How to build a campfire

April 4, 2009

If you plan to take your family on a camping trip this summer and you expect to have that wonderful memory of sitting around the campfire, you’ll need to know how to create and maintain your campfire safely for your family and loved ones as well as the wooded areas you’ll be camping in. Building and enjoying a campfire safely is not difficult, but you’ll want to follow all the steps appropriately. Start with a clear, open spot away from your family camping tent and make sure no trees or vegetation is overhanging above.

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If you don’t have an existing fire ring, you can dig your own fire pit that is roughly 2 feet in diameter and 12″ deep. The area around the fire pit should also be cleared by at least 8 feet. Use the soil that you’ve dug up to form a wall around the perimeter of the pit and act as a windbreak. You can also use rocks to build this wall, but take care to never use any rocks that have been near water, as the moisture trapped inside can boil and cause the rock to explode.

Kindling is the base foundation of a fire. It is made of lightweight materials that are capable of burning quickly and igniting heavier materials. Kindling is best made of a mixture of dry sticks, chips or shaved wood, dried leaves or newspaper can also be used You can also use the bark off trees like hickory or oak. Using small sticks to form a tepee then light your fire and get it started. Sticks will be used to hold your fire structure together and light even larger pieces of wood. Properly aligning sticks will allow oxygen into the fire. Sticks used should be 1-2 inches in diameter, and broken to fit inside the fire pit. It’s important that sticks are dry. Now it’s time to start placing your logs onto the fire.

The type of logs you use is important in the next step. Evergreen woods like pine, spruce and cedar should be your last choice for wood. These trees have a lot of sap and crackle and smoke more than hardwoods like oak. So go for the hardwoods when planning your campfire. Naturally, you need dry wood. You will not be able to build a fire that can dry logs well enough to burn. Hopefully you will have a source of dry wood. If your campfire goes out start over with the same process and remember to practice patience. Throwing loads of trash and paper plates in a campfire that was not planned well from the start will do little for your efforts. Also remember to not throw plastics in your campfire. This material is not biodegradable, it is toxic and it leaves a horrible mess for the next family to use the fire pit.

Do you need any camping gear or picnic baskets for the new camping season?

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Camping Mistakes

April 2, 2009

New campers sometimes learn things the hard way, and even experienced campers overlook things from time to time.New campers frequently find themselves in a crowded tent.Be sure to make space and comfort a priority in your choice of tents.For family camping I recommend getting a tent with a capacity rated two higher than the number of campers that will use it.So for a family of two I would recommend a 4-person tent, for a family of four a 6-person tent, and so on.Be a smart camper, buy a tent that is big enough.

New campers often overlook things.It’s no fun getting to the campground and finding out that you forgot the family camping tent or picnic basket.Stay organized and make sure nothing is left behind by keeping a camping gear checklist.Use it while packing and check off each item.Update and revise the list as needed.Be a smart camper, use a checklist.

One of the most common mistakes of new (and old) campers is not trying out new gear at home.The point is to become familiar with your gear before going on a camping trip.Assemble tents in the yard. Sleep in your sleeping bags on the floor for a night. Use any cooking items for a home cooked meal. Put batteries in and test any electronics.It’s all about being prepared.

Mistakes are not something we should regret, they are something we should learn from.While it’s good to learn from our own mistakes, nobody said we cannot learn from others. So on your next camping trip,always keep these common mistakes in mind and try your best to avoid them.

Choosing a family camping tent

March 30, 2009

Camping is one of the best ways to bring the family together and have fun in the outdoors.Even the youngest kids can benefit from a camping experience.Every part of a camping trip provides an opportunity for teaching.Even pitching the family camping tent offers good teaching tools for kids.Before you go make sure you have the right family camping tent from the start.

Camping tents for the family come in many shapes, styles, colors and sizes.There’s one for every family depending on their needs.Tent manufactures have made camping tents better with longer lasting and weatherproff materials.Sometimes you may get caught in bad weather and these tents can help make your camping experience much better.

