Have you ever been tent camping? After cabin camping at Dippikill earlier this year in the winter, Albany John had me thinking that tent camping at Dippikill might just be fun. He reserved campsites 3 & 4, which are very close to each other and a great way to camp with a group. Campsites at Dippikill are only $10 per night! We had 2 other lovely couples (and pooches!) camping with us, and it was nice to have one site for the tents, and the other site for cooking and revelry.
The hike in is about 3/4 of a mile, which is pretty do-able since it’s mostly downhill. It’s the hike out that’ll kill ya, though.
But first there was ice cream. Because I am bad at camping and so Albany John ice cream-ed me before we went in, kind of like bribing a child. Shitty picture, but this was a “small” ice cream with Reese’s pieces mixed into the soft serve at the Luck E Star in Warrensburg, NY just before we rounded the corner to Dippikill. Not very creamy, but a neat novelty to have candy mixed in the ice cream.
We made it in, and boy was I ever a feast for the mosquitoes on the way in. I got at least 15-20 bites along the way. The rainy weather sure harbored a lot of mosquito families. I also discovered I’m fairly allergic to mosquito bites, because shortly after getting to our site and setting up the tent my face turned red and puffy and all of my bite-sites got incredibly red. It was like getting the Asian flush, but sober. YAY! I think it freaked out my friends, but I’d had a similar reaction to a different bug bite when I was younger, so I knew it would go away eventually.and be relatively harmless, but I let them know that I’d be happy to go to the hospital if I puffed up to a point that worried them further.
Thankfully face returned to its normal state of puffiness within 2 hours, just in time for Albany John to return from his second trip to the car for more schtuff. I’ve nicknamed him Albany “Just one more thing” John because he is not a light packer.
There wasn’t as much readily available wood for burning at the campsites compared to the cabins, but there were plenty of downed trees, small branches, and pine needles.
Albany John added some sort of lighter fluid to the wood.
And one of zee other camping buddies properly layered the wood. FIYAH!
Albany John and another one of the menfolk found a few split logs and brought them in on one of the canoes. And get this – the canoes are all just on the lake and available for anyone to use! So fun!
Albany John went to Helmbold’s for some hot dogs before we went. You can buy seconds for, like, $2.50/lb, and this 5lb vacuum-sealed baggie of hot dogs was about $12.50.
And here, you can see that, yes, they are seconds. Imperfect, but still tasty guys. For some reason that makes me like them even more. Hot dogs of character.
Campsite 4 had a grate over the fire ring, which made cooking relatively easy. Albany John and I both thought the others method of campfire cooking was ridiculous. I just opened a can and popped it on top of the grill to heat up, meanwhile Albany John brought a Calphalon pot (with cover!) to heat up one. ONE. can of chili beans. How do you heat up canned goods for camping? Which one of us is more ridiculous to you?
We cozied up to the fire and tried in vain to spray ourselves with enough DEET to hide from the mosquitoes. I was fairly unsuccessful at this endeavor, but at least I provided everyone else I was camping with refuge from the mosquitoes.
We left the next morning, and the bugs went after me with a vengeance. I think I would have enjoyed this more if I weren’t so attractive to bugs, but it is really hard to be one with nature when mosquitoes are chomping away at you through pants you’ve sprayed several times with DEET.