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Best Campsite Hatchets For The Average Camper

Best Campsite Hatchets For The Average Camper

Best Campsite Hatchets

Alright, Summer is just about to wrap up and if your anything like me you might be starting to keep an eye out for those outdoorsman tool sales that go on at the end of the season. It’s like a month-long black Friday only in September and just for camping gear. 

So this year my primary focus is going to be picking up a good campsite hatchet. How about we take an in-depth look at the hatchet to get familiar with whats on the market?

Hatchets are a necessity when going on a camping trip especially if you do any dispersed or primitive style recreation. If you happen to find yourself in a hazardous situation a good hatchet is going to be your favorite campsite tool. Knowing the style you have, and what its designed for, is a high priority as well. You don’t want to get stuck out there and be unfamiliar with the hatchets uses.

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Camping Hatchet AKA The Camp Ax

A campsite is going to be better off if there is a camp ax involved. It not only is there for protection for just in case scenarios but it’s a marvelous tool that has a never-ending achievement list.

Whether you are on a day hike or setting up a primitive camp for a 10-day retreat, you will come to a point where you will need one of these bad boys. Unlike there larger brothers the Splitting Axe. Made for portability in mind they will fit in your backpack or your belt.

Although the camping hatchet does not take the place of a great knife, it can and will do many of the same things if your Camping knife gets destroyed or lost somehow. 

From cordage cutting to gutting and quartering hunting game. The hatchet is such a diverse outdoor tool there is not much you will have to worry about when in the wilderness If you have it in your gear.

Get this beast on Amazon

What can a Hatchet be used for?

Chop Down A Tree

If you need to chop down a tree, you will have the right tool to do so. Again a larger ax might be a better fit. If you need shelter and there are trees the right size around, you will be able to fall them and use them as seems fit. Make sure to judge the fall correctly.

Start your cut on the underside of the lean. (Trees tend to lean toward the sun) Chopping downward and upward creating a wedge-like notch. You want this area to be roughly the same size as the diameter of the trunk of the tree you are trying to fell. Once about ¾ through, start chopping from the other side just above the center of the first causing the tree to fall in the direction of the notch.

BEWARE: trees tend to kick back and up and will knock you back and injure you. I saw My dad fly about ten feet through the air by a large tree kicking back on him. It does happen.

Once felled the tree can be used as supports for a shelter or some other structures if you are going on a bushcraft or primitive trip. You can use your camp ax to buck it up to the lengths you will need. A freshly cut down tree probably won’t be great for firewood unless it was already dead though.

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Limbing a Tree

If you stumble upon dead or fallen trees or you fall one your self, you will want to delimb the tree to have better access to move it or buck it up. It makes this job so easy if your hatchet is sharp.

Safely walk down the side of the tree and start chopping all the branches off at the trunk, making your cut as smooth as possible. Just make sure you never cut toward yourself. Alway swing the hatchet in a direction that it cannot come into contact with your arms or legs or any other part of your body for that matter.

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Pounding with the Poll

The backside of a hatchet is called a poll or butt it is usually a broadened flat portion of the head that can be used to pound and hammer objects as needed.

I have used it to:
  • Set up a tent by pounding in the stakes.
  • Making a heat reflector made with bucked up branches and pounded into the ground. Then stacking more branches in between building a small wall like structure.
  • Clubbing game to eliminate life.
  • Banging hardwood dowels into trees for gear hanging.

As with other types of hammering tools, it has a vast selection of activities it can be used for. It just keeps building the case for an essential campsite tool.

Process game

If you are counting on yourself to find food, And hunting, snaring or trapping your meat is your method of feeding yourself. Than a hatchet comes in pretty handy as well, For ending the games life to dismembering, it does it with ease.

For a smaller game such as rabbit and birds cutting cartilage and breaking joints is light work if you have the right campsite hatchet on duty.

Harvesting big game such as deer, elk and bear can be a bit cumbersome though. A sharp and steady hand will need to be maneuvering the blade with the big boys.

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Have some fun!

Throwing hatchets is a great way to blow off some steam when boredom takes over. After being out for a day or so in the wilderness, and for as fun and fantastic as I think camping is, in all forms. I do get bored from time to time, and I bet you do as well.

When throwing camp axes, be safe. Make sure your cleared down range before ever thinking about tossing the weapon. Because once you get it in your head, you are going to throw the hatchet, that is precisely what it becomes “a weapon.”

