Archive for June, 2015

8 Items Every Dog Needs to Pack when Camping with a Human

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

While camping with your dog may not be your cup of tea, there are situations by which one needs to take their dog.  I was in such a situation when a friend of mine wanted to go camping.  No, this was not a situation where the individual did not want or could not leave their dog at home.  The issue was that this dog was a highly trained service animal, this dog met all requirements.   He had been taught to recognize the signals that my friend presented before he had a seizure.  In doing so, planning for this dog was first priority.

Elements of the planning included owning some of the best rated pet cameras that one can find, which’d keep both the dog & its owner entertained throughout the trip.

Taking a look at this from a dog’s perspective is just a fun way of presenting important information that is needed if you plan to take your furry friend with you.  Below are items that every dog will need before they go camping and tips how to supervise your fur baby but before we move onto the list, the top priority is to find a camp ground that is dog friendly.  You will also need to find out what you and your companion are allowed to do.  While some campsites do allow dogs, they do not allow dogs on trails.  In doing so make sure to do your homework before you leave.


  1. Dog ID Tags are very important but check the information before you go.  Having contact on the tag that is a landline will not serve you well if you dog is lost and they are calling your home.  A dog can occasionally wander considerably far off from the campsite in search of a proper defecation site, as it can only hold in pee for around 4 to 6 hours. Another situation that you will need to check is your cell phone coverage.  Again, the same situation can occur if you cell phone will not work in the area you plan to camp in.   Also, make sure that your companion’s shots are up to date.  This information can sometimes be found on ID tags.
  2. Dog Collar or Harness is another important item that every dog needs to back before going on a camping trip but……..  Before you say, my companion can just where what he or she has always worn, let’s consider this situation.  Your dog friend has a gently worn collar that fits fine at home.  It is comfortable, holds the ID tag, and provides a hook by which you can slip a lead into.  In doing so, what more could your companion want?  Well, while this collar or harness may work safely at home, it can be a death trap in an unfamiliar environment.  A dog can actually hang itself by a collar or harness that is too loose.  While the inexpensive way to go is to use what you have, take the time and go out and get a new collar.  Your dog will thank you.
  3. Leash or lead is something you do not want to forget.  Unlike humans who can walk pretty much wherever they want, dogs are different.  Do not fall into the belief that your camping companion can run free just because you are in the “wild.”  This is far from the truth.  Most campgrounds and parks require that dogs be on a leash or lead.  This is not only for human safety but also for the dog’s well-being.
  4. Long cable goes hand in hand with the other items above.  But how long should it be?  A good length is around 20 feet.  This will give your dog enough freedom to explore the new environment while keeping him or her close enough to you for immediate care if need be. 
  5. Shelter is something that many people forget about when it comes to camping. If you are going to allow your furry friend into your human shelter, move on to the next item on the list.  If the answer is no then pack a tarp and some extra towels.  Both of these will keep your dog dry and cool.
  6. Doggie Camp Kitchen Supplies, which consists of several bowls, food, and treats that are designed just for dogs. All of it you may find at or
  7. Doggie First Aid Kit and Animal First Aid Book is another item that many people forget.  Yes, a human first aid kit can be used; it is always a good idea to have a separate one for your companion.  

Plastic Bags are a supply that you will need a lot of.  Why is this?  Well, just like humans have rules about how their waste is to be handled at camp and on the trail so does your dog.  Waste deposited by your furry friend will need to be picked up and disposed of outside the park.  In doing so, you will need lots of plastic bags.

4 Camp Cooking Tips for Beginner Camp Chefs

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

While I am an old seasoned camp chef, I have met may several fellow campers who had no idea how to cook at camp.  In doing so, they tried to reinvent the wheel and made this simple process more complicated than it really needed to be.  Below are 4 of my seasoned, camp cooking tips that make outdoor cooking enjoyable instead of a dread.

  1. Plan, plan, plan, and then plan again.  Do not just plan in your head but write it down.  This will keep you organized and can be used as a menu, supply list, and grocery list.
  2. Do not reinvent the wheel.  Cooking at camp can be a hot task and no one wants to be hanging over the fire cooking when they are camping.  To free up some time and give the camp chef a break from the fire, consider precooking as many meals as possible.  If this is done, the only thing that will need to be done is to heat up the meal.  But when do this, make sure to cook the food through and then freeze.  Your frozen meals can also act as “ice,” which can save you money on ice for your cooler.
  3.  When it comes to packing your cooler, make sure that you organize it.  This will save you time and reduce the chances that you will forget something for your meals.  A great way of organizing the cooler is to put the ingredients for each meal in a plastic bag and tie off.  Write down the day you plan on serving.  Once you have this information, place the last day meal in first and work your way to the first meal in an orderly fashion.  When it comes to meal time, simply open the cooler, pull out the meal on top, and cook.

The last tip I have has to do with the cooler.  While I do own a cooler that will keep items cold for six days, I still pre-cool my cooler.  It allows my ice to last longer.  How do I do this?  Well, it starts with freezing milk jugs with water.  I then place these jugs in the cooler and allow them to stay in there for about two hours.  After that time, my cooler is cold inside and ready to be packed with food and ice.  What do I do with the frozen jugs?  One approach is to put them back in the freezer but what I do is I take them with me.  They provide me with drinkable water right at my campsite without me having to step away and get water.

Campfire Recipe: Pigs in a Blanket Breakfast

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Nothing beats a great breakfast in the morning but……….I frankly get tired of the same old dishes.  After playing around with some ideas, I came up with this dish.  It is very flexible and is a great way of using up those breakfast leftovers.  As an example, pancakes cooked up the morning before could be used for the “frozen” pancakes.  Got a lot of bread and want to use it before it starts to mold?  Well, use that in place of the pancakes.

Another idea comes as a substitute for the meat.  Any meat will really work but it will not create the “pigs in a blanket” idea.  If that does not bother you, consider using precooked crumbled sausage.  Or, if you cannot find the cocktail-sized smoked sausage links, do not worry.  Use the already cooked, full sized smoked sausage.  If using this approach, do not forget to cut it up fine. 

Campfire Recipe:  Pigs in a Blanket Breakfast


2 16 ounce packages of frozen pancakes, waffles or leftover pancakes from the day before

4 eggs

1 ½ cups of half and half

14 ounce package of cocktail-sized smoked sausage links

1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Oil or spray oil

Tin foil, optional

Pancake toppings such as maple syrup, jelly and/or honey

12 inch Dutch oven with lid

24 briquettes


  1. Start your fire.
  2. Prepare the Dutch oven by either wiping the inside with oil or line the Dutch oven with foil.  If using the foil, also wipe it down with oil.
  3. If pancakes or waffles are still frozen, lay them out to thaw.
  4. Once thawed, tear the pancakes apart.
  5. Chop the cocktail-sized smoke sausage links into small pieces.
  6. Crack eggs into a bowl and add the half and half.
  7. Add the pancakes and sausage to the egg mixture.
  8. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  9. Pour egg mixture from step 8 into Dutch oven. 
  10. Place lid on Dutch oven.
  11. Place 6 coals on a heat resistant surface.
  12. Place the Dutch oven on these coals.
  13. Top with 18 coals. 
  14. Cook for 40 minutes
  15. After the time in step 14 has passed, lift the lid and add the cheese.
  16. Place the lid back on and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  17. Prior to serving, remove the Dutch oven from the coals and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Cut into squares and serve with pancake toppings.