This year Robert wanted to try something different for our
annual Christmas to New Year’s camping trip. He had heard about (and
researched) “hip camping” for a while. Because of COVID and our lack of
planning way ahead, we weren’t able to find a campsite in warmer weather.
Robert was able to find a spot for “hip camping” outside of Ocala, FL. If you
don’t what about hip camping, it’s like an Airbnb for campers.
Final preparations included getting the electricity in the
Mitsubishi Delica wired up. Even though our site had water & electricity,
Robert wanted to try our stay without using the electricity available. After a
few difficulties, which only caused a one-day delay, it was done. Instead of
leaving on the 26th, we left on the 27th. We were able to
make up some time by going on the interstate through Atlanta. Yes, we actually
saved time going through ATL; we were fortunate that there were no delays
on that day.
Our site was right on Lake Weir and we were treated with
gorgeous sunsets each night. Mind you, not
“The Keys gorgeous”, but gorgeous just the same. There was a dock that we could
walk farther out but we had to be careful where we stepped because of massive
poop and rotting boards.
When Robert first looked at this site, the owner specified that
she only wanted RVers. She has an outdoor bathroom and shower; however, they
were not available to do COVID. One of the things we didn’t have on our list to
bring was the portable shower head. On a quick trip to Camping World, we bought
another solar shower. While waiting for it to heat up, the sky turned extremely
cloudy and the water never heated up so we headed to a nearby state park, paid
$8 to get in, and used their shower facilities. She used the solar shower the next day. While it wasn't as hot as the shower in the house, it was warm enough and seemed to get the job done.
Mary felt disappointed with this hip camp. It seems that if
someone is setting their property up for visitors, you would make sure things
are in tip-top shape for them. There was a pile of brush, pieces of stone
pedestals strewn around, and an old outdoor cushion from a chaise lounge on
another brush of pile. The dock wasn’t very sturdy, and then, there were the
rotting boards. All in all, it looked a bit trashy. She really felt like we
were just camping in someone’s yard, which we were. The other site was the
better one with a bit more privacy. But, that site had to deal with a
neighbor’s barking dog. On top of all of that, there was an issue with the
Our Gazelle Tent did great once again. For Christmas, we
gave each other the Gazelle Gazebo so we would have someplace to sit without
the mosquitos eating us alive. When we set it up in our yard for the first
time, our son was so impressed with it that we quickly ordered another one for
him as a gift.
Hip Camp: Yay or Nay? Robert’s vote: yay; Mary’s vote: Maybe. Now that we know what questions to ask, such as: how close is it to a building and other campers and how close is it to the highway.