Camping in the Texas summer can be down-right brutal. With the mix of heat, humidity, and biting insects, it is a wonder anyone camps in this state during the summer months. However, the Texas outdoors is a huge draw for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. That is why my girlfriend and I wanted to enjoy a weekend getaway at Inks Lake State Park.
We planned this trip over a month in advance as the state parks fill up quickly in Central Texas. If you don’t have a reservation, you don’t get to camp. As expected, the “we are full” sign went up shortly after our arrival and I was glad we had planned ahead. “We are full” meant exactly that-all sites were jam packed with people; water sites, water with electricity sites, cabin, and even RV sites- all filled to the brim. For a lover of sharing the love of outdoors with everyone I come into contact with this was an ideal situation! I really enjoy seeing people enjoy the outdoors.
For us, camping is an opportunity to play with new gear and test out new camping tricks. From propane lanterns to hammocks, I am a total gear head. As for camping tricks, I like to test camping techniques I read about and see if they actually work. It is like my own version of myth busters! This trip, we used the “pack your food in containers as to not get soaked in the ice of the Yeti”. I’m sure this has been around, but it was new to me- it worked by the way.
Another thing about camping in the summer is the brutal Texas heat. This trip we got lucky and the high was 94 degrees instead of the usual 104. Thankfully I am a native Texan thus the heat doesn’t bother me much. My go-to trick is to find the nearest water hole and soak. Inks Lake has a great little water hole named “Devil’s Waterhole” and it is a fun little find. Deep holes to cliff dive and flats to soak up the cool water and watch the fun. The far side has a cliff, about 20 or so feet high and dare devils frequently climb to the top and dive down into the deepest part of the water. As each person stepped up to the edge, the crowed below cheered and counted down. If the jumper didn’t go in the minute they yelled “GO!” or landed a belly flop, the moans and laughter could be heard hundreds of yards away. One day, I fully plan on climbing my 38 year old butt to the top of that cliff, yell “YOLO” and jump into the abyss but that will have to be another blog.
I’d have to say the least fun part of summer camping in Texas are the bugs! Texas has enormous bugs and during the summer they ALL come out. Again, we were able to get lucky and the infamous mosquitos were nowhere to be found. However, fireants took their place. Every morsel of food that was not dealt with was soon consumed with ants. Our trash bag- ants, our chips- ants, our feet- ANTS! This was the trip of the ant. It was all bearable until I decided to sit by the campfire (yay for No Burn Ban!) and right on top of their mound. OUCH! I left sporting what seemed like hundreds of little, itchy bites. I took note; ant spray was added to our camping box as soon as we got home.
Overall, we had a grand time. Great sunrises, sunsets, and a few fine folks in between. The water was cool and calm, the campgrounds were clean and everyone respected other campers. It was a great summer camping trip in the Texas Hill Country and I can’t wait to go again!
-Brad @ ACK