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Colorado on Film: Summer Camping

Hi ya, friends!

Yes, there is still snow on the ground, with more expected on the way, but I am just daydreaming about warm summer days on the lake and camping in Kiwi, our neon green Nemo tent.

So until then, I will have to live vicariously through film photos of this past summer when we camped near Leadville and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Also, writing this does motivate me to start planning our future summer camping trips!

Finding reservations for designated campsites is extremely tricky. Reservations are required for almost all Colorado State Parks and popular recreation areas, and tend to be booked as soon as reservations open. Still, do not despair- just keep looking consistently and someone is bound to cancel their reservation at some point. If all else fails, there are spots that are “first come-first serve/walk-ins” or Bureau of Land Management (BLM land) that is open for dispersed camping. To find these, you’ll just have to do some research first.

My absolute favorite place to camp is near any body of water. I love to brew a fresh cup of coffee while overlooking the morning fog, take the kayak out, and just soak in the beauty of the landscape.

Favorite Gear:

There are a few favorite items that we take every single camping trip. A few of them are:

  • Nemo Equipment Dagger Tent
  • Eureka Ignite Plus Cooking Stove
  • Arc’teryx Beta Rain Jacket
  • Sea To Summit Dry Bags
  • Crap Eyewear Sunglasses
  • REI Sahara Sun Hat and Shirts- Kevin and I both have the short and long sleeve tops and use them all the time!
  • Chacos Sandals

We also use the Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable 2 Person Kayak. It’s been sturdy and reliable so far and I have no complaints (besides wishing it was a little cuter).

Film Info:

The split photos below were taken on the new-ish Kodak Ektar H35 Half Frame Camera on Kodak Gold 200. To be honest, when I picked up this camera I didn’t expect much. It seemed flimsy and almost toy-ish, but for only $50 it seemed worth the try.

Here are a couple thoughts about this camera:

1. It was hard to keep track of what photo I was on due to how shockingly tiny the number counter view is. Although I only messed up the numbering once (and the photos now don’t coincide), this would have sucked if it happened more often.

2. The camera did not like when I shot into the light. A few photos turned out extremely overexposed on top of the already warm Kodak Gold 200 that I used. I don’t believe I’d use a 400 speed film or anything higher for this camera, but black and white could be fun!

3. This was a great “bang for your buck” experience. Although the camera feels slightly flimsy, I’m impressed with the results and the quantity. For a roll of 36, you get 72 photos, which means you can have more fun shooting without worrying about running out of film.

The rest of the photos were taken on my Contax G1 and Fujifilm 200. I don’t exactly recommend taking a relatively pricey camera onto a kayak, but I kept it sealed in a Sea to Summit Dry Bag which worked out (thankfully!)

As always, you always have to be prepared for weather to change at any moment. Soon after taking these photos, we started getting hailed on while kayaking the lake. Oddly enough, this was one of my favorite moments of the whole camping trip because we couldn’t stop laughing as we quickly paddled back to shore. Of course, the hail stopped once we made it to shore…

Well, now I’m even more excited to go camping again. I’m hoping we can do a little more dispersed camping this summer, but I’ll be happy regardless just to spend time in the sunshine. Until then, we have a little more snow headed our way in beautiful Colorado.

Until next time!

-Mary A.

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