Here are a few tips and things that are very much needed for a camping trip!! Firstly a good water proof tent, once I had a tent that wasn't water proof.. soggy wet isn't good! Another good thing to take with you is a roses or quality street sweetie tin as a make shift campfire.. you just collect some wood and maybe take some firelighters with you put the wood and firelighters in the tin and hey presto light it up with a lighter (you have brought with you) and fabby camp fire with a lid that you just put on when you are finished. Here are some things I ALWAYS take : Midgie Repeleant!! you could get eaten alive.. Wellies extra socks a hat baby wipes (incase you need a pee etc), doubles up as hand wash! hand gel to kill germs light rain jacket gloves homemade pasta as it stays fresh lots of goodies like crisps, nuts beers
I used to go camping all the time. I hated it. Either we would go on vacation and stay in a tent to save on a hotel room or else I had to go to this Boy Scout knockoff Boys program at my church where the unimaginative idjits in charge could think of nothing more creative to do than go camping. In retrospect I bet it is only because they could find an excuse to shower with us at the campgrounds. I just did not enjoy being cold, wet and eating carcinogenic food that was inevitabley raw or burnt. Vacation time is far too precious to waste in such a manner. Now just in the last year have I discovered what camping really is. Basically it is a male bonding experience to take part in, and do all the stuff real men do without hazarding any risk to anybodies home. Here's how we plan a campout. 1. We figure out where we want to go. And then we find out if they have cabins for rent there. 2. We decide if we are going to go NATO or Warsaw Pact with our weapons. Only a fool would venture into the urban or rural portions of America without being adequately armed. But if you have a group of people you should synchronize your weaponry so that everyone is using the same interchangeable ammo. There are bear and wildcats out there in the forest. They just don't live at zoos. And unlike the ones at the zoo who prefer to eat cotton candy and ice cream the ones that are wild eat humans. Of all demographic groups that support private ownership of firearms, people in the process of being mauled by a bear are the most supportive of the right to bear arms. 3. We get alcohol. Who would go out into the wilderness without plenty of cheer to counter the lack of physical comforts? Being an ardent conservationist I don't like taking countless cans of beer into the forest because you have to find a river to throw your empties into or else you have to bury all those cans. Now there are certain drinks fit for an outdoorsman and they are some that aren't. Drinks like Black Velvet, Bicardi 151, and East Prussian bear Hunter ( a new drink we discovered, a honey based liqour from Germany) are good outdoorsman drinks. But stuff like cognac, Skyy and Tequila are not. Of course the best drink for camping is that good old Mountain Dew, that good stuff, Moonshine. We were drinking shine last night and it made us want to race our cars and crank call the grocery stores. But that doesn't happen when you are in a secluded area. 4. Food. Strange as it may seem most campsites do not have reliable pizza delivery even if you have a mobile phone. And most cabins don't have microwaves yet. So basically you are screwed. So you are stuck with cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew and corn on the cob and beef jerky. You can bring some pressured sealed steaks and all that jazz but real men go into the backwoods with just some salt and pepper and live off the fat of the land by killing what they need to eat, whether Fish, Crawdads, or Rabbits. But all real men need to consider that they may be too drunk to stalk or that the park ranger may confiscate all the weapons during a moment of weakness on behalf of the campers (no straight thinking man would ever relinquish his firearms to a public official) So take a few cans of baked beans. A can opener is a nice assessory if you are roughing it. 5. Entertainment. There's no internet or Strip clubs out there so you got to improvise. A small handheld TV is good, as well as a California Bible (deck of cards). Really it is very important to try to avoid anything sexually provacative because if you take a bunch of dirty magazines out there the next thing you know your tent mates are wanting to "double up" in the sleeping sacks because "it is so cold out". Then all sorts of bad stuff happens that diminish the fond memories of the trip making it an "outing" in more ways than one. I found that bringing a book or two about Bigfoot and bear attacks is an excellent source of inspiration for campers. 6. Knives, lots of knives, Texas toothpicks, bayonets, axes and your all purpose Swiss army knife. You can never have too many blades about. 7. Warm clothes or a saw to hew down some more firewood, it is an either-or situation. If you are cold you can always build a bigger fire. A chain saw can be a lot of fun. If you get bored you can play a game where a person throws dead birds at the man with the chainsaw to see if he can hit him. Of course the chainsawee has to block the carcasses from hitting him. Trust me, this is not about avoiding being hit by a dead bird, because it gets real messy. That is all there is to it to planning a great get away and retreat back to the great outdoors. Have fun
