My husband and I toured Kaui for 3 weeks, so we were able to visit tons of parks and beaches. On our second week we came to Anahola Beach Park for the day and we really liked it. The waters in some areas were pretty rough so we stayed away from those areas. We did find some areas that had great calm waters that we were able to swim in and do some snorkeling. These areas though were really busy because everyone wanted to be in the water. One thing we noticed about this park was that there was quite a bit of trash on the sand area. We picked up a lot of trash and threw it away. I was surprised about this. There are also some great restaurants nearby. We ate at a Mexican place and it was super yummy, and great price. The weather was really nice when we came, although it was very muggy. I also must have been gotten bitten by some sand fleas here because the next morning I woke up and my ankles had a ton of bites on them. It got a little chilly in the afternoon, and also rained a bit. This is normally for Kaui l, though. Always be prepared and bring a jacket!
Anahola is another local spot for the homeless. Some camps are a bit overrun with folks living out of tents, cars and broken down trucks. Just North of the proper campsite is a Yoga Retreat that offers campsites for $35 a night and offers maintained showers, tentalows (little cabins and deck pads for your tents). The beach is beautiful here but the feel is a little less than comfortable when traveling with all gals. Variety of folks frequent the actual beach for day-use and it’s lovely for that. You’ll want a four-wheel drive vehicle to drive on the beach and the I paved roads throughout this park.
This campground features both male / female bathrooms and has two outdoor showers available. The showers are "cold", which in Hawaii, means room temperature, so after the initial shock, it actually becomes quite comfortable. I do not recall if there were picnic tables, but at the most maybe one or two. It does require a permit, but those are easy and cheap (~$3). I elected to post up under the tree section, which provided a good cover, flat ground and actually had a downed tree that I used to set up backpacking stove for coffee in the morning. There were a few small fires on the beach throughout the stay, but I don't believe it is technically legal to do so. Overall, my favorite place to stay in Kauai with the given options due to the recent storms and North Shore closures.
Campground Review: Anahola Beach
I stayed at Anahola Beach for my last night while in Kauai and I wish I could have stayed longer camping. First thing, this campground is part of a public beach which requires a permit for camping. The permits are really easy to get and are pretty cheap. Just go to the camping office for parks in Lihue and you can get it either in advance or day of. I do believe all camping on public land requires a permit. Anyway, the beach is great and has open camping. There are spots completely open as well as a section under trees. So pick a flat spot and you are good to go! Access to the beach is easy and relatively convenient (you are a 5-10 minute drive to a small store in case you forgot food or other basics) and does have some unpaved road but any car can handle it. The beach also has basic facilities (garbage bins, picnic tables, flushing toilets, rinse showers, water access) which make this an easy and convenient place to stay especially if you had to fly with your camping equipment.
My time at the campsite was great. People were very friendly and you are directly on the beach so sunrises and sunsets are beautiful. The only negatives I experienced were the sand flies/mite at dusk and dawn when we were out on the sand. They bit up our feet and ankles similar to mosquitoes. The good thing was they were completely gone when the sun was completely up or down but bug spray may have been helpful. The only other thing was one rooster was very noisy at sunrise. Kauai has a lot of wild chickens and they can be pretty loud and one really wanted to make his presence known. But that is what makes Kauai so special. Overall, it was a great end to a vacation and it was my first time really camping on the beach.
Gear Review: Ledlenser MH10 Headlamp
As a Dyrt Ranger, I get the opportunity to test out gear from our partners once in a while. I had the opportunity to test out the Ledlenser MH10 headlamp. I was able to use this headlamp on some night hikes in Oregon as well as travel with it to Hawaii. I have found that Ledlenser headlamps tend to fill very specific needs. This lamp is pretty big and heavy for a headlamp but it works really well for night hikes where you have a base camp or fixed destination in mind. This is not a backpacking lamp but rather a camping for multiple days or I am hiking and don't care about weight or size constraints.
Pros of the MH10: 1) It is quite bright and has three brightness settings. When I hiked I only used the low and medium settings so I wouldn't blind my husband. 2) It can zoom and go up and down which is pretty standard for all flashlights and headlamps now but the range is quite large for the MH10. 3) It comes with accessories! It came with a travel pouch that can thread onto your belt and fits everything (after some practice finding the best orientation) and it comes with two colored lens filters--red and green. This helps preserve your night vision. I used the green lens one way on an out and back hike and it was really neat to see the night with that perspective. We saw a deer and owl and they didn't seem scared of us or the colored light. It was less impactful on them. 4) It is rechargable. Just remember to charge it before you go on your adventures (or bring a cord and charging pack).
Cons of the MH10: 1) It is quite large and heavy for a headlamp. The strap is comfortable and can fit a variety of head sizes but it is big.
Overall, this is a great product as long as you have realistic expectations about what it can be used for (as with any and all outdoor equipment). I am looking forward to using it more when I can go on longer camping trips this spring and summer as well as more night hiking.
Kumu Camp is a homestead with tentalos which are basically framing with canvas over and beds with an outdoor shower. They are a little hard to get in touch with but once you do nothing beats the value on Kauai. You open your door and there is the beach! Call, don't email. They never responded to my email.