Tent Camping Oregon - MeFi style
posted March 7, 2013 10:27 PM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Fri September 13 at 2:00 PM, Clear Lake Campground
Forest Service Road 2660, Mt. Hood National Forest, Government Camp, OR, USA (Map & Directions)
So someone at the last meetup mentioned camping and then someone mentioned camping with Metafilter and then someone else thought "Yeah, let's do that". So here I am posting a camping meetup. Tent, mostly. With some options.
Clear Lake Campground, Mt Hood National Forest

From Sandy, travel east on Highway 26 for about 65 miles. Turn onto Forest Road 2630 and continue for 1 mile to the campground.

September 13 through Sept 15

Let's have a potluck Saturday night with delicious camping foods!

If anyone has any other ideas, please post.
posted by fiercekitten to Meetup (151 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Lost Lake has a group camp area, and is kind of awesome in a "Hey, did we secretly go back in time to 1962 and no one told me?" way.
posted by dersins at 12:10 AM on March 8, 2013

I'd vote for trees over beach, and tent camping over bunks. Also, I'd much rather go mid-September than in the heat of August.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:32 AM on March 8, 2013

By the way, with the location set to Wilsonville this post doesn't show up on my "Upcoming events near you" list in IRL. Just FYI.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:34 AM on March 8, 2013

Alternate suggestions - Beacon Rock

Or a bit more out there - Panther Creek 100% out there and no cell service, also can be hard to get to but is real close to Falls Creek Falls and possibly the most amazing waterfall in the gorge area (and also hard to find due to dirt roads).

We've only camped at Beacon, was nice - close to landmarks, potable water in the camp, showers if needed, flush toilets, well wooded camp sites, close to hikes all through the gorge. Beacon itself is pretty amazing. No wireless unless you get down to the rock itself.

I'm interested, would likely be myself and the toddler, wife probably won't make it unless we do the air mattress thing.

Beacon is GREAT even when it's roasting, under the trees near the Columbia.
posted by iamabot at 10:39 AM on March 8, 2013

Trillium Lake is another beautiful spot (available Memorial Day - Labor Day). It has running water and toilets, but no showers or electricity. At the moment there's only one group area available, but a dozen or so individual tent sites.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:58 PM on March 8, 2013

I've gone to events at the Ranches. They're HUGE buildings and also hard to get reservations for. Unless this is where the Meficruise happens it's probably too big.

Lewis and Clark State Park in Washington is pretty nice. It's easily accessible from the Portland area, yet, it's feels far away.
posted by vespabelle at 4:42 PM on March 8, 2013

While we have a station wagon, anything over rough roads is out for us (not enough ground clearance). Lost Lake looked OK, which reminded me that there's other lakes with camping. I'll see what I can find.

Is the preference for a late-August thing or something after the Labor Day holiday? Lots of state campgrounds close mid-Sept so that would impact our choices.
posted by fiercekitten at 5:42 PM on March 8, 2013

Mid/late August is generally when the 90°-100° weather happens - my least-favorite time to voluntarily give up air conditioning. If we decide to do this then, I'd still go but I'd want lots of shade (and cold beer). Usually the first part of September is when the heat starts to let up a bit, so that or June-July would be my preference.

On other topics:

1) I've got an old Coleman stove, a couple of cast-iron skillets and a dutch oven, and lots of plastic plates/cups/utensils left over from potlucks that I'd be glad to bring along. What I don't have is a way to make more than a couple mugs of coffee at a time, so if we have a lot of coffee drinkers we'll need to figure out something or each do our own thing.

2) My car also wouldn't do well over rough roads, so here's another vote for paved-road access to a campground.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:26 AM on March 9, 2013

Has anyone camped at Timothy Lake? Little Crater Lake looks like it might be good but I haven't spent much time around Mt. Hood. Lewis and Clark State Park looks like a good candidate - I love old CCC camps. Trillium Lake is also promising.

I'm thinking the path of least resistance is best so any place with a group site or sites that easily hold 2-3 cars would be best. I'm totally willing to share a site with someone if we each have to get our own site but guaranteeing we end up near each other could be difficult. Not having to trek to the other side of the campground when it's pitch dark is something to only relish once you've had to trek in complete darkness more than once.

We have two extra tents if anyone interested in coming needs one. One has a broken zipper on an non-essential part of the fly and the other is quite old but functional.

We also have:
Coleman propane stove
6' folding table
lots of camp chairs
2 coolers, one of which is quite large and stays cold for 3+ days
posted by fiercekitten at 1:08 PM on March 9, 2013

Seconding the suggestion for Lost Lake. There's a nice, flat trail around the lake, about 3 miles long and goes through at least one section of old growth. There's also a 4.5-mile out-and-back hike up to the top of a nearby butte that provides a very nice view of Hood. If you like paddling, there are boat rentals, which I've done once ... it's a fun way to explore the lake. I don't think motorized boats are allowed. There's enough to keep everyone entertained for a weekend.

Downside: No reservations. Campsites are first-come, first-served, and group sites accomodate 12 people and 5 vehicles at most.

Cape Lookout State Park is another good one. I went camping there a couple weekends ago and was actually lucky enough to get sunshine. Nice things about Cape Lookout:
  • Short interpretative nature trail
  • Campground is right next to Netarts Spit, which provides a quiet, peaceful many-miles long, flat beach hike.
  • Campground is a short drive (or 2.5-mile-ish one-way hike) from the Cape Lookout trailhead. Beautiful views in either direction up the coast and a not-too-difficult trail that winds above steep, grassy cliffs and a rocky cove.
  • Paragliders and hang gliders flying above the campground.
  • You can visit the air museum or cheese factory in Tillamook.
I'm not sure how big the group sites are, but I'm pretty sure you can at least make reservations.