Why are British campsites always at the end of the narrowest twisty roads right under a permanent rain cloud. These rustic lanes are pacifically designed to be corked by obese vulgar caravans by balding middle class man who drag it around once a year to everyone?s detriment and peril. If you are stuck a rear of him for most of Sunday coming into Devon and Cornwall on that one road its like being behind Vanessa Feltz who?s waddling to the patisserie. The kids are gripped listening to Harry Potters latest read by mum as dad swings it around corners taking out the strawberry sellers at every crossroad?s. The lost city of Atlantis locations of these sites means if they are full up you can expect ?caravan man?to be coming back the other way with a red face and no way of passing other caravan men. To make your day even worse, one of those wannabe radio presenters who has to drag along with hourly weather slots whilst flirting with just about everyone informs you that you are stuck in a traffic jam. You know the sea is just over that eternal horizon that will be a signal to the kids to stop squabbling and then go into an even more menacing excited rant. Finally you pitch up with no wing mirrors and part of a Dolphin explorer 300 series mobile home hanging of your roof rack. The tent is hurled into the smallest puddle on the only level ground, which is of course where all the water is also settling in for the night. Back at home in the carport next to the spare Calor gas canister is the bag of straight tent pegs, which leaves you with the ones as bent and skewered as Michael Barrymore. But this patch of pasture and smelly fungus ridden canvas is the family?s home for the next what seems like a month so you best make the most of it. Dads strikes up the first brew on that highly unstable portable stove that teeters like George Best on Oliver Reeds stag night starting a small fire with the inner canvas. Never the less its very satisf ying to lift the mood with a brew, if you have remembered the sugar. But you haven?t so big brother is dispatched to the camp shop while everyone else listens to the rain. You hear him approach by the squelching noises and the livestock he?s picked up as friends on the return across the round about route. The first night starts of well as you are mesmerized by those glowing bugs you only seem to get on campsites. The distant enticing spooky growl of the oceans offers a better time tomorrow, if only the rain will go the f**k away. But you awake to cloud levels as gray as the girth of a sunken battleship just above the ankle. But the family jumps into the car whatever with the fluorescent bucket and spade to the beach regardless, as this is what we came for. This is why it only costs three quid a pitch. Three hours later after negotiating those lanes and the new batch of caravan men you get your first glimpse of that emerald blue green pristine ocean kissing the sea of Mediterranean sky. But no its white horses and the ocean the color of paints when you mixed em up as kids. The menacing wind blows another Dolphin 300 over the edge. The biggest problem of all for beachcombers in the South West is finding that path to the sand. You see trails of lost people spiraling down through the heather and disturbed seagulls on the cliffs but no conceivable way of joining the oddessy. Finally a woman with socks over her boots chumps by in a shiny yellow waterproof allowing you and the family to zip into the slipstream for that secret root down. She must no where?s she?s going with enamel badges on her walking stick and setting a cracking pace and directed navigation. You go up and then sprits are lifted as you go down with the sea nearing. But then you go up again as she settles in for a mornings bird watching in hidden wooden observation point that allows one to see Cardiff!. Three hours later you find a path that gets you half way down the precipice and scramble over rocks and tufts of prickly grass in a suicidal attempt at the golden sands. Mum doesn?t do stupid insane things like that as she hangs back with an old lady watching Greater Spotted birds that crash into the sea. She waves at her kin from on high as they finally mingle with the other ants writing hearts in the sand with driftwood. Well at least they look like hearts. Dogs that are lethargic in cities suddenly become energetic and down the nearest person with a mighty lurch. But revenge is sweet as the fallen hurls a stick into the perfect storm for the dog never to be seen again. But theres no time for enjoyment down there as the tide line and sea weed level is at the bottom of those mythical steps you never quite found. The teens that always find those