Ranger Review: Firebiner and Fiber Light Fire Starter at Greenbrier State Park
We were here one week before this campground closed for the season (open April through October) and it was so quiet that it was hard to imagine what it is like in the summer when the beach is open and the campground is likely full. There are four loops; two with no hookups and no pets allowed, one with no hookups that allow pets and one with electric sites that allow pets. Each site is clearly defined, and the sites all appeared level with gravel pads. The bathrooms were reasonable. There are several trails in the campground plus it is close to several AT day hikes.
There is a large day-use area and beach with lots of picnic tables. While the beach was closed for swimming, we saw a kayaker and two people fishing from a boat. Many hiking trails and this is an excellent place to camp if you’d like to do AT day hikes.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I have the opportunity to test products. At this campground, we tested the Firebiner and Fiber Light Fire Starter by Outdoor Elements. I’m reviewing both products since they can be used together, and we had much more luck with one than the other.
Upon unpacking my box from Outdoor Elements, my first experience was that it took a sharp knife to free the Firebiner from its cardboard backing, which was not an auspicious start. Once at our campground, we were able to use the safety blade to easily open the plastic packaging on our firewood. Unfortunately, it took several tries by two men trying the Firebiner to get a spark; they had to really crank on it, and it was not enough to light a fire. I’m guessing that with more patience and practice, it would have worked. Admittedly, we are car campers and not backpackers (and have the luxury of being able to carry/use a butane lighter), but I was looking forward to trying a new method.
We did use the Fiber Light Fire Starter and using our tried and true fire-starting methods, we got a roaring fire started very quickly. So, we had a 50% success! Packed in a small tin, you only need a pinch to easily get a fire started so we will use this in the future.
We also used the cutting tool on the Firebiner a few days later to remove the wristband from an activity we participated in and also used it to hang our lantern on a hook; this little tool is very strong (did not test but appreciate the 100-pound weight limit). I appreciate that it can also be used as a screwdriver, so the Firebiner is truly a multi-use tool!
Nice, clean, friendly/accommodating staff and the prices were reasonable for the accommodations. My Outdoor Adventure Algorithm is:(Drink+Fire+Lean-To)-(Rules+Regulations+Fees)/(Crowd-Privacy)*(Isolation*Acceptability of loud, primal, Forest-Man behavior)=Camping. While you won't mistake yourself for a member of the Donner Party, you'll also be comfortable, watching Dish, cooking on a gas stove or microwave inside(fire-ring out), with cold food/drinks and ice from the'big' mini-fridge. Bunk room had 2 bunk beds, each with a full size mattress AND room to move, plus good natural light. Living/dining area is large with a wall-mounted tv, rustic wood dining set, storage room and hooks/hangers, good natural light, as well as sufficient artificial direct and ambient lighting.Comfortable couch pulls out into a comfortable bed. Large covered front porch with again more lighting and a hanging swing. Parking is driveway-close, and they're pretty mellow about blazing conflagrations(IF it's under control) so you can get a REAL bed of coals to properly cook.They also have used/re-purposed camping/RV/tailgating items for sale( some free). It would even make a good event-specific yard-sale trip. Overall, a damned nice hotel in the woods. Not a survivalist challenge or hXc camping experience; just a clean, safe getaway for a game, Arts Fest, or just a time-out
We love this campground!! The area is absolutely beautiful. The lake is large and gorgeous. There are a lot of lake side campsites which are amazing. The hosts are all very friendly. We had a problem with our site and our weekend was saved thanks to the wonderful rangers. We are so thankful. My one and only reason for 4 out of 5 stars are the bathhouses. I wish they would update like Cowan's Gap. I have health issues and am always afraid I'll fall because the floors are so wet. Otherwise, they are kept cleaned up. Honestly, one of my favorite places to visit and we camp at as lot of parks. I hope they'll add more cottages too! There are lots of nice basic (non-electric) sites that are wooded, well shaded and private. There are nice, shaded electric sites. However, if you request electric and water you automatically get sewer too. This raises the price per site, per night by$13 and gives you a site with very little shade. We will return but we will choose an electric only site and fill our A-frame's water tank in order to get a wooded site. This campground is 100% reservable which means that you must select a site when you make your reservation. If you do not live in the area, that is difficult
We camped at Codorus State Park for the first time a few years ago while out east. We really love this Campground! There is a wide variety of sites so finding one that you like should not be difficult, there are some in wide-open park-like settings, and some that are treed. For the most part we didn't notice any that really seem to be right on top of each other, but we think the site we got was the best one in the park. We were in 132, which was huge and had nice open flat areas for the tent, there were actually three spots that we could have put it on, and lots of trees to hang our hammocks and options for our tarps, but there was no chance of rain at all that weekend so we did not hang tarps. Those trees were bare however until very far up, so they did not afford any privacy, but we definitely were not on top of the people next door anyway so it was just how we like it. There is some hiking, not strenuous climbing mountains hiking, mostly easy, and the lake was the biggest attraction for me. Campground bath houses were very clean, nice hot showers with great showerhead that stayed on without pushing a button. Our site was close to the bath, a trail head, and field where we lay in the sun and played frisbee. We are definitely going back!
