Top Five Friday : Camping Edition

Happy Friday everyone!  Today I have a special Top Five post to share with you- all about my camping trip.  As I mentioned yesterday, I went camping for the first time during the long Labor Day weekend.  It was so much fun that I knew I wanted to share about it!

The People

The best part of this entire weekend was getting to see one of my best and oldest friend- my college roommate who I met in college.  We've travel around the world together (after college we went on a trip to Europe where we visited Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Czech Republic), and I got to visit her on adventures that took her all over the place (she lived in Mallorca as an English tutor, then moved to Chicago for grad school).  She lives in Indiana with her boyfriend now and it's been such a long time since I've seen her, so it was amazing to spend the weekend with her.

Her brother and his girlfriend also came along, and as it turned out his girlfriend works at the same company as me!  I immediately clicked with her, and we already have plans to get together.  The six of us had such a blast, and it was fun to be with a group of people that have such different jobs (we have an architect, engineer, ABA therapist, college counselor, and two digital bankers), but we all share a love of adventure and having a good time!

The Site

Our fearless leader picked a location that was halfway between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, and settled on Columbus.  Just southwest of the city in the town of Hillsboro is Rocky Fork State Park, which features a huge lake, two hiking trails, camp grounds, and acres of land. 

We stayed in the tent camping area, which had a picnic table, fire ring, and that's it!  Luckily for us, the campsite also had bathrooms and running water, so we weren't really "roughing it", but still got to enjoy the great outdoors.

The Food

One of the best parts of camping is making different food, right?!  We all brought different categories of food to make it easier, and ended up having a feast every night.  I was responsible for veggies and meat substitutes (tofu and Smart Dogs), while others brought fruit, bread, eggs, and meats.

For dinner, we would have mixed vegetables cooked in a foil packet, grilled hot dogs, and lots of junk food like chips and popcorn.  For dessert we would have s'mores (of course), and mountain pies!  If you haven't had one, you just make a sandwich (in my case I liked Nutella and marshmallows on white bread), add it to a cast-iron sandwich maker, and cook it over the coals.  When the "pie" is done, you just open up the iron and your sandwich is perfectly crispy and the insides are melty.  Amazing!!

The Activities

We definitely spent a lot of time hanging around the campsite and catching up, playing games, and just having fun, but we also took advantage of some of the activities offered at the camp ground.  Kayaks were available to rent, so we took them out on the huge lake and spent a few hours out there. 

We also played volleyball, frisbee golf and basketball (which you could rent from the park office).  There are two hiking trails on the property, and we went on the longer one (which is about a mile loop).

The Products

Here are a few of the products that I tried out on the trip, with mini reviews:

Tent - Since this was my first camping trip, it was also the first time I put up a tent!  This one was so easy to assemble (I was even able to do it myself).  It kept us dry the entire weekend as well!  What more do you need from a tent?!

Sleeping Bags - These definitely kept us warm (even though it never got too cold at night), but I wouldn't say they were the most comfortable sleeping bags ever.  I think that I would have preferred one with a softer lining (this one was all polyester), but it did its job.

Cooler - I packed all of our food in this cooler, and used an ice pack I saved from an old Blue Apron delivery, and all of my food stayed cold the entire weekend!  I like the fact that there are wheels and a handle, but would have liked a drain hole as well.

Chairs - We picked these up at Cabela's on our way to camping and I loved them! Everyone ended up sitting in them because they're so comfortable.  I love how the chair has a strap in case you don't want to bring along the bag that they come in, and they lock in place so you'll never fall out.  They also have two cup holders, with one being a little bit wider so cups of any size fit!

Have you gone camping before?
What's your favorite grilled/fire-roasted food?  Mountain pies or corn!


  1. I love camping! Coffee tastes better from a percolator over a campfire. I can't stand sleeping bags with polyester lining -- it took awhile but I finally found a North Face sleeping bag for shorter folks that has a cotton flannel liner - worth every penny.

  2. Took a look at the tent you used - we need a smaller one for backpacking. If we drive up to a campsite we take our HUGE 4 person tent & blow up an air mattress, but it's really heavy for backpacking. That REI one is a great deal!

  3. That looks like a blast! We are planning to go camping soon, can't wait! :)

  4. It looks amazing! I love to go for a camps, too, but I'm not very big fan of traveling with only tents. I mean, rest few days at a campsite - great. Go thousands of miles with huge rucksack back on your shoulders - naaay. Anyways, being in the wild is cool. I even wrote of my latest reviews about camping.


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