Bear Safety Tips While Camping

Camping can be a fun and exhilarating experience, but at the same time it can be very dangerous. One of those dangers is bears. This article will explain a few of the most important precautions to exercise so you can have a safe and fun camping trip.
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The number one rule to follow is to never, under any circumstance, store food in or near your tent. This also includes any items that may smell like food. Toothpaste, lozenges and breath mints have all been known to attract bears. And do not forget that when cooking, your clothes can absorb food like smells.
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You will want to setup a kitchen area that is at least 50 yards away from your tent. Pay attention to the wind direction when setting up your kitchen area as well. You will want to make sure this area is downwind from your sleeping area. And just remember to do all of your cooking, cleaning, and hanging out in the kitchen area. I like to design one set of clothes to sleep in and change into them in this area.
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Always make sure your food smelling items are stored properly. If your car is located near by it is a good idea to lock these items in the trunk of your car. Many campgrounds now offer storage bins to safely store your food smelling items. When you are deep in the country camping and you have no access to a storage bin or car, then all you will need is a tree and about 25 feet of rope. This way you can safely hang your gear in the tree for the night.
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If for whatever reason there is no trees in the area you plan on camping in, there is bear proof canisters that you can purchase to store the food smelling items. These typically range from $ 25- $ 75 and can be found at most outdoor stores.
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This is also an easier alternative to hanging your food from a tree. Keep in mind that you still want to leave the container in your kitchen area, and not in your sleeping area. While the container might be bear proof, it’s not a chance you want to take.
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So next time you decide to camp in bear country just exercise a little caution and you will have a safe camping trip!

Source by Rick Ross

Camping Tips and Secrets for Beginners

If you want to go camping yet have very little or no expertise in this area, you need to be aware that preparing your trip painstakingly is the most beneficial way to go about it. Preparing implies getting the appropriate things along, deciding upon the proper location, thinking of the suitable meals and sheltering and so forth, so producing a good camping checklist is a very significant part.
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Picking out a very good destination may perhaps appear challenging at the beginning; even so you ought to always look at the kind of camping venture you want to set about, along with your understanding of diverse terrains, your environmental awareness or your bush-crafting skills.
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Thus, you need to always know previously where you are heading, what activities you can take part in there, how to make it safely and the way to assure a risk-free stay. It is also quite critical to take into consideration the time you are planning your camping trip in, as a difficult climate may spoil your camping experience.
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The sort of food you should bring along tremendously depends upon the sort of overnight accommodation you have selected and the spot where you’re situated, however every meal that you are going to have on your trip must be considered in advance in order to steer clear of any unpleasant surprises.
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It is wise to take canned foods along as they do not spoil or drip and may be consumed uncooked. In addition having a freezer-box can also permit you to bring many barbecue meats and chilled drinks along.
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When producing your plan, it is best to as well be sure that you have included all the camping checklist essentials just before going forward with anything else, just like shelter and sleeping things, outdoor survival items (flashlight, rope, matches, fuel, compass or GPS), good clothes storage and food items, and also a variety of functional and entertaining gadgets like cameras and binoculars.
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Bear in mind, no matter what your camping choice is, be certain you have organized it ahead in good detail and you will stay away from numerous unpleasant surprises!

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Source by Christopher L. Rodriguez

Ultralight Sleeping Bag: Utility at Its Best

Sleeping bags are made for sleeping only. They should be comfortable enough in providing the feel of a real decent bed. We put ourselves and more importantly our brain to rest and recoup for the next tough moments ahead by sleeping. This is possible through a long sound sleep. Thus these bags should ensure all comfort of a pleasant sleep. Ultralight sleeping bag is the best brand in terms of utility. Being very light, they can be easily transported as a luggage part. This becomes rather important a long trip is being planned where one is likely to walk in a tough terrain with harsher conditions. These bags weigh below three pounds only.

The prime motive behind manufacturing these sleeping is allowing a person to carry their own bed when traveling to difficult locations. These bags come in so many varieties that one person should plan purchasing one by their suitability in respective places. Every Ultralight Sleeping bag is unique in many ways. Primarily, they come much cheaper than the conventional or commonly available bags for sleeping. They are structured in a manner that they always feel warm and cozy to the traveler. By definition personified, they are much lighter than any other varieties. Taking into consideration about their specific use, these bags varied slowly in their weights in comparison to each other. The varieties are also dependent on the place to be visited such trekking, camping or climbing.

