Smores 2.0

Smores…how do I love thee:

…let me count the ways!

Take all of the ingredients in a s’more individually and if you ask me they aren’t anything spectacular.  Graham crackers – eh, they are OK.  Marshmallows – sweet and chalky, then mushy, and finally sticky.  Chocolate – well, OK chocolate is great but I am not sure the standard Hershey’s chocolate bar would be my first choice if I’m going to splurge on calories.  But you put all those ingredients together and something magical happens!  I am pretty sure it has something to do with the amount of effort it takes to toast the marshmallow just to your liking and the science that goes in to how the warm marshmallow melts the chocolate not too much but JUST right.  Anyone who has ever tried an “indoor s’more” in the microwave knows what I am talking about here-you just can’t duplicate the toasty goodness of a campfire s’more.


While I am sure there are many of you that are s’more purists, I thought I would share some tasty variations on the s’more that you might enjoy.  The nice folks at Sheri’s Berries also reached out to us with some new versions on the old classic with the cool infographic below! You can check out their awesome products here:



Almond Joy:

Use Kraft Jet-Puffed Toasted Coconut marshmallows and Hershey’s with Almonds, Graham Crackers


Same marshmallows and grahams with Hershey’s Dark Chocolate


Chocolate Grahams, regular marshmallow, York peppermint patty.

Strawberry Shortcake:

Honey graham crackers, strawberry jam, regular marshmallow, Hershey’s white chocolate.

The Lazy Man:

Moonpie roasted on a stick. (As good as it is easy!)

Elfin Magic:

Toasted marshmallow between two fudge-stripe cookies.

S’more Shooter:

1/2 ounce Chocolate syrup

1/2 ounce cream or half and half

1/4 ounce Bailey’s

1/2 ounce Marshmallow Vodka

mini marshmallows

Pour syrup in bottom of glass, mix remaining liquids in a shaker with ice and pour. Top with mini marshmallows.  If you really want to get fancy you can rim the glass with chocolate syrup dipped in crushed graham crackers.

And submitted by Joe Panfalone:

Ice Creme Cone Smores

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, or more to taste 12 ice cream cones 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows, or more to taste 12 12×12-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil


Place about 1 teaspoon chocolate chips into an ice cream cone, followed by a layer of mini marshmallows. Continue layering chips and marshmallows into the cone until full. Repeat with remaining chips, marshmallows, and cones. Wrap each cone tightly in aluminum foil.

Heat the foil-wrapped cones in a campfire until chocolate and marshmallows are melted, 3 to 5 minutes.




Camping Tip of the Day: Making Use of Dryer Lint

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:

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!


Why does the campfire smoke follow me? (and other burning questions…)

Doug and I have been camping for roughly nine months and I have enjoyed the experience completely!  I have also made some observations on our travels that have left me with unanswered questions.  Anyone who knows me well can attest that unanswered questions never stay that way for long!  Thank you internet!

Why does the campfire smoke always follow me?

I know, I know, it is not just me!  Anytime we have gathered around a campfire with friends and family it is funny to watch the game of musical chairs that ensues as the smoke decides to travel in circles.  But why does it do this?  It seems to happen whether it is windy or calm!

IMG_2859     According to experts (well various people on discussion boards, anyway), the smoke isn’t really following you.  it is simply reacting to the changes in air flow when a person or many people move around the fire.  Theoretically, if you were to all sit perfectly still, the smoke would only bother one person in the direct pattern of air flow.  But who stays perfectly still?  And don’t forget those dogs that are always moving around…they shift the air flow continuously.  That’s it!  Blame it on the dog!

According to many sources, the Native Americans had it all figured out.  The tee-pee shape causes a better burn with less smoke because it funnels all the energy upward.  The downside is the heat is also directed that way.  So when you start a nice tee-pee fire you are not bothered by smoke until it gets going and you rearrange the wood to get more heat from the fire.

The best remedy I could find, aside from buying a smoke shifter from Camp-Mor, was this from “Kambucta” –The scientifically tried and true method to deflect smoke is to lick your pointer finger and then point it in the opposite direction to which the smoke is drifting.The only problem arises when the campfire is surrounded by people all doing the same thing. I have, however, seen smoke spiral into an upward vortex when this happens.

I can’t wait to try it! 🙂

Why is the big fat hairy spider in the campground shower with me?


