Category - hiking

Green falls is opened this year!!
Upgrade a Sawyer Mini filter.
Map page getting better!!
Self reliance skills
The quest for the perfect camp biscuit!
My day chasing DEEP Backpacking Camps
Nipmuck Trail Campsite
Knowlton Brook Campsite
General Lyons Shelter (Lean-to)
Dawley Pond Shelter (Lean-to)

Green falls is opened this year!!

July 4th 2016 marked the last operating day for some state run campgrounds in Connecticut, one of those being Green falls campground in Pachaug state forest.
Open space for saleThe closures were to save money for the states side of the operation costs of the parks ($18mil a year).
This year (2018) the State implemented the “Passport to the parks” fee on vehicle registration which means a $10 fee on the registration of a vehicle in CT and an extra $14 mil for the general fund slated for the state operated parks!

A few places in Connecticut bring memories of my childhood but Green falls is the place we went camping regularly. With our forest green canvas cabin tent that weighed, what felt like, 50 pounds and had gigantic aluminum poles all fit into an equally large canvas bag that smelled deliciously of oiled canvas and military surplus. We piled into the Zephyr and rolled into the camping area hoping to find a spot with regular success. now we use Reserve America to reserve spots!
I am a creature of tradition Bring your own kitchenand still to this day love Green falls for the amount to do and focus on nature. Unlike many campgrounds today Green Falls stays primitive with a maintained swimming area,  composting privies, and many miles of trails as their main offering.
April Friday the 13th 2018 we went to Green falls for opening day to celebrate a (once again available) tradition. The weather was slated to be the best yet this year and we wanted to take advantage of it!

Green fallsAll of the advantage of tailgate camping, seats, a full kitchen, roomy tents and air mattresses! We had all of the amenities and enjoyed them fully!
We had wood with us but, from the looks of things, the last few storms with the crazy winds we have had of late left us with quite a bit of trees that were cut up in preparation for opening day so there was plenty of wood laying around.
We had a wonderful fire and the nights got chilly! Thankfully we were prepared (for the most part) for that.

Green Falls Fire

To be sure we would stay prepared the girls wanted to make fires too… practice fires so practice size!

  • Cora's mini fire

After fire practice we did walk around the pond and the views were, as usual, fantastic..
view from Green falls Dam
From both sides of the fence apparently! =D

  • Girls on the wrong side of the fence Green Falls Dam

It all ended in a Dance party.. It was a great time, I am glad to see that the state saw fit to find a way to open the park again!

Upgrade a Sawyer Mini filter.

I made video on a gear upgrade I really enjoy. This video adds a gravity option for the Sawyer Mini squeeze that I got a couple years ago. I didn’t like having to rely on the water bags that are difficult to fill and are notorious for delaminating which leads to leaks and such so I looked at other options and decided on an easy upgrade for my existing filter.
The stuff I got to upgrade it are;
Platypus Big Zip 3l
Sawyer fast fill adapter kit X2
Some zip ties
The rest is just simply plug and play. Here is the build video. Give it a gander!

Self reliance skills

I have taken some time recently for researching and to bring my daughter up on self reliance skills, how too’s and whatnot. Can you build a fire with your surroundings or a firesteel?

Cora Trimming Fatwood

Cora Trimming Fatwood

Cora and I have been working on gathering and using different fire starting methods to bolster our self reliance in the event that we get stuck somewhere.
Fatwood, lighterwood, or whatever you call it regionally, is resin impregnated wood found in pine hearts, or downed stumps.
We played with fatwood this weekend! Cora used fatwood and a striker to start the fire for my birthday gathering and she did a good job doing so with minor coaching. I should mention that it had rained for 3 days and everything she is working with is wet or green.

She was there for everything from finding the fatwood to processing it, right to the actual fire itself! Very proud, the girl has some stick-to-it ethics!

The quest for the perfect camp biscuit!

I was on a search for a way to make a biscuit while backpacking. I have seen many ways of baking but most used expensive pots or combinations of expensive pots to dry bake there food. I want to use what I have until I can get better and more updated gear.

To skip to the meat of it, scroll down.
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My day chasing DEEP Backpacking Camps

My day chasing around DEEP backpacking camps. You may know, or not, that I am cataloging the all of the trails in connecticut and the shelters/camping areas open to backpacking or free use.
I am moving right along with some of it and had a wonderful day outside doing just that!
Here are the pictures of today along the Nipmuck trail! I only found one tick and he died from the permethrin on my boots!!

  • Morning Tea
  • Salamander
  • Flowers
  • General Lyons Fireplace
  • Ladies Room Rock
  • Me Knowlton Brook Campsite
  • Natchaug Trail Distance Sign
  • Nipmuck Trail Arrow Sign
  • Nipmuck Trail Sign
  • Reservations
  • Pixi Falls Sign
  • Rock Lean-to Nipmuck Trail
  • Root Den
  • RT 74 Nipmuck Trail Bridge
  • RT 74 Nipmuck Trail Bridge
  • Pixie Falls
  • only one tick

Nipmuck Trail Campsite

The Nipmuck Trail campsite provides plenty of room to put a few tents and has 2 fire pits as well, though only one looks to be routinely used. There is a nearby stream that looks like it would provide water year round.
The walk down to the Pixie falls it lovely and the shade provided by the trees and the cool running water should provide some relief from the heat in the summer, be sure to check it out on the way by.


Knowlton Brook Campsite

Near a half a mile off of route 74 is the Knowlton Brook campsite. it is unremarkable in amenities but packed full of atmosphere! the fire ring is roughly 10′ away from the brook itself and there is room for a couple smaller tents.
The brook should provide year round water and during the summer the swampy areas surrounding it should dry up some. I would still recommend bug spray and boiling/filtering your water.
Bring your poles, there are native trout in that brook!


General Lyons Shelter (Lean-to)

Settled about 1/10 of a mile from the parking area for General Lyons historic site. This shelter has access to water from a running brook close to the shelter or a well pump in the historic site. There is a fire ring which should be used with caution as to the dry grasses and under brush close by. The shelter is in good repair and has a picnic table available.


Dawley Pond Shelter (Lean-to)

This shelter is located on the Pachaug Trail at Great Meadow Brook Pond. This shelters seems to be heavily visited by locals and was not in the best repair when we stayed there. The site was littered but was easy to clean up.
The view and sound, being next to the pond, were fantastic. I don’t know if there are many camping spots that rival it. Remember to bring your bug spray!
The pond should provide a year round water source but as always be sure to boil or filter your collected water.


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