Mary C.

Tacoma, WA

Joined June 2018

Ranger Review of AfterShokz Air at Mowich Lake Campground

Campground Review:

Mowich Lake is a decent sized campground at the base of Mt Rainier. We stayed here the night before the Rainier to Ruston run. The sites were your standard, with a picnic table, fire ring, and plenty of trees for shade and cover. There are lots of things to do in the area. We like to fish in the tributaries that are smaller for kids.  An excursion up to Crystal Mountain to see the peak and enjoy the view is a must! The littles love riding the gondola up the mountain. The lake attracts a lot of mosquitoes so be sure to bring ALOT of bug spray and garlic. Invest in a screen tent to cover the picnic table. The lake is beautiful!!! During the summer, the water is crystal clear and incredibly inviting. The entrance to the campground requires you to dive on an unpaved road with lots of potholes. 

Ranger Review:

I had the opportunity to review the Aftershokz Air headphones.  These headphones are absolutely a must for any parent who runs with their littles, as you can still hear some of the louder noises around you. 


-Bone conduction tech, allows you to enjoy out of ear listening. 

-Slim fit with placers 

-Microphone for easy call communication


-I have a small head, so these do not fit me as well as they fit my husband

-You cannot chew gum, as the movement causes the headphones to shift

I absolutely love these headphones and now own both the air and Titanium Mini.  As a female who enjoys running alone through both city and trails, the fact that I have the option to not have my hearing impacted eases my mind for my own safety. I will tout the benefits of these far and wide.

Ranger Review of Firebiner at Palisades Campground

Campground Review

There is not an actual Palisades Campground, as the area around is actually the viewpoint.  However, you are able to get a camping permit, which is required and available at the White River Guard Station. They are free of charge. You do need to have a National Parks pass to park along the corridor. The Palisades viewpoint is amazing with lots of trails and captivating views of andesite along the walls (very similar to Devils Postpile). The Palisades is located about 10 miles northeast of Packwood along the 12 and the trailhead to Palisades trail is located at Sunrise Point. There is a vault toilet there that you can use if you camp near enough. Wildlife is pretty rife in the area so make sure that you have the proper containers for food and gear. You must also bring in your own water. There are sites near Palisades Lake but it is super marshy and has a ridiculous amount of mosquitos. 

Product Review

I was given the opportunity to test and review the Firebiner from Outdoor Element. Fortunately, there was not a burn ban yet and we were able to test it out.  The Firebiners come in an array of different colors, some bearing the names of popular sites. Being from CA, I had to get the Yosemite biner. The packaging is small and nondescript but you need to make sure that you keep it as it is where the extra Ferro Rods are kept. It took me a few tries at home to feel comfortable with lighting tinder, so I suggest you practice before you take it out into the wild. The features of the Firebiner were pretty awesome: Screwdriver, bottle opener, utility blade, and is rated to hold up to 100 pounds of gear (did not test this part yet).  This tool helps create fire and while it took me a few tries to get it right, a child could easily ignite something using it.

Ranger Review of GCI chairs at La Wis Wis Campground

Campground Review

This campground is at the base of Mt Rainier National Park in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  To get to the campsite, you have to drive down into the ravine of where the Cowlitz River cuts through the campsite. There are many sites on the river, with the rest in the trees covering the expanse of the grounds. Large RV/ trailers can only be in the upper Loop H.

The road is a one way and for the most part, campers respect the speed limit, though there are some idiots who drive fast through. 

There are no hookups, so you will be dry camping if you bring an RV. This is very close to Packwood and a great place to stay during Memorial Weekend for their annual Flea Market.  There is no cell service at this site. Site claims to have flushing toilets, but those were removed a few years ago, there are only vault toilets and no showers. Depending on how the snow melt is during the spring, will dictate fishing and camping opening. 

Product Review

I had the opportunity to review a GCI Outdoor Backpack Event Chair.  This product is amazing for lugging around from campground to fishing and back. The chair has four different positions for reclining and hard arm supports for getting up and down. There is a large pocket on the back allowing for easy toting of items from car to wherever. The backpack straps make toting a breeze and the clip to close keeps the chair in place. It is very light and easy to transport and has a weight limit of 250, but my very large cousin (300+) was able to sit with no problem.

Ranger Review: RovR Rollr 60 Cooler at Dosewallips State Park

Campground Review

Dosewallips State Park is located on the Olympic Peninsula.  It butts up against the Olympic National Park for easy access into the trails there. This is a great spot for a family as it's pretty open and allows for littles to bike around the park. For the most part, campers follow the speed limit and are respectful of the many kids around. The sites are pretty large and depending on where you camp can be private or open. There are cabins and platform tents available for your stay but they are booked pretty well in advance.  There are lots of hiking trails in the area and easy access to the water and clamming and shrimping.  The campsite has ice and firewood for purchase.  The rangers offer weekend shows for the littles. 

This campground is right on the freeway so if you do not want to hear cars and semis driving at any hours of the day and night, this may not be the best place for you. 