(I hope my comment isn't out of place, seeing as how I've never met any of you in person -- looking forward to attending a Portland meetup as soon as I have the time.)
posted by compartment at 3:24 PM on March 10, 2013

I hope my comment isn't out of place, seeing as how I've never met any of you in person -- looking forward to attending a Portland meetup as soon as I have the time.

No worries - I hope you can come soon! Any advice is welcome, especially eyewitness accounts.

The Lost Lake group sites take reservations so maybe if we have 12-15 people we could try there. At this point we have 12 maybes so perhaps a reasonable expectation would be between 10-20 people.

Another idea - House Rock Campground. I don't really remember what's nearby other than the reservoir. But we could probably rent the whole campsite out if we tried.

If we go with a group camp idea, does anyone have any ideas how to arrange payment? We used to go camping as a group lots when I was a kid but I have no idea who arranged it or how it was paid for. It wasn't so long ago that it was free... Or we could all reserve our own spots.

Suggestions? At this point I'm sort of stuck. I heard about this website called Zokos where you can start an event and create a kitty for it and if you don't get enough by a certain date no-one gets charged. Is Metafilter that organized, or should we wing it?

posted by fiercekitten at 11:40 PM on March 10, 2013

I haven't been camping in forever, so I think my short list is running water. I'm not afraid of gravel or dirt roads, but my car wouldn't be up to true off-roading. I have a few organizational ideas, but it looks like there's a bunch of links to campsites for me to look through first!
posted by Secretariat at 9:02 AM on March 11, 2013

Has anyone camped at Timothy Lake?

Timothy Lake is my favorite spot to camp around Portland and we go several times a year. The great thing is that you can take a little gravel park road to the backside of the lake where there are fire pits and "campsites" but they aren't "official." They are perfectly legal, but they cost nothing. They are farther away from everyone. They are right on the water, and right on the PCT, about a mile from Little Crater Lake, which is pretty cool. We usually hammock camp right out on a little peninsula, with our hammocks swinging out over the water. There would be plenty of room. The backside is a little hard to find, but we can hang signs and give directions.

The downside is there are zero amenities. So if that's a factor for the less roughing-it inclined, there's that. The front side of Timothy Lake is still great, but it's right by the dam and isn't as good.

Trillium is pretty amazing, and has some less-crowded sides too, though they too are a bit from any sort of outhouse.

Lost Lake is great too. I like lakes.

Don't know if the fishing is any good, but all have been pleasant on mushrooms.

Wherever we go, I am absolutely in. I will probably hammock camp, but I have tents and shit if people need to borrow stuff.
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:39 PM on March 12, 2013

So my current idea is to reserve SOMETHING for Sept 6/7/8. Something with water and toilets of some sort. Trillium Lake and Little Crater Lake both take reservations and have spots near each other available as of today.

Trillium Lake Rates are around $19/night.

Little Crater Lake rates are around the same. Their season ends the 10th it's not available for anything later.

Neither has showers or group sites but both do have toilets and water. So, you know, the important stuff.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:47 AM on March 14, 2013

Does anyone else care that it's the weekend of musicfest NW? I'm new here and was hoping to check it out but would absolutely love to go camping too. I will have to ponder this dilemma...
posted by bread-eater at 8:37 AM on March 14, 2013

I'll vote for Trillium Lake. It looks like they allow up to 6 people per campsite, so we could double up a bit and reserve fewer sites.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:52 AM on March 14, 2013

A second for Trillium lake!

Does anyone else care that it's the weekend of musicfest NW?

Eh, Musicfest NW can kind of be a clusterfuck. You can see most of the bands worth seeing other times of the year, and the main stage shows, while the acts are usually great, are tons of people cramped into Pioneer Square - which is a shitty way to see music. I don't think it's worth it, unless there is a show you really gotta see.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:17 PM on March 14, 2013

Lutoslawski: Thanks! That's exactly what I was afraid of. I guess I will lower it on my list of priorities.
posted by bread-eater at 6:17 PM on March 14, 2013

Looking at the map for Trillium Lake it seems 45 and 47 are near each other and allow 12 people (4 vehicles) each but they're non-reservable. Does anyone know how likely they would be taken early on a Friday?
posted by fiercekitten at 11:55 AM on March 16, 2013

I don't have any idea about how possible it would be to grab one, but I can't imagine they sit empty much of the time. It might be better to go ahead and reserve a few smaller sites - right now, 40-42-44 are available (max 6 people each site) and right next to each other.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:37 PM on March 16, 2013

In a pinch I would stay on an inside spot but that loop is the main road to the boat dock. I think there's a reason why they're available.

What about 15/16/17/18 at Clear Lake?
posted by fiercekitten at 9:02 PM on March 16, 2013

It appears that Clear Lake is available through Oct. 6; in which case I'd vote for the weekend of Sept. 13-15. If even a few people are willing to commit to that date, I'll drop the hammer now and reserve one of those sites.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:09 PM on March 16, 2013

I'm gonna make this a thing - Friday Sept 13 through Sunday Sept 15 at Clear Lake Campground in Mt Hood Natl Forest. As of today there are 21 sites available for reservation.

We're gonna do this ala carte, so it's up to you to reserve a site or make arrangements with someone who has. If you reserve a site, please post back with your site number so we know for sure who is going and where they're located.
posted by fiercekitten at 12:46 PM on March 17, 2013

Someone took photos of all the sites.

It looks like 16 and 17 share a driveway and are right next to each other. 10 is right next to the water.
posted by fiercekitten at 12:58 PM on March 17, 2013

I've reserved #14 - it looks nice and shady, and appears to have enough room for a 2nd tent.

Be aware that you need to register before trying to book a site. I tried to reserve #10 but it lost my reservation...but either my attempt got hung in their system, or someone snuck in while I was registering and grabbed it before I could get back to trying to book it.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:29 PM on March 17, 2013

Thanks for the warning about registering - I grabbed #10 so if someone else grabs #11 we can stake out a good section for sharing.
posted by fiercekitten at 1:42 PM on March 17, 2013

Please someone grab 11. I think we share part of our space with them
posted by fiercekitten at 1:43 PM on March 17, 2013

I grabbed 11 :)
posted by homodachi at 2:41 PM on March 17, 2013

Note that although the map indicates a point on the south side of the lake, the campground is on the north side of (I think) the easternmost arm. In other words, once you turn right off of 26, Forest Service Rd 2660 (according to Google Maps; not 2630 like it says on the website) makes a big loop around the lake. Go past the road's branch on the right, continuing south, to somewhere just before the road turns southeast to follow that arm of the lake. If you zoom in on Google's satellite image, you can see a paved parking lot and boat ramp.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:20 PM on March 17, 2013

I reserved #13 and am happy to share space! I'm not sure I'll be able to go, but I figured I might as well get it reserved for the group.
posted by vespabelle at 10:08 AM on March 18, 2013

Oh my god, I just realized that for once we can roast marshmellows and it will make any sense at all. Where's geckoinpdx?
posted by Secretariat at 2:31 PM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Which reminds me, there was a notice on the website:

Please protect the Pacific Northwest from invasive species by obtaining or purchasing your firewood at or near your camping destination.

I've got oodles of local (to PDX) firewood I'd be willing to donate because it needs to get used, but I'm not sure if that would be considered "near" enough.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:54 PM on March 18, 2013

I was just thinking the same thing WRT firewood. I'll see what I can find out.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:34 PM on March 18, 2013

The mountain pine beetle map seems to indicate bringing wood from the mountains into the valley could be a problem but there's not much in the valley that presents a problem to the mountains. We don't have ash borer or Japanese beetles yet but they're quite a problem in CO. I think the warning is more to the effect of "don't bring wood hundreds of miles to burn".
posted by fiercekitten at 10:07 PM on March 18, 2013

In that case, anyone who wants to swing by my house during the week or two before the event can pick up a couple armloads. If a few people do that, we should have enough without having to totally load up any one person's car.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:00 PM on March 18, 2013

Vespabelle, we'd be happy to share lucky campsite #13 with you. Or, if the general consensus is that now would be a good time to reserve more sites just to be sure other people who aren't sure if they can make it yet can have a spot nearby, I could do that too.

We could also haul some of Greg's firewood, or some gear, or a person or two. Later in the summer we'll probably want to start a spreadsheet about this sort of thing- but I can bring a camp stove, a cool lantern that also converts into 4 separate rechargeable flashlights, and spare sleeping bags. I'm in need of a tent and maybe a couple of foam sleeping pads, although it's possible between now and then that I might buy sleeping pads.

It sounds like lots of people have spare tents, but if we find out there's a shortage of gear, PSU has a rental program, where they rent all sorts of outdoor gear for relatively low prices. I think the student price was $10 for a tent for 4 days. And... doesn't REI rent stuff too, to members?
posted by Secretariat at 1:29 PM on March 22, 2013

Since I'm just by myself, I'm definitely looking to share space with someone. I can pay up on Sunday or whenever... I have a one-person tent and my own sleep gear, but not much else. I would also like to carpool if anyone's interested (I can drive or ride), but we can think about that later I guess.
posted by bread-eater at 8:13 PM on March 22, 2013

Regarding the number of campsites: we've got 5 in a row reserved now. At the moment there's 18 Yes+Maybes, for which my best guess is 13 tents - assuming 1 per couple (or 12 plus Lutoslawski's hammock). The legal maximum is 6 people per site; but I guess the real question is whether there's room for 3 tents on a site.

Carpooling: I expect to have the back half of my car full enough of camping impedimenta and firewood that I won't have back seats available, but I could carry a single person and their gear. Or put myself and my gear (and firewood) in someone else's car, for that matter.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:56 AM on March 23, 2013

bread-eater: It's just gonna be me in my space, and I'd be happy to share with you or anyone else looking to share.
posted by homodachi at 11:42 AM on March 26, 2013

Thanks, homodachi! That would be awesome. I can pay you via paypal (if so, memail me) or when I see you next :)

I'll leave carpooling plans until later since I'm not yet sure how early I can get out of town.
posted by bread-eater at 6:58 PM on March 26, 2013

Since it was such a flat-out gorgeous day, I took a drive east today - not to Clear Lake, but well in that direction. It was easily 10° cooler than in town once I got into the foothills.

Just something to be aware of when it comes time to pack clothing.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:30 PM on March 30, 2013

Anyone care to split a site with me? I have a pop-top Vanagon (i.e., a Volkswagen with a roof that turns into a tent) and will probably sleep in that rather than a tent. I can also carpool folks to and from Portland.
posted by compartment at 8:49 AM on April 2, 2013

Sure, I'll be glad to share mine (#14). I used to have a '71 Westphalia camper van, we can talk shop!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:50 AM on April 2, 2013

I just booked #15! I've been meaning to get out and do some camping, so this was a good kick in the pants.

I don't have gear, though I think I have some options for borrowing. However, if you know you have extra stuff (like a tent!) I'd love to hear about it!

