Monday, June 23, 2014

Camping Tips

After cruising the net, I found so many camping tips that are just GREAT IDEAS. Here are some of my favorites:

Tackle Box First Aid Kit
Self-explanatory. Great way to store everything you may need including sunblock, bug spray, bug bite gel, headache tablets, and the usual first aid items. GREAT idea. Easy to carry and store, and easy to find everything at a glance. Or if you don't want to lug around this big thing, customize to any size, pick up a smaller tackle box (I found a small one at the dollar store with 5 compartments on one level and a sturdy latch), or if you are planning a hike, why not throw a couple of these into your backpack --- reuse old prescription bottles (clean thoroughly first of course):

Dryer Lint for fire tinder
We saved up dryer lint for a month and stuffed it in a baggie and will use chunks of it to see how it works. The weather has been very wet and damp and who knows what it will be like in a few more weeks so a little extra help with the fire might come in handy! UPDATE: We did this and it was an excellent fire starter. It burned much longer than paper (I assume from fire retardant material clothing is made from), and I started every fire successfully with it. Yay me!! Will def keep doing this!
You can also store the lint in toilet rolls or brown paper like this:

 We packed a ton of things in giant baggies. I bought a box of 30 from Target for about $2 and it makes things easier to pack (stack'em) and see. We will be camping in bear country so we have to make sure anything that smells delicious (food and toiletries) are always packed up. If we pack it all in these bags, we can easily see if we have accidentally left out some scrumptious spices that Bobo and cubs may want to snack on. I want to see wildlife, but not rolling around in food right outside my tent, thank you very much! I left a pack of crackers out on the picnic table once when I was a young child and I woke in the night to a bear sniffing around the canvas tent right beside my face! When my dad got up to chase it away (yay Dad!), there was a tell-tale trail of cracker crumbs leading away from our site, and the empty bag laying halfway down the path. The bear had a snack in the woods and then decided to come back and look for more. Oops!! Now I will make sure the kids don't leave anything out on THIS trip! My dad was allowed to pack his rifle back in those days, ya know. Somehow I don't want to test out pepper spray on a bear :)

Pancake Mix, ready to go!
Put pancake mix already measured out into a jar, plastic shaker bottle, etc and just add water and an egg when you are ready to make them. I am going to put my mix into two mason jars I have been saving, pre-measured for enough pancakes each morning I plan to cook them, and we will be ready to go. We are bringing along a carton of eggs and cases of water to surprise the kids with pancakes over the fire. YUM. I haven't decided yet if I will use the recipe from this link or use store bought mix, but it all goes in the jar :)
(Note from experience: if you are bringing eggs, grab ones in a styrofoam or plastic carton so it doesn't get wet and mushy in the cooler. Even if you keep it in the top, it can get damp. I have seen several blogs that show people cracked eggs into jars and kept those in their cooler but the egg safety sites do not recommend that so we are bringing a carton)

Camp Coffee
We are going to try something like this:

Awning Clips
I thought this was a great idea.... name badge clips for awning clips.


Next month we will be nestled into our campsite in Yoho so I better get going on listing our tips and tricks so I don't forget any of them!!

Hiking, climbing, sight-seeing, etc can really wear the kids (and mom and dad) out so camping snacks are a MUST! We will be bringing along granola bars and some fruit but it's fun to try some snacks that are just right for the campfire. Smore's are a given.... but we like to bring along some Jiffy Pop popcorn. Here is a way to make your own Campfire Popcorn with aluminum foil, popcorn kernels, and vegetable oil:

As I mentioned earlier, Smore's are a hit for camping. Marshmallows, chocolate, and graham wafers.. Yum! But there are many different versions you can try for mixing it up a little. Like:

Marshmallows, chocolate chips, and Golden Grahams cereal melted into two tortillas... oh my!

Or you can try some of these variations:

And some of you may have never heard of Smore's... what's the big deal? You HAVE to try it to find out! Here are some how-to's for making Smore's indoors or out for Honeymaid Graham Crackers (click photo):