To maintain their utility and preference over others, a Ultralight Sleeping bag combines the technologies of both the traditional varieties and the latest synthetic technology. This enables them to maintain the required temperature within the sleeping area. For personal choices, there are hooded ones that can cover the head and the zipped ones where the traveler can cover themselves. This further reduces the need for a quilt or blanket and saves additional baggage. Being more economic, they are the probably one of the best varieties of such bags. Other notable competitive brands are Coleman and Kelty.

Source by Corey Bruhn

Where to Find a Quality Camping Chair

In you plan on going camping or are entertaining the idea, having a comfortable camping chair to sit in will make the experience more enjoyable. Whether you are gazing at the stars, talking with others, or cooking marshmallows you want to be comfortable. Camping chairs these days have the ability to fold and transport easily.

Most of the chairs on the market are foldable, which makes them lightweight so they can be easily carried around. When searching for a chair, be sure to do some research first before buying. You want to purchase a chair that is durable, supportive, comfortable, and affordable. The following are some places where you can find high quality chairs for camping.

Department Stores

In order to find the perfect chair, breaking the bank is not necessary. You could find it at your local department store. Camping and outdoor activities in general are increasing in popularity, so chances are the stores in your area offer a nice selection of camping equipment. The chair you are looking for could be right in your own area.


You can find some excellent camping gear online, and camping chairs are no exception. You can visit various stores online to see what they have to offer. You most likely won’t find lower prices anywhere else, not to mention the variety. You can also browse around instead of driving from store to store locally. The fact you are reading this article online means that you have experience searching. You have access to an entire marketplace right at your fingertips.

Source by Rex Johnstone

Camping, Hiking and Knowing What Foods to Eat to Keep You Energized

If you're out in the wild on a great camping trip I hope that means that you are leaving the confines of the camp site and making a day of hiking, swimming, fishing, climbing, etc. Camping is a great fitness trip but like all fitness activities your body needs energy to keep going, especially on long activities that your body may not be used to.

That is where food comes in to play. Believe it or not … not all food is created equal, even if calories are.

For example the benefits that come from eating a peanut butter sandwich (on wheat) completely differs from eating a piece of chocolate cake. The cake is called empty calories, you get the calories but get no healthy benefits and though your energy may quickly rise, it will also quickly fall … and all you'll be left with is extra stored fat.

Now for camping and your outdoor fitness activities … there are 3 important times to eat and I will of course start with the first:

What should you eat before exercise?

You want food that is slowly absorbed to give last energy that will not spike and quickly fall like the cake example. Foods should combine these three big groups:

* Complex carbs (whole wheat, fruits, veggies)

* Protein (nuts, meats, beans)

* Fiber

Food like: peanut butter sandwich, turkey wrap, nuts, apple and peanut butter just to name a few.

What to eat during activities

Foods that are easily digested, absorbed and easy on the stomach. Energy gels, drinks, and energy bars are great ideas, or homemade trailmix.

Recovery, what to eat when the workout is over?

Your body and muscles are nurtured and need to recovery. The magic muscle recovery food is: Protein, protein and protein. You'll be carving a good hearty meal after your long day out away from the campsite so your body will remind you of its need for rich quality protein. So what are good protein options? Turkey burgers (here's a great camping recipe), grilled chicken, fish, seafood, lean beef, bison, nuts, etc.

When packing food just keep in mind the 3 factors:
portability (apples, bananas and other fruit is great), shelf life, and convenience (are you able to pack it, fix and enjoy it?)

My Person Power Foods, straight from the fitness trainer's mouth:

Whey protein, Powerbars, energy bars, Cliff gels, rice cakes and peanut butter, almonds, apples and pears, whole wheat bread, water, grilled chicken and sweet potatoes, ostrich jerky and energy cubes.

I recommend drinking protein shake after each big fitness activity you do. It energizes you and feeds the muscle. This is not just a guys drink, even women should have one. Do not worry they wont bulk you up.

For camping, I hope that you are as active as possible and not simply sitting around the fire all day. Hit the trails and burn off some calories, use this time as fitness time for you and you camping group. Just stay energized!

