, superstorm Sandy put the kibosh on this meetup last Fall, let's try it again and cross our fingers that there are no natural disasters this time around, no radioactive lizards rising from the ocean to stomp the area flat, or any such mayhem. We're going to spend a weekend camping at the Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, a 3,200 acre natural area located just a short 50 minute drive outside of NYC.

The Plan ...

We'll arrive Saturday morning at the campground office to check in and head to our campsites to set up our tents and other gear. From here we can do as much or as little as we'd like. The campground is situated in a 3,200 acre wilderness preserve and you can hike along the 20 miles of trails in the area to a number of scenic overlooks or a nearby lake, or just sit and catch up on your reading. In the evening we'll cook and have a communal meal over an open fire, and spend the rest of the evening doing the usual camping activities -- partaking in adult beverages, stuffing our faces with snacks, and shooting the breeze.

Cost ...

  • Campsite charge will be $19.00 per site ($14.00 + $5.00 reservation fee). You need to call the Mahlon Dickerson campground directly at (973)[masked] to reserve your site. Credit cards are accepted. The office is open Monday through Friday, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, and Saturday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. You are going to reserve a tent site, NOT a lean to. NOTE: ALL THE TENT CAMPSITES ARE NOW RESERVED FOR THIS MEETUP. YOU  WILL EITHER NEED TO SHARE A SITE ALREADY BOOKED OR TOUGH IT OUT IN A LEAN TO SITE.
  • This is a small campground with only eight tent sites so do not wait to reserve one to guarantee a spot. Here is the campground map http://www.morrisparks.net/pdfs/12MahlonBrochure.pdf for reference. I've reserved site T-8 already and at the moment there are still tent sites available.
  • Four people, two tents, and two cars are allowed per campsite. When you RSVP, I suggest commenting if you have reserved a campsite and ask if anyone would like to share the spot with you. This is event is cross-posted in Evenings and Weekends in NYC at http://www.meetup.com/E-W-N-Y-C/events/102280362/ so be sure to check there when looking for site and tent mates.

Food Plan ...

  • To keep it simple, everyone is responsible for bringing what food and snacks they would like to eat and drink.
  • We will be cooking Dinner Saturday and breakfast Sunday and it will be semi-communal, meaning bring what you would like to eat for yourself but perhaps also enough to share with a few other people. There are fire pits with integrated grills to cook on. Simple to cook but interesting items are best.
  • Also bring what you would like to have for lunch on Sunday.

Other Important Stuff ...

  • Rental gear (tents, sleeping bags, etc.) is available at the Tents and Trails store in downtown NYC, Gear to Go Outfitters in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Eastern Mountain Sports and at several REI stores in the NY/NJ area. You are responsible for supplying your own tent, sleeping bag, etc., or arranging a share with someone.
  • This is cool weather camping so select your gear accordingly, daytime high temperatures will be in the low 60s and can dip down into the 30s at night.
  • The campground has restroom facilities, hot showers, and clean water.
  • RSVP only if you are definitely going. If you have commitment issues, please DO NOT RSVP. If you RSVP and have a history of no shows or last minute cancellations, you will be removed.
  • Meetup will be cancelled only in the event of a zombie apocalypse or locust swarm of biblical proportions. Possibility of rain or any other precipitation and we still camp.

Directions ...

GPS Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
41°0'45", -74°34'11"

Mahlon Dickerson Reservation is located one mile east of Route 15 on Weldon Road in Jefferson Township, New Jersey. Route 15 is located at exit 34B off I-80 West.

Carpooling to the campground is necessary. When you RSVP, please indicate if need a ride. Or if you plan to drive, where you are coming from and how many passengers you can take. Please be proactive and contact a driver directly rather than just saying where you need a ride from. Gas and tolls will be shared among all the passengers.

This is event is cross-posted in Evenings and Weekends in NYC at
http://www.meetup.com/E-W-N-Y-C/events/102280362/ so be sure to check there when looking to arrange a carpool.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am already +1 for Peter.

    February 26, 2013

  • Manus F.

    shout out to all those who were on the camping trip, there's another camping trip July 5 http://www.meetup.com/justnotalone/events/115828692/ BTW the Jersey Shore bike trip and hiking & movie days at the beginning of June sound fun http://www.meetup.com/justnotalone/events/104497462/ http://www.meetup.com/justnotalone/events/103023222/

    May 28, 2013

  • Lonnie

    Sorry for the delayed photo upload. I misplaced the memory card I used on the trip.

    1 · May 14, 2013

  • peter

    it was great meeting all you guys, and im looking forward to our next meetup.
    Kevin thanks for planing such a great meetup trip

    April 23, 2013

  • Emmy

    So much fun, I wish it was longer. Great group of awesome people.

    April 23, 2013

  • wiola

    I can tell only one bad thing about that weekend :( it ended too soon!!! why ?
    it was pleasure to spent time with group of such a happy people, thank you Kevin for organizing it, and everyone for making the weekend so beautiful

    1 · April 22, 2013

  • Taiwo

    I had such a great time with you guys, on my first outing camping! I'm hooked. Very nice getting to see more of folks personalities over the trip, such a harmonious, hilarious and mischievous group, wish we had more time, and definitely want to do it again. Thanks all! Peace "Tie whoooooo" (with flailing hand movement)

    2 · April 21, 2013

  • Elizabeth C.

