Camping

C’mon Baby Light My Fire (or, How Do You Light Yours?)

Just to manage expectations – if you want detailed instructions on how to make and light a campfire mosey on over to YouTube – there are hundreds of videos that’ll give you ideas. Here I’m just going to chat about fire lighters, share some fire making tips, and mention the tools we use when car […]

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Mark Twain National Forest Closes Big Bay Campground

Caption: Closed.

Mark Twain National Forest has announced it is permanently closing the Big Bay Campground on Table Rock Lake, near Shell Knob, Missouri.

The near-by Big Bay boat launch and picnic area remains open.

The press release states that “The campground closing is part of Mark Twain National Forest’s long term recreation site management plan.

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Packing for car camping – we are organized!

Chrysler Town and Country Minivan packed full of car camping gear

When we first started car camping we quickly discovered it paid to be a bit organized. Our first ever car camping trip included a diversion to buy a couple of camp chairs because we’d left ours at home in the garage. Now we have back backing gear, the way we approach car camping has changed, but it still pays to be organized. This post gives a few tips for new car campers and seasoned backpackers alike.

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Photo gallery: Camping and backpacking in Scotland, 2011

Mutha Hubba tent camped by the River Etive in Glen Etive, Scotland.

Not one of our usual hiking destinations. In the summer of 2011 we took a trip to the UK to see relatives. A visit to Gary’s uncle living near Glasgow gave us an opportunity for some hiking, backpacking and car camping in Scotland. Very different from the Ozarks…

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Two nights camping at Big Bay Campground, Table Rock Lake, Missouri

We braved the 100°F plus temps to spend some time by Table Rock lake. What we found were hot sunny days, a lot of forgetfulness, rain filled nights, and a villainous squirrel…

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Berry Bend Campground – Harry S Truman Lake, Missouri

Mist and low clouds wafting over Truman Lake in the morning while the sun breaks through, lighting the shore. A motorboat speeds by.

Berry Bend Campground. sits on a promontory reached via short causeway on the Osage River Arm of Harry S Truman Lake, 29 Miles from Clinton Missouri, 18 miles from the junction with Highway 13 and 11 miles from Warsaw Missouri.

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Trip report: Two days solo backpacking in Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area

With a couple of spare days I decided to fit in a quick solo backpacking trip. To save on gas I stayed close to Springfield, backpacking around Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area. I found a second cemetery and an abandoned vehicle I didn’t know were there.

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Big Bay Recreation Area, Shell Knob, Missouri

A van and two tents at a family campsite at Big Bay Recreation Area on Table Rock Lake.

On the shore of Table Rock Lake, near the town of Shell Knob, Missouri, lies the Big Bay Recreation Area. Unique on Table Rock, it’s the only campground owned by Mark Twain National Forest. It’s a primitive campground, meaning there is no electricity, no drinking water or showers, though there are flush toilets. But most of the 35 campsites are along the shore of the lake which can be accessed by a short path. Screening between the campsites is quite good, so it’s a great place to have your own little private summer lake holiday.

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Getting Everyone Onboard…Overcoming Obstacles

Teen girl lying by her tent reading a book on her iPod while on a camping trip.

If you’re wanting to go camping and your significant other or children aren’t as enthusiastic as you are, perhaps there are some unspoken objections they have. Take a look at the list below and see how many of these you can address. I’ll bet you’ll find yourself surrounded with family if you can overcome these common obstacles.

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Backpacking Trial Run – Weekend Camping at Berry Bend

This weekend we tried out our backpacking gear. Friday evening we took several kids to Kansas City for a church event. We needed to be on hand to collect them again Sunday afternoon, so we left Lanie in the capable hands of Ginger’s cousin, put Getzger in charge at home and once we’d dropped the […]

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Gear Review: MSR Mutha Hubba tent

Mutha Hubba tent camped by the River Etive in Glen Etive scotland

We spent a long time researching and looking at tents. Each time we thought we’d found the one we wanted we saw another we liked even more. A three season tent was essential for spring and fall camping, some useable vestibule space that would double as a wind break for cooking was also high on […]

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Camping at Berryman Trail & Camp

Mark Twain National Forest sign for Berryman Trail and Campground

Today we were up early (despite my late night fishing trip with Tom yesterday) and drove the 250 miles to St Louis, where we left the girls with their father to spend some time with him in Chicago. We then headed off to check out some nearby campsites. We’re really getting the camping bug. Camping […]

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Weekend Camping at Big Bay Recreation Area, Table Rock Lake

Photograph of a Minivan and tent at the Big Bay Campground, Shell Knob, Missouri

We decided to go camping and try out our new tent for the first time. If all went well we’d take Alek and Lanie camping for a couple of days at Blue Spring. Ginger and I spent a lot of time searching the Internet for good campsites. It wasn’t easy, we couldn’t find any central […]

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Gear Review: Coleman Sunlight Ridge tent

Photograph of a Coleman Sunlight Ridge Tent

We enjoyed our Memorial weekend camping so much, we decided to get set up properly for camping. As two of the kids are willing to give camping a try, that left us with an accommodation problem. So we bought another tent. We picked the Coleman Sunlight Ridge tent, based on price and size. It’s big […]

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Camping at Blue Spring Campground & Canoeing on Jack’s Fork River – May 2010

Photograph of a campsite at Blue Spring

This was our first ever camping trip and the catalyst for our love of outdoors recreation in the Ozarks. Some Friends invited us to join them canoeing and camping Memorial weekend. Needless to say we jumped at the opportunity. With climbing temperatures it looked like this was going to be an ideal time for us to have our first try at camping together and my first camping trip in over 40 years.

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