Campfire Safety During Drought

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Mashmallows at a CampfireIt’s been a dry, hot camping season in most of the country, especially where I live in California. The “Governator” is already warning us of lower than expected water levels and the need for conservation. That makes our beloved camping areas very susceptible to fires. So, as campers we need to pay special attention to our campfires. Most developed campgrounds have well-established campfire rings or pits in their campsites however, you should still be aware of a few wise safety rules when you make a campfire:

  • Always clear a five-foot area around the fire ring down to the soil, so leaping sparks can’t start a ground fire.
  • Keep a bucket of water and a shovel close by
  • Pile your wood upwind and away from the fire. This may be difficult in a shifting wind area, but just make sure wood is far away from the campfire
  • Never leave a campfire unattended

Lastly, the most important part is putting your fire out after you’ve enjoyed having marshmallows and telling spooky stories. Allow the fire to burn down to ash and very small coals. Pour plenty of water on the ambers and stir the ashes until they are soaked through. You can tell when the fire is completely extinguished when you can safely put your hand in the coals. This Boy Scout method kind of makes you want to make doubly sure that you put enough water on the fire. :-)

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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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Oasis Hike - Anza Borrego

I promised I would tell you about the Palm Canyon Oasis hike we went on with the Boy Scouts while at Anza-Borrego. Yes, there really is an Oasis in the middle of this desert at the Anza-Borrego Campground. This is an original California palm grove! It’s about a 3 mile, relatively easy hike, which should take you about 2 hours there and back. Plus, plan to explore the waterfall and surrounding area, take a lunch, and rest up for the hike back. The trailhead is at the north end of the Palm Canyon campground. This truly is one of the most spectacular places to visit at the Campground. Granted you have to work a little to get to it, but it’s worth it. Hope you enjoy the pictures. (click on them to enlarge)

Starting Point for Hike to OasisThere is an Oasis there...There is the Oasis!!

If you want to go hiking on some other trails, here’s a site that has a brief description of some trails for you to try. http://www.desertusa.com/Thingstodo/du_absp_hike.html

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