5 PLACES TO CAMP IN TEXAS THIS SPRING/SUMMER

Campsite at Colorado Bend State Park, TXPhoto Credit: Ryan Claunch Wanting to go camping in Texas this spring or summer but worried about the hot weather? Check out 5 of our favorite Texas parks, all of which either feature swimming spots or shady tree canopies to duck under and beat the heat. -CENTRAL TEXAS – Inks Lake State Park Getting there: From Austin: 1hr. 15 min drive, northwestActivities: Paddling, fishing, swimming, hikingPark highlight: Devil’s…

“DID YOU HEAR THAT?” – ON FEAR OF THE NOISES OUTSIDE YOUR TENT

Post written by Pattie A friend of mine recently asked, “Don’t you get scared sleeping in a tent?” The short answer is: yes. Absolutely and often. Well, let me be completely honest: I encounter some level of fear every time I sleep in a tent. The long answer is: yes. But it’s not that bad, because the main cause of my fear at night is noise + a healthy imagination. Let me explain… On…

WE GOT PILLOWS! – GEAR REVIEW

Post written by Pattie Last year, I spent a considerable amount of time researching sleeping gear. Andoni and I seemed to be ramping up the number of outdoor adventuring trips we were taking, and I wanted to be more comfortable at night. I’ve always believed that money spent on a good night’s sleep is never money wasted. So, I watched videos, read reviews and compared brands on sleeping pads and sleeping bags. Weight, temperature…

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK – TRIP PLANNING

As we prepped for our trip to Big Bend National Park, TX , we had a few goals: Pattie wanted to plan hikes around big vistas, Andoni wanted to canoe down the Rio Grande, and we both wanted to go backcountry backpacking – for the first time. Andoni had been to Big Bend in his youth, with his highlight memory being the Window trail and the spectacular view it provided of the desert. As…

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK – CHISOS BASIN CAMPGROUND

When booking our stay in Big Bend National Park, our key focus was backpacking, but we also knew that staying at an established campground has it’s comforts, so we took a look at the park website just to see if they had any availability. We were visiting over the winter holidays, one of the busiest times of year for the park, so we knew our chances for snagging a site were slim. But, alas,…

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK – HOT SPRINGS

In the early 1900s, the location of the Big Bend hot springs functioned as a small health spa featuring a bathhouse, motel, post office and trading post. Today, the old buildings are still intact and able to be viewed from the Hot Springs Canyon Rim Trail along with pictographs on the cliff walls that line the hike, a testament to the popularity of the area far before the 20th century. The hot spring is…

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK – BACKPACKING THE MARUFO VEGA TRAIL

Big Bend National Park is known for its varied landscapes. The river defines its border, desert stretches across the majority of its land, and mountains stand testament to the area’s volcanic past. On our second day in the park, we hiked down from Big Bend’s most iconic hike to the South Rim. Tired, overwhelmed by what our eyes had already drunk in, and excited for our next adventure: the Marufo Vega trail. At the…

BLACK ROCK PARK & LONGHORN CAVERN STATE PARK – A WEEKEND IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY

The Texas Hill Country is a well-loved area of our state. With its rolling hills and booming wine country, it has become not only a vacation destination, but a retirement destination as well. It is the beauty of the area that called Andoni’s parents to build a home there recently. As the house plans developed and building got under way, they made several trips to the area to monitor progress. On one of those…

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK – BACKPACKING THE SOUTH RIM

If you read our post about planning this trip, you know that it was our first time backpacking, ever. To say we were pumped was an understatement. We were willing to leave both of our families on Christmas day and take on a 9 hour roadtrip to get the job done. In the end? So worth it. One of the highlights of the trip, and the hike Pattie was looking forward to most was…

OATMEAL – AN EASY DIY CAMPING BREAKFAST

Post written by Pattie

When packing for camping trips, food is very important. Just because you’re “roughing it” outdoors doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prioritize eating well. That’s why I put a lot of thought into camping breakfast and what we eat on our mornings in the outdoors. While I’m sure there’s something special about waking up from a night’s sleep in your tent, making cowboy coffee and burning butter for some fried eggs and toast, that hasn’t been the reality or the goal for any of my camping experiences to date. Why not? Well, for one there’s a lot of equipment involved in this plan – cast irons are heavy and eggs are a bit delicate for my current hodge podge car organization system (a work in progress)! And two, living in Texas we find that many of the state parks we visit have burn bans in effect (and let’s face it, balancing a cast iron skillet on my Primus Trail Stove sounds precarious to say the least). I’m sure there’s a future where we invest in a larger stove and cart around a propane tank with us for the weekend, but for now, when planning camp breakfasts, I rely on good old faithful: oatmeal. All it takes is some boiling water and we’re off to a hearty, nutritious and tasty start for our day.