Most relaxing, eventful or not, coolest place ever. this place is home to me. I will post my pictures but I'm surprised with how popular it is, theres nothing on this app for it! Trust me on this one! Great for all ages! Rvs are accepted and small tent groups and large tent groups! Massive lake with rentals, so many hikes available. Events available near by if not in.
This is a great family run campground. The store is nice, bathhouses are clean and private. Owners are super nice. There is also a great view of the surrounding countryside because it’s up on a big hill. If you’re hauling a big camper you’ll need power for the hills.
We stayed here with friends and had a lovely time. The campground was maybe only 1/2 full and the camp sites near us were empty so we had a very quiet and peaceful weekend. The creek and river are perfect for curious little ones to explore. Great fishing spot. The walk to the tunnel is quick and easy for all ages. Beautiful spot. We will go again.
We have been here tenting twice, once last year and once this summer. They have upgraded the tent sites since last year, no more primitive sites, all the tent sites are now mulch pad with water and electric. Bathrooms are very clean and modern, but a decent walk from tent sites. The facilities are all lovely, staff in the camp store are kind and helpful. The snack bar is very convenient, breakfasts on the weekends in the summer. Close to lots of great activities and there is lots to do at the campground as well. Highly recommend.
Great campground. Lots of sites. Friendly and accommodating staff. Great location for activities including Hershey Park, Hershey Chocolate factory, Hershey RV show.
We stayed two nights in site #6. The site was easy to back into, plenty long enough and relatively level. We filled our water tank on the way in and used the convenient dump station on the way out. Cell signal is spotty to non existent. There are plenty of trails in the park and two lakes to swim in. We enjoyed our stay.
18 was a very private spot with a trail leaving from the back of the spot. Has a pretty lake with trails around it. In season has concession stand and paddle boat rentals. We went off season, but saw the potential. People were fishing and we saw a swim/run competition. Bathrooms were weren’t the cleanest, but had good pressure and hot water. Campground sells firewood at the entrance, which is too far to walk, so buy it on the way in. Sprint and Verizon cell service. Pack your broom because the sites have very small gravel and it gets EVERYWHERE. We stayed in May and actually had to turn on the heater. Lots of trees for dog run or hammocks. Will definitely be returning
This State Park is easy to find and in a great location. The AT crosses through the park and it’s not far from the amenities of town. The park is a good size and I liked that the campsites were a bit secluded. The sites themselves were close together but we were there in late August during the week so it was practically empty. The bathroom facilities were some of the nicest and cleanest I’ve ever seen. There was even a paved path through the campsite to the bathroom. There are showers, flush toilets, sinks for hand washing, and sinks outside for dishes. We didn’t use much of the rest of the park but there is a swimming pool and lots of nice areas with picnic tables. We really enjoyed our stay!
Decent spaces between sites, with a smaller section for tents than RVs. Tent sites also have raised pads/beds for the tents to be set up and have options near the creek for both tents and RVs. I was impressed by how clean the bathrooms were kept in addition to the grounds. There’s a fenced not in area for dogs and a mini golf course, but it’s more for younger children. We were able to purchase Hershey Park tickets which were cheaper than buying from the Hershey (at a discount) and it includes shuttle service to and from the park! The staff were friendly and welcoming and it was an overall wonderful experience.
We stayed at one of two walk-in sites at Greenwood. The highlights were a spacious camp site, nice bathrooms, little light pollution (we saw the Milky Way!) and hearing screech owls at night.
A couple of really nice things about this campground: You can buy ice ($2), bundles of wood (15 pc @ $5) and as long as you don't need change, it's self serve. The shower house is nice, nothing too fancy but clean. There's also a toilet-only bathroom closer to the walk-ins with a mirror and a baby changing table. It was VERY clean and heated, which was glorious considering it was quite chilly at night. There's also drinking water spigots in several locations which is a big plus and not something you see a lot in most state parks.
The walk-ins are not very far from the little parking lot, so it was easy to carry our gear down to the site. The site itself was HUGE in comparison to the other sites. Also close to a nice little stream.