Gear Review

I was given the opportunity to review the RovR RollR 60 cooler as a Dyrt Ranger. I grew up using the old school Colemans, so this cooler was a huge step up. I chose the green as I am from the Pacific Northwest and it resembled Seahawks green. The cooler is pretty big (my 7-year-old is able to get in and sit comfortably). 


Large capacity with side Dry Bin for perishable goods

Collapsible bag for easy top carry

Lasting ice/ cold ( 4 days for us)

Rubber latches for animal proofing (!!!)

Rubber tire for a smooth pull

Easy to grip handle

Bolts on 4 corners to allow for bungee carrying of other items


With the Dry Bin on one side, the weight balance is off during lifting

On uneven terrain, handle drags 

Hubs said having handles on all four sides would ease lifting

If you dont follow directions for pre-prepping cooler, ice only lasts for a weekend

Accessories are a bit expensive

Overall, this is a pretty sweet cooler and one that I will be using for years to come.

Ok for the night

This campground is located on the south side of Dog Lake. The campground is extremely small with about 10 sites.  The area is large enough for Rv's and campers but only has dry camping available.  There are no showers and there is one bathroom with vault toilets. The campsites are on a first come first serve basis and are relatively cheap, and Golden Age passes are accepted.  There are a few extra spots for additional cars if you want to pay an extra fee for them. Beware: you are right on the highway so will constantly hear vehicles and semis heading through the pass.

Dog lake is pretty awesome for fishing out of. There are a few banks that are easy to access and you can walk around the lake to find better spots.

The campground is very near Clear Creek Falls which offers a nice area to walk along and view the many falls and the creek winding through the mountains.  

There is no phone reception up here.

Ranger Review: Wenzel Tent at Sequim Bay State Park

Campground Review

This campground is a great spot for families wanting to be near the Olympic National Forest. The grounds are on Sequim Bay, with a few sites butting up against the river edge. The Olympic Discovery Trail runs through the campgrounds and is well maintained. For those with boats, there is a lot of moorage space and even space for overnight moorage. This campground has tennis courts, a basketball hoop, and lots of wide open fields. The sites are relatively open, and this is a favorite of families, so if you are looking for a peaceful time you may want to skip this one. There are full hookups and decent showers and bathrooms. You must have a discover pass to get into this park in addition to camp fees. Down the 101 to Dabob bay, there are great spots to go clamming and oyster hunting. On Sequim Bay, the access for boating and kayaking is unbeatable!

Gear Review

I was offered the opportunity to test out the Wenzel Shenanigan 8 teepee tent.

Pros: This is a great front county beginner tent for a family. This tent is huge and very tall! My husband is 6'4" and is able to stand with no issues of hitting his head. There are a lot of vents so the tent does not overheat. In each of the corners, there is a small pocket for personal items. There are three windows for venting and the entire door is able to pull back for screen venting as well. This is a perfect tent for kids.

Cons: The center pole tent is the only pole on the tent. The stakes are the only thing holding the base outward. If you are not camping in an area that has softer ground to stake, this tent will not stay open. The upside down T, for the opening, is difficult to get in and out of. The center tent pole, while making the tent very tall, does not allow for queen size mats or air mattresses. The ground cover fabric does not reach up very high so a tarp is necessary for under.

Ranger Review: Midland XTalker 4 Pack at Seaquest

Campground Review:

I recently visited one of my favorite campgrounds with my family. Seaquest is at the base of Mt St Helens, right next to the Mt St Helens Visitor Center. They have tons of activities for kids and a great learning space about the volcano. At the campground, there are easy trails for kids to go on. The campground is surrounded by trees and wildlife. One thing I love about this space is the yurts are in their own area. We have yet to take advantage of reserving all the yurts at once for a family event, but I am excited for when we do. There is an amazing playground for the littles at the center of the campground. If you reserve a campsite around the playground, you can very easily sit at the fire, while being able to keep an eye on the littles.

Product Review

I also love how quiet and safe this campground is. I allow my littles to ride their bikes through this campground. Using the Midland X-Talkers with them makes communication so much easier! Each child, my husband, and I were able to have a radio. My girls were in love with their "camping phones". I was able to put their radios on their bikes very easily and by turning the volume up all the way, they were able to ride and listen. The radios have belt clips that held up during my run and my girls' bike rides. They also are small enough that they fit easily in a 6-year-olds pocket. I plan on making a clip for their bikes for easy holding on their handlebars. The range was tested to over five miles!! The only downside was the radios used 4 AAA batteries rather than having a rechargeable battery. However, so far, it seems like the battery life is really good, so I can't complain that much. We tested these with Midland radios one of my uncles has, and the radios were compatible with the X-Talkers so my young cousins could use them.

Overall, I am very impressed with the radios and look forward to using them for future trips.

Great Grays Harbor County spot!!

This is another great Grays Harbor County spot just south of Montesano. Like Lake Sylvia it is super family and pet friendly. The campsite is divided into two different areas…one for RVs and the other for tents. The facilities are all well maintained and the bathrooms have showers. It is a pretty quiet campground even though it is near a highway.

There are lots of spots to fish in the campground as well as the surrounding areas.

