How To Plan The Perfect Low-Key Lake Weekend This Summer


This summer looks a lot different than what we were expecting. Has it been that way for you too?

We pictured ourselves packing our calendar with epic things to do in the Pacific Northwest, taking challenging backpacking trips every weekend, and spending our days with the windows rolled down on an open road.

That didn’t happen, of course, and instead of grandiose journeys, we find ourselves sticking close to home. And honestly, we’re not mad about it! 2020 has given us an opportunity to slow down and experience our hometown in ways we never have before.

This is why when Stanley reached out to collaborate, we knew the perfect way to highlight their brand in a familiar and fun way. In this post, we’re giving you an inside look at how we planned a low-key weekend getaway and the Stanley products that helped enrich our experience!

How We Planned a Perfect Low-Key Lake Weekend With Stanley

This post is sponsored by Stanley PMI via Avantlink. All opinions, creative direction, and messaging are our own.

Pick The Perfect Getaway Spot

The first thing we thought of when planning a low-key weekend getaway was finding the right location. This can be anything that you deem low-key – from choosing a friend’s lake cabin (like we did here!) to finding a secluded backcountry campsite in the woods.

We knew we wanted to be by the water, enjoy a crackling campfire, and watch the sunrise and sunset. Our friends had the perfect cabin situated on a lake just an hour’s drive from our house, so we decided to spend the weekend there!

Want some location inspiration? Here are some other Pacific Northwest cabins to check out:

And here’s how we spent our weekend (and inspiration for your own trip too!)…

Hang Out By The Water All Afternoon

One of the easiest ways to spend an afternoon is laying around on the dock. We brought out a basket of books and sunscreen, smoothed out the beach towels, and spent hours chatting & catching up after months apart.

It felt really nice to not have a busy afternoon, but rather take it easy and listen to the waves softly hit the shore.

Need some ideas for spending time out by the water? Here’s what we spend our afternoon doing:

Grab a few inflatables and relax out on the water. Sometimes on a hot summer day, the best place to hang out is IN the water!

Grab a beach chair and read a good book. Lake days are meant to be taken slow, so kicking back with a good book (and a big sunhat!) was the perfect way to spend a sunny day.

Bring an easy-carry cooler out to the dock to enjoy ice-cold drinks. Nothing is more refreshing than an ice-cold drink on a hot day! We stocked our Stanley Adventure Easy Outdoor 16q Cooler with popsicles and drinks for easy access by the beach.

We found this Stanley cooler to be the perfect size for our beach afternoon – it was compact to easily tote around, but could hold a surprising quantity of popsicles at the same time!

Cook Dinner Over The Fire

Summertime cooking is always best when prepared outside! Whether that be the grill, an open campfire, or a camp cooking stove, something about eating outside is what brings up all those fond seasonal memories.

This weekend’s menu consisted of make-your-own tacos, with all the fixings! Here is the recipe:

MYO Taco Ingredients:

  • Choice of meat (we bought steak!)
  • Lettuce
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Chopped onions
  • Avocados (chopped and mixed for guacamole)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Tortilla shells
  • Tortilla chips
  • Salsa
All of the ingredients fit into our 16q Adventure Cooler for easy toting to the picnic table.

First, we chopped up all the fresh ingredients into separate bowls. We used the cutting board from our Stanley cook set for convenient slicing and then we prepped the table with plates and utensils from the same nesting set.

It was nice to have everything all in one set, so we could worry less about having the right tools and enjoy each other’s company more!

Stanley’s Adventure All-In-One Fry Pan Set

After prepping the ingredients, we cooked the rest of the food over the fire. Berty is our master steak maker (really, you’ve gotta try one of his grilled creations!) and we cooked those cuts straight on the open-fire grate.

While the steak was cooking over the campfire, we grilled some onions and cooked some chili alongside the cuts. We absolutely love that the Stanley camp Pro Cook Set can be used over an open flame!

