Tom, Max and I went camping in Big Bear Lake back in September. It took us two hours to go from sea level (we live five blocks from the beach) to 8,000 feet in the air in the San Bernardino National Forest.
Ever since this visit, camping has obsessed a large portion of my brain. I'm constantly googling for nearby campsites, comparing reviews of gear and hiking trails; every time I visit a big box store I spend a significant portion of time in the "camping & outdoors" section, shopping in my head; plus, I'm always converting recipes we make at home to camp-friendly fair ("oh, we could just marinate this chicken on the way up and throw it on the grill when we get there!")
Here's a photo journal of our time in Big Bear, staying at the Hanna Flat campground.
you can just ignore that GIANT bottle of SKYY vodka in our messy tent. WHAT! we were camping!
pro tip: bring along fritos for your frito pie, because they also double as awesome kindling!
hiking the trail from hanna flat to the lake - this is a burn out area
Max was understandably not a happy hiker (on this NINE MILE TRAIL, wtf?), and Tom ended up carrying him like a papoose in a sling for half the journey
Now, I'm done editing this post and I can get back to googling "best camping site in southern california" for the twentieth time.
PS - if you have a favorite camping spot down here, let me know in the comments! Or even CA in general.