Archive for the ‘Camping Fun’ Category

Tell Scary Ghost Stories On Your Next Camping Trip

Monday, March 12th, 2012

I am one of those people that loves a good Political jokes and a good story but cannot ever remember them so when I try to repeat that joke or story it never works out because I inevitably give away the punch line or forget an important part of the story. So if you love ghost stories and want to regale your family and friends with a delightfully scary tale at your next camping trip, I found a great website, with lots of ghost stories on it that you can print out and take with you. Or, if you are feeling extremely ambitious or if you have a photographic memory you can just memorize them. ghost picture But, here's my disclaimer. Some of these are really pretty scary so save them for "adult" time only or you'll probably have kids sleeping on top of you for the rest of your camping trip because they'll think every little noise they hear is something spooky (no, wait…that's me! I'm such a "scaredy cat"!). Oh, and don't blame me if you can't sleep after hearing these! Are you ready? Then, click here to go to the ghost stories website.

Activities for Kids While Camping

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

In this age of technology, camping with children can present problems with boredom. If you plan ahead and have activities in mind, they won’t have time to get bored. Kids play an important part in your life. Therefore, you need to take their absolute care so that they get the best in the world. This is applicable to any items that you purchase for your kids. In this article, we would deal with shoes because kids shoes are an essential accessory for every child. There are wide varieties of brands that produce shoes for kids. Their feet are delicate and keeping in mind this particular aspect, the different companies manufacture different kinds of shoes for the kids. Apart from that, there are several other occasions for which kids shoes are required. You cannot afford to make your child wear the same shoe in all the occasion. There are other occasions like birthday parties or a casual going out when your child would again require kids shoes. We’ve been selling a complete range of premium quality Kids Shoes since 2005. Catering for the very young with soft sole baby shoes to fast-moving toddlers with durable boots and sandals for boys & girls and finally dress shoes for boys and girls to suit all occasions. You are sure to find something you love at Atti & Anna. These shoes can be slightly gorgeous and if you look for these shoes you would definitely find shoes designed for kids which are attractive as well as gorgeous. These kinds of shoes are suitable for all kinds of occasions and your kid would just love to wear them. However, when you purchase them, you need to ensure that these shoes are of good quality and made with good quality materials. It is your duty to purchase the right shoe for your child for the right occasion so that their feet remains protected. If you purchase good quality kids shoes from a good brand, you can also be assured that their feet would receive the maximum comfort that it deserves. If you want to buy shoes for your children online make sure to shop at reputed stores. This is because unlike an offline store where you can physically try on the shoes on your child, there is no such option in an online store. All you have to go by is the description and picture of the shoes in question. Of course, size and other features are always mentioned but before you buy shoes for your kid online you need to know the size of your toddler’s feet. Ideally, you should get your kid’s feet professionally measured at the nearest shoe store in your locality. Measuring your kid’s feet helps you know exactly, which size of shoes they need. The kind of materials used is a critical aspect to consider when you buy new shoes for your kid online. One good choice when it comes to shoe material is leather. Leather is not only durable but it helps sustain dryness and also keeps your kid’s feet cool. Leather also keeps common foot ailments like smelly feet, blisters and general discomfort at bay. When you buy kids shoes online, make sure to avoid shoes, which have a hard upper surface. These can cause corns on your kid’s feet. Make sure to check the description of the soles of the shoe when you buy kids shoes online. The soles should be constructed of a robust material so that your kid does not suffer any pain or injury when running or playing. While the usage of a robust sole is advised, flexibility should also be incorporated into the sole so that the shoe can bend along with the feet. Since kids are always playing or running around, this is a crucial aspect when you buy kids shoes online.

Make up your own games: my husband brought a tennis ball with us on one trip. He probably also had some racquets in the back because he was telling he he’d come across a good head tennis rackets for sale sign offering him discount the other day. We used it by playing a game on the picnic table ? sort of like ping pong where the paddle is your hand. See how many bounces you can get before it hits the ground. You can also create other ‘challenges’ such as making the ball bounce once off the table, off a tree, or into a box. Just have fun with it!

Hiking: this can be fun and enjoyable for all ages. Just make sure you select a trail that is appropriate for all skill levels, since it’s easy to find plenty of reviews for any trail on the Internet nowadays. Take a water bottle and a snack for everyone. Wear the right kind of shoes for the type of hiking you will be doing.

Board and card games: we take several games with us on each trip. Let the kids decide which ones to take.

Flashlight tag: a favorite of our kids! Make sure you are not in a potentially dangerous area (drop-offs). Set boundaries. Respect the campsites of others around you.

Slingshot : We bought some slingshots at a hardware store on a camping trip one year. They became the highlight of the trip! We had contests all weekend to see who could hit certain objects the most.

Bike riding: we usually take our bicycles on our camping trips. Our kids love to ride their bikes on the campground roads. We camped near a “Rails-to-Trails” route twice and really enjoyed it (Virginia Creeper Trail).

Ranger Programs: state parks and national parks usually have programs set up by the Park Rangers. These are very informative, interactive, and educational. Also check into the Junior Ranger program for children. This kept our kids very busy one weekend ? and years later they still have their Junior Ranger badges that they earned.

