Hooper Bald 5,450' (One of the highest points in the Nantahala National Forest, N.C. 2008....Car camping at it's finest!
I tell ya, I truly enjoy camping. Now, there are different types of camping so let's get that straight right off the bat. There is rv camping where you've got a 5th wheel trailer with a/c and all the creature comforts you could imagine...just that you're parked in the woods and enjoying the surroundings and day hikes. Then there is pop-up camping where you've got a little pop-up camper that is pulled behind the car. It doesn't have as many creature comforts as the rv, but the idea is the same...campground, in the woods, still really fun stuff. Car camping is the next lowest level. This is where you pack all your gear, tents, food, sleeping bags, wood and other items, go to a campground or just find a place deep in the woods along an old logging trail and create a campsite right there. You don't have to lug anything, just dump it out, use it for a few days and plop it back into the car / truck and go home. Lots of fun and you can go to many sites that are not just in a campground which gives you a little more freedom from people and a little more exposure to the wild. Make sure you've got the right temperature sleeping bag and the right tent. Some are summer tents and are full of screen. These are not good in the winter or even late fall or early spring. The next level down is backpacking. This is when you strap everything you're taking to a frame-backpack, go to a trailhead and start lugging both you and your gear into the backwoods however many miles you're going to go to camp. This is probably the least used option for campers since it's the most difficult along with the fact that not everyone has the proper gear to make this type of camping trip. Once you do though, it's a great way to get as close to nature as you can. Truly nobody around for miles and you get a great feeling of being one with nature.
I enjoy car camping a bunch and I have a place along the Cherohala Skyway that runs from Tellico Plains, TN into Robbinsville, NC. I won't share exactly where it is, but I can tell you that it's at the top of the highest peaks. Actually, there are numerous spots up along that road as well as campgrounds like Indian Boundary. Cool, crisp air all year long and the hikes are the best bang for the buck with outstanding 360 deg. views and wonderful heath balds that are dotted throughout the area. I also like to backpack, and for those hikes I enjoy going into the national forests since there are less regulations for hikers there than there are in the National Parks. The Nantahala, Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests are great for these types of hikes.
Enjoy nature, go camping!
You and Johnny are about the most campingest fools I've ever known. You live in the suburbs and there's a campfire pit right outside the back door. Johnny still lives by the lake in upstate NY and has a campfire every night regardless of 70mph winds and bitter cold and snow. Go inside! We got past this about 2 billion years ago!!
AHA I knew my name would come in one of your stories. as for camping a have some advice. don't ever pack fresh grown hot peppers in your pack and touch one with your bare hands and then rub your eyes out in the middle of nowhere. mother nature has no mercy to help you. this happened to Julie.
Now I think what we should do is send out an email to Carole and Bruce, Tammy and the kids, David, Sally Jo, Tyler and Natalie and go CAMPING!!!!
If anyone else would like to come, well lets set the destination and go!
Good story, Justin. I really enjoyed it. Now it's time to search for a tale or two about my camping experiences.