caves that have cut off written all over them are waving frantically for yellow helicopters. But of course the real mythical steps back to the camp site and your tent are in the cave where the wise ones are now as the waves begin to slap around your ankles. Panic grips you as you make a run for it around rocky beachheads as the waves lick and slurp at the black barnacle coated boulders. Back at the top you resight your dramatic escape to the unimpressed misses who now knows all about topiary and the local wildlife, but no idea where the car is. The car park is of course the proud owner of just one vehicle as the darkness comes and that wind whips up. Back at base after an easy ride coasting by beached caravans on those little side bits that are supposed to allow two to pass you are shocked to see three sides of the tent flapping in the wind. Straight to bed after a traumatic day as you huddle in the damp sleeping bag praying that the howling gale has done its worse. As all who have camped know, multi birth tents are designed to channel every drop of condensation and water along the steel frames and down your neck or last remain ing dry bit with extreme accuracy. Everyone else on the site who has been here a few days is wise to the fact you cant sleep in a torrents of water and have huddled together and packed into the games room at the campsite complex. This is where gangs of teens put the week?s pocket money in fruit machines and try impress the pretty girls in boob tubes of their skills with tipples pool queue?s. Come the end of the night you have the stark choice of going to the local boozer or the campsite Friday night disco. Sweaty seventeen year old coming of age moments are very common in these dens of innocent inequity. Theres always one or two pretty sweet girls waiting to be deflowered. Single babes don?t go on their own to cacky camping holidays, so its up to the will of God to find two guys and two girls to pair of in each others two person berths. The biggest trauma on one of these holidays is finding a suitable location near the shower block so you don?t have to run that gauntlet. Even George Clooney looks rough after a night on the beer and under the canvas. So you have to bury yourself under three towels and your bog bag just incase one of those cute girls and boys from tonight?s disco see you. But you needn?t worry about your pulling potential as the local guys are going to cop off with the girl of your dreams as you chuck up your first pint of Special Brew. Then it happens, you are woken by pleasant sun warm and frantic zipping and activity all around you. The touch OF the canvass is warm to your hands. Theres no one around the shower block to look and mock. The sky is colbolt blue with wispy clouds and vapor trails. Of course, its leaving day, that?s why the day is perfect and everyone?s in a hurry. Last one to the ludicrously narrow camp exit is a wally. Three hundred angry bouncing caravans triangulate on a ten feet gap. It?s only Brits who have to experience the sadism of camping. It?s almost a right of passage for hard working British families to turn their backs on the all in package holiday home comforts. The bizarre temptation to up sticks and pitch up in a soggy field seems branded into British culture. It?s like when someone asks us directions and we take it as an honor. Then go over the details in our heads to make sure we haven?t sent them to Venus over and over again. Camping us part of our do good culture to put ourselves through the grinder and award ourselves another certificate of being truly British????..Carry on camping.
How not to feed the bears or loose wandering toddlers to those pesky mountain lions. Some general tips from a camping family of five which I hope you find useful. 1. PACK as little as possible, you are *supposed* to be roughing it, remember? We have a rather small car which only seems to shrink more each day as my kids continue to grow. I call it our Clown car; when my husband of 6’4” frame and our lanky brood of children begin pouring out and unpacking, people don’t know whether to laugh out loud or gape in awe. And we pack *only* what we need! We keep “camping clothes” for both warm and cool weather. These articles are in perfectly good condition yet are used, or as one daughter says, ugly enough that none of us will much mind if they get lost or even destroyed. One year I was even so well prepared that I had a weekend’s worth of camp clothes packed, separated by child, and ready for use in their old school backpacks. Boy, was that handy! I try to keep as much gear as possible ready for a trip at a moment’s notice and having one place to store all of our camping gear helps tremendously. Finally, never forget that kids are dirt magnets. They all have a knack for teetering into any body of water large enough to get them wet or sliding through mud like veteran otters! So, always pack at least one complete set of clothing extra, including shoes! Packing each outfit into a zip lock bag is immensely helpful when you have smaller kids and this will also help to keep clothes dry on wet weather trips! 