Campground Review: Abalone Campground at Patrick's Point State Park
I love Patrick's Point State Park. It's literally one of my favorite places in the world and I've been coming since I was a toddler. These sites are what I compare all other campgrounds to: huge sites that can fit multiple tents and smaller trailers, lots of space and trees between sites for enough privacy, fun trails between spaces for kids to explore, and just a short hike to the beach. Yes, it's often foggy and cold, but it is stunningly beautiful with so much to do.
All that said, my most recent trip rates just a four out of five stars for several reasons including the horrific new reservation system, gross bathrooms that were often out of toilet paper and needed to be cleaned, and camp hosts that were never available. The lack of funding for state parks is sadly showing here, but I'd still go back in a heartbeat.
Product Review: Primus Classic Trail Stove
Last summer we drove 4000 miles, camping across the country and back, without a stove or really any cooking utensils. Combine that with a fire ban throughout much of the Western U.S., and it meant a lot of cold meals and mediocre fast food.
So for our next camping trip in the California Redwoods I decided to get out my old backpacking stove and see if it might still work. I was honestly doubtful. I bought my Primus Classic Trail Stove maybe 15 years ago and for the past decade (since kids) it's mostly sat on shelves in basements and garages through several moves. I expected to find it rusty or possibly broken, but was incredibly surprised to pull it out of its tiny black bag and find it looking like new. I did some online research to make sure it would still be safe to use and found out they're still selling the same or very similar set, so after some inspection I packed it up with my gear without much expectation that it would actually work.
Oh man, why didn't I do this sooner? As soon as I fired the Primus stove up and cooked our first batch of mac n' cheese (followed by popcorn) I was shocked at how easy and quickly everything cooked. Lighting the fire was easy, the flame didn't go out once, the pot was completely stable, and food cooked even more quickly than it did at home. After three days of cooking we still had plenty of fuel left and clean-up was a breeze (basically, just wait for the stove to cool down, unscrew it from the gas, and pack it up). My primus stove is coming with us on all future camping trips. 5/5 stars for the Primus Classic Trail Stove