This past weekend some friends and I went up to bumfuck north Wisconsin to do some city-person camping. I qualify what we did as "city person camping" because we did stay in cabins, not tents. The cabins were by no means luxurious, but they had running water and heat. Thank goodness for that heat because it was in the low 30s while we were there.
I wasn't able to read or knit by the fire, as I anticipated, but I did talk and drink a whole bunch and that was lovely. I also built my first fire from scratch and made s'mores (finally!). I didn't take many pictures because I was soaking it all in, but I can recommend Annie's Campgrounds for anyone in the Midwest who wants to get away for the weekend. Our group took up two of the premiere cabins and each cabin had it's own fire pit area with a grill attachment. That was pretty handy, though we just used one fire pit for the whole weekend. There is a third cabin that is close enough, so if you wanted to have a group of 16 or so, it is totally doable. We were just a group of 9 and were quite happy with that number.
This trip was quite interesting for me in terms of learning what is a need and what is a want when it comes to outdoors recreation. There are plenty of shops trying to convince you you need X Y Z for camping "in style." It is so easy to fall into that desire trap and I'm glad I didn't buy a bunch of pretty camping things because...Fuck that. We did well with what we had already and used what we saved for food tp roast and booze to drink. The only thing I purchased for this trip was two folding stools, which gave my bum a nice break from bench or ground sitting. I got them for $8 a pop from Coleman's.
The one thing this trip did highlight as a good "must get" purchase is a camping pot. We had cast iron pans (same ones we use at home) and used foil to make pouches to do coal steaming, but a pot to heat up cider or bake apples would have been very useful. For more remote camping, a pot will also come in handy for boiling water to make coffee with, so this will definitely be something I will be purchasing sometime in Spring. I am considering getting a pot that is cast iron and has a lid so it can be used both over the fire or buried in coals to do steaming. It being cast iron will also make it useful at home. I'll do some research and let you know what I end up going with.