It’s proven.Â Brandon and I can definitely survive in the wild…with proper gears, that is.
We have figured out that a cure for my wonderlust and his breaking out of the gaming rut is camping.
So we have been buying up gears from REI so we need to test them–and our skills–out somewhere safe.Â Somewhere we can pack up and run home to if anything goes wrong.Â So I snagged us one last spot of car camping at San Onofre San Mateo campground for Friday and Friday night.
Friday morning, we woke up on our own sweet time, stopped to buy more gears and lunch, then hit the road.
And of course, my first question when Brandon was packing the gears into the car, “Honey, where are my pans?”
Brandon had bought a set of non-stick camp cooking set. And I had all the intentions to make us hot breakfast the next morning.
As a good little Hobbit should.Â LOL.
It was really sad that the hardest part of this entire camping trip is the drive down to San Onofre.Â Holy Long Weekend Gridlock, batman!Â It took us almost 2 hours just to get one exit south of San Clamente.Â Criminy!
San Onofre San Mateo campground is very plush.Â Flushing bathrooms–clean and well-stocked with paper too!Â Quarter-operated hot shower.Â Convenience water tap.Â Nice and high firepit.Â Conveniently planted bushes to give you a bit of privacy from your neighbors.
However, I still hate car camping.Â Given that my past experience camping with the ex-boyfriend was all car camping plus some other kind of disaster or the other, this trip was 200% better.
This time, we were well prepared for the cold with 20F sleeping bag. Unlike that one night in Baldy in NOVEMBER with no firewood, tent, or proper sleeping bags or clothing for very low temperature. We ended up sleeping inside my Acura with the car running until the park ranger told us to shut the engine off.
This time, we had our fabulous tent that is airy without the cover and cozy once the cover goes on.Â Plus self-inflating sleeping pads to keep us off the hot and rocky ground.Â Unlike the one night at Lake Casitas up in Ojai where we had no tent to shield ourselves from the ashes or the neighbors, nor the padding underneath our bodies.
Finally, unlike the one day in July bouldering in Joshua Tree (see the trend here?) with not enough water which I subsequently suffered a mild heatstroke, this time Brandon made damn sure I drank a lot of water as we hiked 1.5 miles to Trestles Beach later in the afternoon.
Dinner was an experiment for us that evening.Â To the tunes of classic rocks, no leess.Â One of the neighbors were blasting their iPod, however, it was good music.Â Eagles. AC/DC. And eventually, a Journey medley.Â Anyways.Â Since we were literally a spit away from Marine Corp. property, Brandon thought I should try out the MRE.Â So we did.Â The spaghetti and meat sauce actually was quite decent.Â Thank GOD for whoever decided to throw a bitty bottle of Tobasco in the meal kit.Â The cheese spread? Gross.Â And the peanut butter cracker has been in the car so long it tasted like the car.Â The hot chocolate also hit the spot.
I seriously have a new respect for our soldiers now. Seriously though, can’t y’all make the food taste a little better for the troops?
Then we started in on the Mountain House camping (and emergency) foods.Â Add boiling water and voila!Â And OH MY GOD was there food good!Â We cooked up the grean peas which I dressed with a little bit of olive oil and a pinch of Paula Deen’s House Seasoning (aka salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder).Â (And yes…I packed my spices and EVOO…)Â Then a bag of sweet and sour pork and rice.Â The pork still tasted very much like pork.Â It smelled a little funny at first whiff but it was delicious.Â Perfect meal in the wild, I tell you.
We sat by the fire for a while before retired to the tent.Â Having a family laughing to the left and Bob Marley blaring to the right didn’t make for a good falling asleep period.Â But after that, with the sound of the freeway as my lullaby, I slept soundly in my 20F sleeping bag…a little toastier than I thought I need, but it was sooo comfy.
However, the best meal yet was the fresh omelet I made the next morning, washed down with a big cup of instant hot milk tea mix. (Will link to the food blog entry soon.) Yum-my!
We are looking forward to camp in the wild next time, renting packs from REI and hiked somewhere remote.Â Someday soon.