Last year John and I spent a lovely vacation in Maui. We enjoyed the sun, sand, beach and tropical life .....oh and we camped. Yes went camping in Maui or let me say we tried to camp in Maui. I am pretty sure we did everything you can possibly think of wrong for camping in Hawaii but we survived to talk about it. We had a reservation at a condo for the majority of the trip except for the first night. We looked at hotel prices and just couldn't bring ourselves to pay for 1-night hotel and I think it was John's secret dream to camp in Hawaii. Being a Park Ranger he is all about camping and being out in the wilderness. I don't mind camping but I do like being able to take a shower and flushing toilets. So after flying to Maui a lovely quick 7-hour jaunt from Spokane plus layovers we were on a mission to get a few things and head to our camping spot. John had picked out a campground on the road to Hana by the Seven Sacred Pools.
We arrived in Maui and picked up our car and headed straight to Walmart. We picked up some food and cold drinks, fleece blankets (for some reason we thought we would freeze at night), and pool floaties. We did not pack an air mattress because it took up too much space so we figured we would pick up pool floaties for cheap in Maui. They were cheap and easy to pack around. Plus I figured we could use them later in the week at the beach. We picked up everything we needed and headed for Hana. The road to Hana is a twisty, winding road that is amazing. You get to see wonderful views of the island, water, and tropical foliage.
After what seemed like hours we finally reached the campground at the Seven Sacred Pools. We found our spot and set up the tent. This was the easy part since we have done this many times before. The odd thing this time was watching the Mongoose run back and forth in the woods and on the grass. We had a lovely view of the water and were surrounded by palm trees. Heaven on earth for a tropical beach lover. By this time we had been traveling for what seemed like days and decided to take a nap. Mind you it is the middle of the afternoon in Maui. We crawled into the tent on our pool floaties and used our polar fleece blankets for pillows. Here is were this story takes a sticky hot turn. We had never been tent camping or camping at all in a tropical area. We did not think to leave a flap of the tent open for air circulation. We woke up stuck to our pool floaties and covered in sweat. When I say stuck I mean super stuck to the pool floaties. So much so that when I rolled over it came with me.
We woke up so hot, sweaty and grumpy it really was not funny. I am sure I looked like a total train wreck. Of course, we did not have a cooler or ice with us since we thought we would only be there overnight. I told John that I needed A/C and ice cream and really did not care in what order we found them. Might I remind you that we are at the end of the road to Hana. There is not very much in the area. Thankfully we found a local grocery store that had a cooler of ice cream. If I could have climbed into the cooler and sat among the ice cream cartons I might have. We loaded up on ice cream and cold tea and sat in the car eating every last bite of it. I think we ended up going into the store twice just to get more cold tea and ice cream. Coming from Spokane our bodies were not prepared for the heat and humidity of Maui. Thank goodness we were almost to sunset and the air cooling off.
We ended up having a lovely night once it cooled off and we could enjoy it. I will say that pool floaties do not make great air mattresses. If you sweat even an ounce the pool floaties will stick to you and it does not feel great to pull them off. If you are thinking about camping in Maui pack a sheet or light blanket. There was no need for polar fleece or warm clothes. We were so hot and miserable with fleece.
Check out these great tips for visiting Maui with kids.