    It was EVERYTHING I was longing for, the outdoors, great camaraderie, good food, and lots of laughs , new friends....looking forward to making many more memories

    2 · April 21, 2013

  • Lonnie

    It was an exciting weekend.

    2 · April 21, 2013

  • Kevin

    What a delightful camping trip! My thanks to all the wonderful people and personalities that made this event special, it's one that I'll remember. And even better, none of my meetup peeps had to be treated for frostbite afterwards --always a positive way to end things. On to the next adventure!

    2 · April 21, 2013

  • Iggy

    What a blast! I wish it hadn't been so cold last night but that was A LOT of fun! Looking forward to the next chance to see everybody.

    3 · April 21, 2013

  • AmerikaG

    What a wonderful campout! Thank you @Kevin for bringing such a great group of people together.

    3 · April 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    HI I'm going tonight and taking a second spot on Art's site but in desperate need of a spot for me and my friend to pitch our tent on Saturday night. If anyone has a spare space please text me[masked] as I will be away from the computer. You will be my hero! Thanks

    1 · April 19, 2013

  • Mike

    Reserved T2 haven't bought/rented a tent yet. The site has room for 3 more. Let me know if anyone still need a spot.

    March 7, 2013

    • Mike

      Julia I don't think it's going to work I have 2 tents on site and 3 guys. I have a 4th spot but you'd have to share a tent???

      April 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      OH NO I just saw this............... Um, ok, I'm in desperate need of a site for the second night

      April 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi everyone, I'm just catching up to this. I would love to hitch a ride with someone (I live in Manhattan, UWS) and also get a space either in a tent or on a pitch and I will bring a tent. Will pay my way! I hope this weather holds out....

    1 · April 9, 2013

    • Manus F.

      is the tent portable? can you bring the tent to New Jersey, Newark Penn Station? then i can pick you up, call me today or tonight[masked]

      April 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Manus, I am now bringing a friend who is giving me a ride. Thanks

      April 19, 2013

  • Iggy

    Hi there, still looking for a ride if anyone has room in the their car/truck / helicopter.

    April 18, 2013

    • Iggy

      Thank you! I'm not seeing a link for Lonnie to email him about the details for the spot, do you have it?

      April 19, 2013

  • Elizabeth C.

    hi iggy, am swamped!! so sorry for the delayed response. please send your digits and I will have my husband follow up w/you. we live in Bayridge Brooklyn, fyi

    April 18, 2013

  • Iggy

    Hi y'all,
    Still trying to figure out if anyone has space on their site for another tent. I can share it with someone and for a ride share.
    Thanks!
    Iggy

    April 18, 2013

    • wiola

      Do you want to share your tent with Chris? You are welcome on my site ;-) email me [masked]

      April 18, 2013

    • Iggy

      That would be great! Is one of you driving?

      April 18, 2013

  • Kevin

    People, an important alert. We may get a little weather Friday into Saturday so bring your rain poncho and maybe a tarp and some rope to build a rain shelter at your campsite. We're also due for a cool front to roll through this weekend, temps are supposed to drop into the 30s. Bring a hat and gloves, warm outerwear, and for those that run cold, long underwear.

    April 18, 2013

    • Art

      Friday night - rain shower. Saturday night - Meteor Shower ;) Yeah, Saturday night will be frigid. http://forecast.io/#/...­]

      April 18, 2013

    • Szilvia

      Does anyone have an extra tarp, please?

      April 18, 2013

  • Elizabeth C.

    Taiwo!!! We are bringing our bocce game, an Italian game that is really a good time....just not sure if the landscape will accommodate. Looking forward to this as it's our first camp of the year.

    1 · April 17, 2013

    • Taiwo

      Sweet! I'll dust off my old Palini. Jk. Looked it up on youtube and seems like a good time. Question, alcohol improves your hand eye coordination. Right ? See ya up there.

      April 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey everyone! I'd like to come but it looks like all the campsites are booked. I have an SUV with a fold out back that I've slept in before on camping trips, so if someone can lend a parking spot/confirm that I'll have a place to park I'd be down to come.

    April 17, 2013

    • wiola

      if you have tent and want to share it with Chris you are welcome on my site :)

      April 17, 2013

  • Taiwo

    Besides the HIKE, what other activities are available at this spot (canoeing/boating, fishing; etc)??? I'm new to the hiking thing. Im sure ill bring some libations, are folks bringing games,cards, dominoes, etc? (would love to play Cards Against Humanity!). Either way I'm sure it'll be a blast!

    April 16, 2013

  • Iggy

    I'd love to carpool with anyone who has a spot in their car I can share. I'm kind of confused about what is going on with the camping spots. Do I need to reserve through the campsite or is that taken care of with the group? I have a tent already and can host one person in mine if someone needs a space.