Before anything else, find a family camping tent that is of the best quality.A good family camping tent is durable and can withstand even severe weather conditions.Find several possible choices, Choose one that fits your family’s needs and preferences.It could be a large room design or one with tunnels between rooms for the kids to have fun.

If camping is going to be a lifelong hobby, you probably want your investment to last as long as possible.Are you planning to have more kids? Factor this into the size of family camping tent you plan to buy.If your kids are small, they will certainly need more room five years from now.Consider buying a larger tent that will accommodate your family longer.

Camping tents come in many styles and types of materials.Whatever family camping tent you choose, you’re off to a great start for making camping memories that will last a lifetime.

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If you need a family camping tent check us out and if you are going on a family picnic and need a picnic basket check out our friends.

Camping with poisonous snakes

March 27, 2009

Poisonous snakes are one of the most dangerous things you may encounter on a camping trip.Poisonous snakes of one variety or another are found in many locations, around the United States while camping and hiking.If you plan to spend time in the woods, and areas they live you need to take sometime to think about the dangers.

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Most all poisonous snakes are quite shy and will hide to avoid people if all possible.In most cases if you go out looking for them, you may have a hard time finding any.Most poisonous snakes in my state of Missouri, hide under rocks or in old hollowed out stumps and logs.Sometimes you can find them laying around in the sun on warm days.Most of the poisonous snakes i have seen while camping are during the day.

Each year a few people are bitten by poisonous snakes.Most bites happen because the snake was stepped on or approached to closely before the person even saw them.Some bites happen because untrained people try to catch them and showoff in front of friends.

Poisonous snakes are warm blooded and can be very active during hot and sunny days.Be carefull on these days for snakes on the move.If you are a camper, be carefull when you gather firewood.I have many times picked a log, and found a copperhead under it or laying around a wood pile.

If you are camping in the woods you should take precautions around your campsite.Don’t set camping tents up in areas of tall weeds, or dense undergrowth if possible.Keep all your tents doors zipped up while away from your campsite.Snakes can and will crawl inside your camping tents, and even in your sleeping bags.Don’t let poisonous snakes keep you from camping and the outdoors.Learn to deal with them when you have to.

If you need any camping equipment check us out and if you are going to on a picnic check out our friends.

Camping with insects and mosquitoes

March 25, 2009

Camping time is upon us and means dealing with darn insects.There’s no question, insects and mosquitoes can make your camping trip a real bummer if you’re not careful. You don’t have to sit around and be eaten and stung alive, there are several precautions and preventative measures you can take to reduce your exposure and ensure a nice camping trip.

Don’t try camping in areas with tall grass and weeds where insects live.Insects and mosquitoes like to hang around areas of standing water.Set up camp away from water puddles, streams and lakes and ponds. Wearing bright colors can also make you a target for insects.Stick with dark clothing and cover up as much of your body as you can.

A good way to help protect yourself from insects and mosquitoes is to make the air real smokey from a burning campfire.Keeping your campsite clean from food and trash laying around also will help and is a good idea.Spray some outdoor insects and mosquitoes killer around your campsite, and make sure you also spray around your camping tent very good.

Insects are also attracted to light, so hang your lanterns and light’s away from the area you are going to sleep and sit. Insects and mosquitoes do not like smoke, so keep your smoking campfire going threw night will help keep them at bay while you sleep.Citronella buckets,and tiki torches work somewhat, you may want to try adding them to your campsite.Place them out of kid’s reach if you have young ones around they like to play and mess with them.

Thanks for dropping in if you need some camping equipment for this season check us out.If you ar planning a spring time picnic check out our friends if you need a picnic basket.

Dutch Oven Cooking

March 23, 2009

The dutch oven is a versatile piece of cooking equipment that dates back to the early frontier days.This handy cooking device looks like a big deep frying pan with a lid.The good dutch ovens are made of cast iron and are very heavy.It’s great for cooking on an outdoor camping trip or in the backyard.I think there is nothing quite like a dutch oven dinner when camping and having fun with others.The food smells great and it’s easy to prepare and really good when it’s done.

