the dyrt
Molly G.
Bristol, RI
Joined September 2016
Step Outside.
Mountain House Review at Underhill State Park

-Campground review- What can i say about this lovely state park campground? Totally beautiful, private spots, pit toilets and a night sky to die for! The rangers are extremely helpful and very friendly. The sites are pretty well priced- all they had left for us were Lean-to sites which were 27/night. No complaints here! We set our tent right up in the Lean-to and enjoyed the quiet. We stayed in the group site because everything else was packed. They ask that you limit your driving on the path to the site- so we were sure to go into town to get all we needed before we settled into camp- which wasnt hard to do. A 40 minute drive brings you to Stowe, which has breweries, places to grab food and some awesome rock climbing spots! A short walk from the group campsite takes you straight to various (amazing!) hiking trails.

This place had everything we could have wanted for our weekend spent in Vermont. Highly recommend it!!

-MOUNTAIN HOUSE RANGER REVIEW- So, as with all my Gear reviews, I have a disclaimer.

I don’t like weird food. I just recently stopped ordering “chicken fingers” from restaurants my husband and I visit. I like predictable camp food- hot dogs, burgers, frito pie. So getting “turkey casserole” in a ziplock bag wasn’t exactly something I was thrilled about.

However- we do a lot of backpacking. And honestly, I’m tired of eating snicker bars for dinner, so I though this review might broaden my horizons for some delicious, lightweight, easy to make backpacking food.

Correct.

THANK YOU mountain house for making this oddly delicious space food that with a cup to boiling water (and about 7 minutes) turns into thanksgiving dinner!! The process is so easy and quick, the food itself is virtually weightless (so perfect for lightweight backpacking) and I would never be able to tell it had been rehydrated. The stuffing was delicious, the turkey was moist… just wow.

Backpackers and campers— get your hands on this magic stuff here:

https://www.mountainhouse.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjws8vaBRBFEiwAQfhs-AmTitjnMfLcWTqCcTNxiMmaWDyTm9FcIr8hCL1eo8rqI6R6m-iI5RoC3oAQAvD_BwE

Ranger Review at French Broad Campground

-CAMPGROUND REVIEW- I was pleasantly surprised when we pulled into this campground. It accomadates to all, without being too showy. There are cabins you can rent and full RV hookup sites as well if that’s what you’re interested in. I was particularly interested in the primitive tent site. This is only a 45 second walk from the provided parking area- and well worth it for the privacy and seclusion. There is one bathroom in the campground- one men’s shower and one woman’s shower. I wouldn’t say it was stellar in cleanliness- but it wasn’t disgusting by any means either. For the tent and primitive sites there are two portable bathrooms- one was better than the other. The guy who runs it is super nice and accommodating- even letting us have a fire with our family in one of the easier to get to camp sitesp so that my grandparents could enjoy a nice campfire.

The campsites were as a whole pretty close together- we went midweek and before their peak season so there wasn’t really anyone else around, but could see it being less than desirable to stay here in the on season. It gets pretty busy in the on season. Would highly recommend the primitive tentsite or site 17 for optimal privacy (especially in the on season.)

-GEAR REVIEW- Being a Ranger for the Dyrt, I get to test out some killer equipment from the best guys out there. This time was no exception. The Renogy Water Filturation system is probably not something I would have ever thought I needed. I’m one of those people who carelessly drinks out of any body of water as long as it seems to be moving fast enough. While I’ve never had any problems in the past- it’s always a stress in the back of my mind. What if I have some kind of parasite living inside me just waiting to come out and kill me? What if on my backpacking trip I drink stream water and end up pooping myself because of contracting giardia? Real worries.

Renogy has changed all this though- because now- I know I’m only getting purified water. This filter easy to use and put together, very minimalistic, and light as a feather. It for sure will simplify my backpacking trips from now on (I usually pack two or three gallons- which as you can imagine gets pretty heavy.) It comes with the purification system, two tubes, a suringe for cleaning out the filter and a few replacement parts. It all fits in its little pouch.

