The trip to the top of pinal Mountains is a journey, very cool and beautiful scenic views, the road is not the best, especially if you don't have a higher clearance vehicle.
Overall it is Awesome, took an hour from Globe to the campground because speed is minimal.
Upper Pinal campground is tiny. I’m not even kidding you… tiny. There are literally 3 campsites surrounding a 100 foot wide dirt turnaround in the center. The campground does not take reservations so it’s a long way to drive with a good chance you won’t find an open site. However, if you’re lucky enough to get one of the spaces you may really enjoy it. To the South is Unit 1 (where we stayed) and it’s an uphill driveway with a raised area with a fire pit and metal picnic table. If you have a small tent you can camp on the elevated area near the table and fire pit but otherwise you do have room to back in a small pop up trailer (beware, it is a curved driveway so if you aren’t comfortable backing up a trailer I wouldn’t suggest it). The site is almost completely surrounded by very tall trees which blocked both most of the morning and afternoon sun.
The East side of the circle is Unit 2. This is right on the edge of the circle and could be easily pulled right up to. The downside to that is that there is little to no privacy for that camp unit. It also has a fire pit and picnic table.
The North side has another campsite with a smaller (and straighter) uphill driveway. You wouldn’t be able to put a trailer facing towards the fire but you likely could camp with a small pop up in this unit and park lower down the driveway.
The West side of the circle had the single unit unisex bathroom building. It was really clean and well stocked with toilet paper (but another camper one of the nights we were there decided it was a smoking room, yuck).
The entire area had a lot of downed and broken trees for firewood. We could have easily supplied our fire all weekend with just broken pieces but we had a small handsaw so we were able to cut slightly larger logs from fallen trees.
The only other thing I’d touch on is the road to get to the campground. I wouldn’t suggest trying to travel up without decent ground clearance. There was a bit of wash boarding and obvious ruts in the road from where the road was traveled when muddy. We have gone through that area in snow/slosh and I wouldn’t even want to travel that road without 4 wheel drive in that situation. Know your vehicle and your driving skills!
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time – on this trip I tested the Renogy E.LUMEN Multi-functional Flashlight. Upon opening the box I noticed the flashlight was much larger than I had anticipated. As such, I don’t think it would be ideal for everyday carry. However, it does have quite a few really neat features and I think it would be a great addition to any bug-out bag. Of course, my curiosity got the better of me and I was dying to test the seat belt cutter (because I’d rather know how it’s going to work before my life depends on it). Luckily, I had the belt from an expired car seat and decided that would be the perfect test subject. I angled the belt over my chest where a shoulder strap would sit and it was hard to get it to cut all the way through. It took a few tries and a lot of strength but it did make it through. I could imagine that while a knife may cut through it easier in a panic situation I’d hate to end up accidentally stabbing myself using a knife instead of the safety guided blade on this flashlight. To see the full video check out the YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/xWqkgSS7iEs
In addition to the belt cutter the flashlight can be solar charged and has a USB out so you can charge other devices. If you plan to use the solar charger the manual says it can take up to 30 hours for a full charge. Thankfully, there is also a USB charging option to cut that charging time into around 6 hours. Depending on use you’ll get anywhere from 3-7 hours of use from each charge. The light itself is very bright but of course using the brightest setting will put you towards the lower end of the usable time at around 3 hours.
The flashlight also boasts a compass on the bottom of the handle. We tested this a few times and it seemed to be completely inaccurate against 3 other compasses we had. I was able to true it up a bit by running a magnet along the needle a few times but that seemed to be a temporary solution. My 2 cents is that I would not trust this compass as a first choice.
The last thing I wanted to touch on was the magnet on the side of the flashlight they state is for mounting and storage. When I tried to hang my flashlight on my metal fridge it buckled under its own weight slamming on the ground and breaking one of the plastic clips for the wrist strap. It will not support itself in ideal situations and definitely will not support its weight in a violent car accident. If you choose to put this in your car it will need to be secured by some other means.
So overall, would I buy it again… yes. For the price you can beat the peace of mind knowing that if you were to get lost in the woods you’d have a way to charge your phone to call for help and have a light source if necessary.