Sightsee: find out in advance things to do in the area. Explore nearby small towns.

Geocaching: a fun way to treasure hunt!! You will need a GPS enabled device (ok, so you need technology for this).

Backcountry Camping Can Be A Stressful Pursuit

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

When I was 24 years old I had a quarter-life crisis. I was working as a reporter for a small newspaper in Upstate New York at the time. It was a wonderful place to live, surrounded by thousands of acres of wilderness. Camping and hiking opportunities were ubiquitous.

But one day it hit me like a punch to the gut: I was trapped. Aside from the occasional walk in the woods, or overnight camping trip, I had settled into a comfortable and routine life without much in the way of excitement. I was too young for that, I thought. Yikes. Suddenly, the quaint mountain town was suffocating. I had to move on.

So I quit my job, broke up with my girlfriend, sold a few things on Craigslist, and, in a drastic attempt to find adventure, loaded up my Subaru wagon and pointed it west. A week later I was in Montana, where I had signed up for a six-month long AmeriCorps position with the Montana Conservation Corps. Along with swinging an axe, wielding a chainsaw and digging in the dirt for eight hours a day, the job entailed 21 day stints in the backcountry.

I was nervous.

I had been backpacking a few times, but most of my experience was in the luxury of car camping. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Questions often raced through my head. Twenty one days without a shower? No toilet or outhouse? How am I going to poop in a hole for three weeks? No cell phone, TV or free Wi-fi? Guess I’ll have to go cold turkey on Internet consumption. What about bears, mountain lions, giant mosquitoes and Sasquatch? Am I going
to make it?

I made it.

Three weeks is a little extreme, but for a lot of people getting into backpacking and primitive camping can be stressful. There are certain adjustments in attitude that need to occur before getting the most out of a wilderness experience, and they don’t always come easy.

To curb self doubts and insecurities I would recommend reading up on camping and backpacking manuals and tips. Maybe check out an online forum or two. That will get you started if you’re not sure how to pack your pack, what gear you should bring, if you’re looking for suggestions on where to go, etc. But the best way to get into backpacking is to go out with someone who knows what they are doing. For my first true backcountry experience it was a staff member of the conservation corps who taught me the subtleties of cooking over an open flame, the allure of knowing animal tracks, and why the Spork is man’s greatest invention.

Stress about being in the backcountry can come in many forms. One summer I went camping at a primitive site in Maine and took along a friend who considers herself to be a ‘city girl.’ It was her first time camping and I was surprised to find that the thing she was most worried about was not having her coffee in the morning.

“We do have coffee,” I said. “We brought a French press.” (That’s not really an option while backpacking, but there are some instant coffees out there that are actually pretty good.)

She was also worried about bears, naturally, but was happy to find out that there aren’t any Grizzlies in Maine.

The list of concerns for first-timers in the backcountry is a long one, everything from . The trick is to be prepared. Do research, ask questions, plan ahead, but remember why you’re doing it. It’s fun! It can be life changing. Kneeling over a trickling mountain stream and pumping every ounce of water you use though a filter can really change your perception of turning on a faucet. In the same vein, nothing is more satisfying than creating a delicious and savory meal over a fire with minimal ingredients.

Being with a group in the wilderness is about camaraderie and adventure, feeling physically exhilarated and mentally at peace. Don’t take it too seriously. But certainly do your homework.

Here are just a few tips that address common apprehensions before taking the wonderful plunge into backcountry camping:

Bathroom etiquette in the backcountry

There’s at least one book out there, probably more, devoted entirely to this topic. It is uncomfortable to talk about at first, but nature is bound to call when in nature.

It’s not that big a deal.

I’d recommend buying a small camping trowel. Dig a hole six inches deep, do your business, and then bury the waste and toilet paper. Don’t forget to enjoy the solitude as you would in your own bathroom, and try to pick a safe place with a good view.

No shower, no problem

Baby wipes equal a shower in a box. They’re always a good purchase before spending time in the woods.

Rinsing off in streams or other bodies of water is also an option. Just make sure you are aware of any dangers that would be present. It is not usually considered “leave no trace” to put biodegradable soaps directly into a water source, but filling a water bottle and lathering up over the ground can be just as satisfying.

If you happen to be camping in the western United States, chances are there’s Sagebrush nearby (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_tridentata). The spicy, lemon scented plant makes for a great deodorant. Hang some in your tent to keep things smelling fresh, or better yet, vigorously rub some in your armpits. You just might get a few compliments around the campfire.

Sleeping easy

This isn’t a post about gear, and I am not going to recommend brands. But when it comes to getting comfortable in your tent getting a good sleeping pad is worth every penny, both for comfort and warmth. I’d say save up and spend a little extra.

Leave no trace

Leave No Trace ethics deserve a whole post, but the philosophy is simple: Take only pictures, leave only footprints. It’s important to learn about having a low-impact in the wilderness and backcountry so it can remain for all to enjoy.

About the author: Eric Voorhis is a journalist, photographer and blogger living on Long Island. As a reporter and freelance writer he’s covered everything from education and local politics to recreation and the environment. He has been camping in nearly every state of the contiguous U.S., from the backwoods of Maine to the beaches of California, and hates it when people burn marshmallows