Archive for Camping Equipment

Woolrich Mountain Parka and Camping

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Woolrich Mountain ParkaThis time of the year is the wet time to camp and hike, but I enjoy it with the changing of the colors, the grey skies and showers – from time to time.  The folks at Woolrich asked me to checkout one of their Mountain Parkas.  Although it doesn’t rain much in Southern California this time of year, I did get a chance to check it out this week with the rain and colder weather.  I gotta say… it sure is warm and dry.  I think I can spray a hose on this Parka and stay completely dry.  I’m looking forward to taking it up the mountains this winter to see how it performs in the snow!

 

The materials the Parka is made of are obviously meant to last.  The two-way zipper system is great. Once the Parka is zipped up you can easily vent or get at stuff in your pants pocket easily, using the bottom zipper. The drawstrings are a nice addition and certainly come in handy to cinch in the hood and around your waist to hold in the heat.  My son, Wes, took the Parka on an overnight hike/camp trip and was pleased with how warm it is, with the wool liner.  Nice touch!  Even if you’re wet, this wool Parka will keep you toasty.

 

Inside the ParkaIt has 4 Velcro pockets, two breast pockets and two waist pockets. I really enjoyed the oversize waist pockets, which I was able to fit a lot of supplies in. One unique feature I found was the break in wool liner near the butt of the Parka (see picture). This provided a nice patch of material to sit on to keep my butt nice and dry when I would sit on the wet ground or soaked logs, and wouldn’t get the wool liner all dirty and wet.  All of the tightening cords make it easy to create a custom fit for this jacket.

 

One downside to the Parka was that the shoulders are a bit tight which makes layering a little difficult, and a removable hood would have been a good bonus.  But, overall I believe this is a great Parka, very waterproof and warm which is what you need when hiking and camping this time of year.

 

For more information on this great Woolrich Parka go to: Mountain Parka 

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Hot Springs Camping on the West Coast

Hot SpringsAs the desert areas dry up and cool down with the onset of winter, the best places to camp in California are at the hot springs. Gorgeous, breathtaking views, hot and therapeutic waters and beautiful open-air campsites keep people coming back to California’s best-kept secrets. Without sacrificing trails, activities and local atmosphere, a Hot Springs Camping Trip is something every camper should experience. Here are some camping tips for those planning a hot springs camping trip to California.

 

In Northern California is Sierra Hot Springs where you can follow signs to any one of many Hot Springs Parks and resorts. In Sierra you can find a variety of different hot springs near a wide selection of lodging and community activities. Campers have full use of Sierra Hot Springs facilities, including the trails, pools, showers, guest kitchen, guest refrigerators, etc. You may also attend any of the many free guest events, or take advantage of massages, meals or other services offered at additional cost.

 

In Central California, Wilbur Hot Springs has a reputation for its beauty and atmosphere. Wood built flumes or bathing houses are located all over the resort and lodging is luxurious and exquisite. The main hall has activities like an instrument playing area and a ping-pong table and there are pampering options like yoga classes and massage therapy. They offer camping sites and a bunkroom!

 

A trip to Southern California should land you in the wonderful Agua Caliente. Agua Caliente Park is a regional camping park located in the Anza Borrego Desert and is best known for its geothermal heated springs. Three naturally fed pools provide different ways of enjoying the park’s mineral water: There are two pools outdoors, and an indoor therapeutic spa is heated to 102 degrees and outfitted with Jacuzzi jets. The park is very popular during the winter and has numerous camping sites (full hook-ups, partial hook-ups, non hook-up and tent sites, and a caravan area for large groups) available. Hikers will enjoy miles of trails that meander through the park’s canyons and across its hillsides.

 

I hope you find these camping tips on great hot springs camping locations useful for your next camping adventure to somewhere warm this winter. If you’re planning a road trip, visiting all of these springs and the others located in California, would make a vivid and memorable adventure.

 

Be safe and Happy Camping!

 

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What the Heck is Polish Horseshoes?

Polish Horeshoes Ever been on a campout and you’re wondering what to do next?  The kids have been through all their games and are starting to get into mischief.  Now’s the time to bring out  Polish Horseshoes!  What? You say?  Well, this game started as an adult “drinking” game,  but is gaining popularity with all ages.  It involves driving 2 stakes in the ground 20 to 30  feet apart.  Balance a glass bottle on the top of each stake.  Get a Frisbee, form up teams and try to knock each other’s bottle off the stake, with the Frisbee.  Well, the game and the setup have come a long way since the first Polish Horseshoes game was played.  Now you can get a freestanding setup, no stakes, no glass bottles (a major no-no when camping!) and everyone can play!

