the dyrt
Dave G.
Silver Spring, MD
Joined July 2016
Great end to a wonderful trip

Seward Military Resort was out last campground of our 8 night trip. We used the resort to set up our tent and venture out into Seward to go ice climbing on the nearby Exit Glacier (pictures and video below). The site is on the small side and really close to one other tent site and the yurts. No mosquitoes, people adhere to quiet hours, and it's close to a wealth of activities in Seward.

Great campground, site selection is key

Porcupine was our third campground of our trip and it was a good one. We wish we had gotten a better site, but there is plenty of hiking around to see the water and mountains. Oddly, being so close to the water in the summer in Alaska, we expected a deluge of mosquitoes, but actually found none! We used Porcupine as a base camp for hiking Portage Pass and checking out Whittier. If you're anticipating on going to Whittier, be mindful of the tunnel; it's the one way in/out of Whittier and has a toll. No major complaints about the campground, there was plenty of sticks laying around to fuel our BioLite Campstove 2. On our second day, the water pump that was closest to us, broke, didn't seem to have been fixed for the duration of our stay there.

Always fun camping in a National Park

This was out second campsite of our 8 night Alaska trip. We were there for two nights. This campground has a family campground feel with all the RV's and family groups; not that that's a bad thing! The campground was probably 80% full, but still quiet and enough solitude. The campground is right on the Denali park road where all the shuttles and buses pass through the park. We reserved a spot to take us all the way to the Eielson Visitors Center which is a ~4 hour one-way trip from Savage River Campground. Anyone reading this and considering going to Denali - you WILL see wildlife. We saw a family of foxes, caribou, grizzly bears, a marmot, ground and red squirrels, moose, bald eagles, and a variety of other birds. There is a popular short hike from the campground down to Savage River, and the camp host told us that people see moose and bear a lot in the morning on that hike. Other things to note are: Denali Education Center (outside of the park) - we went to yoga here; Healy - check out 49th State Brewing ( they have the "Into the Wild" bus from the movie).

Only Issue was the mosquitoes; nothing but solace

Campground Review:

This was the first two nights of our 8 night Alaska trip. The campground is called Rosehip, but it's apart of the Chena River State Recreation Area. We arrived late (midnight) and were surprised that even a week before July 4th, that there were only 3 other campers at the campground (all RV's). The wooded areas are composed of mostly white birch which we took its bark when we saw downed trees. Birch bark is great for starting fires. The pit toilets are maintained and do not smell. For water, there are several pumps that you have operate yourself, but our only issue with it was the color of the water, which comes out a little yellow/orange. For two days, we used this site as a base camp to venture out to hiking (Angels Rock) and to Chena Hot Springs, which is about an hour away. Both are worth it. No encounters with wildlife except for the mosquitoes. This site is your typical state run facility and was clean, equipped, and cheap.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. At Chena River State Recreation Area, I tested gear from Snapbuds.

The Snapbuds are magnetized clips that, when attached to your headphones, aim to make it easier to coil the headphones up and make them tangle-free. I give the Snapbuds a 2/5 for a couple of reasons:

  1. The instructions were a little difficult to follow; it took me awhile to realize that there are two versions of the Snapbuds, but the instructions include both, and I only had the one kind.
  2. When I attached the snapbuds to the headphones in the locations that were specified, I tried to clip the snapbuds together, but several of the clips wouldn't close; the tiny plastic wings that help close it permanently, would easily bend the other way, making it impossible to secure the clip. Out of the ten clips that come in one package, I could only attach 6. (see picture below)
  3. After attaching as many of the clips that didn't break, I tested out the tangle-freeness of the product. I found that after attaching the buds together via their magnets, that the headphones still weren't effectively secured with the buds attached (see last picture).

I understand how this product works and in some cases, why it's needed, but the Snapbuds were shipped to me with the white Apple headphones. I've been using these headphones for several years now and really haven't had them tangle, even if I bunch them up in my hand and stuff them in my pocket. Perhaps the Snapbuds would be more effective on non-Apple headphones?

