-By Brandon Wikman
As the summer heat begins to slowly melt into the coming fall season, there’s no better time than now to plan a camping trip with a friend or family!
I’ve put camping on the backburner for years. I’ve always wanted to camp somewhere other than my backyard. Last week my cousin and I finally said that enough was enough! We packed our tents, clothes, cooler, and food into the truck and headed to northern Wisconsin. The woodland parks of Wisconsin provide exceptional campsites for the public to enjoy. Camping out under the stars with a stoked and blazing fire nearby is what makes the outdoors surreal.
I assigned my cousin, Joe, to select a town where we’d stake camp. He picked a small village on the map that was known for a few of the finer things in life; camping, fishing, and tourist attractions. I was extremely excited to hear him say Hayward, Wis,!
Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts venture north every summer to experience the outdoorsy atmosphere Hayward provides. Barely 2,500 people call the city home, but the economy booms with forest loving campers, savvy fishermen, and a frenzy of visitors to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
Joe and I arrived at a local campground during the mid-morning. I unpacked the truck, while he pitched the tents. It was such a great feeling to be doing something I always wanted to experience, but never had the opportunity. The reason that my cousin and I never could make arrangements was because of conflicting work schedules, school, and other events planned during the typical frantic summer. We made up for lost time by planning an entire three days worth of sightseeing, fishing, and relaxing.
The first day we visited the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, where the world’s largest musky sculpture sits. The museum showcased an array of beautiful aquariums that detailed hundreds of fish species. A collection of ancient fishing lures hung vibrantly in every shape and size imaginable. The museum was a great escape into the world of fishing, which sparked an ambition to head to the nearest lake and try our luck.
Our campsite was conveniently located near a lakeshore and provided a perfect chance to sink a few lures into the water. We grabbed our fishing poles and fished off the beach. Joe and I fished for the entire evening pulling in schools of small bass. Each bass we caught was tossed back into the water. The glowing sunset foreboded darkness, which forced us back to the campsite where we started our fire and prepared dinner. The only proper dinner for two young men camping is hot dogs and bratwursts over an open flame.
We roasted our makeshift dinner over the glowing embers and flames with laughs of memories. A collection of deer hunting stories, good times, and bad times entertained our minds as we enjoyed the final scraps of our hearty dinner. It was an experience that soothed the soul and brought us both back to the wonderful world of the woods.
Camping is an enriching experience that brings you closer to not only Mother Nature, but also your loved ones. It provides an up close and personal intimacy with the forest that revitalizes the soul. Make your next vacation a camping trip. Bring a tent, backpack full of clothes, marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers for s’mores and leave with a greater appreciation for the outdoors!