Camping at Packsaddle

View on the drive up to Packsaddle
Bjorn and I have wanted to go camping ever since we got we've been wanting to camp for the last 2 years! When we finally got the chance to go over Memorial day weekend, it was long overdue; we enjoyed it so much, we almost didn't come home!

Kye, Bjorn, and I set out on Friday evening to Packsaddle, which is only 30-40 miles outside of Rexburg, Idaho (It's amazing how much beauty is so close to Rexburg, if only it were in it too!). We followed behind my brother in law Kye, as he'd been there before and knew the way. We drove up an incredibly bumpy road causing Bjorn and I to both bounce and flail in our seats, but we made it without incident. We were nervous to find some large piles of snow on our way, indicating we were in for a cold night! (PSA: I would not recommend normal cars drive any, but the way detailed here at although beware there may be water over the road before June/July)

There were some other campers already at Packsaddle, but we found ourselves a secluded spot. With about 2 hours of daylight left, we set to work building a fire and prepping our sleeping spots. Kye brought his dutch oven wherein we cooked a "roast" of sorts with layered hamburger (seasoned with Montreal steak seasoning and liquid smoke),  onions, carrots, and thinly sliced potatoes with a can of cream of mushroom soup on top. Unfortunately the wood we brought with us didn't burn all that well and we were left with the whimpiest of coals! The 40 minutes we expected dinner to take turned into an hour and the three of us ended up eating some crunchy carrots and potatoes when we couldn't wait any longer! It still tasted delicious though. In addition we soaked ears of corn before we left and steamed them in their leaves over coals, also delicious. Then, of course, we had smores and  then some more smores.

After eating, talking, joking around and some bathroom breaks, we were ready for bed. Kye made himself a little lean to and Bjorn and I slept in the back of the truck. We bought a blow up twin size air mattress to fit ($8) and rented sleeping bags from the ORC on campus ($9). We covered the open side of the truck with a tarp, which made it feel kind of like a clubhouse, but also kind of claustrophobic. 

As we feared it ended up being a cooooollllldddd night. Kye, the smartest of us, took a sleeping pill and happily snored the night away while Bjorn and I tossed and turned all night. I kept waking up and thinking, "I haven't fallen asleep yet", then realized it couldn't be true and fell back asleep, only to repeat that cycle 20 more times. Despite that we all woke up happy and excited about our day ahead at Packsaddle Lake.

Funny story- Kye rented all of our sleeping bags from the ORC on campus and requested a medium for me and larges for him and Bjorn. Saturday morning Bjorn and Kye both complained about the size of their sleeping bags as they'd only come up to their shoulders. Upon returning the sleeping bags, Kye discovered he'd been given all mediums! My poor 6'3 and 6'4 boys respectively, were squashed into bags my 5'1 self fit comfortably in! We had a good laugh about it though.

After the boys made breakfast burritos (so good!) we drove up to the Packsaddle Lake Hike, trail head. It's a steep hike up to the head if you don't have an off-roading vehicle. From the trail head, there's a great view of the Teton Mountains.

The hike down to the Lake is steeply downhill at first, but then levels out and turns into an easy-peasy hike. The lake is beautiful and for the warmer months there's a rope swing you can use to jump in (we did see two girls fall in accidentally while we were there and the water was cold!). We hiked around the entire lake. There wasn't really a trail all the way around, but we found our way pretty easily. We saw quite a few moose prints near the water, but no moose. There are also camp fire/camping spots all around the lake and we think in the future it'd be fun to hike in and camp close to the lake. It'd also be fun to bring hot dogs with and roast them Lakeside!

After our morning at the lake we returned to our campsite and ate hot dogs and some more smores for good measure. We relaxed/napped and eventually packed up all our stuff. Bjorn and Kye wanted to go shooting, but there were too many people in the areas they wanted to shoot to feel comfortable (All was well in the world as they got to go shooting on Monday). While we wished we could stay longer, Kye had church meetings early Sunday morning, and the sleeping bags cost $9 per day! Someday we'll own all of our own camping supplies, but as poor, frequently moving college students, we don't want to invest just yet.

Our campsite at Packsaddle. I'm actually in the hammock in this picture!
We had such a great time being away from Rexburg, school, jobs, internships, and responsibilities; it really felt like the burdens of daily life were gone while we were there. It also brought back all these great memories of camping with my dad and sister and reminded me of all the wonder I used to feel camping as a kid.

Camping at Packsaddle was amazing, can't wait to do it again!

Do you have a favorite camping memory? 
The first time my dad, sister, and I made tinfoil dinners they turned out perfect. Yet, somehow every time after that we burned them and would either eat hot dogs again or bum food from other people we knew!

What can you not live without while camping?
Smores. (I'm not ashamed!)  


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