Your own private island at Lake Patagonia
Camping isn't something I grew up doing. I had to learn as an adult the ins and outs of setting up a good campsite. It's not that I have never had an interest in it. I have. I've always wanted to be the outdoorsy type. Rugged and cute in my flannels and hiking boots, but I just didn't have the knowledge to take me from city slicker to camper.
I tell you all this so you know where I'm coming from when I give you these tips to camping on an island. I've gone from knowing very little about camping to being able to set up camp, not only a kickass camp, but a kickass camp on an island!
When you head south to Patagonia, no, not that far south, just a little north of there in southern Arizona you'll find Lake Patagonia. It's nestled just below the Santa Rita Mountains off highway 84. This lake is surrounded by beautiful heather grass covered hills. You can't help but stop and take pictures of this country side. I mean that, you really can not help but stop for a photo op. It's that beautiful.
When you start planning your island getaway you'll want to reserve campsite #120. Don't let not having a boat deter you! The marina has a shuttle to get you and your stuff to the Island! It is totally worth the $100. They drop you off with all of your camp setup and you set the time for pick up the next day.
Tip #1 Pack your stuff in large rubbermaid tubs. I like the clear boxes so I can see what is packed inside. It makes for easy setup and takedown. You can separate them out with by uses. Cooking, sleeping, relaxing, etc.
Once on the island you'll have the whole place to yourself! There is only one camp site on the whole island. No really! The whole island is yours.
Tip #2 There is no bathroom on the island so I highly recommend the tent toilet with a 5 gallon bucket and toilet seat. You can buy these from amazon fairly cheap. There are trash cans on the island to dispose of waste so no worries about packing out.
The season down there last from April to October. Our shuttle boat driver said during monsoon season it can be a little monsoony so be prepared for storms to roll in during the afternoon from mid June to end of September.
The campsite is equipped with fire ring making your evening absolutely perfect with a cozy fire, picnic table, and trash cans. Everything else you'll need to provide. Don't forget the hammock. Another great thing about this island is that there are lots of trees to give shade and support your slow hammock lifestyle. There is no better way to end the day than with this view!
Tip 3: Always pack a table cloth. This was always my rookie camping mistake and I always remembered as I was setting up food on a filthy camp table. There is no amount of scrubbing to get those things clean. I keep a plastic top picnic table cloth in with my cooking supplies. It makes setting up the table a breeze.
We had a blast spending the weekend on the water, and having a whole island to ourselves was an extra special treat. No doubt we will be doing this again.