Yes its time to get outdoors again. Its been awhile for a camp out. Desperately need some nature selftime. So hit the internet and looked for a place to visit. I went straight to my favorite search website. The magnificent Minnesota DNR.
They have a complete list of all camping opportunities, including separate websites for each location.(Right now I am working my way through the website, I think I have a unconscious plan to visit each, State Park, then of course there is the State forrests, National forrests, the…ok back to the search) Each separate site having more information then you can shake a stick at!. Even if you do not reside in Minnesota, you can use this a as great resource for camping and the outdoors if you decide to visit. A word of warning….they have ALOT of places to visit for all interests. Prepare to spend some time on the site.
Back to the search and planning a trip. I have yet to decide what I will be doing. First just browse the website (MN DNR) looking for places that catch my interest. I like to walk in or Boat in camp. Ha! yes they have a link for you to search that specific interest. I’m pretty sure they have a type of camping you enjoy, so try searching that.
I came across this little gem about an hour from home.
Afton State Park. Mn.
The Camp grounds offer walk in and boat in options. First things first are they open year round.
What are the restrictions if any and cost. A quick look at reviews, camp ground maps and any pictures they offer. The link for directions, using either Google maps or Bing maps. From that I now have an idea where it is and how far.
Once I have decided this is the place I want to go. I start some research. As you know I solo camp. Safety is of utmost importance for me. As it should be for all outdoors enthusiasts. The research is fairly basic, using both Google (search and Google Earth pro) and Bing. I look for things said or shown that may be of concern. (See previous blog). Satisfied there are no “issues”. I then start planning “What, When and Where” I want to do there. One thing I like to do if possible is go out and do a quick walkabout and scout. This is about an hour from home so just might do that. Always looking for an excuse… to get out and about. This “kills two birds with one stone”..so to say. I get a look at the area, and get outdoors. PERFECT!
See how that works. Two trips outdoors already planned. The joy. So time to grab the walkabout / daypack.
As per Google driving directions, they gave me a couple options. As per Me, I chose the back roads route. I never miss a opportunity to see rural Minnesota. You just never know what you may see or find.
Well. What can I say. Wonderful State Park. Everything a Park should have. Camping, Hiking, Horse back riding, Picnic, Fishing and Boat in camping and YURTS……. Oh don’t forget the hills and valleys, Bird watching, game viewing, snow activities and lots more. Just about everything the outdoor enthusiast could ask for. And about an hours drive from the Twin Cities !!. No wonder its so popular.
Arriving I went to the interactive center and picked up a map of the park. Read it carefully and set off on my walkabout and scout. I did about 4 miles and took a couple pictures and some video. OK a lot of pictures and a lot of video. The hiking trails are numerous and varied in all ways. Something for all types of hikers ( Easy, medium or Hard). 2 or 3 Campsites, Yurts, cabins and Group. Plus a walk-in uphill hike to the wonderful 27 site camp for tent etc. Horse back riding is popular in summer, Boating, fishing and swimming are some other options. For me, I headed straight for the walk-in camp site, or should I say straight up to the campsite. Be prepared this is quite a hike and all uphill. But well worth it for me, everything I hoped for.
If you get the chance GO!. Well worth a visit. I will be heading back. Time to camp.
And that’s a quick, how I plan my trips outdoors, whether camping, hiking, kayaking or walk about and Scouting. What am I trying to say. Well, If you are a survivalist (Novice or not) Plan. If you don’t have a regular plan to follow for any survival situation, Its time to put one together. It does not have to be fancy, have a method and tweak it as you use it.
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Summer time is coming and we all get to go outdoors. Remember to be safe, plan you will enjoy your time more. I promise.
Knowledge is a survival Skill…. Planning and research included