There were a few big puddles from this summer's torrential rains but surprisingly no mosquitoes to speak of. The only con about this campsite was that it's down the hill from PA 305. It was fine during the night, but traffic started to pick up at daylight. Maybe it would not bother everyone, but it was annoying to be reminded you're right next to the road all day.
We had reserved a site for 6 days. We ended up only staying 36 hours and had the entire reservation refunded. The view from any of my windows was of the long-term resident’s tarped over garbage. We shared 1 water source with 2 other campers. In order to hook anything up, you had to be in your neighbor’s space. The train wreck behind our camper was VERY vocal about how we were entering their site to hook up. Apparently, we were supposed to use the force. The fire pits were crammed under the tree and between the 5ft space to park your vehicle. The fuse at power source blew every time the air turned on. The access roads are so tight/narrow, that there is multiple areas of damaged trees and corners of structures. We woke up to the lovely aroma of dog feces and cigarette smoke (with the windows closed). This is not a place you vacation at. By far, the worst place we have ever stayed.
My family recently spent a long weekend at Pinch Pond. Our campsite was very spacious and the ENTIRE campground was extremely clean and tidy. The office and grounds keeping staff were super friendly and helpful. They have Hershey’s ice cream in the office and my kids enjoyed getting a treat. Their game room has tickets. This is the one and only campground we have ever visited that gave tickets for playing games and my kids LOVED IT! It was like camping and going to chuckie cheese at the same time. If I have one and only complaint it’s the pool, it could use an upgrade and I wish they had actual lounge chairs rather than just plastic chairs to sit. However, unlike most campgrounds, the pool stayed open pretty late so that was a huge bonus for me.
We found this park while driving south to Georgia and decided to stay for a night. It was full of trails and it’s the halfway point on the Appalachian Trail so you can hike some of it too! Our campsite was #31 in the Horseshoe Loop (no elec/water) near the bath house that was very clean. There are water spigots located throughout the park though. Friendly campground hosts attend the firewood barn and are willing to help with suggestions for stores and and such. Check in and check out is both 3pm, which allowed us to spend the morning hiking. Cell service is pretty non existent but there is WiFi at the ice cream/general store.
Since I am from near the area, I camp here a lot, and I will say that it is a great campground. The sites are spacious and well taken care of, and if you camp on the upper loop, there is a lot of separation between sites, which is nice. The bathrooms are average, not the best I've seen, and certainly not the worst. The sites aren't all level, so If it rains, certain sites become ponds. Other than this, though, it is an awesome campground, and I highly recommend it!
A group of 4 families visited this lovely quiet spot.
Pros: Quiet Lovely little hike for young kids right out of the camp site Close to DC so am easy drive Handicap accessible Lovely little boardwalk to a small creak past a saw mill
Cons: Bathroom was just so-so. I prob wouldn’t want to shower there but - your are camping!
I LOVE Catoctin Mountain Park in general!! The trails are well-kept and the scenery remains as natural as possible (I hate it when you go to some parks and it looks forced or man-made).
The Houck area is pretty wide-spread with sites ranging from dispersed walk-in to camping by the lake. There’s pretty much something for everyone.
But, let’s talk about the lake for a sec… Hunting Creek Lake is a 75 acre man-made lake near Cunningham Falls. Ironically, all the streams and creeks in the area couldn’t make a sufficient lake, therefore one was created. It’s labeled as great for boating, kayaking, and fishing. There were even paddle boats available. It’s quite picturesque from the get-go.
But, once we got in, I have to admit I was thoroughly disgusted. I love swimming in natural water features, but this kinda creeped me out. There was all sorts of algae and growth in the water. We would hit pockets and cold and warm water, which felt like you were walking through someone’s urine — there wasn’t much circulation or movement of the water, so it gets stagnant-feeling. Not to mention the abrupt drop-off when you enter into the lake. Nothing natural feeling about this place.
I give the park 5 stars, but the lake only gets 3, if that.
Well-appointed, semi-rustic cabins set in Catoctin Mountain. Not far from the Wm. Houck lake area and trailhead to Cunningham Falls.
Our cabin came equipped with A/C and heat, full kitchenette, fireplace, screened in porch, and firepit area (including wood and fire starters!) with seating and picnic table.
Ole Mink Farm is very resort-like with a central pool and clubhouse. They also offer various activities — mainly on weekends — like cornhole tournaments and campfire gatherings.
And I can’t say enough about the customer service!! They take hospitality to whole new levels! We ran into a couple personal snags on our trip, and they were so accommodating. Even when my Mom got sick, they checked in on us and asked about her by name. What a wonderful group of owners!
If you want to “glamp,” I would HIGHLY recommend this place!