camping

The Weekend Edition: Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach: home to the iconic Haystack Rock, and one of our nation’s most spectacular shores. It’s two hours from Portland, and you should be there right now.

Along with these pretty pictures comes the sad story of how I royally ruined a to-be camping trip by not making campsite reservations in advance. What was going to be a sunset on the beach and s’mores roasting over beach-side driftwood became, instead, a late-night rush to find a motel because there was no (legal) place to pitch a tent. After getting the boot by one Wright’s for Camping, which had promised to hold us a last-minute spot (do not go there), the lady and I decided to call it and were lucky enough to snag a discount rate at the McBee Cottages, where we slept soundly just a block from the beach. Bonus: they are pet friendly if your furry friend is taking a weekend trip with you!

Pro tip: finding a place to camp on the North end of the coast is hard! Most of the campsites that are actually on the beach are closed due to the dangers of old-growth trees falling down and injuring campers. We had planned to stay at Nehalem Bay, and then tried Camp Lookout after driving up to a full campground. No such luck. Everything was full, save for the RV parks–yeah, not happening. Take my word for it and make your reservations.

Nevertheless, waking up right in Cannon Beach was a surprise treat for these campers who were ready to rough it, and we spent the rest of the day exploring this and Smuggler’s Cove (located in Oswald West State Park, just a bit south of Cannon Beach), which has a plethora of hiking trails surrounding the beach. It might just be my favorite west coast sun spot. Here, take a look!

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It’s the Great Outdoors

Things to do in your lifetime #594: Go camping.

Boulder Lake, Oregon is one of the best places I’ve ever camped–and I say this after spending the entire night and day fending off a steady freezing rain. But look, how could you not like this?

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Rule #1 of camping is that you must have a dog. Dogs provide security, fun, and general adorableness. That’s Seven down there, lounging about!

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Rule #2 of camping is that you must have good food. Hearty and delicious food will keep you warm and fend off the low blood sugar grumps on your extreme hikes and other explorations around the campsite. Seriously, load up. Some vegan camping fodder I live by are KIND bars (almond coconut, specifically), PB&jelly sandwiches, and any of the vegan fare from Backpacker’s Pantry. I sampled the Katmandu Curry this trip, which was delectable and oh-so-easy to make. Just add boiling water, let it sit, and fuel up! This one was filled with veggies, rice, some potatoes, and mouth-watering spices.

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Rule #3 of camping is to be spontaneous and have fun. As my friend Ashley demonstrates, this might mean hopping in an inflatable raft and using a cutting board to tour the lake even though it is raining and cold. This was one of those moments in my life where I realized that keeping a smile on your face and having some fantastic friends makes life joyful.

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Rule #4 of camping is that you must always, without exception, have ‘smores and a roarin’ campfire. Be sure to get enough firewood right off the bat so you don’t have to go trekking around in the dark looking for dry branches. This, and the tarp that my friends and I ingeniously tethered to the trees above our heads, provided a pretty comfy shelter.

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I had to bite the bullet after this trip and get a seriously warm sleeping bag for myself. My criteria were for it to be cheap, synthetic (no down feathers here, please), cute, and lightweight. After some contemplation at REI, I settled on the Marmot Sunset 20. Weighing in at just 3 lbs 9 oz, rated at 23 F, and cute to boot, I can’t wait to break it in!

Until the next camping trip!