Archive for October, 2013

How to Save Money on Camp Gear-Purchasing a Tent at a Yard Sale

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

I am an avid yard sale shopper and sometimes you can really get a deal if you know what to look for.  Camping gear is no exception but before you jump into buying that tent, here are some hints to follow along with solutions to common problems. 

Before buying that tent, always check it out.  If it is not setup, ask if you can set it up.  Once up, check the seams of the tent.  Also, make sure that the poles are not broken or repaired with a camper’s friend (Duct tape).  Then, climb inside and take a look at the fabric.  Are there little pinholes that can be seen through the fabric?  Is the flooring of the tent secured and without tears? 

Once all these questions have been answered and you have felt good about your purchase, your work is not done.  The next step in this process is to set up your tent at home.   Make sure that you place it in the shade and sweep out the inside of the tent.  After that is done, mix up a solution of cold water and detergent soap that is designed for tents.  Do not use a household cleaner, which contains perfumes.  These simple perfumes will attract bugs and critter to your tent, which is something you do not want.  Also, the household detergent will destroy the waterproofing finish, which is also something you do not want. 

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After you have the detergent soap and water solution made, apply it to your tent with a non-abrasive sponge.  Clean thoroughly inside and out.  Then, rinse with cool water and allow to dry in the shade. 

Next, address any seams that may be coming loose with a seam sealer.  This sealer is a liquid like glue that is applied to the seams.  If you are applying to the sealer to the rainfly and/or floor, make sure to apply only on the shiny side of the tent. 

If you have had to apply a seam sealer, allow it to dry before moving on to the next step.  Once the sealer has dried, the next step is to waterproof the tent.   This should be done every year and more often if the tent is used heavily.  To do this, simply spray on any waterproofing product sold at outdoor gear stores.  Allow to dry before packing up.

The steps above are for a tent that is perfect but what if you buy a tent that has a mildew problem?  Well the answer is simple and begins with a good cleaning.  If the mildew remains, mix 1 cup of salt and lemon juice into 1 gallon of water.  Rub this solution on the tent until the mildew is gone.  Once that is done, allow to completely dry before applying a coat of a waterproofing product.

It’s Apple Time-How to Bake Apples on the Campfire

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

As an avid camper and hiker, sometimes things just pop-up unexpectedly and this is what happened recently when I came upon an apple tree.  While I do not encourage anyone to forage for food if they are not absolutely sure of the plant material, apples are easily identified.  

Prior to picking though, I made sure that foraging was an acceptable practice in the region I was in.

Once I knew I was ok, I went to work picking the apples and preparing the recipe below.  While you may find this a little odd that I had all these ingredients, I actually did from a breakfast I had cooked that day.  It was a great way of using up those little leftovers. 

While foraged apples seem to make the recipe sweeter, only from the experience, store bought apples are just as good.   Also, while there are measurements for the ingredients below, do not get hung up on being exact.  The recipe is just as good with a little extra pinch of this and a little less of that.

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Ingredients

6 apples

3 Tablespoons jam, any flavor

3 Tablespoons cream cheese

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Aluminum foil

Directions

  1. Wash and core apples with an apple corer or melon baller.  *When doing this process, make sure not to go all the way to the bottom of the apple.  If this happens, all your fillings will fall out but do not despair just plug with a piece of apple.
  2. Fill each apple with the ingredients listed in order.   The amount required for each ingredient is the same.  Start with ½ tablespoon cream cheese, followed with jam, then brown sugar and finally butter.
  3. Wrap each apple in foil.  *Wrap the foil around the apple so that you have a little twist on the top.  This little twist can then be used as a handle.
  4. Rearrange the campfire so that wood is on each side with hot coals in the middle.  Once that is done, place each wrapped apple directly on the coals.
  5. Cook for 18 to 30 minutes.  The time will depend on the temperature of the fire and the size of the apples.  To check for doneness, gently squeeze with heat proofed glove or tongs.  If there is a gently squeezing of the fruit, then the apples are done.
  6. Once done, open the foil so that the fruit can cool before eating.  *Do not remove the apple from the foil.  The foil pouch creates a little bowl by which you can eat your apple. 

How to Make a Dutch Oven Cobbler

Friday, October 4th, 2013