Ninja and I went on our first overnight camping
trip on Saturday April 27, 2013. This was Ninja's first time out in the woods
overnight. I had taken her out here a few weeks prior to this trip to get her
acclimated to the area, and she enjoyed it.... although she did have a bit of
trepidation about riding in the Jeep when I ran it through a really deep (but
deceptive-looking) puddle (see video).
Our first overnight trip into the NJ Pine Barrens
required a new tent
huge 8-man tent is too big, and so a new, smaller tent was in order.
The main deciding factor on which tent to buy was the
manufacturer's video showing how ridiculously easy it was to set up.
Well, let me tell you that their
claims for the Lightspeed Periapsis 4-man
was no exaggeration. Here I
am setting up the tent in the woods for the first time. I've been
camping since I was 12, and I never saw a tent that could be set up
in less than a minute (the rain fly took a little longer only
because I've never set up this particular tent before).
My Black Lab / Australian Cattle Dog
mix named "Ninja" is my constant companion and
my very best friend.
We camped at site #2 in the Batona
Campsite, which is approximately 1/2 mile in on the sand road
directly opposite the Carranza Memorial. If you don't have 4-wheel
drive, traveling these sand roads will most likely get you stuck in
the middle of the woods somewhere.
This site (#2) is at the campsite
The word "Batona" is an acronym for
Directly opposite the sign (above) is
the campsite limit across the sand road.
Approximately 1/2 mile in this
direction is Carranza Road and the Carranza Memorial.
Artesian well which is about 75
yards from our campsite was moved from its original location. Last
time I was camped at this site was about 15 years ago, and this well
was at the border of the bog (see photos below).
The old pump was replaced, and a new
well was dug. The pump is now surrounded by six reinforced concrete
pillars to keep vandals and other drunken Assholes from running over
the pump with their vehicles.
Before the advent of commercially
available "spring water"
is all filtered tap water – I used to take a 30-gallon drum in
my Chevy K5 Blazer from Brooklyn, NY to get water for making coffee
from this well. The water from this well makes the best coffee or
tea you ever tasted.
My campsite is always marked with the
Close-up of the inside. The quilted
blanket at the front of the tent is a "moving blanket" normally used
for wrapping small pieces of furniture. These can be purchased
almost anywhere, and are inexpensive and durable.
This slow-moving, stagnant stream is
at the far end of the Batona Campsite.
There used to be a wooden footbridge
across this bog, that connected the Batona Campsite with the Batona
Trail. There is nothing left of it, as it was in reallky bad
condition last time I was here 15 years ago.
When I Scoutmastered a Brooklyn Boy
Scout Troop back in the '80s, my boys used to call this swamp "The
Bog of Eternal Stench" after a scene in
the movie "Labyrinth"
(starring David Bowie) that most of the boys saw in the theatre the
week before. (see Youtube video clip below).
of this web site and the books featured here is available for
conversation. It is best to call after 9PM on
weekdays, when my "minutes" are free. If you have caller ID
blocked, I will not answer the phone, but I WILL call you back if
you leave a message. If you do not get through, please leave a
message on my phone mail. Please take your time to speak slowly and
clearly when you leave a message, and I WILL get back to you.