I'd also be fine with sharing a site and am interested in carpooling.
posted by Kpele at 11:51 AM on April 2, 2013

Crap, this is literally 4 days before baby #2 is due.
posted by iamabot at 7:59 PM on April 2, 2013

So you're saying we should have plenty of clean sheets and boiling water on hand?
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:29 AM on April 3, 2013

imamabot, if you went on this camping trip, it would basically guarantee the baby would come and you'd have to go rushing home in the night. Which could be a good thing if your wife is feeling super done with being pregnant by that time, I guess?
posted by Secretariat at 9:13 AM on April 4, 2013

Wow. I'm going to let that username typo stand.
posted by Secretariat at 9:14 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks, Greg_Ace. I spent most of last year traveling the states and have cultivated opinions a-plenty about that van. I'll try not to bore you!
posted by compartment at 9:18 PM on April 5, 2013

Anyone interested in bicycling out?
posted by aniola at 4:01 PM on April 8, 2013

Bike-pooling, as it were. I would probably want to make it an overnight trip rather than try to fit 70-80 miles into the day, but if you're familiar with the region and want to do it in a day and don't mind going slow, I'd be down for that, too.
posted by aniola at 4:05 PM on April 8, 2013

Anyone have room for two carpoolers in their vehicle?
posted by 20X6 at 9:56 PM on April 11, 2013

We haven't really done a headcount of who is hauling what or who, but I'm sure there will be space for two somewhere! If we end up mostly borrowing gear that travels in someone else's car, I think we could have space for two in our car (plus some backpacks and sleeping bags). 20X6, your username is new to me but I was talking to Nick today at lunch- I think we've met at previous meetups?
posted by Secretariat at 7:30 PM on April 12, 2013

OK, so I'm in! I have not actually been camping since ... well, longer than some of you have been alive, probably, but hey, it's something I've been wanting to get back into since I moved out to the PNW. I'll be driving down solo in a Honda Civic, so I'll have some space for people or stuff, but probably not a lot of either.

Haven't reserved a space yet--could share with someone (Kpele, maybe?) or I could book another separate spot.
posted by Kat Allison at 8:19 PM on April 12, 2013

Here's the site list so far:
10 - nickthetourist/fiercekitten, ____
11 - homodachi, breadeater
13 - vespabelle, secretariat/cortex
14 - Greg_Ace, compartment
15 - Kpele, ____

That leaves Lutoslawski and Kat Allison from the "Yes" list, who are potentially covered assuming that the folks on 10 and 15 don't object. Then there's pretty much everyone on the "Maybe" list... I haven't seen the sites in person, so I don't know whether tripling up on them would be overcrowded, but it might make better sense to reserve more spots. There's still quite a few available; #9, 16, and 18 are near the rest of us and still open at the moment.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:49 AM on April 13, 2013

There's a limit to the number of cars per spot - 2 per single, 4 per double. There's also "dispersed overflow camping" which I think means "empty field to park in" if the sites get full.

I think we were going to share with 20x6 if they can get a ride. I don't know if we can put people plus gear in our car yet.
posted by fiercekitten at 9:55 AM on April 14, 2013

I just went ahead and booked #16; it couldn't hurt to have some extra space reserved, and it looks like one can cancel if it turns out not to be needed.
posted by Kat Allison at 12:29 PM on April 14, 2013

I'm completely cool with sharing a space with anyone who's interested, so we can kick that around as things solidify and/or Maybes join up.
posted by Kpele at 1:26 PM on April 17, 2013

Ooh! Intrigued! Love camping that time of year. Anyone else bringing kids?
posted by purenitrous at 8:54 PM on April 17, 2013

I don't think any of the confirmed people are bringing kids but don't let that stop you from coming. Camping more fun with people.
posted by fiercekitten at 11:17 PM on April 19, 2013

I may or may not bring my nearly 13 year old (I promise she is well behaved and used to adults.)
posted by vespabelle at 3:03 PM on April 24, 2013

Here we are at the start of the seriously nice summer weather, and a look at the website shows that the campsites are starting to get snapped up. 9 and 16 are gone (unless someone here reserved them), leaving only #18 of the "nearest to the rest of us" sites. There are 11 people on the Maybe list who haven't staked out a claim on a second-tent spot on the existing reserved sites, and only two empty slots left of those.

So...if any of the Maybes intend to show up for sure, we'll either need to start tripling up on existing sites or get more sites while there are sites to get!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:42 PM on May 4, 2013

I'm terrible at planning so far in advance and a terminal "Maybe", but I have a car, am happy to drive folks, will probably have some space for gear and such, and have tent, camp stove, etc. Also, a dog. And I may or may not be plus one, so must like dogs? (Unless this is not a good camping spot for dogs ... must do research ...) ...
posted by grootless at 10:17 PM on May 17, 2013

Yay camping dog! Also, in case my silence was interpreted wrong, yay well behaved kids!
posted by Secretariat at 10:14 AM on May 18, 2013

Thank you! I found a different page but same info. Yay for kids and dogs!
posted by grootless at 11:39 AM on May 18, 2013

I am a probably, but if I come, it will be by bicycle. Is the concern about tripling up with parking?
posted by aniola at 7:24 PM on May 20, 2013

I know the official limit is 6 *people* per site. But I think the tricky part is whether 3 *tents* on a campsite is physically possible without being so crowded that we can't walk in between them without tripping over tent corners, or have a fire without setting a too-close tent ablaze. Based on past experience (though not at this campsite), I'll hazard a guess that it's doable, but who knows for sure...
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:00 PM on May 20, 2013

If anyone's interested, I have something like 4-5 Coleman propane canisters (the 1L? sort, the small ones). I don't have a camp stove/grill at this point and probably won't in the near future, so if someone can put them to use, they are welcome to them.
posted by curious nu at 8:21 PM on June 10, 2013

Those would work with our camp stove! It's been so long since we used it, I have no memory of how much propane is likely in the canister we have- can I claim one, for this camping trip?
posted by Secretariat at 7:38 AM on June 11, 2013

You may! These are free to whomever so if you'd think you'd like more, before that, you can have them. (this is a sneaky metafilter-freecycle post)
posted by curious nu at 6:09 PM on June 11, 2013

Secretariat recently let me know of a couple local used-camping-equipment outlets. I thought I'd share them here in case anyone needs to gear up:

Next Adventure

Not everything is the cheapest, but it seemed like they had choices for each type of item in the full range of prices, from cheap to REI. And if you're lucky, you may find the perfect lightly used thing in their bargain basement.