Source by Kindal Guthrie

The Summer Camp Guide to Canoeing

Kids love canoeing. It has been a favorite summer camp activity for decades of young campers. Gliding through silvery lake waters or down rippling rivers, these graceful craft get youngsters right down at water level, perfect for exploring intriguing inlets, crossing long lakes or just having a super water balloon battle. Since canoes need at least two paddlers, it’s the perfect time to chat, laugh or maybe even pipe up with a favorite camp song or two.

Fitness Benefits

Like so many summer camp activities, canoeing is a great way to just be outdoors on the water and getting some exercise. Not only does canoeing serve as a great aerobic activity, it also improves balance, coordination, strength, agility, stamina and gross motor skills. The upper body and core muscles also get a great workout. Paddlers need to coordinate rhythmic paddling to keep a straight course and cover the most water.

Problem Solving

Not all canoe trips go as planned. A rock can appear where there wasn’t supposed to be one. A branch may block the river or a sudden storm could pick up. With the help of trained, experienced boating instructors and their fellow paddlers, kids learn how to deal with unexpected obstacles and conditions, meeting challenges and growing as people as well as paddlers. Young canoers learn the value of hard work, persistence and determination while they’re getting a huge dose of fun!

Close to Nature

Unlike getting out on the lake for a fast water ski jaunt or a chance to turn some wakeboarding tricks, the peaceful world of paddling lets kids get right down to eye level with nature, enjoying a close look at the natural habitat of a host of birds and other local animals. It’s, of course, also a great fishing platform!

“Safety First”, as with all camp water activities, emphasizes that close attention is paid to safety. All paddlers are required to wear a personal floatation device and helmet, and camp waterfront instructors supervise all boating activities. Capsizing and man-overboard drills are held regularly and campers are taught how to look for warning signs of sudden changes in the weather or water conditions. Kids are required to reach a certain level of expertise before participating in longer expeditions.

Types of Canoeing Activities

Canoe trips at summer camp are geared to a variety of skill levels so that every camper can meet new challenges every year. Trips can range from overnight to two weeks of glorious exploring and camping, crossing wide lakes and winding down interconnecting waterways. Kids learn how to pack for a safe and comfortable trip and how to distribute weight in the canoe. Some camps also introduce youngsters to the exciting world of whitewater canoeing or combine canoeing with hiking in deep wilderness portage expeditions. Of course, canoes also come in very handy in color wars competitions and just good old fashioned water balloon fights and spontaneous races!

Extended Canoe Trips

Long canoe trips are great opportunities to foster a real sense of both community and adventure. Kids gain independence and self-reliance as well as becoming more interdependent as the whole group of voyagers pit themselves against the wilderness, accompanied by experienced guides of course! There are challenges aplenty on these exciting excursions from pitching tents to building fires, cooking meals, paddling through all kinds of waters and dealing with anything else Mother Nature may choose to throw at them. But at the end of a long day of paddling, swimming and making camp, there’s nothing like clustering around the campfire toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories and looking forward to the next day’s adventures.

Source by Genie Fletcher

Traditional Summer Camps – Frequently Asked Questions, Answered

What are the benefits of sending a child to a traditional summer camp? Should you select a summer day camp or an overnight summer camp?

Positive summer day camp or overnight summer camp experiences can be of tremendous benefit to your child’s development. While at a traditional summer camp, either a summer day camp or overnight summer camp, children learn about themselves, learn to be more independent, are expected to live up to expectations and help out younger campers.

A good traditional summer camp program can help increase a child’s self-esteem, teach them respect for others, enable them to learn self-respect and also learn tolerance of others. Living in a group situation, as in an overnight summer camp, campers learn to accept differences such as race, religious beliefs and cultural differences. Both types of traditional summer camps offer benefits that will help your children grow and mature and broaden their horizons.

When you receive a traditional summer camp’s brochure, you will invariably have questions for the camp director about the camp philosophy as well as that of the director. From that first phone call and/or visit to the web site, you begin developing an impression of what a particular traditional summer camp is like and how it’s run.

