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How to have Great Coffee When Your Camping

[ 0 ] 25/10/2012

I love exploring the wilderness areas in this country. There are some places that you just can’t drive to or expect to have many amenities when you get there. But trust me the view is worth it. One year I asked my husband what he wanted for his birthday. He answered, “A mule.” Why did he want a mule?

Well there’s a reason they are often referred to as a pack mule. He did get his birthday wish and now we have a mule named Gennevieve. She carries the beer and other supplies. We take her in a trailer in the back of our car. When we get to the national forest or other wilderness area, out she comes.

Gennevieve loves to go hiking and she doesn’t mind carrying the beer, the tent, our sleeping bags, and the cooking supplies. We walk along side her and I have to admit that she’s great company! Before Gennevieve, we carried the bare minimum. So my morning coffee was a coffee bag dipped in boiling water. Better than nothing, but really not that great.

Now I fee that I can bring my stovetop percolator. It’s the way that my grandmother made coffee and it’s truly delicious. It does not require electricity and we often use it when we have a power outage. The first thing you have to do when you get a fire like the one above is put a metal grate of some sort on it. If you forget the metal grate, then take a flat rock and put it in the fire. Then you can put your percolator on it.

The trick to getting great percolator coffee is to start with coarse ground coffee. For every cup of coffee that you want add 8 ounces of water and a tablespoon of coffee. The water goes in the pot; the coffee goes in the basket. Then you put the percolator on the fire, when it starts to perk. You’ll see it in the little bulb at the top, time it for 10 minutes. Watch the bulb when it first starts its clear water, then it becomes a rich brown.

There’s nothing better than a great cup of coffee in the middle of nowhere!

Packing for Your Next Camp Out

[ 0 ] 05/08/2012

Packing for camping

Camping is an economical way to see the country, but it takes more planning and preparation than sleeping at a hotel. The difference between a fabulous camping trip and a miserable one lies squarely with your ability to pack effectively. If you have the right tools (organized properly), you will be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

Buy Rubbermaid totes

These boxes are found at any Wal-Mart, Target, or K-Mart. They come in all sizes, so you will want to buy a variety of sizes. You will need the large deeper bins for clothing and smaller bins to hold kitchen utensils and other miscellaneous items. These bins are so excellent because they have a leak proof top. When there is rain or humidity, the seal keeps the items inside from getting damp and musty. Imagine what would happen to a duffel bag of clothes that got rained on? Secondly, the Rubbermaid boxes make great end tables around the site. If you throw a towel over the bin, you can use it to hold drinks, food, flashlights, bug spray, etc. That way, your picnic table doesn’t become the landing place for all your gear.

Kitchen supplies

Most people bring along a small portable gas stove, food utensils, a pan or two, and some matches. But here are some additional items you may have forgotten: 

  • Aluminum foil: Used to cover food, cook food, and can even be fashioned into a plate if you are running low.
  • Bottle of Lysol wipes: These will be the easiest way to clean surfaces after your meal to be sure animals don’t sniff around your site at night.
  • Plastic tablecloth: This can go over the picnic table to prevent splinters.
  • Tacks: You will need these to tack down the tablecloth so the wind does not blow it away.
  • Ice block: Dedication one of your coolers to holding a large block of ice. You can chip away at it and use the ice in your drinks cooler. The large block melts much more slowly than a bag of ice.
  • Potholder: To handle a hot grill or pan over the fire.

Personal supplies

Once your clothing bin is packed, you should add other personal supplies to your bin. Use a small toiletries bag and fill it with your toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, and soap. Throw a roll of toilet paper in the bin for personal grooming in the bathroom or if you need to blow your nose. Add a small flashlight for nighttime, plus some flip-flops that can remain outside the tent should you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. And don’t forget bug spray!

Tent supplies

A good tent is priceless, but here are a few ways to make your stay even more comfortable. Pack two extra tarps, one for under the tent, and one for over the tent. Even if you have a rain fly, using a rope and a tarp to hang another protective layer makes a big difference. Buy a LED lantern to hang inside the tent so you can see at night when you are getting ready for bed. If you can, pack a small welcome mat to put at the front entrance your tent. It will help keep dirt off of the tent floor and in the sleeping bags.

Prepare physically 

Camping is a lot of hard work. It is extremely rewarding as well, not to mention a great way to see and experience nature. However, everything from lugging water, firewood, plus the outdoor activities, takes some muscle. Before you embark on your big trip, have a regular exercise routine in place. A great product to work your abdominal core is the Ab Belt. If you enter your flex belt promo correctly, you can get a great deal on this product.

Have fun with your family, commune with nature, and see the world with camping. You’ll be prepared for the adventure of a lifetime!

Pop-Up Camping Insurance

[ 0 ] 30/05/2012

As a camper of some years, and experience, it never ceases to amaze me just how many people forget to take out extra insurance before they set off. Insurance is important for many reasons, not least because it helps you meet unexpected bills without having to worry about how to pay them.

Down the years I’ve met many a camper that relies on the basic auto insurance to get them by. Me? I have a good level of comprehensive cover (I use these guys: car insurance) on the car, as well as insurance that covers the vehicle for breakdown and recovery – and adequate insurance for our pop-up and camping gear.

Basically spending a little extra means that you’re … covered. Pardon the pun :)

In a nutshell, taking out insurance that will (hopefully) ensure that all emergency and accidental bases are covered means that you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. As an example a couple of years ago we broke down on the way to a campsite. We’d gone a few hundred miles, with maybe another two hundred to go.

We broke down way too far from home to get help, and still too far away from the campsite to elicit any help from the site owners or rangers. Thankfully I’d gotten us covered from here to Christmas so we eventually arrived at our destination, albeit a day later. Still, the insurance covered the repairs to the car (front NS spring and shocker had gone), as well as overnight accommodation and auto-recovery.

The insurance was sorted out through my normal auto-insurance company, and they also put us onto a group that insured our camping gear. If you want to know more about that type of insurance, go here. Otherwise remember – the happy camper is the one that’s fully prepared!