At Fit City Campout, we paddled, ran, swam and tried Dutch oven campfire cooking

Katie Shea and Jess Jackel relax inside their tent at the Fit City Campout. Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

I barely had time to chill out in a hammock between the standup paddleboarding, swimming, trail running, wall climbing and star gazing this weekend at the Fit City Campout at Pedernales River Nature Park in Johnson City.

A camper enjoys lunch after setting up her tent at the Fit City Campout. Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

Roughly 100 people turned out for our campout, a partnership between Fit City, REI and the Lower Colorado River Authority.

We went for a run as the sun set. Chris LeBlanc/for the American-Statesman

And boy, that park! It’s normally reserved for day use, but LCRA allowed us to pitch our tents alongside the river, where we watched fish jump, deer graze and birds roost as the stars popped out.

We got to look through telescopes at the planets. Chris LeBlanc/American-Statesman
Looking at Venus. Photo by Chris LeBlanc/for the American-Statesman

The best part? Meeting lots of folks who love the outdoors as much as I do. We wrapped up the day with a Dutch oven cooking demonstration (green chile tamale pic and pineapple upside down cake), a night trail run, live music from the J. Abram Band, a barbecue dinner, s’mores and star gazing.

Star gazing and s’mores! Chris LeBlanc/for American-Statesman

Thanks to all the sponsors, including Austin-based Packit Gourmet, which served up the best grits, corn souffle and oatmeal breakfast; Subaru, which showed us the ultimate in car camping; Nuun, which kept us hydrated; and Kammok, which set up a village of hammocks.

Pedernales River Nature Park features a developed area, and a stretch of wild river, where some folks set up chairs and cooled their heels. Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman


Chris LeBlanc naps in a hammock during the Fit City campout this weekend. Pam LeBlanc/Austin-American-Statesman

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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