Mike B.
Dexter, MI
Joined September 2018
I enjoy getting out in the woods camping and dirt biking
Car racers paradise

Ranger Review: Red Ledge Free Rein Rain Jacket at Lincoln Air Park Campground

Campground Review:

Having downtown Lincoln about 20 minutes away from Lincoln Air Park means that there is a lot to do and go see close by.  Being a SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) member means that when you go to an event at Lincoln Air Park, you can camp on site. 

This isn’t your typical campground by any means. This is a huge paved area of the airport where the SCCA hosts autocross races.  This means that you must bring all your camping gear with you. It is typically motor homes and RVs that stay on the site, but a few brave people pack a tent and set it up on the concrete pad.

There are little to no amenities on-site so you need to be prepared.  There are port-a-potties but no drinking water available. If you do need water or septic tanks serviced, there is a $50 fee to have a company come out and fill or empty those in your RV.

The quiet hours on-site are from 10PM to 6AM and the rest of the day it is loud.  There are cars running the autocross course and the occasional plane takes off on the adjacent runway.  Like I said, this isn’t your typical campground, but it is very nice to be able to stay on-site while racing.

Being on-site is great as you get to socialize with other competitors after the days events and many times the SCCA will sponsor a dinner for the drivers after an event.

What is great about this area is the Haymarket in downtown Lincoln.  It is worth the short 15 to 20 minute drive to experience all the great restaurants and activities they hold in this beautiful downtown setting.  You can find out more at https://lincolnhaymarket.org/.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I sometimes get to test out various camping gear.  At the Lincoln Air Park I tested out the Red Ledge Free Rein rain jacket. This is the perfect spot to put the rain jacket to the test, as it always seems to rain a couple times during my stays in Lincoln.

This is the nicest rain coat I have ever owned.  I'm used to the heavy ones that do not breathe at all.  I was surprised at how well made this Red Ledge rain jacket is.  The rain jacket is a good material thickness for the cooler rainy days, but I also don't think it is too hot when it gets muggy out during the rain.  This jacket has pit zippers which open up a huge area to let you get some fresh air in and the hot air out.

I find these a must now that I've worn a rain jacket with venting areas.  This just makes you so much more comfortable. I was also able to keep these completely open during the rain and I never got wet.

I also really like the hood on this rain jacket.  Most rain jackets have a hood but it is always in your face and if you turn your head it gets in the way.  The hood has a shock cord running through it that can be tightened, above your ears where a baseball cap is worn, and it keeps the hood in place.  This is great and I found it to be very comfortable.

I am 5'10" and 154 lbs. I read a review that said the rain jacket runs a little small so I ordered a large which is a size up from my normal jackets.  I found this to be just about perfect. The back is longer than the front of this jacket, which I like for using on a bicycle and the sleeves were just about an inch or two long which is great for reaching for the handlebars on the bike.  I would recommend one size up from your normal size as it also allows you to put another layer on underneath if you need to in colder weather.

Another bonus is the great colors this jacket comes in.  I like the bright colors offered as compared to many other rain jackets that seem to be black, or other dark colors.

See http://redledge.com/collections/free-rein/products/mens-free-rein-jacket to see more about the rain jacket!

A great hike or bike in rustic campground on the Potawatomi Trail

Ranger Review: INNO INH120 Tire Hold Bike Rack at Blind Lake Campground, MI

Campground Review:

Blind Lake rustic campground is located off of the very popular Potawatomi Trail, making this campground accessible only by hiking or biking in.  Blind Lake campground is part of the Pinckney Recreation area which is located just about 30 minutes outside of Ann Arbor, MI.

Most hikers and bikers start their trek at the Silver Lake day use area where the main hiking and biking trailhead is located.  From this trailhead the Blind Lake campground is about 7 miles in on the 17.5 mile Potawatomi Trail. A vehicle permit ($6) or annual Michigan State Parks permit ($10) is required to enter. The Area Headquarters (734-426-4913) is located at the Silver Lake day use area where campers must purchase their campsite before heading out on the trail ($17).  The headquarters is also where you can purchase a vehicle permit or annual Michigan State Parks permit. The park is open all year, making the Blind Lake campground a popular stop for hikers in the winter.

Blind Lake campground has a total of 10 sites, all very close to the water.  There is one vault toilet and a trash bin. There is a hand pump well in the campground for clean drinking water.  Each site has a large picnic table and a modern fire ring. Firewood can be scarce as the nearby woods have been picked pretty clean and carrying firewood into the campground is a lot of extra weight!

All of the sites at Blind Lake campground have lots of shade and are large enough for a couple of tents on each site.  During the nice summer days there will be lots of hiking and biking traffic through the campground as the Potawatomi Trail runs directly through it.  Many stop to take a break at the campground and have a look at the beautiful lake.

Serious hikers can connect the Potawatomi Trail to the Waterloo-Pinckney Hiking trail to bring their total trip to over 35 miles of back country hiking.  The Potawatomi Trail features numerous loops for any skill level. The shortest loop is the Silver Lake Trail at 1.9 miles. Next, the Crooked Lake Trail at 5.1 miles.  Or the full Potawatomi Trail at 17.5 miles.

Overall, I enjoyed my stay here at Blind Lake campground and I would return.  I was only one of two campers there and it was quiet at night. During the day you do hear the hikers and bikers going by on the trail so it isn’t completely isolated from the “real world”.  The Dyrt campground review is available on YouTube at the following LINK.

