We have all been there – that rookie mistake you make when everyone else seems to be watching and laughing. Here is a pointer: If you purchase a new tent, set it up in the backyard for practice prior to venturing into the great outdoors! 🙂 Thankfully, as with all things, experience makes us all wiser! From time to time we post tips of the day on our blog-tips on how to make life easier on the road, or handy things to bring to the campsite. Below are some of the archived tips from the past.
We would also love to hear some of your best helpful pointers! Feel free to share!
We have all been told how important it is to empty out our dryer lint traps. Not only does a lint buildup cause poor air circulation and cause our dryer to be less efficient, it is a major risk for fire. “According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 15,000 fires are sparked every year by clothes dryers. Lint and other debris can build up in your dryer vent, reducing air flow to the dryer, backing up dryer exhaust gases, creating a fire hazard. “Read more: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/money/angies_list/thousands-of-fires-are-sparked-each-year-by-clogged-dryer-vents#ixzz2rQPP05iK
So, let’s make something good out of a bad situation. You should empty your dryer vents every time you use it. Take the lint and store it in a Ziploc bag. You’ll be amazed how much you will accumulate over the period of a month. When you are camping, you can use the dryer lint as a fire starter. Simply take the lint of the bag, spray it with Pam or any other vegetable oil spray, and wrap it with one layer of newspaper. Place it in the fire pit, building up a “teepee” of kindling wood around it. Light the newspaper and watch your fire burn!
Handy Match Dispenser:
I was trolling the internet looking for options for turning a mason jar into a lamp and ran across this little gem at TheBurlapBag.com You need to use strike anywhere type matches for it to work but I love how simple and convenient this is: small mason jar, sandpaper, matches.
Keep Track of Favorite Campsites:
We recently returned from a trip to discover two postcards had come in the mail from my brother. He travels a good bit for business and pleasure and frequently sends postcards to the family. It is a nice gesture and lets us know he is thinking about us on his travels. It made me think how I should do a better job of doing the same on our travels! After further thought, I had a simple solution to one of our frequent dilemmas. We often go to book stays at our favorite campgrounds only to discover that we have forgotten the best sites where we like to set up. A simple solution is to send a postcard to OURSELVES on our travels with the best campsites written on the back. These postcards can then be easily organized by location (the picture is on the front!) and kept in a small photo album. I would recommend the kind that hold a single photo in a clear sleeve, so you can flip through and see both front and back. Purchase a roll of postcard stamps so you don’t need to find a post office to purchase them. Simply mail the cards in any postal dropbox. Sure if you want to spare the expense you could simply collect the cards as you go – but I like the idea that the postmark also keeps track of the date you visited.
Plan for your Pets:
If you are traveling with pets, prior to leaving for your trip, research the local vets in case of an emergency. It would be a good idea to contact the vet ahead of time to find out what papers you should bring with you. Also, ask the campground if they have any suggested vets that have a reputation for great service. If they do not have a list of vets, contact the local Better Business Bureau.
Try the Local Coffee:
They say that a dog is man’s best friend and as a dog owner I could not agree more. However, on a cool spring (or fall) morning, camping in the woods, coffee is my best friend. It’s the only way to start the day. Amy and I are avid coffee drinkers and start every camping morning off with a strong brew. Today’s Camping Tip consists of two parts. First, we look at the practical side of things.
If you tent camp (packing your stuff in the trunk) or you have a popup camper like we do (limited storage) this one is for you. We stow our coffee maker in a soft-sided, insulated cooler. This was a large lunch-type bag that was given to us as a gift and we never used it. So, why not use it as our storage container for our coffee maker? It fits snug in the cooler and the insulated inside provides padding for the bumpy ride. The cooler fits underneath the dining room table of the popup.
When Amy and I visit different places, we try to buy a bag of the local coffee and use it at our campsite. We have come across some pretty good brews. One of the best brews we had actually came from a campground near our home. Go figure. Winton Woods is a park/campground run by Hamilton County (Cincinnati, Ohio). Their campstore had a bag of coffee (pecan flavor) so we decided to try it. It was excellent. As we have traveled to places like Door County, Wisconsin, Traverse City, Michigan or Chattanooga, Tennessee, we make an effort to try their local coffee. It’s one way to broaden your camping/traveling experience and contribute to the local tourist economy.