Archive for Camping Gadgets

What the Heck is Polish Horseshoes?

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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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See How Easily You Can Have A Father’s Day Campout

Fathers' Day CampoutFather’s Day is just around the corner so how about a surprise family camping trip! You’ll save time, money and have a wonderful experience that you and the kids will reflect on for years to come. But what about the details, the gift and how to keep everyone entertained? To get you going, I’ve compiled a list of tips and some new gadgets that Dads are going crazy for.

Location
As usual, your camping spot is on the top of your list of priorities. Since you have some time, finding reservations at a local campground should be easy and inexpensive. If you can’t find room at your local campground, try a county reserve or state park that isn’t too far. Whatever you do, be sure to find a place that won’t over crowd your family. Of course, if Dad has a favorite spot, hit that one first.

Amenities
Make sure that Dad has everything he needs; pack his clothes, socks, boxers, toilet kit as well as his boots, flash light, camping knife and fishing gear when fishing is possible. Surprise him by packing the car while he’s out mowing the lawn or running errands!

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How to Keep Your Camping Trip Bug Free

Mosquito BitingThe gorgeous green mountainsides and rushing spring water are great reasons to enjoy camping in springtime. Bugs, however, can dampen your camping spirit depending on where you plan to camp. To overcome these pesky critters, I have some great tips and ideas for keeping your camping trip bug free and it won’t require much time or effort.

Netting
Traditional easy-to-open canopy tents, which are great for shade while living in the outdoors, can double up as a great dining room. For about $100, you can find a great garden tent with convenient screen walls. These are easy to put up, take down and keep the bugs out.

Another way to net your campers is to be sure that the camping tents you choose have netted windows in them. Most tents like Greatland, Eddie Bauer and Coleman come with both netted windows and a zip up solid window.

Products
Spray on bug repellents and lotions are inexpensive, easy to find at your local drug store and work great. They often, however, contain Deet. Deet is a pesticide that has been known to irritate sensitive skin, absorb into the blood stream and its long-term affects are unknown, so be aware.

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Little Known Ways To Save A Boring Campout

Girl Playing CheckersThe atmosphere is already set by the beautiful backdrop Mother Nature provides, the smell of the camp fire and whatever pleasurable foods you’ve prepared for the weekend. Want some easy recipes? But now what? The Camping Guy has some ideas for those camping moments when nothing seems to be going on.

The Obvious: Horse Shoes, Volleyball, Badminton, Card Games, Board Games and Croquet. These are all fun and engaging sports that anyone can be a part of. What makes them even better is how easily available and inexpensive they are. You can find them separately and in sets at any sporting goods store or retail location with a sporting goods section. A great selection of popular board games can be found at any toy or department store. The Camping Guy, however, suggests www.boardgames.com for cheap camp games delivered right to your door!

For The Family:
Hollywood Pictionary: With a large pad of paper and a hand full of pencils, each family member takes turns drawing their favorite Hollywood Stars. This is a great game for teams and giving away prizes like Electronic Hand Held Card Games, Portable Checkers, Uno, Game Balls.

Animal Antics: This is animal charades! Write the name of up to 50 animals, especially barnyard, onto small pieces of paper, fold them in half and put them in a bucket. After creating teams, have one person from each team blindly choose a paper and take turns acting out that animal’s behavior without making a sound. The opposing team members must guess which animal they are. The team who guesses the most correctly, wins!

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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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Get Rid Of Cold Camping For Good

Maple LeafWith Thanksgiving right around the corner and the holidays in sight, we know that cooler weather is creeping in. There are still some warm camping spots to enjoy this time of year, mainly on the west coast, but soon Father Winter will move in and change the atmosphere of camping for a season, with or without rain.

The well known ways to keep warm while enjoying your camping trip are: long johns, layered clothing, boots, coats, blankets, ponchos, a fire pit, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, chili and soup. In fact I wrote an article on Cold Weather Camping Tips, which goes into, shelter, bedding and some tricks I use to stay warm. However, this time I want to talk about a couple of gadgets that I found that will make your cold weather campout that much more enjoyable :-)

Vehicle A/C Converter Plug
This amazing, little device is plugged into your cigarette lighter outlet and runs off of your car battery, regardless of whether or not it is running. All standard, low watt electrical appliances can be plugged into the A/C Converter and will safely run for moderate periods of time. When practicing safe use of this device, heating blankets, portable DVD players, and any chargeable media can now be a part of your camping experience! Get one at most hardware or car parts stores.

