Preparing for Our Wilderness Adventure

@moffittjc (41209)
Gainesville, Florida
March 19, 2016 9:22am CST
For my son's birthday, I had originally planned to take him camping for a night, most likely in a campground in a state park. But then he told me he wanted to go primitive camping, so I searched and found three state parks in our region that allow primitive camping. However, after contacting all three, they were not currently allowing primitive camping due to controlled burns taking place in and around the parks. So I started doing some research on a national forest nearby, and it turns out that you can camp anywhere you want to in the forest! Luckily, I had the day off from work yesterday, so I drove down to one of the ranger stations in the forest and spoke to one of the rangers and let her know what I was planning. She made a recommendation to hike to and camp in a protected wilderness area, and said it was one of her most favorite parts of the forest! I was able to secure a couple of extra days off from work, and since my son is on spring break next week, we can now turn our 1-day camping trip into a 3-day trip. So I will be spending the day today getting all of our gear packed up and ready to go. The bonus is that we have a cold front coming through today, so it will be absolutely beautiful (and much cooler) over the next 3-4 days! What do you guys have planned for the weekend?
14 people like this
12 responses
• United States
19 Mar 16
Wait, before I answer your question, I have one of my own. A cold front is coming through? Are you sure you will be safe??? Now, I have zero real plans, but will join new friends to play bocce in the park on Sunday.
6 people like this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
The cold front started coming through the area yesterday, bringing lots of clouds and a little bit of rain. It is expected to push through by the afternoon today. The timing was perfect for two reasons: one, I really didn't look forward to camping in the heat and humidity that we were experiencing just a few days ago; and two, the rain will reduce any fire danger. We'll be safe. It will be absolutely perfect for camping. The only adjustment I had to make was adding warmer clothes to our packs.
4 people like this
• United States
19 Mar 16
@moffittjc Good, because you often hear about people getting lost or trapped when a cold front moved through an area.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
@ElizabethWallace I have made preparatory precautions just for that scenario, even though I think we will be okay. First, we will be camping off of a well-marked hiking trail. Second, the rangers already know where we will be camping due to our conversations. Third, I wrote down the phone number of the ranger station, and the cell phone number of the park ranger I spoke to. Fourth, I bought a waterproof map of the forest. Although the forest is 400,000 acres in size, there is a grid of small forest roads and trails throughout, that as long as we can get to one of the roads, we'll be okay, since the forest rangers patrol routinely through the forest.
3 people like this
@just4him (109944)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
20 Mar 16
I hope you have fun on your camping trip. I don't have any exciting plans in the near or distant future.
4 people like this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
20 Mar 16
We'll be in bear country, so I hope we don't have any issues with bears!
4 people like this
@just4him (109944)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
20 Mar 16
@moffittjc I hope not too.
3 people like this
@Marcyaz (35756)
• United States
19 Mar 16
That sounds like something your son and you will enjoy doing. My plans I think are cancelled because of the weather I can't believe that it snowed overnight, dang and here I thought spring was on the way but instead winter has raised its head again.
4 people like this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
It's been really hot here in Florida for the past two weeks, and everyone was saying that winter was over and that warm summer weather was here to stay. I didn't agree. We always get one or two cold fronts that come through in the spring time and cool us back off after a bout of warm weather. I even remember a couple of cold fronts pushing through Florida in May!
3 people like this
• United States
19 Mar 16
Sounds like a great adventure for you and your son as well as a bonding experience. Have fun!!
2 people like this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
We're really looking forward to it! We've got most of our packing done, and we expect to get an early start tomorrow morning. I probably won't be able to sleep tonight because I'll be so excited about the trip!
• United States
25 Mar 16
What a fantastic thing to do for your son's birthday! How primitive are you getting? Obviously you are taking warm clothes and bedding, but are you taking a tent as well or will you make your own shelter? Is that even allowed in the forest?