 

The guys at www.mypole-ishhorseshoes.com have made it simple, compact and reusable.  Their kit is a bunch of pre-cut PVC pipe you can easily set up and take apart.  They added a wiffle ball and Frisbee, and you are all set.  It sets up in minutes and will keep the kids (and the adult “kids”) occupied for hours.  Give it a shot.  You may find it addictive! And will make those lulls in camp life pass very quickly.

 

 

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Got Camping Questions?

CampingGuy QuestionsAs we enter into a new camping season in North America I’m sure a lot campers and would-be campers and starting to think about the new camping season.  So, I wanted to offer The Camping Guy readers a little Q&A capability to answer any questions that you have as you embark on your next camping trip.

Questions like: what do I pack for a family of four? How do I get my kids involved in my love for camping?  Or, maybe some questions on camping gear, and of course my favorite…food!  The best part of camping is that the food tastes much better!! :-)

So go ahead…ask The Camping Guy a question by hitting the Comments button at the bottom of this article.  That way you can all share your questions and answers with each other.  Go ahead don’t be shy, I know you’ve got a question…….

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Itching To Go Camping?

Camping at SunsetAs spring is in the air and it starts to warm up, I start to think about camping.  How about you?  So, I went into the garage and opened the cabinets where I keep all my camping gear and started to go through it.  What do I need to replace?  What needs to be replenished?  Take out the sleeping bags and air them out.  You know….all that stuff you know you should do but never get around to it.  Well I had the “itch” so that’s what I do to scratch it.

I also start to think of where and when I’m going camping. In my mind, with the economy the way it is, camping is still the cheapest way to take your family on a vacation.  And with all the tips and tricks on TheCampingGuy website and blog to refer to, you will have a fun time without breaking the bank.

So I thought I would put together a small checklist of things you can do to prepare for the ’09 camping season!

1.    Check to make sure everything works - stove, lantern, fresh batteries in flashlights, refill propane tanks, buy more propane canisters, etc.

2.    Make sure you’ve got all your cooking gear in shape.  Is everything clean or did you forget to clean that pot of spaghetti before you put your cook kit into storage?  Check everything that’s in your cook kit or make one by going here.

3.    Check the tent for rips, check poles, pent pegs.  If you need to do some repairs, here’s a repair kit that I use.  If you’re ambitious, this is a good time to apply some seam sealer to the tent.  Check out how - right here.  This will also give you a chance to set up the tent, air it out, and sweep it out. Then you know you’re tent is ready.

4.    Replenish your basics like: matches, propane, soap, paper towels, aluminum foil, firewood, fire starters, water filters, paper cups, plates, etc.

After this you’ve got most of the preparation complete and you’re ready to start the season.  So go ahead, sit back and dream about the places you’re going to camping to this year.

Happy Camping!!

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3 Simple Tips For A Camping Trip Picnic

Family PicnicCamping under the stars, near a campfire or in a tent is always great fun but a memorable picnic, will enhance your campout as well. To get your picnic ideas flowing, I’ve come up with the three simple elements that are essential to your picnic and how you can make each of them their possible best.

Location
Before prepping your meal back at campsite, scout out a couple of local areas ideal for sitting on the ground and be sure that the area is attractive. Be aware of too much shade as the ground there will often be too moist. When possible, try to find a location on top of a hill or near the edge of a safe cliff for a beautiful view. Eating near a stream, when available, is also a pleasant experience. Calm and peaceful.

The Essentials
A great picnic must start off with a great, waterproof picnic blanket. This will ensure that even if you choose to sit where it’s moist, you, your guests and your food will stay dry. Find some excellent waterproof and stadium blankets at www.goblanket.com.

Next on the list, is a perfect picnic basket. I know what you’re thinking–a wicker

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3 Secrets To Warm Camping

Cold Weather CampingCamping in the cold weather provides a unique challenge….staying warm! Here’s a couple of ways to beat the cold and have a warm and fun campout.