A traditional summer camp may be described in nothing less than glowing terms in its brochures. The setting can be absolutely breathtaking. Activities offered by the camp may run the gamut from racquetball to modern dance. In the end, however, it’s the human equation of how those activities are operated and conducted that determines the quality of the summer day camp or overnight summer camp program. Remember the marketing materials for traditional summer camps are designed to make you want to send your child there!

Get to know the camp director as a person through telephone conversations, correspondence and if possible, a personal visit. Have the director describe the camp’s philosophy and how it is carried out by the staff. Find out if you have the option of sending your child for summer day camp or overnight summer camp. Ask how many years the director has been at that camp and also find out the total number of years he or she has worked as a traditional summer camp director.

How Much Is It Going To Cost?

One of the biggest questions facing parents when they consider sending a child to a traditional summer camp is the cost. The cost of a traditional summer camp, whether a summer day camp or overnight summer camp, can be substantial especially if there is more than camp-age child. American Camping Association accredited overnight summer camps and summer day camps offer price ranges to fit every budget. While not always the case, if a non-traditional summer camp is designed for a very specialized group of campers, it may be more expensive than traditional summer camps, which are also often called adventure camps.

The cost of a traditional summer camp per week will probably also figure into how many weeks of summer day camp or overnight summer camp your child(ren) will attend. The American Camping Association reports the among its accredited camps, both summer day camps and overnight summer camps, the prices for a week of summer day camp or overnight summer camp ranges from $75 per week to $650 per week.

There are some ways to save money, even if it is not obvious from reading the camp brochure or visiting the camp’s website.

The first question you should ask is whether or not financial assistance is available to help subsidize the tuition costs. It’s not uncommon for all kinds of summer day camps and overnight summer camps to set aside a certain number of spots for families who might not otherwise be able to afford to send their child to traditional summer camp. If they don’t offer to subsidize the full cost of the camp session, they may pay part of it.

Although scholarships for traditional summer camp programs are usually available on the basis of need, there may be extra unclaimed subsidized spots which the camp will allow your child to fill. You won’t know, though, unless you ask. If you are hoping to receive a scholarship or other type of financial assistance, it’s a good idea to apply early before all the slots are taken.

Another way to save on the cost of traditional summer camp is to find out if special discounts are available. Often summer day camps or overnight summer camps will offer a discounted tuition price for early registration, for siblings attending the same camp, or for signing your child up for a particular session of the summer camp program. Again, if you don’t ask, you won’t know what your options are.

What is included in the tuition cost?

Typically, transportation is included as part of the cost for summer day camps. Resident or overnight summer camps may offer transportation from a central location or may require the campers to be delivered to the campground. If the overnight summer camp program includes trips, movies, laundry service, snack bar, special equipment or other costs, find out if they are included in the cost, if your need to pay a separate additional fee, or if you should send extra money with your child to camp.

What is the refund policy?

Refund policies vary greatly from camp to camp. Some refunds cover only illness of the child, while some will give a total refund if it is requested prior to a certain date. Some camps may return all but a registration or administrative fee and some may not offer refunds at all.

What is the camp’s philosophy and program emphasis?

Each traditional summer camp has its own method of constructing programs based on its philosophy. Does it complement your own parenting philosophy? Are the activities at the summer day camp or overnight summer camp of interest to your child? Many traditional summer camps actively promote competition and healthy rivalry among camp teams, as reflected in team sports. For many campers this is pure fun. Some parents feel that learning to be competitive at an early age teaches essential survival skills. However, other parents and educators are in favor of cooperative learning. Research has shown that noncompetitive methods encourage young people to learn more, retain it longer, and develop greater self-esteem and appreciation for others. Knowing your child’s personality and style of learning is valuable in selecting the right summer day camp or overnight summer camp.

What is the camp director’s background?

American Camping Association (ACA) minimum standards recommend directors possess a bachelor’s degree, have completed in-service training within the past three years, and have at least 16 weeks of camp administrative experience before assuming the responsibilities of director.

What training do counselors receive?

At a minimum, camp staff should be trained in safety regulations, emergency procedures and communication, behavior management techniques, child abuse prevention, appropriate staff and camper behavior, and specific procedures for supervision. Often traditional summer camp counselors are college students working toward degrees in various sports-related and human services fields.

What is the counselor-to-camper ratio?

