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Ideas needed for glamping trip

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neilends
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Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by neilends » Sep 12 2017 6:17 am

Yes, glamping. I'm a lifelong, second-generation hiker and outdoors-lover. But I married a girly girl who likes her spa days. When I first asked her if she'd ever been camping, she basically gave me a look of horror.

But in fairness to the wifey, she's now agreed to trust in me to drive my Jeep Wrangler to wherever I choose and let her experience an overnight camp for the first time in her life. My goal is obviously to pick a site and an experience that will keep her appetite up for doing this again. Some more details:

* I do have a Wrangler so I prefer to use that to find an isolated spot.
* We will car camp.
* We have to be no more than 1-2 hours from a civilized toilet.
* Amazing views from the campsite are what I'm going for.
* Open to literally anywhere in Arizona.

Any ideas are welcome!
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." --John Adams

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jacobemerick
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by jacobemerick » Sep 12 2017 8:48 am

Obligated to show off this awesome spot in the Mazzie Mountains: https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=16003

Although, really, any of @Grasshopper's camps seem to pretty on point: https://hikearizona.com/map.php?X=2655

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chumley
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by chumley » Sep 12 2017 9:12 am

@neilends
What timeframe are you looking at going?

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Grasshopper
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by Grasshopper » Sep 12 2017 9:17 am

jacobemerick wrote:Obligated to show off this awesome spot in the Mazzie Mountains: [ Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site ]
If you prefer to first introduce your wife to vehicle camping at a primitive campsite (ie- bring all your own camping stuff with no H2O, no toilets, no showers), then this Camp GH Mazatzal Campsite might be a better choice. There could be hunters camping in this area during the Sept-Nov week/weekend periods. Not really an issue of concern other than possibly not having the total privacy you would like with more limited camp spot locations on this FR3348.

If it were me easing my wife into wilderness vehicle camping for the first time, I would chose a Forest Service (full service) campsite with available pipe water, flush toilets, ~showers, and possible electric hookups.. there are a number of nice Reservation F/S Campsites on Hwy 260 East between Payson and Woods Canyon Lake (at Hwy 260/FR300) :)
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Dschur
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by Dschur » Sep 12 2017 12:16 pm

The State parks too have nice camping areas with showers and restrooms... to ease people into camping..
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neilends
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by neilends » Sep 12 2017 1:22 pm

Thank you all for the leads. I've been brainstorming for a while but hadn't gotten anywhere.
chumley wrote:@neilends
What timeframe are you looking at going?
Open question also but I'm thinking October-November. I still need time to accumulate equipment. All I've owned has been for solo backpacking trips I used to take in my 20s.
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." --John Adams

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Grasshopper
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by Grasshopper » Sep 12 2017 1:52 pm

@neilends
Some of what not to buy for an overnight vehicle camping trip:
https://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=662052 :D https://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=662065
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chumley
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by chumley » Sep 12 2017 2:00 pm

neilends wrote:October-November
This presents another thing to make sure you have covered ... temperature!

There is no way you will make an enjoyable overnight if she's cold! Car camping is great because you aren't too limited in the amount of blankets and clothes you can bring, so that can help.

Some others have recommended campgrounds as a first-run. Depending on your wife (and you) that might be the worst idea ever. If there's something that will make me never want to go camping again, it would be having an unpleasant experience in a campground -- and it's not too uncommon for that to happen! Other people are always a wildcard in the campground equation.

Note also that many of the campgrounds listed don't actually have running water or real bathrooms, though all have pit toilets. It's nice to have fire rings and picnic tables though.

As previously mentioned, fall features hunting in a lot of areas in the state. If you're out in the woods on opening weekend of elk season and you're not prepared for the onslaught of gunfire and hunters on quads, it can quickly ruin the weekend for even the most seasoned camper!

I'd go for a dispersed spot that is with a 5-10 minute drive of a campground or other developed area. It gives you access to relief if needed.

The catch for anything above 6000 feet in October is it's not unusual for temps to drop close to freezing at night and by November, low to mid 20s are common. Even with a big fire and lots of blankets ... that's cold! Below that elevation, there are fewer spots with views, shade trees, etc. And unshaded areas at lower elevations are still warm during the day!

So there are a lot of factors to consider!

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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by MtnBart01 » Sep 12 2017 3:15 pm

IMG_7357.JPG
Freecampsites.net is a good place to look and we have been using it all summer to camp with the kids. This particular campsite is in Rabbit Ears Pass 20 minutes from Steamboat Springs. (20 minutes from a hot springs spa) Primitive, but in a grove of trees we actually found a clean pit toilet. The view from the fire ring is pretty bad and it's not in Az. It's a couple miles from any other campsites
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azbackpackr
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 12 2017 3:22 pm

You could always trade in the wife.

:--:

Shut up Elizabeth! Who asked you?



:D
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by flagscott » Sep 12 2017 3:34 pm

@chumley 's advice on temperature is spot on. Pitch your tent under trees, and you can add 5-10 degrees to the ambient temperature, too. If it's not too cold, I suspect a non-camper might like sleeping under a big pile of blankets instead of in a claustrophobic sleeping bag. If you go the blanket route, though, make sure you have warm hats since your heads will be exposed.
azbackpackr wrote:You could always trade in the wife.
That's what I did--best decision I ever made. Six months after we got married, the first wife told me she never wanted to camp again. That was the beginning of the end. My fourth date with the second wife was an overnight backpacking trip. Sixth or seventh date was a 40 miler. Next year we did a 200 mile trip, and two years later the CDT.