Click HERE for a printable trail map of the area.  For further details check out the following link HERE, which includes amenities, trail guides, hours & fees, directions and more.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I sometimes get to test and evaluate new products.  At Blind Lake campground I tested the INNO INH120 Tire Hold Bike Rack.  This bike rack holds up to two bikes and plugs into your vehicle’s receiver hitch.

The INNO INH120 is a tray style bike rack, making it ideal for expensive carbon bikes.  The rack uses arms to hold down the wheels and not the frame of the bike, keeping your paint from getting scratched up.  The bike rack works with either a 1-¼” or 2” receiver. My truck is a heavy-duty and comes with the 2-½: receiver. I used an adapter and the bike rack worked just fine.

The INH120 bike rack can hold two bikes with a maximum total weight of 120 lbs.  The bike rack fits bikes with wheel bases from 34” to 48”, so it works with kids and adult sized bikes.  The bike needs to have a minimum of 20” wheels to a maximum of 29” wheels to be held down properly. Tires sizes from 18c to 3” wide fit in the trays.  This covers almost all bikes and makes it very handy to use with the family.

The rack comes neatly packed and requires some assembly.  The assembly is straightforward and only took about 30 minutes, even while trying to film the process for a video.  Spare parts are available from INNO if something were to break. The rack felt very sturdy and well built and felt comparable to other racks I’ve used from Thule and Yakima.

Once put together I tested out the INH120 bike rack with my fatbike that is running 29+ sized tires.  The 29” wheels are 3” wide and fit nicely into the tray of the rack. I did remove the plastic adjustable wheel clamps on the arm of the rack.  This allowed me to have the arms more vertical and provided a better hold on my large tires. These plastic wheel clamps are what you move inside the arms to adjust for different size bike wheels.  It only takes a second to unclip the clamps are adjust for different bikes.

What is also nice is the bike rack has 4 different positions it can tilt, allowing easy access into the back of your vehicle.  One of the positions is vertical so you can keep it on the vehicle while not in use, but not have it hanging off the back and making your vehicle longer.

The INH120 bike rack also included a cable to lock the rack to your vehicle.  This cable can be used to loop through the frame of your bike to lock it to the rack as well.  I require this feature on a bike rack because all too often bikes are stolen when you make a quick stop for food or to run into a store.

An unboxing and assembly video for the INH120 bike rack is available to view HERE.  

A quick video demonstrating how easy it is to load and unload your bikes from the INH120 bike rack is available to view HERE.

Easy to ride ORVs or dirt bikes from

This rustic campground is right on the ORV route. This means you can camp here and even ride in you Jeep or side by side right from camp.

I stayed here and rode dirt bikes from jere and swam in the lake afterwards. It was refreshing and there is a small sandy area to swim out of.

The lake is very peaceful and quiet. Great for kayaking or canoeing! There are no houses on the small lake and it is typically calm water.

The campground has vault toilets, camp fire rings, and picnic tables. The fee is $15 per night and is paid at the entrance.

There is a water pump here so fresh water is available. There is also a dumpster for your trash.

I will be coming back as it is easy to get to as well.

Good family campground

This is a larger state park with full size sites for RVs. There is electric on each site along with fire rings and picnic tables.

Some good spots have some shade to stay out of the sun. The beach is pretty good for swimming.

The bathrooms are clean and the showers were warm.

Great Family Campground

This is a nice place to camp if you dont mind the bigger parks. There is electrical on each site and is mostly a place for campers and RVs. There are fire pits and picnic tables at each site. It is usually easy to get multiple sites next to each other with reservations.

There is a decent sandy beach here with a playground and volleyball net. Also in the park are some small dirt trails for hiking and biking. There are enough loops here to go for walks as well.

Most of the sites are in the sun, but there are a few sites with more shade and tree cover.

Good location for ORV trails

I did a dual sport motorcycle ride out of this campground. The area is great for riding with lots of trails and roads through the forests.

The campground is clean and well maintained. There are restrooms, showers and electricity.

I would go back again as the owners were very nice and accommodating.

Rustic Campground Close to Town

I stayed here with my kids because it was close to home and town. It makes for an easy getaway for a night or two.

It is rustic with just vault toilets. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring.

The lake is not good for swimming as it is very mucky and covered in Lilly pads.

It can fill up quick because it is close to town.

There is a Yurt for rent here as well through the Waterloo Recreation web page.

Great views of Lake Superior

The sunsets from this campground are unreal. The walking bridge over the Two Hearted River takes you to the Lake Superior beach. It has small rocks near shore and lots of sand near the river.

Vault toilets and a water pump are available. Picnic tables are at each site.

This is a fun place to stay with kids.

Amazing beach on Lake Superior

To date this is my favorite rustic campground I've been to in Michigan. Being in the UP and on Lake Superior makes this place one of a kind.

The beach is rocky and has lots of driftwood from the high lake levels a few years ago. The ice took down a lot of the trees on the shoreline.

Swimming is always cold in Lake Superior but getting in was refreshing.

Picnic tables and fire rings are on each site. Vault toilets are available as well. We found all the firewood we needed right in the campground.

Beautiful place, but mosquitoes!

I stayed here on a dirt bike while doing a trip around the UP. The campground is very nice and has some spots on the water. Some sites are nicely wooded as well. There are vault toilets and a water pump available.

Down the road we were able to purchase firewood and had a nice fire in the fire rings.

I can't wait to go back to this area and stay at this campground again.

Quiet, private rustic campground

I liked that this campground had sites that were fairly secluded from each other. Each site has a fire ring and ample space to park your vehicle and set up a tent or small trailer.

My only complaint is the vault toilets were not clean and very full.