Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Adventure Dog Tuesday: What do we Look for in a Good Campground?

Bosses have been to many different campgrounds, at least in Minnesota.  So, after all these trips that we've blogged about, what do we do to find a great spot?

Bosses took their first foster dog, Cody, with them camping last fall.  He loved it!
1. Location.  Our personal preference is traveling to places that aren't terribly far away from our house, and have beautiful scenery.  Our favorite place to go in Minnesota is anywhere along the North Shore, but the Mississippi river bluffs on the Southeastern border are pretty cool, too.  It's nice, because these are 2-5 hours away, making it easy to drive there for either a weekend or extended weekend.
Camping is even better when you can find fall colors, too!
2. The campground amenities.  While we're not terribly picky about this, we like to look at what the campground has before we book a spot.  Is it a drive-in campsite, a walk-in, cart-in, kayak-in, backpacking?  Definitely something to consider depending on how light you want to pack.  Most of the Minnesota state parks have showers, bathroom/shower rooms with hot water and everything, running water, the whole kit and kaboodle.

Easy access to trails from the campground makes finding beautiful scenery convenient and fun!
  • Drive-in campsites: Ever see that commercial from Staples with the "Easy" button?  You could press it in this instance.  Drive-in campsites are fun, easy, and you can bring anything that will fit in your car!  Mom and Dad "car camp" frequently, since it's easier to do with a young puppy- plus, when you're done cooking, you just throw the cooler/dishes/campsite into your trunk.  That way, you don't have to worry about little critters (and bigger ones, like bears...) getting into your stuff!
  • Cart-in campsites: A little more work than a drive-in, since you have to pack all your belongings into a plywood cart to bring to your campsite.  You have to pack a little more efficiently (like...putting your sleeping bags into compression sacks), but we love them.
  • Walk-in campsites: Mom and Dad tried this a few months back, and had no problems.  No cart provided, but the campsite is pretty close to the parking lot, and you have to carry all your things in.  Not too hard, but again, the efficiency factor is there- you have to pack everything lightly and in as few bags as possible to prevent yourself from going back to the car multiple times.  But...the car is there, and it's not a huge deal.
  • Backpack Sites: Our family hasn't tried this yet!!!  Mom and Dad tried to go on a backpacking trip in the fall, but weddings/family/work/etc got in the way :( So, we're working on a backpacking trip for next summer. We'll report back when we experience it!
All I ask for in a campsite?  Lots of water nearby.  Boy, do I love water.
3. Timing.  The time of year in each place we go to is another thing Bosses like to think about.  For example: planning a trip that isn't scorching hot or freezing cold.  They like to plan trips in early June or July, September, and even October (as long as it isn't on the North Shore).  October gets to be pretty chilly "Up North", and some of us don't have warm insulation like us fluffy friends!  A lot of Northern Minnesota parks also have fresh raspberries on the trails, so they miiiight also plan trips to be able to pick those, too.  But it's not the end of the world. ;-)

4. Who we're going with.  Let's face it- everyone is busy!  If we go with our friends, it's tough to find a weekend when no one is working or doing other things that prevent them from camping (how dare they?!).  Also, their whereabouts affect which park we camp at.  Our friends whom we camp with a lot live about an hour and a half away from us (and in the complete opposite direction of the North Shore), so we try to pick campsites that are within reasonable driving distances of both of us.  Not only does it affect where we camp, it also depends on what kind of campsite we get- a roomy campsite with the capability of multiple tents is also nice.  Minnesota's DNR website is great, because they give you all the specifications of each campsite, and most times will give you an actual picture of the site.  Now that is convenience!

Just getting out of the river...The rocks up by the North Shore are pretty "intents", wouldn't you say? ;-)
What kinds of things do you look for in a campsite?  I'd love to get more input so we can find more amazing places to explore!



  1. It might take you a while to visit the campsites this side of that pond Sadie, but we do have them.
    Looks like your in your element there, have loads of fun.
    Luvs Freya Rose Blossom X

    1. We'd love to go to campsites over on your side of the pond. Outdoors is definitely my place. Hope you have a wonderful day! :)

  2. Hari OM
    That is an aMAAAAAAAzing place - what fun!!! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

    1. It's beautiful up here- if you like the rustic/rugged Minnesota landscape. :) So glad you like it!

  3. You do have some good spots. Of course we think any spot with water is a good spot. BTW, your package got mailed yesterday and they said 5 days.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    1. Thanks! We love our camping weekends. So glad you like the landscape (and water of course!)

  4. Crikey ..... you don't need any more input. that place looks pretty amazing to me.

    1. Shucks, thanks! :) It's so much fun to get away for a weekend and explore the wonderful outdoors!


Thanks for stopping by! You're "paw"some. I do my best to respond to my "fan mail" within 24 hours of it being received, but please be patient- my paws are pretty clumsy at the keyboard! :)