Camping Tip of the Day: Keep Track of Where You Travel….Visually

The other day I wrote about how keeping a journal is a great part of the camping experience. The journal is a convenient way to keep track of your favorite campgrounds and more specifically, your favorite camp sites. Your camping journal allows you to relive that great moment later. Today’s tip goes along these same lines…

My wife, Amy, is a junior high school art teacher. She is very creative and has a great talent with art. As you can see in the pictures, Amy took a creative approach to tracking our camping experiences, based on a DIY project she found on the internet. First, she traced the state of Ohio (including counties) by using corkboard and a Sharpie. Then she created name tags for the various places in Ohio we’ve camped (tiny strips of paper) and used push pins to peg them on the map. Applying the same concept, Amy created a much larger version of the United States. Just like the Ohio map, this map shows the various places we have camped in the United States. As you can see, we have ALOT more to explore in America. On this map, she included a “legend” where we could peg our “want list”. In other words, places we hope to camp in the future. In the final picture, you see a state magnet board. Every time we visit a new state (together) for the first time, we buy a magnet and add it the board. We look forward to adding more and more magnets this summer.

I have all three of these hanging in my office at home. It’s a good motivator when I have had a rough week at work. It’s nice to reminisce about the places we have visited and the experiences we had. It’s cool to daydream about places we hope to camp someday. Maybe you can track places you have traveled or camped visually too….


Camping Tip of the Day: 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.

Tomorrow, our Camping Tip of the Day will discuss other local things we try when traveling….( another use for that soft-side cooler!)     😉