Camping in Yosemite Valley

Steffen and I took a trip this past weekend to Yosemite National Park.  We’ve been wanting to camping for a while, and being too impatient for spring to arrive, and thus in a hurry to beat the snow fall, we settled on a chilly weekend mid-November at the Upper Pines campground.  Car camping was the best bet since we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare.  The glory of car camping is that you can bring whatever fits in your car…taking into account how heavy your car is for gas reasons and just plain practicality.  However, I wouldn’t have complained if we had fit a mattress in there.  Seriously.

In the end, we had our main essentials:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Pads
  • Mummy Bags (I have a North Face Cat’s Meow…love it)
  • Pillows, 3 extra blankets
  • Warm clothing (glad I brought a pair of snow pants for an outer shell)
  • Headlamps
  • Pot/Pan/Bowl-plates/Utensils/Mugs
  • Yummy Food
  • Stoves (White gas thanks to Julie R. and Propane thanks to Tyler P.)

I think the only thing I would’ve changed is to bring more blankets (can’t have too many!), and snow jackets with a lot more insulation.  It wasn’t snowing, but you might as well dress for it since everything freezes at night.  My feet got cold at night, which woke me up on multiple occasions.  And I was introduced to Grabber Hand/Toe Warmers after I got back…those would’ve helped lol.

For a more luxurious camp, it would’ve been cool to have an air mattress.  Then again, might as well throw in an RV.  Or a cabin with a big fireplace and sheepskin rug in front of it.

I learned a few things as well…

  1. In Yosemite, you can’t burn any dead fall, not even pine needles…and you can’t buy them at the campsites.  Go to the store and buy wood before getting to the campsite.
  2. How to use a backpacking stove…two different kinds!  You think I’d have operated one by now considering how much I’ve been camping.
  3. Don’t drop your fleece glove in the toilet.
  4. Be careful where you put your hands…it might be in wet bird poop.
  5. Banana boats (a great replacement for those tired of s’mores) look funny, but taste excellent!
  6. Curry Village has nicer showers than I had remembered!  Awesome.

I saw a lot of deer, but no bears.  Not even a mini-bear…that was hard to believe.  We went on hikes to see the Lower Yosemite Falls and went about halfway up the Upper Yosemite Falls hike.   The view was so beautiful…

2009.11.14 Yosemite

2009.11.14 Yosemite

Took a few drives around the park and the valley, and did a lot of hanging out back at the campsite.  Next time I’d like to finish the Upper Yosemite Falls hike…maybe even head over up top to El Capitan…though that might constitute more of a backpacking trip…which sound excellent…in not-winter.

And of course, Freddy P. had a great time too.  He even got a little daring during some hikes.  But that’s Freddy for ya…

2009.11.14 Yosemite

You can check out the rest of the photos from the trip on Flickr here.

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