Not a site

After traveling down from Spokane, I was not able to find this site anywhere. ūüėē

Hidden Gem

Set in a former logging camp above the town of Montesano, park life revolves around a large swimming and fishing lake. This site is super family friendly and pet friendly too.

There is a playground on site and TONS of old logging roses turned bike trails.

There are plenty of tent and RV sites and s few primitive sites for campers. There are showers a flushing toilets.

Gorgeous!!! Bowl and Pitcher

This is a larger campground great for RV, trailers and tents. The sites are enclosed in a circle, making a nice walk or bike ride. The campgroundl has partial hook ups and is very camper friendly otherwise.

Sites are pretty open not offering a good amount of privacy, though most are along the Spokane River. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring, with bbq grate. The site has showers and flushing toilets!!

This is a perfect getaway for people looking to unplug as no cell service (tested on sprint, verizon, and google fi) is available. There is tons of wildlife and lots of trails and riverbank to favorite thing was the suspension bridge over the river. Lots of space for swimming and fishing!

Not a structured site anymore

Rock Creek Park - Columbia River Gorge is a campground located near the city of Lyle. The campground was maintained by US Corps of Engineers.

As of now the campground is abandoned but there are still spaces available. From this area you will get the best views of both the back country and the gorge.

Better sites elsewhere

In the lovely Maryhill valley is the Peach Beach RV park. I am not one usually for RV parks but this on was ok. It was well maintained and clean. The spots were very close together and little privacy was had. They claim to have a private beach but it seemed like a muddy inlet overflowing with mosquitoes.on the plus side it is right next to a wine tasting shop.

There are many great places along this stretch of highway. This might be one to pass up.

Petroglyphs Galore!!!

When we are in the area we normally stay near Maryhill State Park. This campground was a delightful change to our routine. The site is small but it offers quite a few different ways to camp: tents, RV, cabins even a teepee!! This site is on Horsethief Lake and offers some great summer fun.

One of the best aspects was the petroglyphs that were along trails near the campground. This was a great spot and I highly recommend it!

My sunny spot!!!

This is one of my favorite campgrounds!! As a Tacoma resident we have a lot of clouds. I head over to Yakima for my sun. This campground never disappoints!

There are lots of spaces for tents and RVs. Clean and well maintained bathrooms. There is plenty of space for kids to play and visibility is high for bike riding. There is a huge group campsite that has bathrooms near it.

The surrounding grounds is a park with playground equipment and a huge field. There are tons of hikes and a small pond to explore…with turtles!

Decent Spot

This is a nice spot to stop over for a day or two. It is a smaller campground but it offers quite a bit. There is a amphitheater for guests and the rangers put on decent shows. There are only two bathrooms for the entire campground but they do have showers. When we went one of the showers was out of order, but we were told it would be getting fixed soon.

There is lots to do around the campground you just have to venture out and find it. This is a pet and horse friendly spot.

There is one hiker spot for first come first serve.

Nice spot close to Lake Coeur D'alene

This is a great stop point before getting into Idaho. The campground was very well maintained and great to stay at. It is located in between Spokane proper and Coeur d'Alene (so Spokane Valley). There are tons of spots to choose from, but it gets pretty busy in the summer. The cabins were great and had everything you needed to get by.

There is a laundromat, store, sports area, lots of space for dogs and a game room at the main lodge. I really liked the community fire pit since there wasnt a fire pit at each site. One cool thing about this site is they have "gazebo sites" for RV campers. They also have an outdoor movie theater set up, but we werent able to take advantage of that perk.

We were able to drive a short way to Lake Coeur d'Alene for their Fourth of July events and even rented a lake boat for tubing.

Great site for families, RVers, and pet owners.


Going up the canyon just a few minutes away from the city makes this campground ideal. The fire pits are scattered between campsites and make each site just a little more secluded than your average campground. With plenty of trails that over look the city and sunsets, this has to be one of my favorite overnight short trips

Cool spot in Ellensburg

This is one of the larger KOAs I have been to.  Plenty of room for RVs, trailers, and tents.  They also have a few cabins to stay in.  Our site was near the playground which was central to the camp ground. There is a TV/ play room that my littlesloved but not as much as the heated pool, yes, they have a heated pool! 

This site lies on the banks of the Yakima River.  My dad was able to go fly fishing and my littles were able to search for rocks and fish in the shallow areas. 

The general store has all your basic needs, but a difference from other KOAs was that they sell bee and wine! 

The hosts are great but are pretty strict with quiet hours (which I prefer with littles).

Already planning return trip

This is a smaller spaced out campground.  It's on the southFork of the Snoqualmie River and the water level varies with the season. There is plenty of access points to the river.

The campground has hook ups for RVs and trailers and a group site, which was in an area by itself, super convenient for big groups. There is a host on site and an info center and the center of the camp ground.  Each site has a picnic bench and a fire pit with grate. A few of the RV sites are pull through making parking very easy. Franklin Falls is very close, a short drive or longer walk. Didn't go this time, but will next trip.

The camp ground was sold out when we went, so get your reservations in early, don’t count on walk in. On the drive in there are many shots to dead out camp though.