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October 24-25 at Johnson’s Shut-Ins

We took a short trip to Johnson’s Shut-Ins again, and camped one night.  We stayed at the same ADA-accessible walk-in site as we used before.  It was just too cold and rainy to stay two nights like we had planned, but the major complication was that the camp stores weren’t open, and we had forgotten something simple – tools for flipping our planned pancakes and hamburgers.  Plus, we seem to be terrible at starting campfires.

We did end up purchasing a propane stove, though.

I wasn’t impressed by it – the first time we used it, the grate got so hot it was glowing red, which may have been due to it being turned up too high, but it was disconcerting.

For our new camping adventures, we got a new tent!

This thing is awesome.  It’s an Ozark Trail 18×10 tent with integrated LED lights in the top support bars.  It takes 4 D batteries, and we were able to leave the light on for almost 14 hours without any problems. No way would we do that during the summer, though – the bugs would flock to our tent and we would be miserable.

The packaging says “2 minute setup” – not so much, it took us about 20 minutes with the husband and the 15-year-old working on it.  It took us a while to get the rain fly on, because the tent is tall – you can easily walk around inside without having to duck down, even in the corners.  We’re kind of dense, and set it up backwards, so that the D-shaped door was our entry and we couldn’t get to the part with the screen and awning due to the way the pad is aligned at the site we were at.

We also got new cots to sleep on, because we decided that the husband and I are too old for sleeping on the ground.


For each kid, we got these simple Coleman Trailhead cots.  They come with the attached organizer, which is great because both kids wear glasses and need a place to put them.
For me and the husband, we got these Teton Sports cots.  Mine is the XXL because I’m large, and for him, we got the next-smaller model.


This thing is huge – 40×85 inches (hubby’s is 32×85).  Bigger than a twin-sized bed!  It was a major pain in the butt to set up, but this is the truth for all of the cots we got.  Those end bars are horrible.

They don’t have attached organizers like the ones for the kids, so we grabbed these to help out:

They didn’t have an instructions for attaching them to the cots, so we had a little trouble getting them hooked on, but finally figured it out.  (It was cold, we were tired… we weren’t thinking as clearly as we would’ve been otherwise!)

Overall, the scenery at the Shut-Ins is gorgeous, but going in late October isn’t the best idea.  The campground is deserted and the camp store isn’t open the posted hours, so it’s not great if you’ve forgotten something!  We had to get fire wood at a gas station, and it wasn’t even really fire wood.  It looked like cut up 2x4s and there were nails in two of the boards.
BUT, we had fun.  Especially the boy.


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