14 Jul 08 The Rewards of the Classic Maine Summer Camping Trip, with 21st Century Updates
When was the last time YOU went camping?
Camping in the wilderness is the universal best “back-to-nature” antidote to our harried modern lives. You can’t help but rest in the “present” while camping. You can’t avoid slowing down, at least a little bit, and thus realize the riches of nature unfolding before your eyes, ears, and senses.
Summer time in Maine is perfect for camping. Maine enjoys a rich diversity of campgrounds and campsites throughout the state. DIY Camping or Camping Vacation Packages: It’s Your Choice. Northern Outdoors has two beautiful campgrounds for guests starting at $10pp per night. The weather is absolutely perfect in Maine now, with an extended multi-week forecast promising more of the same.
- Heightened senses: sight, sounds, smell, touch, and taste.
- You hear so much more wildlife and nature sounds; birds, leaves rustling in the trees, animals talking, crickets chirping, bullfrogs bellowing, waves lapping the shore of a lake, water bubbling down a stream.
- Seeing an infinite number of stars at night (when was the last time you REALLY looked at the night sky? Can you even see it thru all your street/city lights?)
- The chance to SLOW DOWN, for real, for a precious moment in time. Peacefulness shows up as you match nature’s pace.
- Food always tastes better in the outdoors, after a day of refreshing activity, like hiking, rafting, swimming, fishing, and more.
- S’mores, campfires, smiles, and laughter
- The aroma of morning coffee in the wilderness simply can’t be beat (and hot cocoa for the kids)
(To add your favorite “rewards” to this list, just click on the “comment” link at the bottom of this post.)
The New/Better Amenities: (say goodbye to scratchy wool, wimpy sleeping bags, leaky tents, and burnt meals)
- Sleeping pads that are actually thick enough to call a real “Pad” and offer a great night’s sleep (hello Paco Pads!!)
- Affordable, lightweight, easy to put up tents that don’t leak. They come with handy pockets, secret flaps, convenient vestibules, and even hooks for an internal clothesline from the tent roof.
- Sleeping bags come in every flavor of warmth now: for summer, fall, winter, and spring conditions so you don’t have to worry about getting too cold or too hot.
- Not only that, but bags now come in short, long, wide, narrow, women’s and kids sizes, really! (And, they can zip together with your mate’s bag.)
- Stoves are lightweight, easy to light, non-temperamental and come in the 2- burner-plus-grill variety which is great for river trips and basecamp-style trips.
- Outdoor apparel these days really is lightweight, bug and UV resistant, warm, quick-drying, and incredibly versatile. (You’ll have fun in jeans and cotton, but only till it rains….)
- You can make a great latte in camp! The portable expresso machines do indeed work, and a portable battery-powered milk frother (the size of a fat pencil) makes it all worthwhile.
- If you HAVE to bring electronics along on your camping trip, you can recharge them with a discreet solar pocket charger. Works for small portables like cell phones, PDAs, ipods, gameboys, etc. (It really works – shh, don’t tell your kids!)
- Last one, you don’t really have to backpack miles with 50+ lbs on your back to get to a campsite. You can drive up to amazing campsites and areas for hiking, playing, river trips, and more, and do day-trips from camp. This is our favorite version of basecamp-style trips: Park and Play.
- At our main resort campus, The Forks Resort Center, our Kennebec River campground has hot showers, quiet riverside campsites and cabin tents complete with wooden floors, cots and electric lighting – just drive up and unroll your sleeping bag.
- The campground is a short walk from our Kennebec River Pub and Brewery, swimming pool, hot tub, game room, classic New England main lodge with fireplace, restaurant, and wireless internet.
- Enjoy Maine’s brilliant nightly star show, the sound of the river lulling you to sleep, hearty meals and fresh microbrews at our main lodge. What could be easier?
- Our Penobscot Outdoor Center has a restaurant, campsites and cabin tents along spectacular Pockwockamus Pond near the Class IV+ thrilling Penobscot River. Listen to our May Outdoor Journal Radio Reports for camping info and things to do in the Penobscot region.
Don’t have the time, experience, or gear to pull off a family or friends camping trip on your own? Try our Summer Wilderness Overnights for convenient, hassle-free, and affordable camping vacations in Western Maine. Our overnight adventures are separated into families-only and adults-only, so you’ll be with others of similar interests. These 2 day/1 night wilderness camps offer lakeside camping in style: with pre-set tents on wooden platforms, a lobster bake, kayaks for paddling, tubing, a campfire and our memorable wilderness sauna and, of course, famous Kennebec River whitewater rafting for ages 8 and up.
Fun, active, classic New England Vacation – Check.
Affordable Maine Family Vacation – Check.
We look forward to seeing you in the North Woods soon.