ACA standards require different ratios for varying ages and special needs. Generally, the ratios at overnight summer camps range from one staff for every six campers ages 7 and 8; one staff for every eight campers ages 9 to 14; and one staff for every 10 campers ages 15 to 17. At day camps the ratios range from one staff for every eight campers ages 6 to 8; one staff for every 10 campers ages 9 to 14; and one staff for every 12 campers ages 15 to 17.

What are the ages of the counselors?

ACA standards recommend that 80 percent or more of the counseling/program staff be at least 18 years old. Staff must be at least 16 years old and be at least two years older than the campers with whom they work.

The number and types of programs a particular traditional summer camp offers may also impact the ages of the counselors. Academic camps and other specialty camps may require camp counselors to have a particular level of education or number of years of experience or training.

What percentage of the counselors returned from last year?

Most traditional summer camps have from 40-60 percent returning staff. If the rate is lower, find out the reasons why there isn’t a higher number of staff who return to work at the camp each year.

How are behavioral and disciplinary problems handled?

Are the behavioral expectations clearly laid out and available to campers in advance? They should also be reviewed with the campers on the first day of camp. It’s also important to know the disciplinary steps that will be taken for violation of the rules.

What is the style and personality of the camp director? How much authority do the camp counselors have? These are all important questions to ask because you want to be sure the camp behavior standards and disciplinary policies are a good fit for your child and your family.

What if a child becomes ill, is injured or has a special need?

Find out if trained medical personnel are resident in the camp at all times, especially overnight summer camps. A nurse or other medical professional will be able to tell if an injury is serious and requires more intensive medical attention. You’ll want a professional available if a child becomes ill or needs medical attention in the middle of the night.

If your child has allergies or is insulin-dependent, there should be a designated place for the medication to be stored in a locked container. It should be administered only by trained staff. If your child requires a special diet, find out if the camp is able or willing to accommodate their dietary needs. The wrong answer to any of these considerations can be potentially life-threatening.

Even a child who has slept away from home in the past may become homesick, or simply have trouble adjusting to the overnight summer camp during the first few days. Find out from the director how homesickness is handled by the staff and let your child know what their recourse is if they feel lonely or have trouble adjusting.

Is the camp American Camp Association accredited? Why or why not?

American Camp Association accredited camps undergo extensive scrutiny and must meet very high standards to be accredited. Accreditation reviewers ask over 300 questions about the camp and staff including essential health and safety issues, program quality and the camp’s overall operation and functioning.

What about camp references?

Every summer day camp or overnight summer camp will sound like a dream when you read the brochure or visit the website. Ask the director to provide you with a list of references including past campers and counselors to check the camp’s reputation.

Source by Avand Amiri

Nothing Beats Camping in Your Most Comfortable and Essential Outdoor Gear

One of the most loved family exercises or excursions is camping. Camping means sleeping under the stars and telling ghost stories around a blazing campfire. Before, it used to be a primitive and discomforting activity as there was little improvement when it came to an outdoor gear. But now, camping experience can be made fun, safe and comfortable because of the things you can bring and use for it.

Going camping nowdays means that you should have the important outdoor gear and at the same time, has the right stuff to bring. First on the list is a backpack. How you pick your pack is determined by the number of days you plan to stay outdoors. The longer you want to go camping or if you plan to go cross country, you should have a bigger bag. However, even if the bag is big, you should take into consideration a couple of things like the material of the bag. It should be lightweight and have enough space for your things as well as all the pockets you might need. This will ensure you that you do not get back ache and you have great room for storage.

Of course, camping is not complete without good food as well as sturdy outdoor gear. You should be able to carry a camp stove and cookware that is easy to use, durable and safe. You can opt to cook over a fire or just get the camp stove for easy cooking. You can also enjoy your meals on lightweight plates, cups and utensils that are sturdy enough to survive outdoors.

Another important outdoor gear for camping is your source of light. You can opt between rechargeable battery or solar powered lamps and lanterns. But if you want to lighten the load then just rely on the bonfire for light.

Who could forget this next outdoor gear? The sleeping bag that you should get is the one that gives you comfort, warmth and protection in any weather condition. The great sleeping bags are made with light materials and they can be easily rolled and carried on your back. Make sure that it also provides good insulation for warmth on especially gold evenings. Also, make sure it dries easily just in case it gets wet. Having the important basic outdoor gear will make you ready for camping!