Lots to Do Inside and Outside of Park

Visited in early September; temperature was great, but it rained quite a bit. The sun was plentiful on the second day so we were dry for at least some of the trip. We used Pocahontas State Park as a base camp for our planned activities in Richmond (Civil War sites/museum/breweries). The park has a lot of hiking trails and also offers a variety of talks and events. On our last night, we went to a blue grass performance off the back of one of the park cabin buildings and then the park rangers gave us stuff to make smores! The sites are well maintained and some are secluded enough to find solace. We will return.

Not Just a Hole in the Ground

First time to Grand Canyon. We stayed two nights in Mather Campground on the South Rim in October. It was easy to navigate the south rim, so getting in after dark, it wasn't a problem finding and setting up camp. Mather is fairly close to the overlooks so we had gotten up early to catch the sunrise and it did not disappoint. This was followed by making breakfast using our BioLite Campfire Stove 2. There are numerous wildlife that make their way around the campground that are somewhat foreign to east-coasters (elk), and it was amazing to see them somewhat up close. We camped with parents and even though a canyon hike was out of the question, we were able to tool around on the south rim by taking the hop-on/off bus to checkout the various stops. Highly recommended are: getting up early to see the sunrise, NPS-led talks/hikes, a good camera, and cooking at the site.

Quiet, Plentiful, Not Cheap

This was our third stay here on our somewhat annual family meetup in Gettysburg. I always appreciate the near solitude experience of this campground as 90% of the sites are RV sites, that are kept away from the tenting area. The tenting area is calm and has a creek right next to it to listen to in the evening and morning. One of the drawbacks of this campground is that a lot of the trees are black walnut trees and the squirrels do not shy away from dropping the walnuts like bombs on your head, car, or table when you're preparing breakfast.

Gear Review: I won a pair of Treadagain sandals for one of my last campground reviews and this was the first camping trip that I took with them. When I initially bought them, they gave me an abrasion cut and I contemplated sending them back, but after wearing them more, they became more comfortable and I have found them to be ideal for walking around in all day since they have thick bottoms.

Decent Place to Spend the Night and Morning

We arrived here on Easter and the campground was completely crowded with families celebrating Easter. For us wanting to setup our camp, we couldn't until most were on their way out. There are no designated sites, so you can basically camp wherever you please. We ended up camping on a bluff next to the ship beacon, which was pleasing throughout the night to the sound of the crashing breakers. The campground is the site of a tsunami that killed several school children and there's a memorial there to commemorate that event. There are a couple of grills, but when people are using the pavilions, you can not use them. Overall, not a bad place, probably quieter when it's not a major holiday!

Arrived and Left in Awe

We were able to snag a walk up site right at check out time, which is when you should arrive if you want to camp here. The campground was full by dinner time. The huge upside of this campground is the proximity to the Jagger Museum and the inner caldera of the volcano. You can hike from the campground to the caldera overlook and if you get lucky with a cloudy night sky, you'll be treated to a fiery display with the volcano glow lighting up the sky. The only downside of this campground is that there are no showers for tent campers. Definitely not something that would prevent us from returning.

Wonderful Introduction to Hawaiin Camping

We stayed here for two nights and greatly enjoyed quiet and near solitude of the beach park. We arrived in the dark to several locals who call the park home. We were hesitant about the situation, but after chatting with some of them, we discovered that they were very friendly and down to earth. After waking up and exploring the park, we found some sea turtles on the beach and continued walking around the various trails. We felt very comfortable here and will gladly return when we come visit Hawaii again!

Winter Wonderland in Zion

We came to Zion on the heels of a December blizzard that dumped a couple of feet on south western Utah. We were able to snag one of the few remaining sites in Watchman. It was much colder than we anticipated but hardly kept us from enjoying Zion for all it's beauty; especially under snow. The proximity of the campsite to Springdale is pretty valuable to check out the local shops and restaurants.

Can you go wrong in the Valley?

Can you go wrong in Death Valley in December when it's not above 70 degrees? This was our first camping trip to DVNP. We decided to come here because a massive snow storm hit our original target of Zion. Though the first two campgrounds in Furnace Creek were full, we were relieved to have snagged one of the walk up sites. We got there just in time for sunset and gladly ate in the valley while we explored the resort area. The camp site was great, clean, and the bathroom facility had what we needed for the stay.