Going to go ahead and give this a 5 star rating. Thanks Renogy! Grab your own here- https://www.renogy.com/renogy-portable-outdoor-water-filter/

Ranger Review: Ledlenser M10 Flashlight at Nickerson State Park

--Campground Review--

Came to Nickerson with the knowledge that it's not like the places I usually like to stay. Family friendly, accessible sites, grounds bigger than the town I live in… not exactly what I look for in a Campground. I was pleasantly surprised! Because I came later in the season (the Campground is closed after September 30) and midweek, I was treated to quiet seclusion in a very nice little walk in site down by the pond.

I am told that this place place fills up FAST in the summer-- so a reservation is usually smart.

The bathrooms were not what I would call clean (thus the missing star), but they were functional. Unlimited (and FREE) hot showers can be found in area 2 of the park. The bike system in this Campground is truly awesome and allows access to the whole park- great place for a good ride!

PRODUCT REVIEW

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test out some pretty sweet gear on my camping adventures. This time did not fail. If I'm being honest-- I'm the girl who only uses the flashlight that can be found swiping up on my phone. I never really understood the need for a legit flashlight. The LEDlenser M10 may have rocked my world a little bit- here's why:

First of all-- the thing is the perfect size. Not cumbersome at all. I especially appreciated the clips on it-- they held tight on my shorts and i didn't loose it the whole trip, which gives it two thumbs up in my book. I lose everything.

Second of all-- It has three adjustable illumination levels. I'm talking a reading light, a looking for your dog in the dark without blinding your neighbors light and even a extremely bright trying to find the next trail marker in the pitch dark light. (As a backpacker, I find all of these extremely useful!)

Third, it holds its batteries very well. I never had to worry about it dying on me, and with the rechargeable battery, it's an easy plug in to ensure it never runs out.

I never thought I'd be so excited about a flashlight-- but the M10 is pretty sweet.

http://www.ledlenserusa.com/mt10-509.html#start=3

Secluded and tons of opportunity for wildlife viewing!

The cool part about visiting Shenandoah is nobody has really caught on to how neat the park really is. It sees the least amount of tourists per year, which is a shame, but also allows you to pretty much own the park while you're here!

I've stayed in every Campground at least once here- and I can now honestly say that Loft is the one I will exclusively be setting up at from now on. They have the mountain views, the option of total seclusion or more accessible spots, and some really clean showers and bathrooms. The sites are cheap enough along with being pretty large.

The only negative thing I would have to say is the picnic tables were totally rotted out- but we brought a table cloth to hide it and there were rangers inspecting the tables while we were there to replace them- so this shouldn't be a problem for long.

Our site backed right up to the apalachian trail. There were some extremely breathtaking places to watch the sunset (west facing makes for less impressive sunrises, but we take what we can get.) and you could also walk to quite a few hikes without much trouble!

Showers are hot and steamy- and will only cost you 1.75. The wood is freakishly expensive at 7 bucks a bundle- but you're not allowed to bring wood from other places so it's just one of those things.

Loved my stay at the park as usual- even got to see a few bears lumber through our campsite!

Ranger Review: Grand Trunk Review at Hammock Campground, NH

Campground Review: So I would like to start by saying that camping here was not the original plan. We had a backcountry trip that we sadly underprepared for (ran into about three feet of snow right at the beginning of the trail and finally decided to come back when either it's a little warmer or we're a little more prepared. Whatever comes first.)

So we trucked our old, three season boots back to the car and hit the dilemma of where to set up for the night. Luckily -- we were only about ten minutes from one of our favorite campgrounds in New Hampshire. Let me tell you why we like it so much.