Andy and Bax

It's an adventure - a mix of useful and weird military surplus, and more. It's not a quick in and out type store, though. They've got a little bit of everything.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:28 AM on July 12, 2013

aniola, if you haven't biked to Govt. Camp from town, there is a pretty nice supported ride coming up in August with a nice route. Maybe a nice training ride?
posted by klausman at 10:46 PM on July 15, 2013

Well, I was planning on heading back to the states for a bit around that time and wanted to stop in on Oregon anyway. I'm going to see if I can make this happen and join y'all.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:33 PM on July 22, 2013

Yay, iamkimiam!
By the way, we have purchased a tent, so we won't need to borrow from anyone.
posted by Secretariat at 9:01 AM on July 23, 2013

Clearly we'll have to bring some scotch.
posted by cortex at 6:02 PM on July 23, 2013

Considering that my birthday is that weekend, I absolutely concur and had already planned to do so.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:02 PM on July 23, 2013

I reserved a site so I'm officially a yes. I'll have a pop-top Vanagon too (if it's running by then).
posted by pb at 12:50 PM on August 2, 2013

posted by Secretariat at 4:36 PM on August 2, 2013

so, when are we going to start talking about food?
posted by vespabelle at 1:31 PM on August 12, 2013

I think we just did...

I noticed there's a Saturday-night potluck suggested in the post itself.

Other than that, I feel like just managing to have agreed on a date and place was a major accomplishment, and planning group meals could get tricky. It might be simplest to all plan to fend for ourselves apart from the potluck.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:01 PM on August 12, 2013

Having said that, then pondered it for a while...

If those of us who have room can bring just a little more than we think we'll need individually, surely we'll be able to collaborate ad-hoc once we're there so that no individual goes hungry (or thirsty, if you know what I mean).
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:04 PM on August 12, 2013

I'm interested in collaborating on food. I could do something simple for one meal like bring a variety of hot dogs of various sorts (veggie, turkey or chicken, beef), buns, and basic condiments, if people wanted to declare how many dogs and what type they wanted. Then either we'd all hang out around a few shared campfires and roast them, or if open fires aren't allowed, around a few cook stoves and boil them. Then it would sort of be "fend for yourself" as far as sides- if you brought something to share, fine, if not, no big deal.

Or is that too boring? I'm not a pro camper, so even the simple things like roasting a hotdog are pretty fun for me.
posted by Secretariat at 10:40 PM on August 12, 2013

Oh hey, I don't remember if I've remembered to mention this to anyone so far- we purchased a tent earlier this summer, so we don't need to borrow any gear anymore.
posted by Secretariat at 10:47 PM on August 12, 2013

Not attending. Will be on a boat somewhere in S.E. Alaska. Have fun y'all!
posted by aniola at 12:40 PM on August 13, 2013

Sausage-y type things are pretty good for campouts. We do that with our friends, everyone brings their own sausages and there are shared condiments. (no need for 4 bottles of ketchup to be hauled out there! maybe 4 gourmet mustards though.)

I'm happy to make a big pot of chili to share for Friday night. (We're at about 13 people? we don't have to start using food service quantities at that level.)
posted by vespabelle at 2:45 PM on August 13, 2013

I can bring cornbread to go with the chili.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:05 PM on August 13, 2013

So, in years back, Sat potlucks were a thing when I went camping. Easy stuff like chili or scalloped potatoes or salad or whatever is all good. I think we never did it on Friday because people would get in at different times and planning around cooking and setup on the same day was always hard. I'm not naysaying chili on Friday but Sat usually works better for a group dinner thing.

I think we'll have space for a extra tent since the people we were going to share with won't be able to come. Also, I think we'll have fishing gear in case there's fish in that there pond.

Things to be aware of:
The lake is for irrigation on the Warm Springs reservation so may be very low.
Depending on weather conditions, we may not be able to have any open flame. It would have to be a really high fire danger (red, where any open flame is not allowed) but if there's a fire nearby we probably won't be able to have a campfire.
It's considerably cooler at altitude so plan on it being below 50 overnight.
Its not one of the other Clear Lakes in Oregon. It's the one e. of Govt Camp.
posted by fiercekitten at 11:21 PM on August 15, 2013

According to the latitude/longitude given on the campground's website, Google Maps says it's here (green arrow).

