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Aug 23, 2010

Bearbox Cooler - Barb's Camping Tip

When I saw this I almost hit myself for not thinking of it first. Then I tried it and it worked SOOOOOO DAM GOOD that I did hit myself.

While camping at D.L. Bliss in Lake Tahoe, California,  I couldn't help but scope out the campers a few spaces down from me. Everything was so tidy, their gear was job specific and well designed and then "THE BEAR BOX COVER" like a beacon it stood out .

Barb. told me she has cut down on ice consumption considerably. That the material she uses can be found as foil insulation at a place like Low's or OSH and other hardware stores.

If you frequent a campground you can pre-make one of these covers (most campgrounds offer the bear box size or you can call) or just bring duct tape and scissors and create one on the spot. I found that making it so that the piece that covers the doors works great if it can fold up and rest on the bear box doors when it opens. I used my car insulation just to give it a try and it was amazing how well it worked.

Barb. also said she likes using the marine coolers as they are best insulated and with her tips she can go days without buying new ice.

Thank you so much Barb. for such a wonderful idea. Your campsite was inspirational as you brought only what you needed but didn't skimp on style or comfort. Happy Camping !

And what do you think about this?

Aug 16, 2010

Camping AT D.L. Bliss

Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe California

D.L. Bliss Campground - Not all campsites are equal - Scroll down to see BEST sites
9881 HWY 89
Tahoma CA 96142

Click Here For State Park Link

Entrance of D.L. Bliss by Gary O'Toole

Location – Directions

17 miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89, a couple of miles north of Emerald Bay
Tahoma Latitude/Longitude: 38.9851 / -120.1304
Phone: 530-525-7277
Reservations: 800-444-7275 Click Here

Even though this park gets a 10 rating from most of the camping books, many campsites are on slops that are rocky or are small. I would rate this place a 5 or a 10 depending on where you’re parking your tent. I love the beach access at this park and a few nice sites sit facing the water. You pay extra for that though and no dogs on beach here, not even on leash. However early rise and sunset ball throw worked for us just fine. The beach is BEAUTIFUL and it’s the beach that makes this campground great. If you want to book a good site you will need to be on the ball and get it the day they open for sale, 7 months in advance on the first day of the month.
The sites I've chosen are based on SHADE, PRIVACY, NO BATHROOM LIGHT SHINNING IN YOUR TENT, SIZE and FLAT. Everyone has their own real estate requirements but I'm sure you will be happy with this review.

Bliss Water by Ruth Chase

BEST SITES                           Click Here For Campground Map
Beach Camp Loop:
148: Water side, shade & some privacy, near stairs & people traffic
151: Water side, view, smaller
153: Water side, space, odd shape
156: Water side, close to neighbors tent location
158: Water side
143, 162, 165, 164 all seem best for privacy, shade and flatter, may be close to group

Pros: The Beach loop is mostly great for being able to walk to the beach. Especially early mornings and night strolls it's nice to be so close. Most days we drive down and park the car early in the shade for our gear and dog who isn't permitted on the sand. I also like the water spigot in each campsite.
Cons: Small spaces packed in tight, best when your neighbors are friendly. Cost more to be at the beach. You do get a view but it's not an open shot of the water as the trees are dense between you and the view of the water. Parking allows two autos however they are tiny.

Morning Ball Throw by Ruth Chase
Other Loops: 
103: Spacious
105: Spacious
113: Interesting, large rock forms
10-12: Flat, shady, quiet, bigger, good to group together
17 & 19: Flat, shady, quiet, bigger, good to group together
24-25: Flat, shady, quiet, bigger, good for group, too close to bathroom light

Pros: Quieter camping away from the beach with access to beach by bike or short drive. Lower Pines loop is my favorite in terms of larger, flat sites and the most quiet as well.
Cons: Distance from beach

Trolly Ride by Ruth Chase
Drive-In Developed $35.00 $35.00
Group Developed $165.00 $165.00
(2 night maximum) Hike & Bike Special $7.00 $7.00
Lakefront Drive-In Premium $45.00 $45.00
If you cancel before 5:00 PM the day before your arrival date you will be refunded your purchase with a $7.50 charge for canceling.

Looking At YOU by Ruth Chase
Details and Fun Facts: The park is named for a pioneering lumberman, railroad owner, and banker of the region. The D.L. Bliss family donated 744 acres to the State Park system in 1929.
Metal bear-resistant food lockers are provided in each campsite. The inside dimensions of the food locker 36" deep, 43" wide, and 22" high.

Click Here To See Park Brochure
Chick Here To See Bear Information

Max Camper Length: 18 Feet

Max Trailer Length: 15 Feet
Each campsite is allowed one vehicle, one additional vehicles to be parked at campsite for $7 or $8. A parking area is available for any vehicles after three or more.


Balancing Rock Nature Trail: The Balancing Rock, "tons of granite resting precariously on a slender stone base", has long been a natural attraction on Lake Tahoe's western shore. Visitors to the Lake Tahoe area in the late 1800's and early 1900's enjoyed being photographed next to this geological marvel.
Today, the Balancing Rock is the feature attraction of a short, half mile self-guided nature trail in the northwest section of D.L. Bliss State Park. The granite of this large rock began weathering more rapidly at the joint plane, an extensive horizontal crack that is easily seen at its "waist".
The overlying rock weighs around 130 tons and is now balanced on the rock below. This precarious remnant of granite rock will eventually fall when enough material has eroded away to break the equilibrium between the two pedestals.
We had a blast riding the trolley from our campground to Camp Richard for the yummiest ice cream EVER!
Visitors can pick up a brochure at the start of the trail that describes 19 numbered markers, where you can stop and learn about the relationships between the soils, plants, and animals found in the park.

Riding The Trolly by Ruth Chase

Go to site to see images

Aug 8, 2010

WondaWedge IS Wonda Full

Is the WondaWedge Wonda Full?

PRODUCT: WondaWedge
CONTACT: wondawedge.com
PRICE: $24
SIZE: 1.3 lbs and about the size of two pillows together

PROS: Perfect size, not too big or small, easy to pack, comfortable with angle options, not expensive and I like my orange color. When deflated packs small.
CONS: Blow up is easy but you will need to blow it up

OVERALL: So I just came back from a beach camping trip. Every day we went to the beach and I was very happy to take the WondaWedge instead of a chair. It was so comfortable and I liked being able to rotate it to find the back support I wanted. I also used it in the tent to read in bed - totally FAB. If less is more is your style then taking a WondaWedge will be the perfect gear for you.


So much more to come, click here to see images