Archive for October, 2010

Best Places to Camp in the Fall

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Choosing where to camp during the fall can become an overwhelming task, since there are so many places to choose from. Going on vacations should be as easy and stress free as possible, therefore, having some of the most popular ones picked out for you and listed below, may help make your search a little less complicated.

Depending on where you live definitely plays a major role in where you choose to camp. An unexpected, yet beautiful area during the fall would be the states located in the Southwest area of the United States. Therefore, if you are located in this area or plan on going there for your next camping trip, you may want to consider some of these amazing desinations below.

Most people may assume that Arizona and New Mexico are mostly desert, but this is not the case. There are so many beautiful colors to take in when visiting these areas in the fall, including Northern Arizona near Flagstaff and Sedona, and on the mountains in New Mexico; Jemez and Sangre De Cristo Mountains. Some specific camping areas in Arizona are, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Ashurst Lake/Forked Pine, Cave Springs and Pine Flat and Bootlegger. In New Mexico you can find, Organ Mountains Recreation Area, Fawn Lakes Campground, Elephant Rock Campground and City of Rocks; among many, many other beautiful areas to choose from.

Texas is another great place to go for fall camping. A few places to check out in the Lone Star State would be, Caprock Canyons, Cooper Lake, Davis Mountains State Park, Balstrop State Park, Big Bend Ranch State Natural Area and Lake Mineral Wells State Park. All of these locations vary from dense forest, perfect for enjoying nature, to lakes and natural springs, great for fishing or swimming, to vast desert lands.

You may also want to consider Southern California, or SoCal, as the locals call it. There are so many different “sceneries” to choose from in Southern Cali, as well. For example, you can choose to camp near a beach, in a more desert-like location, or even in the mountains. A few specific places you may want to consider are; Dark Canyon Campground, Point Mugu State Park, Andrew Molera State Park, Big Pine Creek Campground and Cleveland National Forest Area. The weather in the southwest is a lot more tolerable in the fall, compared to the states located in the more northern areas, which makes for more comfortable temperatures and forecast conditions for campers.

Sometimes we tend to get all caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget how beautiful and serene the United States really is. When we do take the opportunity for a “time-out”, this guide is here to help narrow down the search for your next fall-tastic getaway. Therefore, compared to all of the amazing and beautiful places in the United States to choose from, these are only a select few of the most comfortable and fall-worthy campground sites to choose from.

Camping Recipes to Warm Your Bones

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Some people prefer camping out in the fall or winter for many great reasons. A few of these include, cooler weather and less pests to worry about. One thing to remember, though, is keeping warm, especially at night. One of the best ways to do this is to prepare yourself a nice hot meal. Below you will find a good selection of hearty, warming meals, you are sure to enjoy. Remember; for easier preparation, do as much chopping, measuring and mixing as possible ahead of time.

Hearty Veggie and Bean Soup
1/2 C. split peas
1 C. instant rice
1 C. dried veggies
(try mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes)
3 T. butter
1 pouch chicken breast
1 packet Knorr soup mix
1 cube chicken bouillon
Loaf of bread
1. Soak the peas in hot water for 45 minutes.
2. Add dried veggies, soup mix, and bouillon to one liter of water, and bring to a boil. Add peas and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in rice and chicken; when rice is cooked, swirl in the butter. Enjoy with bread. Serves 3.
Tips: You can pre-soak and cook the peas and rice at home for easier preparation at the campsite.

Abominable Snowman
1 packet instant hot chocolate mix
2 T. powdered milk
Pat of butter
1 T. brown sugar
1 shot tequila
Place hot chocolate and powdered milk in a mug. Add 1 1/2 cups hot water. Stir in butter, brown sugar, and tequila.

Instant Rice Pudding.
At home, fill a resealable bag with:
1 cup of instant rice
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
Later, in a kettle over the campfire, add 1-1/2 cups water to this mix and bring it to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Then I remove it from the fire, cover and let it stand, stirring occasionally.

Cocoa Concoction
For a tasty mix that will make 26 cups of cocoa combine:
3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup powdered nondairy creamer
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sift ingredients or pulse in a blender. Store in a resealable bag. To make cocoa, stir 1-1/2 tablespoons of cocoa mix into 6 ounces of boiling water.

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

1 Box White Cake Mix
1 Twelve Ounce Can of 7-Up
1/2 Cup of Sugar
8 Peaches
Peel and quarter your peaches. Place them in the dutch oven. Sprinkle your sugar on top of the peaches. In a separate bowl mix the white cake mix and your can of 7-Up. The mixture will be lumpy. Pour the cake mixture on top pf the peaches. Put lid on your dutch oven.
Place dutch oven on top of about 20 coals and place about 10 on top. Depending upon the heat of your coals it will take about 15-20 minutes but check occasionally to see if the cake is a golden brown. Serve Hot.

Another thing to keep in mind while camping in the cooler weather would be to bring a lot of ready-to-eat snacks with you on your trip to munch on hourly, or so, to keep yourself warm and energized. That, mixed with these nice, hot meals will do the trick and keep your camping experience warm and cozy.

Unexpected Benefits of Fall Camping

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Most people tend to flood to the campgrounds during the summer months. We tend to think summertime camping is a given since the weather is warm and kids are out of school. Some things we may not put into consideration, though, are how active the bugs and even potential predators, such as bears and cougars, are during this time of year. Also, your camping area can be more crowded than hoped for or the weather may actually be a little too hot or humid to be spending so much of it outdoors.

When considering all of these circumstances, it is good to know that fall is right around the corner. Fall may not be thought to be the right or best time to camp, but there are so many great things about this time of year that may change your mind. First of all, it tends to be more beautiful outside with all of the beautiful changes in the foliage. Since, more likely than not, you’ll be spending all of your time outdoors, the scenery would be wonderful to be able to take in during your camping trip. Also, if you know the right places to camp, you will find out that the weather is much more tolerable than it was in the warmer summer months. Having that campfire going at night is perfect for this time of year to keep you warm while roasting those marshmallows. Another thing you may notice if camping during the fall season, would be that finding that perfect spot to set up your tent will be easier than before since there will be less people camping out this time of year. Most people go camping to ”get away” and fall is the perfect time to do it.

The majority of people tend to only camp during the summer months because their kids are out of school. Therefore, if you choose to go during the fall months, you may need to do just a little more planning ahead than usual. Checking with your children’s school calendar to see when their next three or four day weekend is would be a good start. Or you may decide to take a longer vacation trip on the one or two week breaks during the holidays.

Going on a mini vacation can always be a very welcome stress reliever, since this tends to be a very busy time of year with school and planning for the holidays. Therefore, an unexpected camping trip in the fall would be just the thing to help relax and rejuventate the family for the road of busy life ahead.