What to bring to the Lair of the Golden Bear

Updated from a 2009 blog entry based on feedback and review.

We've camped at Lair of the Golden Bear in week 2 for many years now.  Week 2 has occasionally started with snow on the ground and ended with 80 degree days, so the weather planning is key.  This list of things to bring is based on the official source, Bad Mom's blog, and my previous blog entry on the topic.

Newbies note: Your cabin should come equipped with a broom.  Sweep out the spiders and debris before moving in.

Bedding and linens
A warm sleeping bag, pillows, and pillowcases
Electric blanket (This turns out to be a good idea as of 2010)
Heating pad (good to warm inside of sleeping bag)
A twin sized sheet and/or pad to cover the mattress under your sleeping bag. This prevents your sleeping bag from slipping off the mattress quite so easily.
Towels: beach towels, shower towels, and washcloths

Disco Bingo or a skit might require appropriate clothing or costumes beyond your Lair clothes.  For Disco Bingo many people wear 70s era disco clothing - the wilder the better.  You are the best judge if you need this or clothing for any skit you want to perform at the Golden Review (camper talent show).

Bring casual old clothing to stand up to the Lair's dusty environment. Be prepared for warm days and cool nights. There are washing machines at the Lair. They are free as is the detergent, but I'd hate to be surprised.
shortsbathing suits (consider 2 pair for kids because this is the 24/7 uniform for certain ages and they get worn playing in the creek)
long pants - mostly for warmth in the evening
sweaters / fleece wear
jacket - it can rain, so a shell with a zip-in liner would be a good move here
hats: knit for cold nights and brimmed for day time sun protection
rain gear
sweatpants that can double as pajamas
long underwear (also for PJs)
Shoes - hiking boots or trail running shoes
In-camp shoes
flip flops
Aqua socks - for creek crawling. Better than an old pair of tennies.

Recreational and Activity items
reading materials, board games, playing cards
white t-shirts for tie-dye or t-shirt painting
fishing pole and tackle. 8-12 year olds have group fishing activities.
(die hard Lair campers will want to remember their softball mitts too)
swim goggles - chlorine in the pool is kept high
your own supply of bisqueware (they have only basic shapes).
your own garments for tie die (The General Store will have suitable items too).

For your cabin
Cabins have electrical outlets and a single switched light bulb.
Largish plastic bins for organization
alarm clock
ice chest (with a secure lid because squirrels and raccoons are hungry)
secure plastic tub for snacks
folding camp chairs
folding camp table
clamp on lights and extension cords
extension cords
Exterior lights of some sort - Distinctive lights help you find your way back to the cabin after dark. Some people had novelty Christmas lights, or even the standard twinkly sort.
plastic bags for trash (or recycle ice bags)
hammer and nails (bring the hammer at least so that you can drive in a nail that surfaced over the winter)
screw hooks (if you aren't satisfied with using a nail)

Miscellaneous vacation needs
flashlights: at least one for each family member
sunglasses: UV is more intense at altitude
laundry soap (in case there's none provided)
quarters (for laundry if it's gone back to a paid system)
clothesline and clothespins
markers for identifying your stuff or marking schedules, etc.
backpacks for everyone (makes carrying towels, etc. a lot easier)
pocket knife
cheese knife (if the pocket knife won't do)
church key (redundant if the pocket knife has one)
wine glasses (plastic)
sparkling  wine stopper (provided you plan to have or save any)
moleskin for blisters (the first aid tent is liberal with giving this out, but you might as well be prepared)

Your usual plus:
A+D ointment. It's dry and this is great for chapped skin.
insect repellent
anti-itch medicine such as hydrocortisone - mosquitos are the worst.
chapstick with sunscreen
band aids

Cooler for chilling your drinks
Snacks - Just bring enough for the car and a famished kid emergency, though juice or soft drinks might suit you better. Food is so plentiful at meal times in camp that it's really overkill to bring more. That said, there's a lot of overkill going on.  Cheese, dips, and crackers are useful to share at cocktail hour.  The water tastes delicious there, so I tend to enjoy a lot of that.

Adult libations - Wine to share at the lodge, after the kids have gone to bed or for cocktail hour get-togethers. Beer tastes better than usual at the Lair and it's handy to share.


Colorado rain barrels

Bad Mom Good Mom sent me a link to an article on rain barrel legislation in Colorado. It's a quick but balanced perspective.

Full URL below:

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0.22" rain; 7.30" rain total

7 May 2016 0.22" rain

This is a later-than-normal rain for us and in an amount that is useful.  Talking with local friends, rain appears to be highly variant around my area - some reported only a light mist.

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0.11" rain; 7.08" total

14 March 0.02 (added on the heels of the last storm, but not noted in the blog)

7-8 April 0.05"
8 day April 0.03"
9 April 0.01"

Unexpected rain this late in the season.  I was out watering in the yard, since an opportunity to add to Mother Nature's bounty is not to be lost.

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0.51" rain; season total 6.97"

11 Mar 0.51" rain.

I never saw it. The skies were clearing by the time I left work but I was told it was heavy at times.

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Cooperative Observer Network (COOP)

Bad,Mom, Good Mom dropped me a note to bring this to my attention:

Through the National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Observer Program (COOP), more than 10,000 volunteers take daily weather observations at National Parks, seashores, mountaintops, and farms as well as in urban and suburban areas. COOP data usually consist of daily maximum and minimum temperatures, snowfall, and 24-hour precipitation totals. These data may include additional hydrological or meteorological data such as evaporation or soil temperatures. Online data access is provided at no charge.

I'm making note of it here in case readers are interested and as a reminder to myself to dig into the available data when I have a spare moment.




Squatter and friend

0.65" rain; 5.21" total

18 Feb 2016 0.65"

February is normally our wettest month.  In terms of 30 day periods of time, Jan 18 through Feb 17th is typically our wettest 30 day period.  Not this year; we are well below the median rainfall despite the big El Nino. 

The game isn't over, however.  Remember the March Miracle of a several years ago? 


Wrong place wrong climate

Pay attention to the tall tree in the middle of this guy's lawn.

It looks like a redwood. This one Is just a youngster but it looks like it's in ill health. This tree is located in an Inland S. Ca. community. Probably not getting enough water.

If the owner is lucky it will die soon and be taken down at only modest expense. The alternative is that it gets bigger and more costly to take down (or falls down) in a decade when it finally succumbs to less than optimum growing conditions.

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Don't know or don't care

Hmmm. What's this?

Don't let your dog urinate....

Oh it's just a warning sign about their new sod and it's screwed to this poor Chinese elm. This is a warm summer inland community.

I guess they haven't heard about the drought.

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Rainwater Colander

Here's a "rainwater colander", an inline downspout rainwater diverter, a product I first stumbled across at my Home Depot while looking for a downspout extender to better direct rainwater into my garden. It snaps in to your existing gutter downspout (provided you use one that is sized for your downspout). It's "designed to filter out debris in rainwater collection barrels and systems" including surge tanks and "can connect to a garden hose to water plants directly".
The image shown is Amerimax brand, available at Orchard Supply Hardware and elsewhere for around $10 or less.  This seems to be the least expensive that's readily available.