The Stanley Camp Pro Cook Set fits in one easy nested set!

After heating up the tortillas and cutting up the steak into strips, it was time to serve up and enjoy our meal! We really like making tacos for groups because everyone gets to make their own creations, which means optimal satisfaction to go around!

The state of the table after a fun meal and full bellies!

Sit Around The Campfire

After a successful meal over the fire, we decided to grab a thermos and enjoy some warm drinks while watching the sunset behind us. We brought blankets down to the water’s edge so we could stay out late, and strung up some lights to set the vibe!

The Classic Legendary Bottle 2.5 Quarts
Our lakeside set up for dinner.

Fishing At Sunset

On Eloika Lake, fishing is a popular pastime. Speedboats aren’t allowed to create big waves here (it’s a no-wake lake), so most of the boats that passed by consisted of rowboats, canoes, or small fishing boats.

This meant that the evenings here were still & quiet, perfect for casting out a pole in hopes for an evening bite. We spent an hour casting out fishing lines, and even teaching me (Emily) how to use a pole!

Most of the time was spent watching my friend Lydia cast out her line to catch a fish while I watched. (Who knew our Stanley cooler could double as a temporary chair, too??)

Read More: Stay cozy with our complete cabin packing list!

Take The Canoe Out For Sunrise

To make the most of our time our on the lake, we decided to wake up early and watch the sunrise!Lydia and I grabbed a thermos of coffee, hopped into the canoe, and paddled out to the middle of the lake to peek at the light rays coming from the trees.

We love that this Stanley thermos has a built-in cup for a lid, which is perfect for packing light and on-the-go.

This particular vacuum-seal thermos can actually fit an entire pot of coffee, which was essential for the four of us to function this early in the morning!

Between canoe rides, brewing more coffee, and cooking pancakes over the fire, we actually had a jam-packing morning of things to do!

Knowing that coffee was essential for all of these activities, the handle on the Classic Legendary thermos made it incredibly easy for toting it around on busy mornings like this one!

Making Coffee Over The Fire

Now you may think that the giant thermos of coffee was enough for all four of us, but you underestimate the amount of caffeine us PNW natives drink!

We wanted to test out our new percolator by trying out different methods of brewing, which included yet another open fire and cozy vibes. Unsure of how to use a percolator? Keep scrolling and we’ll show you how:

Stanley Cool Grip Camp Percolator

How to use a Percolator Camping Coffee Pot:

  1. Fill it up with water just below where the basket sits.
  2. Place the basket and stem in the pot.
  3. Add fresh coffee grounds to the basket, and place the lid on top.
  4. Add percolator to the fire and wait till the water boils.
  5. Once the water boils, set the percolator to the side (in or out of the fire) to let sit for 10 minutes or more.
  6. Remove from fire, remove the basket, and discard the coffee grounds.
  7. Pour yourself a cup and enjoy!

Have Breakfast On The Dock

To celebrate the last day of our weekend getaway, we decided to cook over the fire one last time and make pancakes and eggs for a fun breakfast on the dock.

The Stanley camp cook sets (we have the Base Camp Cook Set, but the similar pro version is now available online) have easily nested pieces, fitting into a compact space while still expanding to provide you with all the necessary tools.

After cooking the food, we brought it to the dock to enjoy! We set up the space with a fun picnic-esque ambiance, like laying out blankets and bringing out bright flowers & place settings. It was a really fun way to end the weekend and celebrate one final meal together.

Wrapping Up The Weekend

We hope you enjoyed a little peek into how we plan a low-key weekend getaway! During this strange time we’re living through, I hope trips like this will inspire you to create your own getaway and know that it doesn’t have to be far away or extravagant!

Sometimes the places close to home have everything you need, and we hope that you enjoyed seeing the Stanley products that were highlighted in this blog post! To curate your own close-to-home adventure, check out the Stanley website for their entire collection of mugs, growlers, thermoses, and so much more. 


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