I agree it would be easier to do a full potluck Saturday, but that doesn't preclude chili and cornbread Friday evening as well...
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:28 AM on August 16, 2013

Thanks, Greg_Ace. I updated the map here so that it matches the coordinates on campground website.
posted by pb at 9:03 AM on August 16, 2013

I'll also mention that although the website mentions Forest Service Road 2630, Google Maps says it's 2660. So I guess keep an eye out for either one.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:26 AM on August 16, 2013

I plan to make and bring... food of various kinds! I haven't planned what, yet, so I will accept requests and/or dietary restrictions. I make great cookies, so I'll totally bring some of those as well.
posted by Kpele at 12:59 PM on August 16, 2013

I would love chili (meat or nonmeat equally as long as it's not too spicy, so nonmeat is probably more inclusive?), cornbread, and cookies. I also would like to help with food in some way, but I don't have to if it's all worked out- I can just bring beer, or do a bunch of food prep work, or something else of equal value instead.
posted by Secretariat at 2:49 PM on August 16, 2013

As it currently stands, we have 7 campsites reserved (at least, as far as have been mentioned in this thread):

10 - nickthetourist/fiercekitten, 20x6
11 - homodachi, breadeater
13 - vespabelle, secretariat/cortex
14 - Greg_Ace, compartment
15 - Kpele, ____
16 - Kat Allison, _____
?? - pb, _____

Lutoslawski has said he can sling a hammock just about anywhere, and there are still 3 slots open for a second site occupant. That leaves 8 Maybe's left unaccounted for, who might want to think about reserving another few sites or take a chance that some of the currently unreserved or first-come-first-serve sites are still unclaimed when that weekend rolls around....
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:20 PM on August 19, 2013

I am seriously thinking about going.

I have a HUGE TENT and just me, does anyone need a place to sleep at this point? Also I may need some help pitching it...

Also I can bring a lot of firewood. And a person or 3, if anyone needs a ride. And a camp stove, dishes, lanterns...
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:04 PM on August 20, 2013

Looks like I will be sleeping in vespabelle's tent
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:49 PM on August 21, 2013

Then I would like to formally welcome you to site 13, rabbitrabbit!
posted by Secretariat at 1:57 PM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm going to have to bow out of this one — I just moved to the Grand Canyon. You're all welcome to go camping down here, though!
posted by compartment at 3:50 PM on August 28, 2013

So... this is my first time camping in a LONG time.

I feel like I have the basics down: tent, sleep pads/bags, cooler, utensils, etc., but what about cookstoves? Are they the kind of thing that, if a ton of people are going, it makes more sense to share, or should we bring our own?
posted by homodachi at 4:39 PM on August 29, 2013

It might be useful to get a handle on how many people are bringing cookstoves,* but it's also worth planning to bring at least some things for breakfast/lunch/snacks that don't require cooking - cereal/granola, snack bars, sandwich fixings, fruit, etc. Then on the other hand, there's hot beverages to consider as well....

*I'm bringing a 2-burner one
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:46 PM on August 29, 2013

I'm bringing a 2 burner stove and a pot/pan set, unless it turns out there's a surplus. I think at the very least, we could share within each campsite- and we probably could even do something like one per every 2 sites. My only request is a place to heat some water in the morning for a cup of tea.
posted by Secretariat at 9:13 PM on August 29, 2013

Compartment- sorry you won't make it, but how awesome! What kind of outdoor camping season does the Grand Canyon have (for a not super extreme tent camper)? I doubt it's going to fit in with my school schedule at the moment, but one of these days I've got to see that place.
posted by Secretariat at 9:19 PM on August 29, 2013

I can bring a 2-burner if anyone needs to borrow one; it sounds like my campsite will already have one.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:33 AM on August 30, 2013

I'm borrowing camping stuff, and am unlikely to have a cookstove. However, I have discovered that the weird cast-iron thing with handles that was kicking around is a pie iron! So I have one of those and plan to make a bunch of silly campfire pies with it.
posted by Kpele at 4:00 PM on August 30, 2013

Oooh, camp-paninis!
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:11 PM on August 30, 2013

We have all the stuff except a camp shower. ALL the stuff. We'll bring extra plates and all because we only have 3 (?) of each thing for some reason.

Imma gonna start a spreadsheet soon. I'm on my tabby* currently which is not ideal for planning stuff out.

*tablet, not a cat.
posted by fiercekitten at 3:09 PM on September 1, 2013

Too bad. Tabbies (the cat) are excellent event planners.
posted by Secretariat at 12:47 PM on September 2, 2013

Now that the event date is drawing near, I'll re-mention that I've got plenty of firewood and I'm very glad to contribute some-to-most of it because it needs to get used up. It's still good right now, but I use so little that I'm afraid the remainder will go rotten before the end of another cold season. If you were planning to bring firewood anyway and you're willing to come to the Powell/SE 42nd neighborhood before then or it's on your way to the campsite that Friday, please please PLEASE feel free to stop by and pick some up! MeMail me for directions to my house and/or to let me know when you're coming (I'll be heading out myself sometime early Friday afternoon).
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:09 PM on September 4, 2013

Oh hey! Sorry I've neglected my recent activity page.

I reserved spot 5 I believe. A bit away from y'all, but I think it'll work. I may or may not be +1. Bringing a tent, etc. I haven't started thinking about food yet, but I will start thinking about that.

Greg - if you're serious about the firewood thing, I am more than happy to swing by your place and load some into my outback. Otherwise I was probably going to go buy some bundles.

I have been known to bring all the requisite survival gear and booze but forget to bring pants camping, so I will try to live up to my Eagle Scout and come prepared with pants and everything this time round.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:42 PM on September 4, 2013

Also I should definitely have room for at least two folks + gear in my car. But I may need to come back Saturday afternoon, so there is that.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:52 PM on September 4, 2013

I've been splitting firewood into manageable pieces, ready for anyone to come by and take some. And I have kindling - little bits and slivers of wood as well as a grocery bag of newspaper - and wooden matches, if needed.

Also, I made half a dozen rope "slings" we can all share, that'll make it easier to carry bundles from my back porch to car and from car to fire pit.

Call Mr. Firewood,
That's my name,
That name again
Is Mr. Firewood.

posted by Greg_Ace at 4:50 PM on September 7, 2013

Sorry about the late reply. I have site 17 and I'll have a camp stove too. I'm not sure what's still needed for the Saturday potluck. My van is running again so I'll have that too. (fingers crossed.) I won't be using the tent pad on that site, so it's open if anyone needs it.

