A few weeks ago, we enjoyed a short trip to Napa Valley and stayed in one of the large yurts in Bothe Napa Valley State Park.
Per Wikipedia: a yurt is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure comprises an angled assembly or latticework of pieces of wood or bamboo for walls, a door frame, ribs (poles, rafters), and a wheel (crown, compression ring) possibly steam-bent.
I don’t believe our yurt was covered in skins or felt, but rather in canvas. The lattice work was indeed a part of it, however, I don’t recall seeing a wheel.
The Yurt was large enough to fit six people with one full size bed and four cots. At night, it would get really chilly and dark (no electricity!) in the yurt, and during the day it’ll feel hot like a sauna. The sun will hit directly on your face around 6am forcing you to wake from your slumber; it was nature’s nice way of providing you an alarm clock.
We came to love our lil home for the past two days we were there. The only down side to it is that there are no keys given for each yurt. You can lock your door from inside the room before you sleep, but we couldn’t lock it from the outside to protect our personal belongings. So, I suggest not bringing anything of high value and leaving only minimal things in your yurt while everyone goes hiking, swimming, or wine tasting.
If I happen to be in the Napa area in the future, I would definitely like to stay in a yurt again.
So, as you know, we spent our Memorial Day weekend camping in Truckee, California. While planning it months before, we thought that it would be a great weekend to go camping. Since it’s in late May, we figured it would be Not too hot and Not too cold. Boy, were we wrong! It rained the entire weekend. We did have glimpses of the sun, and for one whole afternoon we were blessed with sunshine. However, hours later we had a torrential downpour. And at night, we were cold. Not bone-chilling cold but still pretty cold. Upon returning home, I did appreciate having a few items with me that helped make camping life easy. Here they are:
- Travel John. It’s basically a disposable urinal. You cup it below you and you pee into it. Immediately the liquid turns into gel, so nothing spills out. It claims to be re-usable…meaning you can use it more than one pee session, but I didn’t do that because I was worried my liquids would be too much and overflow. I rather not risk it. A pack came with six disposable urinals, so I had more than enough for three nights. The Travel John saved me from having to walk out in the rain to relieve myself in the port-a-potty. (The Travel John site.)
- Wipes. Bath Wipes, Hand Wipes, Face Wipes, and Flushable Wipes. They all came in handy and useful in keeping us clean. This was a must, considering we had no showers in our campground.
- HeadLamp. When the sun sets and darkness starts to loom around you, the headlamp was an awesome option for providing light. Its hands free so you can cook, wash dishes, and do anything else freely with your two hands.
- Self-inflating sleeping pads. Easy to set up and provides cushion for your back and insulation from the cold.
- Sleeping Bags. Keeps you warm in the cold.
- Tarp. Provides shade from sun and shelter from the rain. It can also be used underneath your tent so that the bottom doesn’t get soaked from the rain. Very multipurpose.
- Layers. Bring layers and a change of clothes. This helps you feel warmer and cleaner.
- FaceWash, Acne meds, and Moisturizer with SPF. I broke out on Day 2 of camping. Skincare is still important.
- Rain Gear. I had my snowboarding jacket which kept me warm and dry. I wish I had packed rain boots because I brought my Uggs wannabe shoes that kept me warm but they weren’t waterproof.
- First Aid Kit. A must especially if children are there.
- Carabiners. They are so useful for camping..to hang your lantern, to let your dog run freely, and other useful things.
- And hopefully your man brings the rest: Tent, Lantern, Camp Stove, Cooler, Lighter Fluid plus Lighter, Fire Starter, Cooking Supplies, Clean Up Supplies, Plates, Cups, Cutlery, Food, and Bug Spray.
We only camp once or twice a year, but it is a fun activity if you do it with the right group and with the right weather. Happy Camping!
We got back from a 3 night excursion at Loggerhead Campground in Truckee, CA. The campground was beautiful and vast. However, the weather wasn’t cooperative with us. I composed a little poem of my stay:
As we arrived in the dark, we pitched our tents in a hurry.
For the rain was pouring down…and it was quite scary.
We enjoyed the sun for a bit, but not the port-a-potty.
I didn’t see any bears or lions, but a rat in a scurry.
No shower was ok, but please don’t take my coffee away.
We drove to the city, to keep ourselves busy.
We stayed for three nights, and NO bug bites.
But on the fourth day, I left highly dismayed.