First of all- it's first come first serve and only open to the tenting community. This weeds out most screaming children, humming generators, and loud TVs. It's also a pack in- you have to carry your stuff to whatever spot you choose. Generally it's not that much of a hike. We prefer to go as far away from the lot as possible for maximum seclusion, but that didn't happen for us this time around because of all the hardcore early spring campers.

The best part of this camping ground is its views. On a clear night, you can see a ton of stars encompassing around you- the only light pollution coming from you and your fellow campers fire. The river flows right through the campground and makes for some excellent ambiance. Five star for about 12 of the camp spots. The other ones have access to the river but are not directly on top of it.

There are only pit toilets, but there is potable water just at the top of the campground. The fee per night is 24- which it worth it in my opinion because of the spectacular surroundings.

If you want to be close to a ton of great hiking trails, right on the Kancamagus highway for pretty cheap- this is your spot. The friendly campers are just extra.

GRAND TRUNK REVIEW:

As an official Dyrt ranger, I get to test out some awesome gear. So now let's talk about this amazing hammock. The only problem I had with the thing was committing to a color. They've got color combos, patterns and even state flags, which is pretty cool. I went with the turquoise with the Bright orange Trunk straps- and I was extremely pleased with how brilliant the colors look together.

I was a little confused with picking out the tent because I've only ever had ones that come with pretty much everything- but the Grand Trunks are a little different. They come with two carabiners- and the Trunk Straps you can add on (and I would totally recommend this unless you can magaiver something yourself.) each strap can withstand 200 pounds. I got the open double hammock.

This hammock is more than likely intended for warm day use- the fabric is very breathable, which makes it a great choice for hanging out at the beach or at your camp after a nice day. But I wanted to test its limits a little further- so I decided I would spend the 30 degree New England night in the hammock to see how it held up.

Best night sleep of my life! I put a buffer blanket under my sleeping bag just for some extra protection from the cool air coming up, but me and my Dog Sadie slept soundly, warmly and comfortably in our big bright Grand Trunk hammock. Not to mention safely- those trunk straps are so secure! My friend has a four season sleeper hammock and had to go inside the car at 2:30 AM because she was too cold- and her hammock is MADE for that purpose! I was definitely proud of my gear- which is very important to me.

It's also pretty packable. The straps come in a different package- but There's enough room to consolidate into the hammocks main stuffer pouch (especially for backpacking like we were planning). If I had one criticism it would be that the hammock is kind of heavy compared to the ones I've had before. But they also don't have the hardware that Grand Trunk offers or the weight capacity- so I guess it's just a trade off. Totally fair.

All in all- I'm so happy to have been given the opportunity to test this company out and give it a 5 out of 5 ranger review. The hammock did great in below freezing weather, is easy to set up, jazzes my campsite right up and most importantly- My dog loves it. Will most certainly be recommending it to my Friends. Grab your own Hammock Here:

https://www.grandtrunk.com

https://www.grandtrunk.com/collections/hammocks-1/products/parachute-nylon-hammock

Creepy but nice

This place wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be. The guy running the place was so nice!! But… There were a few really hilariously creepy things that happened. Like a naked homeless guy getting chased out of the pool. And a bunch of wild raccoons wrestling outside our tent and eventually being chased off by a very enthusiastic RV guy. It wasn't like we felt unsafe or unclean… Just a lot of interesting people around to make our overnight stay amusing!

Hard to find

We were looking for a place to camp for the night before we did dix mountain. It was a really pretty area but hard to find anything. Ended up finding it and it was closed for the season which was disappointing.

Great site

Very dog friendly-- I found the trails pretty confusing- we went in circles a lot which was confusing and frustrating. But it was a beautiful park!

Great stay

Loved this campground! It was clean, great views, close to trails and easy bus system! The hoodoos are so neat- it was nice to see them at all times of the day and against the brilliant night sky!

First to Review
Unexpectedly the best.

Let me first say that I am not an all the frills camper. In fact the less amenities, humans, post markers the better for me. I like solitude, feeling like you're in the wild. I like to be close to nature. This place-- it did not look appealing. It looked like an old RV resort with people who had been there for months. And honestly-- that's exactly what it is. I live in Rhode Island. I have been to this campground 4 times and will continue to come back. Gail (the owner) is awesome. She always sets us up with the grassiest knoll she has. And she always reminds us that for only 5extra Bucks we can switch to a cabin. And she always leaves the cabin open at night just in case a storm rolls through. The hot tub and community fire pit/grill is a great place to meet up with your neighbors for the night and talk about their travels. We have met some pretty amazing people at this little pit. There are even showers- which after being in the backcountry for four nights we welcomed. But the BEST part of this place is its within walking distance to Kanarraville Falls. Trust me. Look it up.

Very close to a wolf reserve!

This was a very pleasant stay with beautiful views and privacy. We especially enjoied seeing the wolves-- it was really neat and definetly a draw to the area (you can hike from the campsite to the preserve).

Lots of options!

We really loved this little spot! It appealed to all of what we were looking for, our camp host was awesome. There was even a dog park within walking distance- a lot of trails to explore too. No showers and the Porto potties weren't the cleanest… But they were functional. Very hospitable locals- we were invited to a square dancing party that evening in the park! Very comfy and safe.

Hammock trees for days!

We are never really looking for much out of a campground on the way back home after being out west for a month. Just a place to set up, preferably with enough space between other campers. We love when we can hang our hammocks and when there's a place for our pups to cool off and swim around. This place had all of that-- plus showers! Very private, camp hosts were sweet and helpful and there were a ton of little produce carts around (mostly veggies- corn, tomatoes, cukes ect) which was really awesome to add a local feel to our dinner that night. Would totally recommend this place!

Awesome little spot

We stopped here for the night on our way over to Johnson City from Shenandoah NP. It was a really nice, clean and relaxing place to do so. The dogs were able to go swimming before the lake opened up in the morning and everything was very clean. There were also many hiking options. My only advise would be to bring bug spray- especially in the summer. Those black flies were relentless!

Crowded.

Great campground, but I could do without all the people. It's accessible to the park (obviously) so that is a definite perk! Just might go off season next time (if that even exists!)

Love love love

We have stayed here on two seperate occasions. It is close to so many waterfalls and gorges and some of my favorite hiking trails. The lack of amenities drives a lot of people away- we have never felt crowded while here.

Weird... But okay for the night.

This place was super convenient. It's right near Arches and we were looking for some facilities (after being in the back country for a while) so we were happy to find this place. The tent sites were weird. They have a big canopy thing and it's quite frankly an eye sore. (You also can't hang a hammock on it.) I'm not big on public pools- but there was one there. It's good enough to lay your head down for the night- but I would never plan to stay longer than that- just not my thing.

In state getaway

My mom and I were having some camp withdrawals. It was Midweek and we couldn't go far because of work- but we just wanted to cook a meal over a fire and sleep on the ground for a night. That's when we found this place. It's about an hour away from us-- but it felt like a different place. We loved how close this camp was to the beach- and to Iggys (nothing better than some clam chowder and doughboys after fire cooked hot dogs!) the mosquitos at the site were nasty- so just bring your spray and be prepared. Not too crowded- but was considered off season.

Great hiking around

This little park was very nice. Nothing fancy about it at all- but the spots are pretty spacious and the views are gorgeous. It was a great place to rest our head for the night. We did some great sunset and sunrise hikes-- just make sure you pack plenty of water and get your hiking done early in the day- it was very hot here! Also-- there are scorpions, so keep your eye out!

Stopped in overnight

We loved this little area- we had it all to ourselves! There is so much accessible water to take a dip in or even kayak if you had the time. We were just looking for a place to relax between Johnson City and Hot Springs. Everyone was really laid back about the dogs too- they were able to be let off leash without any problems.