I just checked the forecast for Government Camp, OR and it said the high is 97 on Saturday. I've been thinking about getting a 10 x 10 canopy for camping and that forecast might push me into doing that. It could be nice to have some shade. I haven't camped in this area before so I'm not sure how much natural shade there is.
posted by pb at 8:21 AM on September 9, 2013

I am bringing:
(this list mostly for my own purposes...)
a tarp, ropes, tiedowns, bungies to make shade or rain shelter
chili for Saturday night
chocolate zucchini bread (dairy free, vegan, paleo!)
basic camping stuff
french press for coffee making.
food and snacks for me and to share.
fire poker and an axe

not bringing:
camp stove

can bring if needed:
wicker paper plate holders (I have a bajillion) if we want to minimize dishes (I do!)
extra camp chairs if necessary (I have 3)
posted by vespabelle at 9:57 AM on September 9, 2013

pb, are you sure you checked the right location? When I look up the weather for zip code 97028, it says highs will be in the upper 70's next weekend (and lows in the upper 50's).
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:44 AM on September 9, 2013

I just did this Google search to look up the weather. It's saying 90° on Saturday now. Maybe there's an altitude difference between Government Camp and the campground?
posted by pb at 11:10 AM on September 9, 2013

I am bringing, in addition to things for my own personal use:

-Firewood (enough for my campsite, if I can estimate properly)
-A 7-gallon jug of water with a tap (this is the only water jug I have with a tap, so I will have plenty of water to share if others need some)
-Small cooler for half & half, cheese, cold cuts, and hot dogs that will probably have a little extra room
-Box o' wine, can of coffee that I can likely share
-A couple extra blankets and towels
-Snacks to share (beef jerky, chips, chocolate)

I can bring if needed:
-Camp stove
-Camp chairs for others (I have 5 or 6)
-Mugs, plates, cups, silverware, cooking utensils if others would like some
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:45 AM on September 9, 2013

Hmm, both the NOAA and Weather Channel sites claim 70's, which is more in line with my expectation as the lake is at about 3500' elevation; but Weather Underground more or less agrees with Google. Now I don't know what to think, other than to prepare for either eventuality....
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:04 PM on September 9, 2013

everyone: just bring the pants with the zip-off legs! or just pack a sweater!
posted by vespabelle at 4:01 PM on September 9, 2013

Well, CRAP. Some stuff came unglued at work today, and it looks like I'm going to have to cover for a coworker at an event on Sat and hence won't be able to make it down after all.

I've got campsite #16 reserved--would anyone like to take that one on? It looks like I can cancel up through Thursday with just a $10 fee, so I'll hold on to it and see if anyone is interested in spreading out.

I'm really sorry I won't be able to join y'all for this!
posted by Kat Allison at 6:47 PM on September 9, 2013

I'm hoping for 70's weather, not 90's weather!
posted by Secretariat at 8:35 AM on September 10, 2013

Okay, here's a map of our current roundup of where it looks like people are:

camping map

If you have a reservation/site-sharing situation but it's not on that map, or if you're on the map but not planning on coming, or if I just plain goofed on something, speak up in here and I'll get things updated accordingly.

If you don't have something arranged yet but are planning on coming, by gosh figure that out!

Notes on the map for late planners:

1. Kat Allison's spot #16 is available since she can't make it, please contact her pronto so she knows you want it before she cancels the reservation before the bigger-fee deadline.

2. There are three no-reservation spots on the site that you can just try and wing on the day of if there's no reservations left. Nice looking weekend like this, you'd probably be best off getting there earlier on to improve your chances.
posted by cortex at 12:43 PM on September 10, 2013

I've made a google spreadsheet for the Saturday Potluck and other camping supplies needed/available- update it if you feel like it, or don't if not! Don't feel obligated to bring something for a potluck if you'd prefer to eat your own food- but if you are thinking of bringing something, maybe list it so there isn't duplication.

If you find that you are needing something, and someone else has it listed in the spreadsheet that they have that something, make sure to contact them in this thread or via memail to make sure they know to bring that item for you!
posted by Secretariat at 4:54 PM on September 10, 2013

Homodachi, I'll be bringing this lantern thing that comes apart into 4 separate rechargeable flashlights- so you can use one of those if you find you're a flashlight short. I'll probably mostly use a headlamp.
posted by Secretariat at 10:07 AM on September 11, 2013

I will bring a little tripod camp stool for you cortex/secretariat.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:38 PM on September 11, 2013

Does anybody know if the sites have picnic tables? I have a folding table I can bring.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:43 PM on September 12, 2013

Never mind, I just answered my own question: "Each site is equipped with a table and campfire ring with grill."
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:44 PM on September 12, 2013

Thanks Secretariat, I would love to borrow one. Love the design of that lantern thing; can't wait to check it out!
posted by homodachi at 3:22 PM on September 12, 2013

So Greg, it doesn't look like there's anyway I'm going to get down to your place to pick up wood. So it goes. I'll grab some somewhere at some point.

I'm a bit more tied up with stupid worky work today than I thought, so I'm not sure exactly when I'm gonna get outta here. It might be a bit late when I finally make it to the lake...
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:28 AM on September 13, 2013

No worries, a couple people came by and got some and I've got room in my own car for a good bit more. Other people are bringing wood as well, so we should be fine.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:43 AM on September 13, 2013

Lutoslawski, we grabbed some extra wood from Greg's place, so if you're in a rush, I don't think you need to worry about picking any up. If I'm wrong and we run short, I guess we'll just buy some at the campground- supposedly there's a place to buy it. I'll try to remember to bring some cash just in case.