Source by Ray Everleigh Trend

What to Pack for Summer Camp

What is a summer without going to a summer camp? Summer camps are great places for bonding, get-together, unwinding and getting to know people that you want to be friends with. This is why camping is an essential activity that families, schools and friends should always be looking for when summer days are about to come. There are no necessary expenses, no need to travel far and the nature will give everything you need and you go home relaxed with mind cleared off baggage.

However, for the first timers, there is always the lack of ideas on what to pack for summer camp. Especially for kids, who always depend from their parents for their necessary package, they are usually at lost what to bring for themselves once their teachers decide to spend their last days in school in a summer camp for kids. There are always a lot of camping activities that students and families can go to but it would be nice if you could find the best summer camp among the camps that are open in your area.

Qualities of a Good Summer Camp

If you want your kids or your families to enjoy their short vacation in a natural setting, look for the best summer camp in your area. If the place is too far from your home, check some camping sites that are near your home but can meet your requirements and can give you quality bonding and discovering time with your kids. Here are the features to look for when looking for an ideal camping site.

• Length of camping time the camp offers. There are camps that offer only half day camping only for children knowing what is camping all about and there are summer camps with programs that accept few days stay.

• Offered programs. Some camps run different programs that can enhance the skills and talents of your kids. There are also camps that have game activities for the families.

• Location of the camp. It would be better if you can find an ideal summer camp that is only few miles from your home. This is not to bore your kids with your travel time and feel safe being near your home. The location must also be accessible by vehicles or near the road.

• Safety status of the summer camp. You would not want to live in a camping site with lots of wild animals roaming the area or near a ravaging lake. Always think about your family's safety so check this feature first before signing in.

• Restrictions. Some camps are lax with what the campers can bring while some camps provide restrictions on food, beverages or even with sound gadgets because summer camps are usually located near wildlife reserves or national parks.

• Check the accreditation. An accredited summer camp is following a health and safety standards and this is an assurance that people who go in there will be safe. Check with the American Camping Association to know if your choice of camp is a registered one.

Consider that you have found the best summer camp let's see now what things you can pack for your summer camping with your kids.

Essential Things to Bring In a Summer Camp

1. Medicines. If you have kids with you, medicines or first aid kit are a necessity and do not go without any kinds of medication you can use for emergency cases. Especially if your camping site is known to be visited by bugs and mosquitoes, do not forget to bring anti-mosquito lotion or better bring along a mosquito net.

2. Proper clothes. You and your kids should bring along thin and comfortable clothes for summer tracking. However, you must also bring with you a few jackets because weather can abruptly change in camps. Calculate the days of your stay so that you will know the amount of clothes you will need. Do not forget the socks, pajamas and gloves.

3. Flashlights. Most camping sites have their own source of power so light is usually not a problem. However, you may need flashlights or camping lamps in case brownouts occasion. Or if you want to discover nature during the evening with the kids, flashlights are needed. Some campers prefer flashlights that are not rechargeable when camping and you may also do so. In this case you must bring along extra batteries for emergency cases.

4. Pocket knives. These should be handled by adult or teens. Knives can save lives and can be so much functional during crisis.

5. Essential food. Do not expect that there could be a store in your camping site so bringing your own food is a very sensible idea. You can also consider taking your own portable gas stove. Better, check with the camp management what you need to bring.

6. Tents. Some camps do have the cottages for lodging but not all camps have them and this you must check out. For kids, they can have their own small camps to make them enjoy camping in a real world.

In reality, what to pack for camping trip do not need to be too complicated or too expensive in a sense that you can only spend a day or two in a camp and do not need to bring in so much stuff. But as they say, summer camps have unpredictable and surprising ambiance that we can not actually fathom so taking along stuff that can provide our basic needs would be very significant. However, avoid overdoing it especially if the place has many amenities you can avail from.

Source by Edward Joseph

Camping In Scotland, Culzean Castle, A Site Set In Castle Grounds

Culzean Castle – Fortify yourself with a stay at a site set in castle grounds

The site is in the grounds of the 18th-century Culzean (pronounced Cul-lane) Castle. The castle has elegant Adam interiors, a visitor center and a country park claimed to be "the most magnificent in Britain". From the shore you can see across the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran and the superb sunsets.