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Dutch oven outdoor cooking provides the opportunity to cook a wide variety of foods.Dutch ovens are extremely versatile, and can be used for just about every cooking need.Dutch ovens can be used to boil, steam, fry, and bake, among other things.They can be used to cook meats, soups, breads, and deserts.

You can cook anything in a dutch oven that you can cook at home in the oven or on the stove top.You really don’t need special recipes for a dutch oven but their are many good ones.You need to learn some basic procedures and how to control the heat.If done properly, you can place the food in a dutch oven and go fishing while your meal cooks.

Dutch oven outdoor cooking requires hot coals.These can come from a wood or charcoal fire.Charcoal is a bit more easier to use, since they burn and heat more evenly.I like the smoke from a real campfire like oak, or hickory.To me it adds more flavoring to the cooking.There is nothing like food cooked over a real smoking campfire.

If you need a camping family tent check us out or if you are planning a picnic check out our friends.

Camping With Poison Ivy

March 21, 2009

Poison ivy, is a very common plant found in most areas of the united states.One form of the plant grows low to the ground and is usually found in patches of plants and looks like weeds growing.The size of the plant range from 6-30 inches high.The other form is a hairy vine that grows up a tree.Both have stems with three leaves.You may have heard the old saying, Leaves of three, let it be.This is because most people are allergic to poison ivy.

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Between 25-40 million people in the United States need medical treatment for poison ivy dermatitis every year.People of all races and skin types are at risk for developing it.The severity of a person’s reactions tends to decrease with age, especially in people who have had mild reactions.People that camp,hike,fish and hunt are at a higher risk because of the repeated exposure to the toxic plant.

Signs and Symptoms

After contact with urushiol, the oil of the plant approximately 50% of the people develop signs and symptoms of poison ivy dermatitis.The symptoms and severity can differ from person to person.The most common signs and symptoms of poison ivy dermatitis are intense itching, swelling, and skin redness.These symptoms usually develop within four hours to four days.After the initial symptoms, the person develops fluid filled blisters that are often arranged in a streak like pattern.

Treatment

Poison ivy dermatitis usually resolves within one to three weeks without treatment.The most common complication is bacterial skin infections, the risk of infection can be reduced by not scratching and keeping the rash clean.Treatments that may help the itching, soreness, and discomfort caused by poison ivy, are calamine lotion, antihistamines, topical steroids,and other steroids.

Homemade Remedies

Get quick relief for poison ivy with home remedies using ingredients direct from your kitchen or camping tent, especially when there is no calamine lotion on hand.Learn how to use remedies such as oatmeal, vinegar, baking soda, and other effective and soothing treatments.

Oatmeal

Simply boil up some oatmeal in water.Let it cool for a few minutes, then apply warm to the effected area, the mixture should be applied until a thick layer forms.Let it harden and dry.Most people swear by this treatment, Which is sometimes combined with a tablespoon or two of baking soda for extra relief from itching.

Baking Soda

This treatment has also become a classic home cure, made by mixing 3 teaspoons of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water until a thick paste forms.Apply to the rash and let dry.Another tried and true method is the baking soda bath.

Vinegar

Just sprinkle small amounts of vinegar on the poison ivy rash for instant relief from the itch.It smells bad but it does seem to draw out the poison in the rash.White distilled vinegar seems to work best.

Dishwashing Soap

Perhaps the most practical treatment of all, dishwashing soaps have a anti-grease agent in them and make it a common sense remedy for poison ivy when applied liberally from the bottle to the rash.Wash off with clean cool water and dry.

I am no Doctor and don’t claim to be.I’m just a camper that has heard of and used some of the remedies.Try them if you like they may work for you they may not.Just remember not to go to the restroom, after being in contact with poison ivy until you clean your hands like i didn’t do.

If you need some new camping gear check us out and if you would like to take a picnic basket with you check out our friends.

Camping Basics Part I

March 20, 2009

A family camping trip can be a fun and enjoyable experience with a little preparation.Knowing you limits, taking time to plan ahead, and pack the right camping equipment can help your adventure.Here are some camping basics of the woods.

Plan ahead

If you’re not skilled in the outdoors, begin your adventures by learning some camping basics.The internet is full of nice articles about camping and safety.Be aware of camping safety issues, such as snake bites, bug bites, and stings, plants that may get you like poison ivy, poison oak.Exposure to the heat, wind, water, and cold, and just getting lost could also be problems.Once you feel comfortable with your camping skills, you may want to plan a few days or a week in the woods.

Camping dangers

One common mistake made by campers is not being ready for seasonal transitions regarding proper clothing and camping equipment .Storms can also blow in during all seasons, and there can be sudden changes in the temperatures, in the spring and fall particularly in the mountains.Sweating and wind can cause rapid cooling, especially when temperatures drop at night.Another problem is getting lost teach yourself and family how to recognize landmarks at the campsite and on hiking adventures.While hiking encourage them to look around and familiarize themselves about their surrounding on the trail.

If you need some new camping gear check us out we have what you may need for your camping trip.Also if you are needing a picnic basket check out our friend.

Seasoning a new Dutch Oven

March 18, 2009

If you buy a Dutch Oven that is not pre-seasoned, you will need to season it on your own so that it will last a long time.They also cook better and clean more easier.First, you should wash the new Dutch Oven right out of the box with warm soapy water to remove the oil coating and wax preservatives.

This is the only time you will ever use soap on your Dutch Oven.Rinse and dry thoroughly, then coat all surfaces. inside and out, with a good quality vegetable oil using a old rag or shirt made of cotton.Then pour just enough vegetable oil in to coat the bottom of the Dutch Oven and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, take the Dutch Oven out and wipe the oil inside the Dutch Oven around on all surfaces.Now turn the oven down to around 200 degrees and put the Dutch Oven back in for an hour or so.At the end of the hour, simply just turn the oven off and leave the Dutch Oven there overnight.The next morning,wipe out any remaining oil in the bottom of the Dutch Oven over the surfaces of the Dutch Oven and that’s it your done.

The baked in oil will turn the Dutch oven a dark brown color,almost black.As long as you don’t use metal cooking utensils,and don’t wash it with soap again, the Dutch Oven will last for years and should not rust.If your surface is ever ruined, you have to reseason it all over again.

If your are looking for camping equipment check out our camping gear or if your looking for a picnic basket!

Winter Camping Or Snow Camping?

February 23, 2009

Winter camping is camping which takes place in winter weather, most people talk specifically about snow camping, when they mention winter camping, although it can also be referred to as cold weather camping.Winter camping offers a number of activities, in addition to camping itself.

A number of cold-weather or snow activities present challenges to everyone, such as cross-country skiing, ice skating, sledding, snow mobile, ice fishing, and snowboarding.Be aware of hazards with these activities.

Watch for snow conditions, hazardous terrain, thin ice,and emergency survival, are important issues for a safe and fun time.I like to take my atv on all my camping trips.

I like to drive miles on trails, looking at all the animals, birds and things.Most of the time my wife is with me and she packs up a nice picnic basket, full of stuff and we stop off the trail for lunch.It’s nice to spend time in nature with someone you love, even in the cold of winter with 10 inches of snow on the ground.

Winter camping can be a fun adventure, but use your head hypothermia is one of the biggest dangers, that winter campers face.You may be at risk for hypothermia, if you don’t dress properly for cold weather during the day and at night.Hypothermia can come on quickly, so you need to learn how to diagnose, and treat yourself, or others in order to prevent.

Signs
*Shivering
*Drowsiness or fatigue
*Stumbling
*Jumbled speech
*Loss of reasoning skills
*Blue skin
*Slow Heartbeat

Prevention
*Stay hydrated and eat high-energy food
*Wear appropriate clothing for the weather
*Avoid wet clothes
*Move around during day
*Watch for exhaustion
*Have each other monitor one another

Treatment
*Shelter victim from the elements and insulate from the ground
*Change from wet clothing into dry
*Place victim in warmed sleeping bag
*Apply body heat or heat from heaters
*Give warm drinks and high sugar foods.

I would like to recommend a 4-season camping tent, for winter time camping.Don’t forget your wicker picnic basket, for all your picnic lunches while on the trail.