The Traditional Campfire
This age old tradition, when done safely, is a great experience and creates mood and atmosphere for your campsite. Start your campfire right by raking and removing all dead wood and leaves in a ten-foot radius around your fire pit. If you don’t have a fire pit, then create one by removing the first 3 inches of dirt or so. Place a bed of coals or rocks in it and top with your clean, dry wood. Fire-starter bricks are safest and easiest to use in starting the fire but they catch fire easily, so keep them put away when not in use. Don’t forget to keep an extinguisher on-hand for emergencies and a shovel to help restore your campsite when you leave. More campfire safety tips.

Camping Generators
Technologically speaking, the most convenient way to stay warm or to use any appliance while camping is to use a generator like the Yamaha 1,000-Watt Portable Generator. Like other recreational generators, this one is lightweight (28 lbs.) and provides 12 hours of running time on a full tank. They also claim they have dampened the noise with noise absorbing materials. The Yamaha is relatively inexpensive as far as generators go and this model can run several appliances at the same time. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Camping Heaters
Propane Heaters are perfect camping heaters and an inexpensive, efficient way to keep your personal space warm in cold weather camping. They are often safe, convenient and easy to use like the Coleman BlackCat Portable Catalytic Heater. This small, portable camping heater comes equipped an 8″round heater to maximize your heated area, and runs up to 7 hours at 3,000 BTU on one 16.4 oz cylinder of propane. It’s rated for indoor use, since there is no flame!

With these great options at hand and a blanket or two, your next camping adventure is sure to be a warm and comfortable one. For more information about what you need for cold weather camping. Happy Camping.

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A Quick Way To Give The Gift Of Outdoors

Christmas Gifts for CampersIf you love the ambiance of the outdoors and the memories of an unforgettable camping experience, pass it along this holiday season. Put aside the usual DVD and socks this year, especially for the kids, and try out these great outdoor camping gift ideas:

  • For Young Campers wrap up an outdoor activity like play tunnels, or horse shoes. If you have young ones who have never been camping, start with the basics like a colorful sleeping bag and fun flashlight. Also make sure to pick up plenty of table-top fun like coloring books, crayons and card games like Uno or Old Maid.
  • With adolescents and teens, avoiding the electronics may be a little difficult. So aside from an art set for the artists and a magnifying glass for the explorers, portable game systems are the best way to go. For a more practical camping gift, a camping gear backpack or bag filled with camping gadgets like a swiss army knife, waterproof flashlight, travel bath set and a new scarf and hat is a fun gift to open!
  • To impress the husband, a new pair of hiking boots with wool socks, gel inserts and spare shoelaces say so much. This gift will certainly make his hiking experience much more comfortable and pleasant. If you’re looking to splurge, get that great digital camera he’s been talking about so he can take some great pictures of the view on his hike and the family camping!

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Camping Furniture 101

Camping FurnitureAs technology continues to change and advance, so does the world of camping and with it, camping furniture. From modern gadgets and tools to innovative materials, camping conveniences are improving every day. This is great news for campers with disabilities, aches and pains or those who just prefer to be pampered a little, because camping furniture has become especially comfortable. Here’s what The Camping Guy has discovered about camping furniture:

Camping Chairs
When selecting a camping chair, be sure to avoid the most inexpensive models. They often bend after moderate use and tip back very easily. Coleman, Eddie Bauer and Crazy Creek are trustworthy brands. Crazy Creek has a comfortable long back air chair, which is unique. The seat and back are attached so that the weight of your seat supports the back. There are all types of camping chairs from upright with a footrest to camping chairs that let you lounge and have cup holders! Just like at home, watchin’ the game. :-)

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Have A Fall Campout You’ll Remember

Fall SunsetTo me, the most comfortable time of year is absolutely Autumn. It’s that time when the air goes through so many changes and does so much for us. It dances with leaves, contributes to beautiful sunsets and begins cooling things off for us in the States. All these memorable things are what makes fall an excellent time to camp.

Here’s some quick tips for camping in the cool, beautiful weather:

  • Firstly, pack layered clothing. Fall can be fickle, so starting off with a t-shirt and add from there is a great way to remain comfortable while camping. Don’t forget sweaters and light jackets or coats.
  • Be prepared for any type of terrain. Fall can be dry but is known also for a random shower. Pack both tennis shoes and boots so that your hiking experience is safe.
  • Take several thin blankets with you. You would be surprised at how warm most Autumn nights can be in a tent. This way you can lay on top of your sleeping bag if it’s too hot and get inside it if it gets cold.

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