Now that it finally feels like winter in the Lone Star State, I recommend you to take advantage of this crisp weather and explore the great outdoors. One of my favorite things to do when Mother Nature decides to cool off Texas is to go camping.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website has a long list of state parks that are the perfect setting for you to let out your inner frontiersman and enjoy a weekend camping trip. Some of my favorite campsites around Texas are the Inks Lake State Park in Burnet, Pedernales Falls State Park in Johnson City, Brazos Bend State Park in Needville and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in Fredericksburg.
When packing for your camping trip, make sure to bring a tent, sleeping bags, warm clothes, hiking boots, rainwear, lots of water, a lantern, matches, a backpack, rope, cooking tools and anything else you think you’ll need. Real Simple has a detailed camping packing checklist that’ll help you get ready for your expedition!
When you make it to your campsite, it’s just a rule of being a Texan that you have to be adventurous. When I’m camping with my family, we like to backpack, hike, go fishing or rock climbing, bird watch (we always look for our state bird, the Mockingbird), star gaze, and of course, sit around a roarin’ campfire at night.
A campfire is key to a good camping trip. Startin’ one is easier than you think. Once you’re on your campsite, gather some small twigs, dry leaves or needles, small sticks and a few larger pieces of wood. Next, pile the twigs, leaves and needles in the center of a fire pit and add the smaller twigs on top in a crisscross shape, then ignite it with your matches. When the fire grows, add your large wood pieces to keep it goin’!
After you have a cracklin’ fire ready, you can start cooking some Goode food! Roast a couple links of Goode Company sausages over the flame and then enjoy the meat by itself or cut it into smaller links and sandwich between buns to enjoy as hotdogs. Warm up Austin baked beans or roast cobs of corn over the fire for savory side dishes. And of course, you have to have s’mores for dessert!
Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website to explore more campsite options and to learn more tips for camping in our beautiful state! Get out there and enjoy nature, the cooler temperatures and the people around the campfire with you. Have fun, y’all!