Last weekend I spent another night at the Ottawa Lake Campground. You may be wondering “Why don’t you go to another site?” Well, Ottawa Lake is the only winter campsite in the Kettle Moraine-Southern Unit, which is 25 minutes from my house. Pretty convenient.
I arrived on Saturday early afternoon and looked for a campsite. First learning experience: should have brought a snow shovel. There were very few sites plowed. And the one’s that were plowed had reservation tags (more on that in a bit). I finally settled on the one below:
The snow was about 6″ deep so I had to clear a space for my tent, chair, and a space on at least one side of the picnic bench (for cooking). I also had to park at the edge of the campsite, which meant I had to lug my stuff a fair distance. Here’s what It looked like after I finished:
After getting everything settled, I took my usual 40-minute walk around the campsite. Turned out I was one of only 2 campers in the campground ao all the reservation receipts were old, which means I could have had a much better site. I decided this was okay, as it gave me alot of experience for winter camping.
For dinner I could a curried veggie dish with some ham. It was really good and easy to prepare. I also used my new Stanley French Press for coffee. While it’s nice and makes a good cup of coffee, I believe I will stay with the pourover for overnight camping, as it is less cleanup. I’ll use the Stanley French Press for day hikes.
Another learning experience: need to bring a better firestarter. The firestick I used didn’t work well in the cold temps. And the matches I brought only worked on a regular striking surface. I will be purchasing some Strike anywhere matches and some other firestarting apparatus. My bic lighter did the job, but I need some secondary options.
I used my new sleeping equipment (10-degree sleeping bag, Coleman air mattress). They worked great and I slept well. Temperatures dipped into the high 30’a so I stayed warm. The tent also held up well to the evening snow.
The next morning I took another 40-minute stroll around the campground and prepared ham and eggs for breakfast. Good stuff!
All in all, it was an excellent trip. Last learning experience: I feel like I should camp am minumum two nights as one evening is alot of work considering the setup. I’ll have to think more about that. Below are the remaining pictures I took: