Went for a night to get out of the city and found a newly opened campground that had a lot of charm and amenities. The camp hosts are extremely friendly and have lots of tips for the area.
We've now stayed here 3 times, and each time was amazing! The best sunsets and sunrises. It's a huge campground! Even when it's full you still have plenty of space! The rocks are huge - fun and easy to climb on! We've seen coyotes near by, an owl in the rocks near one of the campsites, and we've heard bobcats in the middle of the night (they don't sound anything like you think they would, look it up!). This is such a great place. We love the entire park!
Campground Review: I stayed at El Dorado State Park - Bluestem Point camping area. It was a lot better than I expected. The lake was large and you could tell that the banks of the lake had flooded the campsites on the shoreline. I expected a lot of bugs but it wasn't bad.
The showers and bathrooms were like a swimming pool shower built in the 70's. There was no roof but everything is enclosed. The lake is really peaceful, and even though the state park boasts over 1200 campsites, I was all by myself with no one in sight.
It is a very peaceful place.
Gear Review: As a top reviewer on TheDyrt, I have an opportunity to review outdoor gear and products. While at El Dorado I gave the Mountain House Macaroni and Cheese a try and was very satisfied.
It's easy to prepare, boil two cups of water, pour it into the pouch and let it sit for about ten minutes after you have stirred the contents of the pouch.
I would give it 4 out of 5 stars, it was really good. Honestly, it tasted a lot like Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese. The only real problem, no matter how much you stir you cannot get every noodle to rehydrate, so about ten percent of the noodles are a little crunchy. That is why it gets 4 instead of 5 stars. The flavor is excellent and the texture is 90% there. This is a winner if you are backpacking and want a hot meal that is easy to prepare.
Campground Review: So I would like to start by saying that camping here was not the original plan. We had a backcountry trip that we sadly underprepared for (ran into about three feet of snow right at the beginning of the trail and finally decided to come back when either it's a little warmer or we're a little more prepared. Whatever comes first.)
So we trucked our old, three season boots back to the car and hit the dilemma of where to set up for the night. Luckily -- we were only about ten minutes from one of our favorite campgrounds in New Hampshire. Let me tell you why we like it so much.
First of all- it's first come first serve and only open to the tenting community. This weeds out most screaming children, humming generators, and loud TVs. It's also a pack in- you have to carry your stuff to whatever spot you choose. Generally it's not that much of a hike. We prefer to go as far away from the lot as possible for maximum seclusion, but that didn't happen for us this time around because of all the hardcore early spring campers.
The best part of this camping ground is its views. On a clear night, you can see a ton of stars encompassing around you- the only light pollution coming from you and your fellow campers fire. The river flows right through the campground and makes for some excellent ambiance. Five star for about 12 of the camp spots. The other ones have access to the river but are not directly on top of it.
There are only pit toilets, but there is potable water just at the top of the campground. The fee per night is 24- which it worth it in my opinion because of the spectacular surroundings.
If you want to be close to a ton of great hiking trails, right on the Kancamagus highway for pretty cheap- this is your spot. The friendly campers are just extra.
GRAND TRUNK REVIEW:
As an official Dyrt ranger, I get to test out some awesome gear. So now let's talk about this amazing hammock. The only problem I had with the thing was committing to a color. They've got color combos, patterns and even state flags, which is pretty cool. I went with the turquoise with the Bright orange Trunk straps- and I was extremely pleased with how brilliant the colors look together.
I was a little confused with picking out the tent because I've only ever had ones that come with pretty much everything- but the Grand Trunks are a little different. They come with two carabiners- and the Trunk Straps you can add on (and I would totally recommend this unless you can magaiver something yourself.) each strap can withstand 200 pounds. I got the open double hammock.
This hammock is more than likely intended for warm day use- the fabric is very breathable, which makes it a great choice for hanging out at the beach or at your camp after a nice day. But I wanted to test its limits a little further- so I decided I would spend the 30 degree New England night in the hammock to see how it held up.
Best night sleep of my life! I put a buffer blanket under my sleeping bag just for some extra protection from the cool air coming up, but me and my Dog Sadie slept soundly, warmly and comfortably in our big bright Grand Trunk hammock. Not to mention safely- those trunk straps are so secure! My friend has a four season sleeper hammock and had to go inside the car at 2:30 AM because she was too cold- and her hammock is MADE for that purpose! I was definitely proud of my gear- which is very important to me.
It's also pretty packable. The straps come in a different package- but There's enough room to consolidate into the hammocks main stuffer pouch (especially for backpacking like we were planning). If I had one criticism it would be that the hammock is kind of heavy compared to the ones I've had before. But they also don't have the hardware that Grand Trunk offers or the weight capacity- so I guess it's just a trade off. Totally fair.
All in all- I'm so happy to have been given the opportunity to test this company out and give it a 5 out of 5 ranger review. The hammock did great in below freezing weather, is easy to set up, jazzes my campsite right up and most importantly- My dog loves it. Will most certainly be recommending it to my Friends. Grab your own Hammock Here: