Got Camping Questions?

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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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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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Tips For Spring Camping With Allergies

Camping With AllergiesSpring is one of the most beautiful times of the year to camp and hike, but we also know that where there are flowers blooming and birds chirping, there is also pollen, spores and microscopic seeds floating all around us. So, I bring you these allergy fighting tips to use on your next springtime camping trip.

Homeopathic Remedies

Camping out in the wilderness means that you must be alert and on your toes at all times. There are a great many things to discover, enjoy and be aware of. You don’t want to be drowsy on allergy medication while you’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors! So, before you head to the medicine cabinet for something, try out some of these natural ways to fight off allergies.

  1. Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids: Boosting your immune system is a great way to fight off allergies and the infections that can sometimes follow them.
  2. Vitamin A: Fight the inflammation caused by allergies with vitamin A, even after the onset of symptoms. Subtle but effective, Vitamin A calms allergies and boosts immunity.
  3. Vitamin B5: This vitamin will boost your adrenal function, which is a great defense against stress. You may not know it, but your body gets stressed out during an allergic reaction.
  4. CoQ10: A natural antihistamine and stress blocker, this is a great vitamin to add to C and B5.
  5. Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Found in fish and supplements, take this with A and CoQ10. Within an hour, you should expect relief from the symptoms of your allergies.
    Nelsons Homeopathic Medicine: These neat little pills come in a clikpak that you can carry around with you in a purse or pocket and are made by Nelsons, a homeopathic remedy company that’s been in business for over 100 years. Visit them at www.nelsonshomoeopathy.co.uk.
  6. Airborne: Created by a teacher, this supplement is packed with amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins. You can find it in just about any grocery store.
  7. Juices, fruit and vegetables: Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables along with drinking orange, grape and cranberry juice before, during and after a camping trip can make a huge difference in how energetic and healthy you feel.

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Who Else Wants to Easter Camp?

Easter Egg Hunt

Celebrating your Easter weekend is special when you incorporate it into a great camping trip. Springtime is the best time to enjoy Mother Nature; the air is still cool, there’s usually a crisp breeze and since the rains… everything is clean and clear. There are still, however, plenty of campsite ideas, tips and suggestion I have for your Easter camping trip.

Amenities
Camping in springtime brings a few challenges that can be easily conquered with the right attitude and approach. Bugs, for example, are very plentiful in some areas during springtime. So arm your family with plenty of body bug repellents that won’t make them sick, like Herbaria products. Herbaria has both a spray on repellent and a repellent soap that smell great and are completely natural.

Other things you need to also consider for Easter camping is sun block for those bright, windy days and light lotion for dryness.

Activities
Easter camping, of course, should be fun! So try out these things for the kids and teens!

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How To Rejuvenate With A One-Day Camping Trip

Tent In The ForestThe hustle and bustle of each busy day you experience can catch up with you and leave you feeling drained. This is a great reason to take time to enjoy Mother Nature and reconnect with the beautiful things that make our planet so worthwhile. At the same time, I understand how difficult it is to get away from your responsibilities to go camping and have outdoor fun. In the spirit of helping you enjoy camping and the great outdoors, here’s how I have a simple, loosely scheduled, one-day camping trip at a popular public campground and marina near my home, much like one near you.

  • 5 days in advance: Reserve a one-nighter with nearby campgrounds and purchase inexpensive pop-up tent, if you don’t already have one. More on tents.
  • 1 day in advance: pack tent, sleeping bag, pillow, Swiss Army knife, water, small stove, frying pan, mess kit, book, flash light and digital camera. Keep it simple and under control. Easy clean up is a must.
  • Morning of: Pack can of beans or spaghetti, fruit, cookies, water, pre-made pancake mix, butter and small amount of syrup (for one) in a small, portable ice cooler with frozen cooler pack inside. Consider also tossing in granola bars, trail mix, nuts or whatever other convenient foods you like.

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Tips For A Fun Thanksgiving Campout

TurkeyThere are a few key things to keep in mind when planning a campout during a holiday–especially Thanksgiving. First and foremost, you must have atmosphere. Without it, you could find yourself surrounded by bored and listless guests who wish they were warm at home. You also need a great camping list geared especially toward Thanksgiving, and some great camping games to go along. Here are some tips to ensure you have everything you need to complete your Thanksgiving Campout.

Atmosphere: A holiday campsite isn’t a holiday without the tidings of decor. Inexpensive, plastic tablecloths especially made for Thanksgiving are a great start. Add a festive centerpiece and paper place mats (sheets of construction paper with cut out ‘hand-shaped’ turkeys glued to them) and voila! You have a festive table. Hanging cornucopia party lights, when used properly, are also a nice touch of holiday greetings. Place a Thanksgiving welcome mat at the foot of each tent to finish off the look of your site.

A Camping List is, as you know, is essential to any camping trip. For a Turkey-themed trip, here are the things I suggest you take, starting with the obvious: Clothing and toiletries, camping blankets, camping tents, family tents, outdoor cooking grill and utensils, THE TURKEY, sides, breakfasts, sandwich fixin’s for the turkey sandwiches – next day, snacks, hot and cold drinks, lots of water, decor, music, lights, a fire pit, marshmallows, hot dogs and an outdoor heater.

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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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Cook Like A World-Class Camper

Fire roasted, glazed, baked or breaded. However you like it, the best camping food starts with the right ingredients and the best camping cookware. And the stove is the most important part. So, whether you’re camping light…backpack camping or car camping with family or friends, here’s some sure-fire (pardon the pun) stoves to get you cooking!

Coleman Micro Backpack StoveThe Micro Backpack Stove made by Coleman is a great investment to your outdoor cooking if you camp lightly. Coleman has been making camping stoves since 1942 and holds the best reputation for their camping products. The Micro backpack stove is small and lightweight but still powerful enough to cook any stovetop meal. The top regulator and bottom (propane canister) can be unscrewed and packed separately. Remember this is for one-pot cooking, but it gives off great heat to boil water or stew quickly!

Coleman EvenTemp 3-Burner StoveIf you’re cooking for a whole family, the Coleman EvenTemp 3 Burner Stove is the most popular in camping stoves. This new 3-burner design gets rid of the cold spots that occur when using a 2-burner stove and gives you even heat that’s great for pancakes, bacon, and omelets…you name it! It has two 11,500 BTU burners on the ends and a 5,000 BTU burner in the middle for all types of range cooking as well as side panels to block wind. The InstaStart push button ignition system takes all the hassle out of lighting your stove. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped a match onto the burner trying to get it going. :-)

I hope this helps with your camping cookware needs. Let me know your experiences with other camp stoves, what’s your favorite, etc. But above all enjoy the food! It always tastes better when you’re camping!!

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