  • Along the coast is Ayr, the county town of Ayrshire. It is also the capital of "Burns Country" -home to Burns Cottage, the Burns National Heritage Park and the Burns Monument at nearby Alloway.
  • For lovers of Scotland's industrial past there is the maritime museum at Irvine, and Clydebuilt at Braehead near Glasgow. Here you can take the role of a Glasgow merchant, load your cargo and steer your ship into harbor.
  • Children love the animals and all the other activities – some are for adults as well – at the Heads of Ayr Farm Park. Call In at Electric Brae on the way back to the site.
  • From Ardrossan there is a ferry to the Isle of Arran, from Stranraer sailings to Belfast.
  • Activities in the school holidays and a playground in the castle grounds keep children happy.
  • There is a full program of events taking place at Culzean Castle and Country Park through the year. These include jousting, Scottish country dancing and various music festivals.
  • Every Saturday you can find a farmers' market selling local produce, on the Kyle Shopping Center car park. On Sundays there is a large car boot sale and market on Ayr racecourse
  • The site shop is well stocked. Maybole has a small supermarket, Ayr has larger supermarkets and shops. There are a number of good local restaurants.
  • Campers who are not members of the National Trust can use their camp site till receipt to gain access to Culzean Country Park, but not the castle.

A visitors' opinion:

"There is plenty to do in the country park and a very good play area for children. Mr and Mrs J Holbrook

Did you know?

Culzean Castle site was once the railway station. The site office is on what was the platform.

Source by Peter Lennon

How to Cold Weather Camp in Your RV

As the weather gets colder, campers start putting their RV’s away for the winter. But not so fast. There is so much to see and do during the winter season and enjoying these activities from the comfort of your RV can be a refreshing experience.

Here’s how to prepare your motorhome, travel trailer, toy hauler, or 5th wheel to ensure you have a pleasurable, safe, and protected cold-weather camping experience.

* Examine your RV’s plumbing to determine what measures may be needed to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. Some RV’s have plumbing exposed to the outside elements. In this case, you should wrap the exposed plumbing with heat tape and foam pipe insulation.

* Part of the plumbing system includes the holding tanks. Some RV’s have enclosed holding tanks that are heated by the RV’s furnace through heater ducting to the holding tank areas. As long as the furnace runs occasionally, the tanks won’t freeze unless it’s very cold (below 20F).

* For those tanks that are not heated and/or enclosed, tank heating pads can be affixed to the bottoms of the tanks. These are very easy to install, thermostatically-controlled, and come in both 12-volt DC and 110-volt AC.

* Yet another part of the RV plumbing system is the holding tank piping and dump valves. Some higher end RVs have these pipes and valves enclosed and heated from the factory. For most RVs though, they are exposed to the elements. As with the plumbing pipes, these pipes and valves can be protected by wrapping them with heat tape too.

* You should keep your gray and black water valves closed until you are ready to dump your holding tanks. If gray water constantly allowed to drain, it will eventually form an ice dam in your sewer hose. As an alternative, you could also try insulating and wrapping heat tape around your sewer hose if you want to leave the gray water valve open. In any case, be absolutely certain that your sewer hose is at a steep angle where liquids drain rapidly and are not allowed to stand. Using a sewer hose support will help with this.

* Another area subject to freezing is the fresh water supply hose. You can use a heated water hose to prevent freezing. This is a good option if you are in a campground with full hookups. They run on either 12 volts DC or 110 volts AC.

* To reduce drafts and heating requirements, you can insulate the your RV’s windows against the cold with heavy drapes or curtains. You can create an insulating dead air space inside of the windows by covering them with clear, heavy vinyl. You can even cover the interior of the windows with sheets of Styrofoam or poster board but these are a little hard to see through.

* The roof vents are an area where heat can escape. There are foam type pillows specifically made to be placed in the vent openings. These fit snugly and greatly reduce heat loss in these areas.

* If you have a motorhome, hang a heavy blanket or privacy curtain between the driver’s compartment and the rest of the motorhome which will block the cold radiated by a motorhome’s windshield. This works very well whether you have a Class A, B, or C type motorhome as they all have large windshields.

