Archive for June, 2013
Summertime means camping time and here in Michigan thousands of people are going to make their way to one of the hundreds of camping sites located in this beautiful state. The Harry’s staff is full of avid campers and we’ve put together a list of campgrounds that we highly recommend for your next camping trip. We’ve got something for everyone and these state park campgrounds are so awesome that even you out of staters are going to want to make the trek to Michigan!
1. Ludington State Park- Ludington, MI
Located on the western side of the state on the coast of Lake Michigan, the campgrounds at Ludington State Park may offer the best camping experience available in the state. Within the park are different campgrounds to accommodate different types of camping ranging from super rustic (no electricity and rustic toilets) to modern sites with showers, bathrooms, and electricity. They even have some cabins. What really sets Ludington apart from other camping spots is the variety of activities available to campers. For those of you who love the beach, Ludington offers several miles of beaches for you to relax on. There is a boat launch and if you feel like paddling into the lake there are boats you can rent. Catch some fish or go for a hike to the local lighthouses in your down time. There are 21.5 miles of hiking trails, a 4 mile canoe trail, a 2 mile bike trail, and a 10 mile cross country skiing trail if you happen to be there in the winter. This is the perfect camping spot for the whole family, whether you are a busy body or just looking for some relaxation time.
2. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park- Ontonagon, MI
The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is located on the northern coast of the Upper Peninsula and is 60,000 acres making it on of the few large wilderness areas remaining in the Midwest. This state park offers a variety of camp sites from the rustic to sites with modern bathroom and shower facilities. If tent camping isn’t really your thing, cabins, lodges, and even yurts are available. If you are not familiar with what a yurt is, a yurt is a circular domed tent that sits on a platform. The activities are endless in this state park. If you are looking for some adventure try mountain biking through the mountains. It’s really the only way to get to the most remote (aka most beautiful) parts of the park. This state park also has more than 90 waterfalls surrounded by lush green forests. One thing to be aware of is that there are black bears in this park so there are certain rules that you will need to follow in regards to your food and gear. The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is truly an outdoor playground and perfect for anyone wanting to do more than just camp.
3. Tahquamenon Falls State Park- Paradise, MI
Staying up north in the Upper Peninsula, our number three pick is camping at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This park has different sites to suit whatever type of camping you prefer ranging from rustic sites to cabins. The obvious attraction to this state park is being able to see the Upper Falls, which is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. This waterfall is 200 feet across and has a 50 foot drop. It is truly something to see. Four miles down the Tahquamenon River is the Lower Falls. The Lower Falls consists of a series of five smaller falls cascading down around an island. Not quite as exciting as the Upper Falls, but still beautiful. There are several different hiking trails to explore during the day and there are plenty of good fishing opportunities along the riverbank. Boat rentals for canoes and row boats are available at the Lower Falls. Black bear, fox, deer, coyotes, otter, beaver, and mink can all be seen in the park along with many different types of birds including the bald eagle. Moose can often be seen in the wet areas of the park as well. The scenic landscape cannot be beat and if your looking to see some wildlife this is the place for you.
4. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore- Empire, MI
If you are looking for a family friendly camping area the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is the one for you! Different camp sites are available depending on if you want electricity hook ups and there is also backcountry camping if you want the full on rustic experience. On the coast of Lake Michigan, there are beaches perfect for sun bathing and building sand castles. Your visit would not be complete without climbing the Dunes. Climb up to get exercise and a great view of Glen Lake. There are about 100 miles of hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty, so there is an option for everyone. Each evening the park has a free Ranger program which can keep the kids busy. Other water activities like tubing, kayaking, and canoeing are also available. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is really great option for families with children due to the vast amount of activities available that the kids would enjoy.
5. Hoffmaster State Park- Muskegon, MI
Last, but not least is Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon, MI. WE recommend this campgrounds for those with smaller children looking for a peaceful camping experience. Firstly this campgrounds has alcohol restrictions, so you aren’t going to encounter any wild parties going on all night. The campground offers a private beach and there is a larger beach in the park, both are pristine. Many of the camping sites are spacious and heavily shaded so you can get away from the sun. Children’s activities are hosted each and the Gillette Visitor Center offers other nature activities. The main attraction at Hoffmaster is the Dune Climb Stairway which leads you to the top of a dune with an observation deck looking over the dunes and Lake Michigan. The camp sites have electrical hook ups and the bathroom facilities are modern. This campground and state park is a great alternative for those who don’t want to drive all the way to the Upper Peninsula.
Whatever campgrounds or state park you choose to visit in Michigan, we know you won’t really be disappointed. Our state has so many outdoor sights and experiences to offer. Lakes, forests, sand dunes, and mountains, we’ve got it all! The only thing left to do is evaluate your camping gear situation. Make Harry’s your camping headquarters this year. Stop by the store to check out our camping gear selection and get valuable camping tips or shop with us online to make sure you’ve got what you need. Happy Camping!
Come out to our big Tent Sale for some of the summer’s best savings.
Some of these deals won’t last long. Many more deals available in-store.
Discounts while supplies last. Sales end 6/30/13 at 5 pm. Cannot be combined with other discounts or applied to special orders. In-store only.
Today is the first day of summer and camping, hiking, and playing sports are all great things to do when warm weather hits. The most important thing to remember when spending time outdoors whether on your own or with your children is to bring along some first aid essentials so you’ll always be prepared no matter what comes your way!
The first thing you’ll want to carry is The Pocket First Aid Field Guide that’s small and compact so you can easily carry it in your backpack and has basic instructions on how to treat minor injuries and even more serious injuries.