    April 16, 2013

    • Kevin

      Iggy, everyone has reserved campsites on their own. There were 8 tent sites available and those are all reserved -- you can have two tents on those sites and some people still have space for another on their campsite, you'll have to read the comments and send messages to the people I listed as being the ones who have paid for the site.

      There are lean to campsites available for rental still. Those are sites with an open sided but roofed wood structure you sleep in. You may be able to get away with throwing a tent up on a lean to site but that is something you will need to talk to the campground office about.

      April 16, 2013

  • Kevin

    For those interested in hiking Saturday, here is a trail map for the park http://www.morrisparks.net/maps/HiRes/MahlonDickerson.jpg

    April 15, 2013

  • Art

    Hey there campers,

    Please thank Kevin for picking an interesting weekend to go camping. Why? That weekend is the peak of the Lyrid's meteor shower. If there is no rain and no clouds, then we should be set for a show as we will be in a fairly dark part of the northeast. The moon will be 83% full, and might be a spoiler, but if we stay up a bit late, it will get better.

    During the day, I'll scout for a place that has a clearing, and at night we can set up some chairs or blankets to lay and watch the sky. Initially the lake seems like a good place.

    If you've never seen a shower, and weather cooperates, you're in for a treat.

    You can check out Lyrids here:
    http://planetsave.com/2013/04/07/lyrid-meteor-shower-peaks-on-april-22-2013/

    5 · April 8, 2013

    • Art

      Anything - huh? How about a cloudless Saturday night? ;)

      1 · April 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Art, do you still have any spots either in the car or on your site? Let's discuss tomorrow!

      April 12, 2013

  • Taiwo

    Just joined for first experience Camping. Does anyone STILL HAVE SPACE (?) in their campsite, or an EXTRA TENT TO LEND (?). Feel free to EMAIL ME PLEASE. Hoping to check this out. Thanks.

    April 7, 2013

  • peter

    From what I read about the place, there is a wooden platform for tents. Does anyone know what size is it? and if both tents need to be on that wooden platform?

    When I got my camping permit reservation, lady said to email her and she will add the additional names to the permit. She emailed me a PDF of the permit

    April 4, 2013

    • Kevin

      Peter, I am pretty sure both tents don't need to o be on the wooden platfom. Digging into my memory banks from past visits, I recall the platforms to be about 10' x 10', too small to fit two of anything larger than the smallest pup tents.

      April 5, 2013

  • peter

    @ Siobhan
    Sorry took me longer to reply. I had to turn off notification from the group because too many spams from Lou about croton lounge (Lou on of the organizers)

    April 4, 2013

  • peter

    T1 reserved as +1 looking to share tent site, first camping trip since I was a boy scout

    March 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yay! I will be your tent 2 if you'll me. Thank you!!!

      April 3, 2013

    • peter

      @ Siobhan
      Great, is that 1 or 2 in your tent? If you like email me names and I will email the place to add your name to the reservations and email you the PDF permit

      April 4, 2013

  • Kevin

    Reserved site T-8

    February 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Kevin, is your second spot on the site taken already? I have a tent, need a site. THanks!

      April 3, 2013

    • Kevin

      Ya, Julie asked me if she could squat on my homestead. I need to confirm that she is still coming, if not then I have room for another tent on my site.

      April 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey everyone! I have a tent for Amerika and myself, so assuming a spot opens up for me if anyone has room on their site for a second tent please let us know!

    1 · April 3, 2013

  • Peter

    Guys, I need a spot for my tent! If you have space in your tent site please let me know, I can share cost, drive (from jersey city)or share my tent(with one person)! Let me know.. Thanks!

    March 25, 2013

  • AmerikaG

    Just RSVP'd - I'm driving, have space for up to 6 people, but don't have a tent. Can I trade you a spot in the car for a spot in a tent? I'm driving from Staten Island, easiest place for me to pick someone up is the ferry.

    March 25, 2013

  • Kevin

    Peeps, I think we've just about booked most of the tent campsites for this meetup. I believe this is who has a reservation so far:

    T8 - Kevin
    T7 - Giselle
    T6 - Wiola
    T4 - Raza
    T3 - Kalki
    T1 - Peter

    If you're coming to this meetup and want to book your own site, get on that. Or if you want to share get busy staking out an arrangement if you haven't already. Note, with your reservation you are allowed 4 people per campsite BUT you can add an extra people to your site for an additional $5 per head.

    February 27, 2013

    • Art

      So do you know for a fact that only 2 tents are allowed per site? Their brochure mentions 4 people per site, but 6 max. But nothing is said about max number of tents.

      March 1, 2013

    • Kevin

      I spoke with the park office last fall when initially planning this event and that is what I was told but eel free to confirm this information. Most of these campsites aren't particularly huge and I can visualize that fitting anything more than two tents per site would be a stretch. There is a raised immovable wooden platform at each site that you are supposed to pitch your tent on, any other tent beyond that has to be squeezed around it on the ground. Subtract from the available space a picnic table and built in fire pit/grill.

      It's still the low season for camping and we've just bought out most of the campground for our group, so they might turn a blind eye if we bend the rules a little bit.

      March 1, 2013

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