Winter Camping in Door County

Oh baby, it’s cold outside! For my 65th birthday, I decided to take a camping trip up to Door County, WI. I prepared as best I could for the cold weather and was surprised that I survived 3 very cold nights up there. Peninsula State Park is near Fish Creek on the Green Bay side and it was blustery cold with wind chills in the single digits. But I persevered! I arrived around 8:15 pm and it was black out there. Finding my way to the self-registration kiosk, I picked a site with electricity and wound my way around the park. The only part of the park that is open all year is in Tennison Bay. It took a couple of hours to set up and it was 10:30 when I finally went to sleep. I bought a 3″ HD foam pad that cost 54.99 a yard and I purchased 2 yds at JoAnnes. The clerk told me about the app that had coupons and she helped my find the app and download them. I save 1/2 off and she was the best! Kudos to Esme at Joannes on Elston in Chicago. Armed with my sleeping bag, flannel sheet and weighted blankie, I settled in for a good night’s sleep. Best ever!

I also bought an indoor/outdoor thermometer so I could track the temps. It’s a 7′ difference inside. Another item bought was the Wave3 heater and I struggled screwing the 1# tank on to the regulator. There was leaking and I unscrewed the tank that was a very bad idea! Finally, I got everything properly installed and spent an hour venting out the van before I went to sleep. Not a good start. It was 32′ inside the next morning and I ran the van for a while to take the chill out. 1# tanks only last a few hours with this heater. Will have to buy a bigger tank.

The next day the ranger came over and mentioned that I underpaid my registration and should go to the office to straighten everything out. Non-residents have to pay $40/night with electricity, and since really didn’t have anything to plug in I opted for a non-electric site just across for $25/night.

The park is really nice and I was the only one camping Thursday and Friday. I found the vault toilet and sadly succumbed to using it. The bucket idea worked fine but this is only temporary. Liquids only in the van. I covered the top and added water and vinegar to keep the smell to a minimum and it worked. There is also winter water available that I was very thankful for. So if your rig is well equipped, you can do some great winter camping here. I felt too primitive in my set up.

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