Building our Campsite / Overland Destination – Evening of Day 1

We accomplished a lot on Day 1. Most of the stumps were removed. The brush and logs that were left from the last trip were cut up and pushed into piles on the side of the property. I also was able to start cutting some of the unhealthy trees on the perimeter.

The brush piles are good for the wildlife. They provide shelter for birds like grouse. They also provide places for a momma deer to stash a young fawn while she feeds else where. My wife was pulling brush into a pile (on the previous trip) and suddenly realized the was a fawn tucked away just a few feet from where she was working. We had been working in the area all day and the fawn had been there. We didn’t realize it until Connie saw it.

Tommy (with Bluff Mountain Nursery) started pulling stumps at the bottom and worked his way up the hill
Tommy is working his way up the hill.
Some of the stumps were easier to get out than others. There are 58 stumps to remove
The apple tree in the middle of the property had a bunch of apples on it

The apple tree in the middle of the campsite has been a subject of much discussion. The tree has struggled to survive under a canopy of faster growing Ash and Poplar trees. We cleared the trees that shaded the apple tree earlier in the year. The apple tree has put on a bunch of new growth with the extra sunlight hitting it.

The challenge is that the apple tree is in a spot that it is exposed to vehicular damage so we had to adjust the plans for the driveway to protect the apple tree. When we discussed the tree as a family, the consensus was to cut it down. I was the lone hold out to keep the tree. We’ll need to top the tree next year to keep it healthy and trim away growth that isn’t good for the tree long term.

It is important to note that those green apples are sooooo sour that the deer are even reluctant to eat them. You’ll see an apple on the ground with a couple of bites missing, like the deer tried it and walked away. They are cooking apples, just way too sour to do anything else with.

The saga of the apple tree continues, well see how it goes.

Building our Campsite / Overland Destination – Morning of Day 1

We’re working on the campground. Join us to see how it looks before the heavy equipment arrives.

Where we started. Thanks John Burwell for mowing the grass and cleaning the shoots off the stumps so we could see where they were. That made things to quicker.
Lot of stumps to remove before the new water lines can go in.
The teardrop is so handy for trips like this.
Cool picnic table provided by John Burwell!

Carvers Gap to Roan High Knob

The trails around Carver’s Gap and Roan Mountain are extremely popular and with good reason. It is an easy hike to the Knob and the view is outstanding. Just be prepared to have to work hard to find a place to park. You can also check off your bucket list item of walking on the Appalachian Trail as you are walking to the knob.

The trail is an easy hike and fairly gradual to the top. The trail is not technical.

Pictures tell the tale.

Parking is a mess, just give yourself time to find a spot

Read Family Camping Book for Free

2020 has been a crazy year. Despite the Covid-19 stuff, Connie and I have still managed to safely go camping and 4wheeling. If you want to find out more about how to go camping (and take your family) then you can read my first book on camping for free at http://montie.com/book/. Many of the topics in the book also apply to overlanding and glamping.

If you just want something to remind you of better days to come, then maybe a free book about fun stuff will be just the ticket. If you want a Kindle or paperback version, then please visit here.

When we go camping, we take measures to be socially distant and avoid exposure to the Covid-19 virus. If you want ideas on how to do that, then visit an earlier blog post.

Fred Behrend Trail at Roan Mountain State Park, TN

Roan Mountain State Park and the surrounding area has great hiking. The hike along the Appalachian Trail where it passes through Carver’s Gap is a must do hike. It is an easy hike and the views are spectacular.

This year we camped at the Roan Mountain State Park with friends. The whole Covid-19 mess meant that we had to practice social distancing, even with our friends.

On Saturday, my wife wanted to take a nap so I had a hour or so to go for a quick hike. The trail head for the Fred Behrend Trail was only about a 5 minute walk from my campsite, so I decided to do a quick hike. Click Here for the trail map.

The Fred Behrend Trail is 2.35 miles. Instead of looping back to the campsite on the Fred Behrend trail, I picked up the Riverside Trail (.35 miles plus the .35 mile hike back through the facility). The Fred Behrend Trail, has one main climb and a couple of short climbs. The trail is wooded and there are a lot of opportunities to see wild life. It was a nice hike and workout.

One note, is that the trail has several areas look like they will stay wet a lot of the year. This leads to some surprisingly slick rocks in a few spots. Just something to keep in mind. This is a nice trail for a quick hike. Because of the climbs, there is a moderate amount of effort, but the trail would still be fine for an active family.

The Roan Mountain State Park facility has a lot to offer. We had a great time.

Powering a Propane Shower Using Your Car Battery

Thanks for following our outdoor adventures!

We just got back from a great week long trip to the Western North Carolina mountains. We camped up at 4000 feet of elevation near Hot Springs, NC. Because we were going to be gone for a week, we took our big tent. That was a lot more comfortable for an extended period, especially with the dog. She takes up a lot of space in the teardrop.

Having a big tent gives room to relax and come in out of the rain

Since we wouldn’t have the teardrop, we had to use an alternate way to power the 12 Vdc pump for the shower. So we used the battery on the 4Runner, which works great. The 4Runner battery has plenty of capacity to run the 10 amp shower pump for the short amount of time needed to take a shower.

Taking a shower in the evenings is a great way to feel refreshed before going to bed. Its really not an option when backpacking, but a nice perk when car camping / glamping or overlanding.

I’ll also show you a simple DIY sink and countertop setup and storage box that works great if you have the room to haul it around or have a place where you can leave it permanently. We leave it at our permanent camping location and use it again and again. You could use this type of sink setup for a glamping trip as well, but you would have to haul it to your camp site. It might work well for a large gathering where you need a good way to wash dishes for a larger group.

Using a water jug like this makes it super easy for everyone to wash hands. That is very handy!

Our storage box setup is great for extra supplies and for storing higher value items when you leave the campsite.

Our 4Runner battery worked great for powering our portable shower

Reminder, always be aware of wildlife around you. I was standing near some tall grass and this guy slithered right by me and set up to sun himself on that log.

We found out that we had a leak in our tent roof, after many years of reliable service. Or quick fix was to use tarps to cover the top of the tent and make it through the week without any more leaks.

As usual, my wife cooked some great meals! Makes the whole trip better.

Should You Wear a Mask – The Science Behind Why You Should

There is so much misunderstanding and misinformation about this subject. So I break down my understanding of why you should wear a mask. It is longer than I intended, but hopefully it is simply stated and makes a good argument for why masks should be worn.

If you physically cant wear a mask (small percentage of the population), that is ok, we just need to get everyone else wearing a mask so we can beat this virus and go one with our lives, liberty and prosperity.

You can listen to the podcast or on Youtube (below).