Sometimes it's easier to just find the right person*

*this isn't directed at the OP, about whom I know nothing--just my experience

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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by SpiderLegs » Sep 12 2017 4:43 pm

If you are looking for camping gear this is the month to do it. September on Craigslist is filled with people that read that camping as a family is a great bonding activity. So they go out and buy a bunch of camping gear to go out during the summer with the kids. Inevitably they hate it and all that camping gear goes in the garage to take up space. Labor Day confirms that they will never use the gear again and it all goes up on CL.

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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by Sun_Ray » Sep 12 2017 5:41 pm

While this does not meet your isolated criteria it's worked for my Scottsdale princess. Christopher Creek Camp Ground on the mogollon rim has worked for us. Need something you forgot or an ice cream bar...hit close by town of Christopher Creek. Pay showers are just up the road at Canyon Point Campgound.
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nonot
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by nonot » Sep 12 2017 7:02 pm

For some first time campers, they do not seem comfortable making like a bear in the woods on their first overnight trip. In these cases it is advantageous to drive to various trailheads in the area and locate one with a pit toilet maintained by the forest service (or in some cases by the state highway department) that is in good condition. Then find a dispersed site within a few miles.

This allows for trips to the loo with only a 2-5 minute drive. You mention 1-2 hours and that is way too far. Keep in mind peeing in the woods is different for women then men. Getting them comfortable enough to sleep outdoors in a tent is often enough of a push outside their comfort zone.

In their efforts to get more women to join them, I've noticed that the toilets near trailheads where rock climbing is popular have often been "upgraded" by the climbers, as they tend to apply the air fresheners and stuff there to attempt to make the area more woman friendly. Your average pit toilet in the woods may not have that.

You can find sites like this spread all over the AZ forests. In September, camping above the Mogollon Rim presents several options. Save the 2nd or 3rd trip before she has to learn to sh*t in the woods.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

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neilends
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by neilends » Sep 12 2017 8:23 pm

azbackpackr wrote:You could always trade in the wife.

:--:

Shut up Elizabeth! Who asked you?



:D
First wife actually was a backpacker. Current wife is definitely a keeper and clearly a tremendous upgrade. I'll take my sweetheart city slicker over the evil backpacker any day! :lol:

Everyone's comments are great and appreciated. I have plenty of material to study in this thread now.
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." --John Adams

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neilends
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by neilends » Sep 12 2017 8:29 pm

nonot wrote:For some first time campers, they do not seem comfortable making like a bear in the woods on their first overnight trip. In these cases it is advantageous to drive to various trailheads in the area and locate one with a pit toilet maintained by the forest service (or in some cases by the state highway department) that is in good condition. Then find a dispersed site within a few miles.
The toilets are my biggest worry. As anyone with friends or loved ones who never camp might know, wifey's anxiety level is probably the highest about the bathroom situation. I don't think she could stomach a pit toilet.

As a solo male, I've very easily used a bathroom in civilization, then driven and hiked for an hour or two, camped, eaten, slept, and woken up the next day without needing a toilet again. But as I read everyone's comments it occurs to me that the "solo male" angle on bathrooms is unrealistic.
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." --John Adams

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chumley
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by chumley » Sep 12 2017 9:00 pm

@neilends
For those uncomfortable with "squatting" outdoors (both males and females), I've found that a simple plastic toilet seat goes a long way to make things better. Skip the bag and dig a hole. Hide it on the other side of the car for privacy, etc. But it's a cheap and easy solution that makes those first outdoor experiences a lot easier. And unlike a pit toilet, this is out in the fresh air, and nobody else has used it before you!

Pick one up at local retailers (Big 5 carries them, maybe wallyworld too?) or order online ahead of time
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by tibber » Sep 12 2017 9:36 pm

If you're looking at later in the year, how about Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument? Very nice campground by the Visitors Center and some good easy hiking. Real bathrooms too.

There is some fun hiking to be done in the area and/or some great scenic drives.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 13 2017 2:16 am

The best campground bathrooms I've ever seen are at Catalina State Park in Tucson. Shiny tile floors and walls, great showers, etc. Gorgeous views from camp, too, and right close to shopping! But truly great bathrooms. I camped in a tent there during my brother's wedding festivities, and was easily able to clean up and put on nice clothes and go to the wedding. Best in spring and fall, as for temperatures. Super good hiking from there.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: Ideas needed for glamping trip

Post by The_Dude » Sep 13 2017 9:11 am

@chumley
I would second Chumley's comment. I picked up one of the seats that snaps onto a 5 gallon bucket and use it with bags for my wife and kids. My little one gets stage fright with some bathroom situations and she is good to go with this one. You can always pack an extra tarp and some rope to make a privy of your own. Camping options are so much more open (and better) when you don't have to rely on the cleanliness of a forest service pit toilet. :M2C:

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