One of the most vivid things I recall about our camping trip to Winton Woods State Park in Cincinnati was the huge spider that shared the shower stall with me.  I must confess this picture was not taken by me (I would not have had the composure to take such a clear picture in this scenario nor would I have dared taking the camera into such a dangerously wet environment!) You can click the pic to see John and Christa’s blog about the “incident”. In any event, I was completely bewildered why a spider would want to hang out in a shower to begin with.  Wouldn’t it be a dangerous place for a spider to hang out?  Or just the perfect place to find the perfect victim!

The most common answer I found was that they don’t want to be there any more than you want them there!  They crawl on the ceiling and fall down.  Then, because the walls are slippery, they are unable to get out.  Some people suggested helping them out….I think I will just cower in the corner, thank you very much!

Why do mosquitos bite some people more than others?

mosquito_65147_7 Have you ever noticed that mosquitos seem to enjoy some of us better than others?  Well, turns out it is true. Mosquitos have a preference to victims with type “O” blood – great, how lucky for them it is the most common!  Turns out some of us “O” people even secrete some sort of marker through our skin that tells the mosquitos we are a tasty delight.  They are also attracted to carbon dioxide emission, so those of us who are prone to mouth breathing or heavy breathing from hiking those trails – look out!  The mosquitos are hot on your trail.  Sorry pregnant women, you are giving off more CO2 and they can smell you a mile away! But you may sympathize with this tidbit I found out – only female mosquitos bite.  They need the nourishment to support the larvae that in turn will become lots of little mosquitos eager to bite you some more!

Are there any Canadian Geese left in Canada?

Because it seems like they have all moved here.  This is not just an observation from camping, but observations from anywhere we go.  Those honkers are EVERYWHERE.  And if they are not there at the current moment…you know they HAVE been because they have left piles of their stinky green and black droppings.  I love animals, and particularly love photographing birds.  But I have really become annoyed with these foul fowl.  According to the Ohio DNR  “In just a few years, a pair of geese can easily become 50 to 100 birds.  The feces will foul the areas around the pond and surrounding yards and also damage the lawn, pond, and other vegetation.”  No wonder they are everywhere.  Apparently you can hunt for them during certain seasons…but I don’t see many recipes out there.  If you would like to do your part to rid the world of them one bite at a time be sure to check out Hank’s website:

I hope you are really hungry! I snapped this family photo while we were at Higgins Lake…


Well, that’s all for now.  Do you have any observations or questions from camping you would like to share? We would love to hear them!

What is it about a camp fire?

It doesn’t matter if I camping in the middle of the winter or in the hottest part of July, a camp fire is mandatory in any camping experience! But what is about a fire that intrigues us so much? I can sit around a fire with a cold beverage shooting the breeze with my wife and friends for hours! When I camp I need to start my morning out with a good cup of coffee and a fire. Mid afternoon I need to stoke that fire back up for some good pot pies or hot dogs. And by evening that fire becomes the epicenter of the social gathering. Campfires are the essense of camping. There was a campground that Amy and I considered when we traveled to Nashville. However, when we found out that the campground had no firerings it was a done deal. No way could I stay for three nights without a fire! What kind of campground does not allow campfires? The campground had a lot of good reviews online but for me, not having campfires was the ultimate downside!

I can remember many great childhood memories of campfires. When I was a young cub scout we always loved to mess with fires. Every year we had an annual campout; just the boys and their dads. We had a great time. During one campout, the boys decided to embrace our pyro sides and make a huge campfire. We took everything we could and put it in the fire. The fathers had no idea until the next morning when they were looking for the styrofoam cups and bowls! We had burned them all! Burning styrofoam is way cool 😉 A really pissed off father who did not get his morning coffee is NOT way cool!

Some of my more “high class” friends complain that campfires cause you to smell like, well a campfire. So? The smell of a campfire and the site of tall flames in a fire ring bring peace and relaxation to an otherwise stressful week! (For tips for eliminating the tell tale signs you have been camping – Click here!)  Roasting marshmallows, making pot pies, using the dutch oven to cook, roasting hot dogs, or just simply burning stuff are the cool aspects of a campfire. And isn’t funny how campfires cause people to talk? Maybe it’s the beer but campfires have a way of facilitating a good discussion. Whether it’s hanging out with old high school friends bringing up stories of the “old days” or colleagues sitting around complaining about the incompetent boss, the campfire is the common denominator.