* Any compartments that open into the inside of the RV need to have good weather seals. Adding some inexpensive foam tape or weather stripping to the compartment opening and doors will really help seal those air leaks.

* Now that the RV is sealed tight from air leaks, we have the problem of condensation to deal with. Moisture from cooking, washing and just our breathing raises the humidity inside the RV. As it gets colder, this moisture condenses out on cooler inside surfaces like window frames and doors. This can lead to mold and mildew, water stains or even worse. The best way to prevent condensation is to avoid introducing excessive moisture into the air. A good practice is to always use the range hood vent when cooking and the bathroom vent when showering. This will draw most of that moisture out of the rig. It may be necessary to keep a roof vent open slightly to provide some ventilation and keep condensation in check. Insulating exposed surfaces that tend to collect moisture will also help. A small dehumidifier or some of those little tubs of desiccant crystals may be necessary, depending on the RV and how many are staying in it.

* Finally, we need to consider how the RV is going to be heated. Portable electric heaters are a great supplement to the propane furnace. This method of heating doesn’t add condensation to the air and allows the propane furnace to run considerably less, saving a lot of propane. Catalytic heaters are another popular way to provide assistance to the propane furnace but require fresh air ventilation to avoid oxygen depletion in the RV.

Here are some more tips on how to help you cold weather camp in your RV:

  • If you don’t want to spend the money for a heated fresh water hose, simply disconnect the normal hose from the RV and the water spigot when the temperature is going to fall below freezing. Empty the hose and store it. You can then use the RV’s fresh water tank to supply water.
  • Some cold-weather RVers winterize and then don’t use their plumbing system at all. Instead, they carry containers of drinking water inside the living area of the RV and rely completely upon the campground’s restroom facilities. Call ahead to the campground if this is your plan. Some close their restrooms during the off-season and others may only have electrical hookups available.
  • During the evening, leave your cabinet doors open slightly. This will help some heat reach the plumbing that runs through the cabinetry and along the cold walls.
  • If possible, empty the holding tanks if they will be subject to freezing and pour a couple of quarts of non-toxic, biodegradable antifreeze into each holding tank. This will protect the dump valves. Pour in more antifreeze as wastewater fills the tanks.
  • When using any type of catalytic heater in any inside area, provide a fresh air opening of at least three square inches. This is necessary because this type of heater consumes the oxygen in your RV. If you do not replace the depleted oxygen through ventilation, you stand a chance of not waking up the next morning.
  • Although the methods explained in this article will help substantially reduce the potential for plumbing and holding tanks from freezing, they cannot guarantee it. Once the temperature gets low enough, little can be done to keep up. Unfortunately, we all have to stop camping at some point!

Source by Mark Corgan

Small Travel Trailer

Once in a while, you might get the urge to escape from your busy and stressful life and plan on having the perfect getaway with family and friends. Consider a camping or fishing trip in travel trailers – it’s a fun and rewarding recreational activity. Traveling in small trailers is very practical, as it saves you accommodation expenses.

Small travel trailers are designed to be lightweight and usually weigh barely 2,000 pounds and stand at 10-feet long. A small truck or just about any kind of family vehicle can easily tow them. In addition, the aerodynamic design that most of these trailers possess makes them very fuel efficient.

In transportation and temporary living accommodations for travel, recreation, and camping, small travel trailers are the best option to meet the level of comfort and convenience needed by small families or even older couples who are enjoying their retirement. You can still feel as if you are in the comforts of your home; these trailers also come equipped with the necessary amenities such as a small kitchen area, a bathroom, comfortable sleeping and dining areas, and even entertainment facilities.

Though simple and engineered to be lightweight, small trailers are also loaded with cooking facilities as well as a refrigerator, heating, air conditioning, a self-contained toilet, a shower, water tanks, and a separate electrical system. These trailers also feature slide-out rooms so you can enjoy additional space.

Whether for weekend camping trips or a cross-country sojourn, this kind of vehicle will surely go places easily as compared to its larger counterparts, as it can easily travel within tight campsites or constricted pathways.

If you are interested in owning one of these vehicles, you can visit and consult various manufacturers. But if you are not sure whether to opt for the hefty and more luxurious RVs, then you can select a smaller one in a price that won’t disrupt your budget. They come in various styles to suit your taste and lifestyle.

Source by Jennifer Bailey