The Coleman Outdoor Camp Oven
There is no better way to stay warm outside than with a portable oven that you can cook delicious dishes…and it’s all done outdoors! If you know me you know that I like to eat well on my campouts. With this little “beauty” you can bake brownies, chicken, casseroles or anything else you can dream up with this small, collapsible oven, which runs on propane.

So conquer the cold and enjoy the coming winter camping season. Be safe, pack well and get a few of these gadgets to make it fun. Happy Camping!

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First Aid For Your Tent

Tent Repair KitCan you picture this?…you pull up to your campsite, 100 miles from home and start to put the tent up. Everything is going great until the zipper gets caught in the mosquito netting…Rrr-i-p! Now what? You rummage around in your gear box and find your tent repair kit! Don’t have one? Surely you don’t want to ruin your campout by letting bugs get through your torn netting. All it takes is a few minutes to “be prepared”. Ya, I know, that’s the Boy Scout in me talking. But seriously, I found a small kit that I use that has all the essential pieces and it costs peanuts!

It’s the Adventure Medical Tent Repair Kit. In this little zip-lock pouch is seam sealer, a tent pole splint, ripstop adhesive (for the tent walls), netting, a zipper slider, the world’s smallest roll of duct tape, 40 inches of guy line cord, needles and thread. All the tent repair parts you’ll ever need to do a quick fix or repair. Check out all the details of this Tent Repair Kit and have some peace of mind that your tent can be repaired, if needed.

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Camping Kits

When I was a beginner camper I would try to remember to pack everything I needed, but I’d always show up late at a campsite and forget some thing like a frying pan for the scrambled eggs! Not to mention, my wife used to get upset when some of her kitchenware was missing for the weekend! So, I eventually got my own camping kitchenware, some checklists and “kits”to help me remember what to bring.

Over the years camping I’ve put together a couple of Camping Kits that make packing and camping a whole lot easier. I can load the truck quickly and know that I have everything I’m gonna need in those few kits - along with tent, stove, sleeping bag and food! There are many kits that you can make to simplify your campout. In fact, I’ve even run across some “Rainy Day Kits” that include games, books, puzzles, etc. But, you can decide what works best for you. Let me show you a couple that I use and see if they’re useful or maybe they’ll give you some ideas for something better.

My kits cover the essentials - Eating and Cleaning! First of all, I always bring my Cook Kit, which has all the pots, pans, cutting board, and all the cooking utensils I’ll need to whip up a tasty camp meal. Here’s a full list of what’s in my Cook Kit.

Cook Kit - Inside ViewCook Kit - Outside View

Next is my Cleanup Kit. Ya, you guessed it, all the stuff you need for cleaning up. A full description and pictures await you at Cleanup Kit.

If you are really ambitious you can create a Camp Box, like the ones we use on Scout campouts. This box has hinged sides that fold down to create two working/cooking surfaces with all cooking and cleaning items in one spot. We drilled four holes in the bottom for legs and got some 3 ft. sections of aluminum pipe for legs.

Camp Box

As you see there’s a couple of ways you can go with your Camping Kits - from small to large. Just get one or two and make your camping easier.

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DIY Camping - Micro Solar Generator

This is a very cool DIY (do it yourself) project that I thought I would share with everyone. Great for using around the campsite to power any 12Volt device you have such as an air mattress pump, LED lamp, DVD player, etc. One of the advantages is that it’s built using a small cooler so it’s easy to carry and looks like the rest of your camping gear. :-)

Micro_Solar_Generator

The inventor takes you through all the steps to build it. Gives you a list of all the pieces, where to get them and approximately how much each items costs. It’s fairly straightforward. After you assemble it and let the sun do it’s magic, any 12Volt (v) device can then be hooked up to it.

A 12V lamp can come in handy around the campsite. You can plug in any device that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter, now called auxiliary power adapters. The inventor also includes some accessories that he’s plugged into it! And there’s an e-mail address if you have questions.

Check it out at: http://www.instructables.com/id/EKJZG6CQR1EYMW0Q9Z/

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