camping without power
Can you tell we’ve drunk all the REI Kool-Aid? Via Campingchecklist

We are back from our camping trip, and while we weren’t entirely happy campers, that was because of the daily rain, not the power situation.

I’d intended to take some pictures of us with our well-charged technology, but by the time I’d thought of it, we were well into our second day of non-stop rain. The lighting was just too bad for pictures. Instead, you’ll just have to admire my comfy cot!

As I had predicted, we had way more supplemental power than we needed. I had been concerned about my phone, which, until about a month ago, was having major battery issues. (I’m suspecting an app or two were having Lollipop issues.) During this trip, my phone behaved admirably, although I mostly left it in airplane mode, just connecting a few times a day to process email and check the forecast. (Did I mention that it rained EVERY day?)

Both my husband and I charged our phones about every other day, and we used up one external battery keeping them fed. We both needed to charge our Fitbits, but that used hardly anything. Kindles needed one top off charge each, and that was it.

By the third day or so, I was confident enough about our situation to use the iPad a bit more. Solitaire on the iPad is a decent way to while away the rainy hours. It needed charging when we got home, but that was it.

So the final count on external battery usage. One out of four completely drained, plus about a quarter of another. Which left us 2 3/4 batteries. I totally could have brought my Fire. It would have been nice to have had a movie or two, assuming we could have heard them over the drumming of rain on the top of the tent.

Quick tent note. The REI Kingdom 6 tent does not leak! As long as you remember to zip the door closed all the way. In the middle of the night, after a bath house break, that didn’t always happen, and we woke up one morning to a small puddle by the door, but that was it. I hadn’t intended to give our tent such a thorough waterproofing test, but now we know.

A couple of other notes. You can cook on a small skillet over a JetBoil, and an 8″ skillet you buy in a grocery store works better than the special one made by JetBoil. Be prepared with extra propane canisters, though. Cooking breakfast (Yum! Bacon and eggs!) uses a lot of fuel. While one canister will boil water for weeks, we went through an entire one cooking breakfast on this one-week trip.

Freeze-dried food was (mostly) better than I had expected. All the reviews said the Mountain House Beef Stroganoff was the best. They were right. It was really good. Lasagna was okay, if rather soup-like. Chicken Teriyaki with Rice was pretty bad.


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