2. RAIN-BUSTING ACTIVITIES: We once spent almost 14 days camping in some form of heavy moisture: fog, dew, and several varieties of rain. A pack of cards is cheap, takes up no room and is invaluable when it insists on raining! You can always pack a large zip lock bag with paper, crayons or pens, a glue stick, and pair of scissors. Hangman, Add a Line, paper boats and airplanes are just a f ew of the things that can help you pass the time and even the youngest child enjoys drawing. Challenge your kids to come up with their very own game! If everyone has dry clothes to change into, you might consider playing more active games like Tag or Hide and Seek in the rain. Kids LOVE this and how could you regret the hot shower and steamy beverage of your choice that should follow such an activity? If you aren’t feeling up to such an event and are the type of campers who never go anywhere without your air mattress then here is another suggestion. Using a permanent marker and a ruler you can make boards that are good for several games like Chess or Backgammon. Pieces for such games can often be collected from friends and family each of whom are missing a few here and there, made to order on the spot or you can always rely on second hand stores, which are a good source for match ‘em yourself sets. If you should bring along such a heinous device as a Gameboy...well, first of all SHAME on you! and Secondly, *only* use them as a last resort, never tell the kids that you have them unless you have to and for goodness sake make sure they have working batteries! 3. CAMPFIRE FUN: Taking turns telling amusing or creepy tales around the fire is almost as old as fire itself. Story Rounds are fun for the whole family; One person begins a story and then each person in the circle takes a turn adding to it. You will be amazed at your child’s imagination as well as the insight it can offer you! There are several games that can be played in a circle like this, The Minister’s Cat, for example. Beginning with the letter A, the first person says “The Minister’s Cat is an ____ cat!” Filling in the blank with any descriptive word stating with the appropriate letter. There are many variations on this theme that you could come up with and you can make it as challenging as you feel is appropriate. W e usually give everyone a turn at each letter, going once around the circle, before starting with the next letter. In the adult version, a tempo must be kept, or each new word must be added on and remembered by the next player, but we simply play to pass the time and amuse ourselves. Fun for all ages, this game improves vocabulary and helps with other important language skills, like alphabetizing. I usually end up in a laughing fit at the plight of that poor cat by the end of our game. Flat, gooey, hairless...you name it and my kids have probably inflicted it upon the hapless feline! Being Scouts, my kids are always learning songs and skits which they love to teach us or put on as “Dinner Theatre” after the evening meal. If you want some inspiration for this activity, search under Boy or Girl Scout skits and you will find plenty of sites to browse! Learning fire safety is always important and can begin at an early age. Involve your child in the making of your campfire and teach them not only how to build one but more importantly how to respect it! It is not a toy and they should never be allowed to idly play with it by sticking things in to see if they will burn. They’ll try though! Learning the difference between tinder and kindling is a good starting point and kids make great collectors. 4. BUG BUSTER: Soaking a rag with Avon’s Skin So Soft and hanging it at head height in your tent helps to keep those insects out. It won’t keep you bug free, but it Will keep you from being eaten alive! 5. MARSHMALLOW STICKS: Straighten out an all metal clothes hanger (NO plastic coating!) and using needle nose pliers put a small loop at one end. Then, slide a couple of wooden spools on to make a safe handle. Use the pliers to make a crimp above the spools to hold them in place and Presto! You now have your very own marshmallow stick that you can bring on every trip! *Priceless for S’more lovers! Now that you are armed, try using Reese’s peanut butter cups instead of a piece of chocolate in your s’more! 6. MOST State and National parks have activities on the weekends that are both fun and educational. In national parks, kids can complete tasks to earn a Jr. Ranger’s badge. We learned about the poisonous snakes at a park in Ohio, which really came in handy for identifying the snake that bit my son the next day as non-poisonous! That was still quite an adrenaline rush though. It definitely pays to learn about the animals you are camping amongst! 7. WALKIE TALKIES: are a great help and I hope to be able to afford a decent set someday. Until then, I bring my whistle to call the kids back to camp. It works so well, I have even used our ‘code’ to call them in at home. My neighbors are very understanding! 