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
26 Mar 16
We had to carry everything (food, water, shelter, clothes) in our backpacks. We did not bring tents, we slept in hammocks. The total distance we covered was 30.5 miles. We did not bring enough warm clothing, as a surprise cold front caught us off guard. Thank goodness for campfires, or else we would have certainly suffered from hypothermia.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 16
@moffittjc Wow, that is a substantial hike! Did you take enough food for the entire trip or did you forage for some? It was cold at night, but at least were the days nice? Most importantly, did you and your son have a good time?
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 16
@moffittjc So it sounds like other than freezing at night, you and your son had a great time! How old is your son?
1 person likes this
@VivaLaDani13 (17736)
• Perth, Australia
2 May 16
Have you ever had any disasters when going camping?
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
3 May 16
Yes, a major one when I was 18, and was the lead raft on a 50-mile (80-km) whitewater rafting adventure with about 10 other rafts. Just as it was nearing dark, we hit some major rapids and 9 out of the 10 rafts flipped. It was nearly impossible to see all the people that got thrown into the water due to the darkness. I was in the one raft that didn't capsize, so my group and I had to scramble to call for help. Being that we were in the middle of nowhere, and couldn't find the slightest signs of civilization for miles, it took us over an hour to find a way to call for help. They ended up calling the National Guard (army) to coordinate the rescue. Overall, about 50 people had to be rescued from the frigid waters. All were hospitalized with hypothermia, but luckily not fatalities. Scariest adventure of my life.
1 person likes this
• Perth, Australia
3 May 16
@moffittjc Oh my goodness! I am so relieved that everyone was alright in the end. Being lost, in the dark and the water is just a creepy combo!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
3 May 16
@VivaLaDani13 It was especially terrifying that it was extremely fast-moving whitewater! Some of the people that were rescued were found more than 10 miles away due to the fast-moving current.
1 person likes this
@quantum2020 (8720)
• Ciudad De Mexico, Mexico
2 Apr 16
I like camping. I have a property in the rural area and I go there whenever I can: there is mountains and wildlife. There is also a water well where I can get the water I need. This weekend I won´t go camping; instead I will spend the weekend participating on Mylot. Probably I will be able to enjoy sme days camping in the next month. Hope you enjoy your camping weekend!
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
2 Apr 16
Camping in the mountains is so much fun! I once went on a 7-day backpacking adventure in the mountains, and it was one of the best experiences I ever had in my life!
1 person likes this
• Ciudad De Mexico, Mexico
2 Apr 16
@moffittjc That is right! The mountains and view of the landscape is very rewarding,
@JudyEv (118657)
• Bunbury, Australia
20 Mar 16
What a wonderful opportunity. Hopefully you'll have a great time and get some nice photos. Do you drive to a parking spot then hike a bit further to set up your camp?
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
20 Mar 16
Yes. There are unpaved forest roads that will take us back into the wilderness area to a trailhead. We'll have to park at the trailhead and then hike about five miles (8 kilometers) to the small pond where we plan to camp.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (118657)
• Bunbury, Australia
20 Mar 16
@moffittjc That sounds so much fun. I hope you both have a great time. Should be lots of material for posts when you return.
1 person likes this
@gudheart (12755)
30 Mar 16
I just spent time with family while the weather was bad we had to stay in doors. Much rather have a wilderness adventure though!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
2 Apr 16
Was it the stress of being stuck with family, or the stress of being stuck indoors? lol I've had situations like that. I'll take the wilderness adventure every time!
@garymarsh6 (13202)
• United Kingdom
19 Mar 16
We have the grand children staying for the night and I am going to be packing for my trip to NY
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
I spent all afternoon trying to pack my backpack for our hiking/camping trip. I am struggling to get everything I need in my pack. I guess I'll continue to work on it again tonight after I get home from work.
@Corbin5 (99840)
• United States
19 Mar 16
Sounds like you found the perfect spot! I have never been camping, but know you two will have the best time!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41209)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
Well, at least on the map we found a perfect spot! We'll have to see what it looks like once we get to the area!
@cacay1 (32537)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
28 Mar 16
You're a nice dad.I hoped all went well during that celebration.
1 person likes this