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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 I wanted to do that ... Just not alone! at http://www.meetup.com/justnotalone/events/102280392/ 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 40s 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 I wanted to do that ... Just not alone! at http://www.meetup.com/justnotalone/events/102280392/ so be sure to check there when looking for a carpool.

Join or login to comment.

  • Emmy

    Had the most amazing time. I wish this was a l longer trip. Great group of people.

    2 · April 25, 2013

  • Raza

    Great time. A special thank you to Kevin, the Awesomeness, the cooks and folks who maintained the fire and made sure the site was clean i.e. bear free. Thank you Julie for the scary story :)

    1 · April 23, 2013

  • Nae

    Awesome weekend! Thanks again everyone :)

    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

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks everyone for an awesome relaxing weekend

    1 · April 21, 2013

  • Giselle

    Thanks for a great experience everyone! Next time we'll do it in warmer temperatures.

    1 · April 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I used to live in this area! I didn't know they had campsites, cool.

    April 20, 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

    April 19, 2013

  • Kathy C.

    We should make s'mores around the campfire Sat night! I will bring marshmallows if others can bring the graham crackers and chocolate? =)

    April 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I got the chocolat!

      April 19, 2013

  • Kathy C.

    Kevin, what is the difficulty level of the hike?

    April 18, 2013

    • Szilvia

      Is your name really Cinderella?

      April 18, 2013

    • Kathy C.

      Haha, no but it goes with my last name which is pronounced "Shoe"

      April 19, 2013

  • carl

    My new playoff tickets conflict with this event. Oh well . next time.

    April 19, 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

    • A former member
      A former member

      Maybe ill bring apples to apples! Totally fun especially when combined with tasty beverages!

      April 18, 2013

    • Kathy C.

      @Siobhan: Would love it if you brought Apples to Apples. That's my favorite game ever!

      April 18, 2013

  • Szilvia

    Hi RAZA:)) Yes, the tent is coming with me and is enough for six. So if I understand it right, there is room for two tents at number 6 and mine would be the second tent after yours? If that is the case, I have room for 4 more people, yes:) If mine is the only tent than it is for Rasa Nae, Lydia(yes, you are welcome to stay with us) and who else?

    March 4, 2013

    • Szilvia

      I still have not heard back from Kathy or Lydia? Does anyone know if they are coming still?

      April 17, 2013

    • Kathy C.

      I will be coming...

      April 18, 2013

  • Kelli

    Never ever camped, this sounds interesting, does anyone have a space in their tent?
    Don't have a tent and not sure i know how to set one up... ;)

    April 14, 2013

    • Karen

      I have a space open in my 2 person tent

      April 17, 2013

  • Giselle

    I'll be brining a tabletop gas grill with me. If others would like to bring stuff they would like to grill and more aluminum foil for quick cleanup, you're more than welcome! If you also have any 1lb gas tanks that would work too. Like this... http://www.campingcomfortably.com/coleman-propane-cylinder-16-4-oz.html

    March 9, 2013

    • Giselle

      OK.

      April 15, 2013

    • Giselle

      This may seem like a dumb question, but having never seen/used one of these, can we boil water? If so, what's needed? Make pancakes? Is there a grill frame of some kind? I've really got no idea what this looks like/could do.

      April 15, 2013

  • Giselle

    UPDATE:

    T7 - I have a two person tent and Lia is bunking with me. Karen is sharing my site with her own tent. That's three people confirmed for my site.

    I'm leaving from Brooklyn and I have Karen and Kalki riding with me. I have room for one more in my vehicle.

    April 13, 2013

    • Giselle

      Kalki, Karen, and Chris....Message me your addresses so I can work out who gets picked up how/where.

      April 14, 2013

    • Giselle

      Karen is traveling with Raza, therefore I have space for 1 more in my vehicle if anyone is still in need of a ride. I'm leaving from Brooklyn, passing through the city towards the George Washington Bridge.

      April 15, 2013

  • Raza

    Karen, I apologize for responding late. I can't access the Meetup site at work and I had to reread all the posts before I could answer your question because I'm not sure who is riding with me. Kathy seems to be riding with me, but I'm not sure whether Beth is. If Beth is not riding with me, then I have space in my car. So, I'll get back to you.

    April 9, 2013

    • Karen

      Gisele has space I'll go with her

      April 13, 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

27 went

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