Just remember to pack pants.
posted by Secretariat at 10:09 AM on September 13, 2013

Happy Friday the 13th, y'all! I'm bringin' my hockey mask!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:13 AM on September 13, 2013

You guys, I am bringing WAY too much food for just me. It's actually ridiculous, it's like I expect to feed 5 people for the whole trip. So, you know, help me out when I get there! THERE ARE COOKIES.
posted by Kpele at 11:21 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'll bring some wood too. heh heh.
posted by vespabelle at 11:28 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

We're bringing what feels simultaneously like too much and too little beer, I don't even know how you pull that off exactly.

But I also bought a bottle of Aberlour, which I have never had before and is one tasty little Speyside.
posted by cortex at 11:59 AM on September 13, 2013

Be safe, fellows! Bring back stories! Stories of ADVENTURE.
posted by curious nu at 1:02 PM on September 13, 2013

Compartment- sorry you won't make it, but how awesome! What kind of outdoor camping season does the Grand Canyon have (for a not super extreme tent camper)? I doubt it's going to fit in with my school schedule at the moment, but one of these days I've got to see that place.

Not speaking from personal experience, because I haven't been here that long, but my understanding is that the best time to camp is late spring or fall. I want to say that most years the fall season is pretty nice through October. Then around November winter starts to set in. The South Rim is at 7,000 feet, and we get 50 to 100 inches of snow every year. North Rim gets about 125 inches. They close the North Rim road and shut down for the winter.

Springtime can be a little iffy. Last year in April I visited a site on the north side of the canyon called Toroweap. You take the pavement until you hit Colorado City (of Warren Jeffs/FLDS fame) then turn south and drive for 60 or 70 miles on dirt roads. Toroweap is farther downstream and substantially lower than the much more developed North Rim facilities. I camped on BLM land on the drive in, and there was a little bit of snow that night. But it also got pretty hot in the daytime.

Spring is nice for a while, then things get hot and dry until sometime in July when monsoon season starts. Then it is hot with localized and intense thundershowers. This year the monsoons are particularly long-lived and widespread, and we've also been soaked by some tropical storm remnants, and honestly I think I would have been drier had I stayed in Portland. The rangers who run the Facebook page for Grand Canyon National Park are currently showing off some really pretty pictures of mushrooms.

So, if I had to pick a specific time to car camp on the South Rim, I would say late May or late September. But if you want to backpack into the canyon, there are a couple of semi-developed campgrounds (potable water, ranger station) that are situated below the rim and above the inner gorge. There are also primitive/undeveloped sites elsewhere within the canyon. People I've talked to have said that October is a great month to backpack into the canyon.

Anyway, sorry for the derail. I really wish I could make it back to Oregon to go camping with you all!
posted by compartment at 1:18 PM on September 13, 2013

When we last left our intrepid heroes, they were trying to find the road to the top of Clear Lake Butte. Nick and I had to leave early so don't have an update past that although I'd love to find out.
posted by fiercekitten at 9:57 AM on September 15, 2013

Well. We never found the road to the top of Clear Lake Butte! But we did get to drive/ride around in cortex'/my Mazda and pb's awesome van. We went to Little Crater Lake, and hiked from there over to Timothy Lake. Some of went swimming and others soaked their feet. Then we went back to the campsite and napped, swam, and made raspberry pies. Cortex whittled creepy wizard art; then we had a delicious potluck dinner. Post dinner, much 90's music was played around the campfire.
posted by Secretariat at 2:32 PM on September 15, 2013

We definitely need to do that again! Maybe with more organization regarding communal meals. And while Clear Lake Campground has much to recommend it, I'd also like to explore other areas.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:57 PM on September 15, 2013

Yeah, that was a great time. Thanks everyone. I posted a few pictures: MeFi Camping.
posted by pb at 3:19 PM on September 15, 2013

I think we all learned a lot about words form Chaucerian times.
posted by cortex at 3:34 PM on September 15, 2013

I think we all learned a lot about self-professed Chaucerian experts...
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:48 PM on September 15, 2013

Nice morning-lake picture, pb! I thought about getting up to take one of those, but...I didn't.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:57 PM on September 15, 2013

Yeah, great photos! And thanks again everyone for coming. That was a great time.
posted by Secretariat at 4:42 PM on September 15, 2013

Hey all! That was GREAT! Thanks to all for delicious food and good times.

And never forget: Tonic was a band.

Also butts.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:34 PM on September 15, 2013

Thanks, I got lucky with that morning picture. I woke up a little early, walked to the bathroom, and happened on that scene. I knew I didn't have time to run back and grab my SLR but I did have my phone with me. I'm not sure what the lesson is, but there's probably a 90s song about it that cortex can play.
posted by pb at 10:07 PM on September 15, 2013

Nice to meet/see y'all! Here is a picture.

Butts is always the best answer.

Also how the heck did I wind up with so many cookies?!
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:49 AM on September 16, 2013

Yay! Seriously the best weekend of the summer!

The best chili, awesome cookies, just enough booze, perfect weather, good folks, a just-cold-enough lake, a not-too-long hike, lots of fireworks, butts, etc. etc. etc...
posted by vespabelle at 8:00 AM on September 16, 2013

Here are a few more photos
posted by Kpele at 9:43 AM on September 16, 2013

I have one photo, commemorating our "wait, is that where we should have turned?" driving adventure.
posted by Secretariat at 11:40 AM on September 16, 2013

Looks like it was a lot of fun. Wish we could have been there. Next year: the ocean!

Also, looks like we may have been there in spirit in the form of a propane canister.
posted by mimo at 3:04 PM on September 16, 2013

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