8. FIRST AID: Camping is a great opportunity to teach your kids the important skill of basic first aid. Use a good reference book if you are unsure where to start! Our kids helped to put our kit together using their Scout books. We always pack our first aid kit and take it everywhere we go while camping. Including a fire source like matches, individually wrapped tea bags, dry tinder and even granola bars in a pack becomes helpful if you get lost on the trail! After-bite and a good burn ointment are musts in any first aid kit. Being able to spot poison oak, ivy and sumac can save you or a loved one a lot of discomfort and time. Peterson’s field guides are excellent with clear photos for on the spot comparisons. Here’s a handy little camper’s tip: Keep your eyes open for Touch-Me-Nots, bushy plants often growing at least hip high in the wild with yellow flowers like snap dragons and small pods that spring open if touched. The juice from its stalks and leaves counteract the oil from poison ivy! Also, never use hot water when dealing with such irritants as this will open the pores of your s kin and promote the spreading of the rash. 9. ALWAYS: Keep food cleared and well contained to avoid critter raids. Garbage should be disposed of each night, hung by rope from a high limb away from campers (this will NOT stop raccoons determined to claim your left over fajitas!) or kept in the car till morning. You would be surprised how many people forget or neglect this simple safety rule! Soaps, gum, and even cough drops can attract those midnight bandits, by the way. 10. Ten Gallon CONTAINERS: Rubbermaid or a similar sturdy brand have large containers that are great for storing dry good, like cans, oatmeal,& bread, for large groups or on extended trips. The lids are difficult enough to keep out the majority of critters. I wish I had enough room in my car to use this more often as it keeps everything sorted nicely, stores easily, and prevents softer items from getting crushed. 11. USE the web to check out potential campsites as well as near by attractions. Learning about bathroom accommodations, types of sites, swimming, shower or laundry availability can help you to prepare yourself and decide what activities to choose for the trip. I have found state and national parks to be particularly well represented online. 12.Foil Meals: Place just about anything with about 2 Tbsp of any liquid in tin foil and it will cook on the coals in about ten minutes. Wrap them well, making one for each person (Large packets are not recommended) and be creative! We usually prepare fajitas (assembling the foil packets at home so they are ready to throw on) as our first camping dinner , not only because this method cooks quickly, but it goes straight from the foil onto a tortilla- NO DISHES! Thinly sliced chicken or round steak & peppers with whatever other vegetables your family likes along with 2 tbsp of a bottled sauce (2 tbsp per packet) will work well and can be topped with shredded cheese before you roll it up! We have m ade some great casseroles with ham, potatoes and cheese using this method and eat them right out of the foil. (If only cooking at home could be so dish-free!) 13.Mountain pie makers,: The BEST ones are heavy with thicker rods than Coleman's brand. If you get lucky and find these at a Mom and Pop store GRAB them! Using squeeze-bottle butter, bread, canned pizza sauce, pre-shredded cheese and pepperoni will make personal pizzas that every kid loves! Dessert pies can be made with pie filling (Thank You brand thoughtfully provides a plastic lid in case you don't finish it all at once!) and cinnamon raisin bread is a must! (Try it with cream cheese and your favorite filling!) Large families will want at least 2 pie makers, but some times you can find a double pie maker which makes 2 at a time. 14. DON’T OVER PLAN! This is a vacation! No more than 1 major or 2 minor activities should be planned in a single day. For example, leaving camp to check out some nearby caves is a major activity while fishing and swimming within your campground are minor activities. This leaves plenty of room for relaxation, kite flying, spontaneous games of Frisbee. Most important is to remember that this is quality time with your family! You will be making memories and teaching invaluable lessons that your child will carry with them the rest of their lives. You will have the opportunity to talk and listen to your kids that you will seldom find anywhere else, as well as the chance to open their eyes to the wonders around them. How to be responsible, to be self-sufficient, to care for and understand their environment, to appreciate beauty of the world around them and to take time away from the busy grind of everyday life just to be with loved ones. What more could you want? I hope you found something new or useful here. I felt that these 12 tips were quite enough to keep you busy until next time when I hope to share some new ideas for Ou tdoor Cooking! Frankly, we eat like lords of the forest when camping, which well contribute to our enjoyment of this pastime. Want to swap some recipes?