Thursday, July 19, 2018

Return to Hoosier NF - New Camp! -- July 19, 2018

Hello from a new camp in the Hoosier National Forest in Indiana!

Because I just arrived yesterday and plan to stay here several days, I'm not divulging the camp name right now, but I will say it is another horse camp.  It is another FREE campsite for 14 days, but I won't be staying that long as I have another camp in mind, maybe half-way through this excursion.

OK - let's get started!  It was only about a 3.5 hour drive from home base....seemed very short compared with the 8-hour drive to and from Michigan.  This site isn't too far from a couple of towns...5-7 miles, but in itself, it is quite remote.  There's 2 bars of 4G service here, which works fine except for blogging/downloading photos...then it's a bit slow, but I'm not complaining!  

This campsite consists of a wobbly loop...not a huge loop, but situated so nothing seems cramped.  There are picnic tables, fire rings, and because it's a horse camp, hitching posts at each campsite and in common areas.  There's vault toilets and livestock water....not for human consumption.

 I'm parked on the right side of this end of the loop....

It's a huge site and shaded except for mid-day, but I can move the van forward and backward a little to capture some shade during those few hours.  While I was at home base, I finally got around to adding Reflectix to all of my windows.  There are still plenty of hot days left in this summer, so that will reflect and insulate the large windows.  It's a great product! Available in rolls at Lowe's and Home Depot.

The canopy is totally hidden from the loop lane and I put up waterproof, very lightweight tarps for extra privacy and sun protection.  Only on two sides at this site.

I am sitting right at the trail head.  But, because I'm the only one here and the upcoming weather forecast doesn't lend itself to perfect camping, I decided it wasn't going to be very "busy". Rain coming in overnight and for the next several days.  But, I don't really mind as it keeps people away and keeps the temps lower.  I have a perfectly comfortable van, the waterproof canopy, plenty of books, art supplies, and the internet, so the weather really isn't a deterrent for me, at all.  But for most campers and horseback riders, it wouldn't be optimal.  But, it's gorgeous today, so I got out and took my photos!

One rider probably had the same thoughts I did...get out today!
 (There is a $35/yr riding permit fee...or $5 for day use.)

The rider covered his steed's face and eyes with a fly mask to protect it from flies.  
The mask is semi-transparent and made from a mesh allowing the horse to see and hear
while wearing it.

He parked his trailer away from us, but as he rode nearer to begin his ride, Bo stayed in the van! The trail is a big loop through the forest and ends up where he parked his trailer, so we will only have close visitors at the start of their journey.  He was probably around the trail in about 45 minutes. 

 And off they went down the trail....

We had already taken our trail walk this morning...

I mentioned earlier that this camp has only NON-potable water.  This was the reason I came to this campsite first. Believe it or not, I have, in various containers, 30 gallons of water with me.  That's about the same amount as a Class C RV tank!  The next site has drinking water, so, theoretically, I could stay here until I run out of water...which would be a pretty long time...and then fill up only as I need it at the next site.  The other way around would have been very cumbersome.  There's a method to this van dwelling madness!  LOL!

Since I probably won't be posting again from here....there's really not that much more to show I'll show you my "setup".  I absolutely LOVE this foldable camp table ($60 Walmart-online.)

I did modify it a bit for my own personal preferences.  Where the camp stove is sitting (on a piece of plywood), is actually where an included plastic tub fits down into the frame for dish washing.  Well, I don't wash dishes continuously, so to have that sitting there day in and day out just wasn't feasible for the way I live.  I would much rather have the stove here instead of up on the work area where it would take up the entire space.  I like having the "counterspace".  The metal drying rack/utensil holder still fits at the end.  I keep the plastic tub, plates, silverware, and paper towels in the zipper canvas section.  When I pack up, I just put everything in the plastic tub then it's right at hand for the next stop!

At the upper end is my pressurized sprayer (3 gallons). It's just like what you have on your home kitchen sink.  I use it to rinse off dishes and cookware and to give Bo his special "spray treat" of water.  Closest are my two nozzled water containers (2.5 gallons each) for hand washing, etc.

Eventho' I have lots more in containers under the platform bed, I only actually use a very minimal amount of cookware and utensils from day to saucepan, one small iron skillet, one non-stick skillet. one coffee pot to heat water and one mug....that's it!  I can cook anything with just these items. 

A knife, a rubber spoon/spatula, a turner, a pasta ladle and a stove starter.
That's it for utensils!

Oh...and I still use my great GoSun solar cooker!


Camping for very extended amounts of time is easy-peasy when you have what works best for your particular way of living.  But, most often you are in the "wilds", so critters are bound to find something of interest!

He took my ketchup bottle
and left his mark behind on my camp chair!

That's a wrap from this very pretty, and quiet, horse camp site in the Hoosier National Forest.  I'll post again from here if anything interesting happens, but more than likely, I won't be blogging again until my next stop.  

Enjoy your weekend....even if it's raining!


  1. Looks beautiful and peaceful. Great to see and hear about your setup. So efficient! Enjoy!

  2. I remember the GoSun from the RV Odyssey! Coolest thing. .