A super common ailment when being outdoors are bug bites, never be itchy again with this Tender After Bite Xtra Insect Treatment that relieves itching from bites and even itching from poison oak or poison ivy!
No one wants to ever think about creepy crawly snakes when they’re camping, but having a snake bite kit is one of those things that you might not want to do without, this Snake Bite Kit givesyou everything you need to effectively remove snake venom after being bitten.
If you want something small to throw in your purse or backpack, the Small Olive Drab Military First Aid Kit is perfect for you and totally affordable at only $7.99! This kit includes sterile pads, bandages, and aspirin as well as some other first aid essentials.
If you’re looking for something more extensive, the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate First Aid Survival Kit is more of an investment at $53.99 but includes everything you could ever need to survive in a hostile environment. Some of the items found in this kit include a multi-tool, mini flashlight, handsaw, blanket, waterproof matches, fire-starter, and more!
Hiking is a great way to get exercise, but it can also be an amazing way to see the world. Here are 5 places where hiking, culture, and beautiful landscapes all come together.
1. Cinque Terre- Italy
If you are looking for a less strenuous hike with plenty of amazing views and still
want to take in Italian culture, hike Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast in the Italian Riviera and is made up of 5 villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. You can hike between all five villages at your own pace with mountains on one side and the sea on the other. Taking the coast trail takes about five hours at a continuous pace. There is a more difficult trail that goes along the ridge if you are looking for something more challenging. Be sure to bring a bathing suit on this hike because you will most definitely get tempted by the sea. Don’t worry about getting tired either! Trains and ferry service connect all the villages as well!
2. Mont Blanc – France, Italy, & Switzerland
This European hike takes you through three countries and all throughout the Alps. This hikes takes you on a two week circle and has huts to stay in at night. Valleys, meadows, glaciers, and the white peaks on the mountains provide excellent views. This hike is best done during the summer so you can have good weather and this hike has very easy stretches and very difficult areas. Plus since you are going through three different counties, you get to take in three different cultures.
3. Tongariro Northern Circuit – New Zealand
New Zealand is a beautiful country and there are plenty of reasons to go there, but the Tongariro Northern Circuit is another reason! This hike takes you around one of the three volcanoes on the North Island: Mt. Ngauruhoe, which Is featured in Lord of the Rings. This hiking loop is about 19 miles long and your see a variety of landscapes like forest land, desert, and grassy areas. On top of all that, you also get to see Red Crater and Emerald Lakes. Plan for about 3-4 days to walk the trail and do it in the summer when it is well marked.
4. John Muir Trail – California, USA
Beginning in Yosemite National Park and continuing on 215 miles through Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King’s Canyon National Park, and ending at Mount Whitney. This is the perfect trail if you are a nature lover this is the hiking trail for you. It’s best to hike this trail in August or September so you can avoid snow and to do the whole trail takes about 30 days. For a more practical hike to this trail in one week sections and do one each summer! This is a moderate to strenuous hike so it is not recommended for beginners. This trail does require a trail permit and you will need to protect your food from bears.
5. Inca Trail – Peru
Often rated in the top 5 hikes in the world, the Inca Trail takes you through the Andes Mountains to Machu Picchu. This four day hike can be done if you are in decent shape and it is wise to take a couple breaks to adjust to the altitude. The landscape is amazing combining nature with the historic ruins of the Incas. Time this hike right and you can end up at Machu Picchu for sunrise ( the best time). Go from April to October and use an authorized guide. We also recommend getting good boots as some of the terrain can be hard on the feet and ankles.
For hiking in general, having the right gear including packs and boots, will make your experience much more enjoyable. Check out our selection on or website or in our store. Fore more info on how to choose the right gear check out our other posts, Choosing the Best Hiking Pack and How to Choose the Best Hiking Boots
Looking for a new knife or tool? We suggest something from SOG Knives + Tools! Since 1986, SOG has been developing innovative products that perform at a high level in a variety of situations. Whether you are looking for a hunting knife, tactical knife, an everyday carry knife, or a multi tool, SOG is sure to have something to suit your needs.
SOG Specialty Knives was started by Spencer Frazer in 1986 after he was inspired by a unique combat knife carried by a highly classified U.S. Special Ops unit called MACV-SOG during their time in Vietnam. Frazer’s mission was to reproduce the original SOG bowie knife. This then led to developing a whole line of innovative products.
One of the products new to our SOG selection this year is the SOG Blade Light Folder. This pocket knife has 6 led lights built in to the handle. The lights are on either side of the blade and provide a shadowless light while cutting. The lights can still be turned on while the blade is closed, which can come in handy in different situations. This knife is super functional and there isn’t really anything else like it on the market.
Another cool knife from SOG is the SOG Jungle Primitive Fixed Blade Knife. With a blade length of 9.5 inches and a partially serrated edge, this knife is perfect for using outdoors. The Jungle Primitive can be used as a machete, limb saw, and a hammer. It comes with a sheath so you can easily take it on your outdoor adventures.
If you looking for something a little more compact and on the creative side, check out the SOG Snarl. Its like brass knuckles, but with a SOG knife. This knife also comes with a sheath that can be worn on your belt or around your neck to conceal your knife.
SOG has so many amazing products that are innovative and extremely durable. Each product is designed with function in mind. Whether your buying a SOG fixed blade, folder, tomahawk, or even one of their Dark Energy flashlights, you won’t be disappointed! Check out our whole selection of SOG Knives and Tools online or in our store!