Camping in Nantou, Part One

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Geotagged photos by MJ Klein

Camping in Nantou

Recently, my wife has developed an interest in camping.  I try to encourage her to experience new things and cultivate new interests, so, we took our camping gear that we’ve acquired over time (at my suggestion) and went camping with her sister (shown here holding Phoenix), Hui-lien.  This is a shot of our tent setup, and our VW van next to it.  Notice the gravel surface.

Camping in Nantou

Camping in Taiwan is not like camping in the USA.  In Taiwan it’s not about the wilderness, or the solitude – but about the socializing.  Everything is spoon-fed, from the wooden tent platforms (no, I’m not kidding) to the restrooms with showers.  No digging a latrine, or hanging a bag of water over your head!  This shot shows me using the provided grill base to start a charcoal fire for cooking in the Dutch ovens.

Camping in Nantou

A common area for cooking and socializing, away from most of the tents.

Camping in Nantou

This is Hui-chen’s sister’s tent.

Camping in Nantou

Preparing the 12″ Dutch oven on the fire.

Camping in Nantou

I’ve added most of the ingredients at this point.

Camping in Nantou

A few more vegetables and then a layer of green onions.

Camping in Nantou

While that is cooking, I’m heating up the second oven.

Camping in Nantou

Not shown, but I’ve added stuffed peppers to the 10″ oven, and have it set on the fire.  One problem that I’ve encountered is that the charcoal fire burns very hot – much hotter than from whole wood.  Food tends to burn and overcook when using this lump charcoal, so I have to be very careful.

Camping in Nantou

Meanwhile, its getting dark, and the camera ISO speeds are starting to go up.

Camping in Nantou

Camping in Nantou

Meanwhile I’m trying to cook slowly, but just look at those embers!  This fire is so hot!

Camping in Nantou

Finally I took everything off the fire and served it.

Camping in Nantou

This is the chicken dish,

Camping in Nantou

and these are the stuffed peppers.  The food turned out just OK.  I don’t cook with Dutch ovens very much anymore and I’m off my game, quite frankly.

Camping in Nantou

Camping in Nantou

Later, we sat around a table and sampled some whisky.

Camping in Nantou

Camping in Nantou

Camping in Nantou

I enjoyed talking with Alex, who was also drinking whisky.

Camping in Nantou

Notice the CC Lemon we were using for a mixer.

Camping in Nantou

Someone else took this photo, and the one below, but I’m not sure who.

Camping in Nantou

Camping in Nantou

During the day, the kids were down by the river, catching river shrimp.

Camping in Nantou

This river is one of those “improved” versions, with a concrete wall.

Camping in Nantou

Camping in Nantou

Shooting shrimp, perhaps?

Camping in Nantou

Camping in Nantou

Our youngest camper had a good time.  Phoenix really liked being in the tent.  She got so excited that she wouldn’t go to sleep!

Camping in Nantou

This is a group photo of everyone we went with.

Camping in Guoxing

I’ll leave you with this preview of the next installment.  This is a fire pit and where I did the cooking.

Thanks for reading.  We hope you enjoyed this article.  Please leave us your comments below!

 

Articles in series Camping in Nantou:

  1. Camping in Nantou, Part One
  2. Camping in Nantou, Part Two
  3. Further Camping Adventures in Taiwan
  4. More Camping At Yuchi
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11 comments

  1. I was never much into camping while growing up, but even my experiences could be considered as having “roughed it” compared to camping Taiwan-style! Still, as long as everyone had a good time, that’s all that matters in the end.

    Where was this place?
    Kaminoge´s last post ..#humblebrag in Beijing, Part 1

    1. hi Jim. this was pretty much like camping in our backyard as a kid. very unlike my New Hampshire experiences were there were no facilities whatsoever. you may not be aware of our Geogagged Articles Map, but you can see where this place is by clicking the “Show on Map” link at the top of the article (when viewing single articles). by going directly to the map via the navigation links across the top, you will always be taken to the last geotagged article. i have another installment of this camping series and i’ll geotag that article also. thanks Jim.

  2. Definitely not like camping here in Washington state. Looks like everyone had a good time. Meals taste so much better cooked and eaten outside for some reason.

    1. hi Carolyn. i bet you have some fantastic camping in Washington state! i would love to check that out sometime! and you are right: food tastes better when cooked and eaten outdoors. take care and thanks!

  3. You might like this – here is the type of tents we used when I was in the scouts:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/Vier_Kohten.jpg

    They are made-up of four pieces of waterproofed fabric and (optionally) one roof piece. No floor part. You only carry those fabric pieces, rope and a small ax – every other required part is made from wood which you find lying around.

    Back when they were designed (1929) that was actually a fairly practical way to go about it, but of course when I was scout that was simply tradition. The fabric is heavy, and the ax and ropes are not very convenient to carry around either.

    On the plus side – they are damn stable and you can safely make a fire inside, so in winter they really shine:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/de/7/72/Schneekohte.JPG

    Well, now I’m older and I prefer something soft to sleep on, and a hot shower in the morning. 😀

    1. hi Stefan. as much as i would love making do with something like that, my wife and kid would not be going with me if i did! lol i like the idea of the fire inside – makes life a lot easier in the North Country. these days you can get outfitters tents with stove pipe outlets. those are for big camps like for miners. thanks Stefan and take care.

  4. Please send me an email about how you got to Taiwan. I was there as a teenager, and really miss it. I wonder if you could give advice to someone who is seriously considering becoming an expatriate from the US.

  5. A DO cooking tip to prevent burning food is to layer onions as a base then cover the onions with bacon. Reverse on the top.

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