Best Tent Camping: Maryland
by Evan Balkan (Menasha Ridge Press)
© 2016 Evan Balkan/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
Two of us attempted to kayak to the Pope Bay campsite and hike into the State Line for a two day overnight stay. A late arrival and late entry into the water cramped our timeline. The timeline constraints and currents in the Chincoteague Bay prevented us from reaching Pope Bay before nightfall and we had to camp at Green Run (4.5 hrs after launching) for the night. When they say that camping is not recommended due to the bug problem they mean it. I have never seen so many mosquitoes in my life. They buffeted every part of your body simultaneously including parts of your body like your eyelashes if you spoke you ran the risk of getting them in your mouth. The good news is that the 100% Deet repellent successfully repelled the mosquitoes the bad news is that the one ounce spray bottles they come in hold just enough for about one use which left me venerable the next morning and now I look like I have the chicken pox. Exhausted from the paddling and the thought of adding 2 more miles to our 10 mile trek we abandoned our goal of reaching Pope Bay and returned to the drop in point.
While I probably would never kayak into the park again those attempting to do so would be wise to obtain a GPS unit with detailed maps and satellite views. There were very few markings in which to navigate by and we spent a good bit of time paddling out of dead end coves thought to be through passages according to the park map. My GPS unit was several years old and despite a recent map upgrade I resorted to my iPhone (its 3G mostly) to get me though a couple of grassy marsh areas as it gave better land mass recognition. One note the park provided map provides GPS coordinates for all the campsites but does not provide coordinates for Ferry Landing where paddlers put in so make sure you grab a waypoint before you leave.
Overall it was a thrilling experience but only for those in very good physical fitness (i.e. you exercise for endurance regularly) and who are up for a challenge.
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