Couple days camping in the GWNF North River Ranger District

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wahoowad

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Virginia, USA
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Wilbur
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McGee
I finally took advantage of some Covid furlough time and took my best buddy on a camping trip in the George Washington National Forest. We have been so distracted by Covid that we missed some nice springtime weather, so this July trip was going to be a little warmer. I'm fine with the heat but not so much for my dog without a creek or water source to cool off in. For that reason we targeted a unique upper elevation pond I'd seen on maps, but upon arrival the immediate area just didn't seem conducive to setting up camp. But I knew of a good site a few miles away and was glad to find it vacant and in good shape. I call this spot Breezy Point as the wind was always blowing in prior visits and once again the breeze was helpful both for some comfort as well as helping with the bugs.



This was my first trip using my new Slumberjack Roadhouse tarp. Intermittent rain storms were forecasted so I put it up and can say I really like it. Seems well made, and while I wish it was a little larger, it does seem perfectly adequate to cover my storage boxes and camp kitchen. I used both poles for the front to keep it as open as possible and found a stick to hold the backside up. I was a little worried high winds could arrive with a passing thunderstorm but that didn't happen. That said I put down as many stakes and guylines as I could.



In the above pic you can see my Rubbermaid Actionpacker boxes - for years I've been served well with a 24 gallon unit for misc campsite gear and an 8 gallon for camp kitchen gear. I finally outgrew the smaller Actionpacker so I upgraded to a 56 quart Plano Sportsman trunk. Aside from the 50% increase in space I like the shape of the Plano a little better. I never did like how the Actionpacker had a hard side taper that made the bottom smaller than the top so the Plano is better in this respect with it's relatively flat sides. I ended up bringing all 3 boxes as my reorganization now has kitchen gear in the Plano and actual food supplies in the smaller Actionpacker.

This was my third or fourth trip using the Gazelle T4. I like a lot of tent space and the T4 has a smaller footprint than my previous tent (and is 4 times the size packed :joycat:), so while it feels small I do absolutely love the rapid setup. Literally goes up in 60 seconds. I don't have a pic of this but my 2 Nemo Roamer foam mattresses take up 75% of the floor space. My one complaint about the T4 is that removable tub style floor allows insects entry where the velcro doesn't tightly seal in the corners.





I like cast iron and am still working on my dutch oven technique. This trip I cooked some chicken thighs and veggies one night and slow braised beef ribs the next night.



Breakfast is always my favorite meal :blush: and have gotten pretty good with the CI griddle on the Coleman stove




I'm a bit of a food-handling freak - don't want to give myself or others a case of explosive dysentery - and have fallen in love with these thin food handling gloves. They are inexpensive and far easier to quickly slip on/off than surgical style vinyl/nitrile/latex gloves. An order of 500 only costs around $10 and they come in bags of 100 so I keep a bag at home in the kitchen, a bag out by the smoker and grill, a bag in the garage and a bag in my camp kitchen. You can find them on eBay, Amazon, etc - I get mine here.



I didn't see any bears but they are in the area so I had to hang my trash



I bring my Husqvarna 40V battery powered chainsaw in case I find a downed tree blocking my path, and also to collect firewood. Plenty of dry firewood around here right next to the road.



This was my first trip with my 2019 Trail Boss. It did great.



The trip was over too quick - working on my plan for next trip. I want to get out and explore those other mountain ranges off in the distance

 

mamalone200

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Enthusiast III

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Eastern Shore of Maryland
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Matthew
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Looks like an awesome trip with some beautiful views! Do you know what griddle you used on your stove? I have the same Coleman stove and I've had trouble finding a nice cast iron griddle that fits the grill section.
 

wahoowad

Rank III

Enthusiast III

830
Virginia, USA
First Name
Wilbur
Last Name
McGee
Looks like an awesome trip with some beautiful views! Do you know what griddle you used on your stove? I have the same Coleman stove and I've had trouble finding a nice cast iron griddle that fits the grill section.
That is the Lodge Pro-Logic 12 Inch Square Cast Iron Griddle, but I don't see it available anywhere except one place called Welads and that site looks sketchy. I see similar ones but they have the raised cooking grates inside, not smooth like mine. Here is the amazon link to the specific one I have:



Mine will nestle down inside my Coleman grate, which initially seemed cool but turns out it affects the airflow for the burner and doesn't get as hot. If you get something make sure you orient it (notice mine is a little sideways) so it doesn't mess up the burner output.
 

mamalone200

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,383
Eastern Shore of Maryland
First Name
Matthew
Last Name
Malone
Member #

24559

That is the Lodge Pro-Logic 12 Inch Square Cast Iron Griddle, but I don't see it available anywhere except one place called Welads and that site looks sketchy. I see similar ones but they have the raised cooking grates inside, not smooth like mine. Here is the amazon link to the specific one I have:



Mine will nestle down inside my Coleman grate, which initially seemed cool but turns out it affects the airflow for the burner and doesn't get as hot. If you get something make sure you orient it (notice mine is a little sideways) so it doesn't mess up the burner output.
I'll have to look for something similar, that one seems to be out of stock everywhere (except the sketchy site you mentioned). Thanks for the answer and the tip about airflow!