Spacious Campground with Little Signs of Wear

Great campground that we use for a layover en-route to NY to see family. We also needed a reason to test out our BioLite 2 camp stove from REI. The campsites are fairly spacious with little signs of use. The shower and bathroom facilities looks brand new. Everywhere you look there is green space. The campground also does nature tours for local flora/fauna.

Decent, if nothing else available

We needed a tent site for the night in November and discovered that most of the campgrounds in PA were closed for the season. We found Florys, outside of Lititz, PA. It's mostly an RV campground with 5 or 6 tent areas. Each site is small and you're not allowed to build a fire. The only interesting thing about the site, was waking up and looking out 50 yards at the horse stables where horses greeted you from a distance.

Great Hub for Camping, Hiking, Tubing.

This was a second trip to this campground, solely because I was hosting another group hiking/camping/tubing trip. The campground is solely for tents. Each site allows up to 10 people at a cheap rate of ~$8/person per night. Even with a full campground, bathrooms and showers were always available. The campground also doubles as a water tubing outfitter on the Shenandoah River. It's also in the heart the valley between prime east coast hiking areas (Shenandoah National Park and George Washington National Forest). From the campsite, there is a 1/4 mile hike down to the river for a late night dip, which we all did under the full moon. Each site comes with a grill, table and fire pit.

Nice family campground, but still close to nature

Girlfriend and I stayed here while we visited nearby Longwood Gardens. The tent sites are spacious and they all border the creek which is a nice sound at night, as well as a good morning view. Each site comes with fire pit and picnic table. Campground has private showers and laundry. Even though we stayed there in the summer (August) next to the creek, there were no bugs. Good place for a layover or with kids.

Decent escape from life in a cabin full of history

Olive Green cabin, owned/operated by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club is a two floor primitive cabin near Frederick, Maryland. It's a log cabin that was built around the mid-1860's. The last private owner, Olive Green lived in it until the 1980's (I think) when she was still living primitively without electricity or water. She grew her own food and had livestock on her property. The cabin itself is stocked with various cookware (including cast iron), bed frames, tables, chairs, books and games. We went in December after a storm and needed to shovel our way to the outhouse. Manual labor is not a bad thing! The opportunity to stay here and live primitively for a weekend was nice. The only downside is that the cabin is not effectively insulated, with numerous holes between the logging that lets a good amount of cold air in at night. There is also a wood burning stove on the first floor that's great for cooking on, but doesn't produce a lot of heat that needs to make its way to the sleeping quarters in the loft.

Family campground that's great for base camp.

Stayed here in October while family stayed in hotels. This is a family campground and is mostly occupied by RV's who stay long term. Tent sites are spacious and fits 2 cars, sites fit 2-3 tents. The tent sites have numerous walnut trees, so there's a bit of a hazard there when walking around trying to dodge the falling nuts (cars are targets too!). The campground is pretty close to downtown Gettysburg if you're looking for restaurants/shops. It's in the heart of the battlefield access points and trails. The campground usually puts on various activities, parties, etc, mainly kid oriented. This is a nice site/area for base camping in the fall.

Cool island campsite!

Pretty nice campground that you have to take a 20 minute ferry from the mainland. Then you drive through the small harbor town to the campsite. Nice, clean showers and bathrooms. The tents sites are spacious and they're only a 10 or so minute drive from La Point. The island community is full of restaurants and art galleries. We went in July and were able to go to a film fest and do yoga on the beach. These amenities may not be at the campground, but staying on the island gives you access to them. By the main office, there's a trail that goes down to the beach where you can rent canoes and kayaks on an honor system.

Nice little waterfall in a quiet campground

Stayed here as a layover en-route to Wisconsin. This park may be right off of the interstate, but it's quaint and the sites are roomy. They're also nicely vegetated so you get a sense of privacy. We stayed in the busy season (July) and even though most sites were full, once it hit the quiet hour, the whole campground went eerily quiet. Not far from the tent sites is Wolf Creek Falls, about a 1.2 mile hike (worth it!). The showers were clean and rangers were laid back and lenient with the camp fee.