Make yourself a target and let it fly. This is not, at all, a useful trait, but like I said before it can swing moods and turn that frown upside down.

Don’t be stupid and never let children try this unsupervised.

How to choose the best campsite Hatchet

Oh Boy, You want to know how to pick the best campsite hatchet? Well, that is a huge question, and I don’t know if I can answer that for you. I guess that’s why you are here though so let’s give it a try, shall we?

Where will you be camping?

Probably the most critical question that is going to determine what type and style of camp ax you will want to purchase. Will you be camping in the nearest “pay to camp” campground 40 miles outside of your hometown? Or will you be trekking deep into the unknown wilderness not knowing where you will end up? These scenarios are very different and will need camping hatchets just as diverse.  

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What will you be using it for?

Will you be using the hatchet as we described earlier in the article. Primitive or bushcraft style? Making your structures. Felling trees and delimbing branches for structures?

Will you be out on a hunting trip setting up multiple tents for you and your family or buddies and needing a hatchet as more of a utility tool than a mandatory campsite essential?

In some cases, there is no need for a hatchet. I have been in these types of settings where I have everything we need right at the campsite. We brought our wood from home and nothing we will be doing needs a campsite hatchet.

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What Price Range are you Looking In?

LOW

If you are starting out in this hobby, you might want to stick with the more inexpensive camp hatchets. There is an abundance of low-cost options that are decent enough to get you to buy as you are learning. And as long as you are not going out for weeks at a time, they will suffice.

Because of their low cost, there are drawbacks of course. Quality will lack, durability as well. You will not get all the bells and whistles that might come with some of the different styles as well. Just keep these in mind.

My opinion best 3 in Low-cost range

#1 Pick #1 

#2 Pick #2

#3 Pick #2

Medium

Medium price range will put you into some beautiful hatchets. You will be able to get your desired campsite hatchet, and it will last for years if taken care of properly. This range will get you excellent quality steel heads and wood handles if that is what you are looking for. Bells and whistles will be there and most likely be name brand.

My best 3 in middle price range

#1 Pick #1

#2 Pick #2

#3 Pick #3

High

High-dollar expert-level camping axes and hatchets are very desirable but costly. They are built the best and are worth every dollar if you ask me. Super high quality steel the best wood handles. There are tactical camp axes as well; they come with some pretty outstanding extras.

I am not a snob I promise. I have used all types and have owned very cheap hatchets that I still have and use these days. Although these high-class hatchets are like driving a Lambo vs. driving a VW bug, they both get you from one place to another, but one will get you there much faster and in style.

My best 3 in high price ranges

#1 Pick #1

#2 Pick #2

#3 Pick #3

Durability

Will it last? If taken care of and not misused I think so. At least I hope so. Here we get into the price range of the hatchet. Low, medium, and high. Which do you think will last the longest? I know I probably will put my money on the later of the ranges. Only because of the quality of craftsmanship that goes into some of the higher priced Tools.

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How does it feel?

Depending on your size and again what you will be doing. The feel and weight will come into a factor.

If your a smaller person, and you’re swinging a heavy ax for a few hours at a time, collecting firewood, your arms are going to be shot.

If you’re a bigger person, you don’t want a little ax, that can’t cut it for the job you need it for.

The feel of the camping hatchet in your hand will be the number one aspect of choosing which is best for you. That’s why I said I could try to help you. Honestly, its how it feels. Its how it will swing with you behind it. How it will cut into the wood as you make contact.

No doubt about it. This is a personal choice, and all I can do is maybe give you a few options to peek at to get you on your way.

More | All Posts

Conclusion?

Well at least for this article. This is a large topic, and I am not by any means an expert and I could still write another couple thousand word on the campsite hatchet but I won’t for now.

My absolute favorite

 

Enjoy. Relax. Have Fun!

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Welcome

Hi, Dennis and Shelly Jackson here, we are the faces behind Campsite Planning. We are parents of 4 great kids and a little dog. And we are sharing some of our experiences with the site. I hope you enjoy and please do not hesitate to contact us for any reason.

Thanks

This site is owned and operated by Docslys Design. Docslys Design is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Campsite Lighting Ideas

Campsite Lighting Ideas

Campsite Lighting Ideas

Campground lighting is such an important area of camping. And if it’s not planned correctly, it can pretty much make a pleasant time into a crappy one. And to be honest, that doesn’t go over very well when you have a family of six out there stumbling around in the dark. Let’s explore the area of Campground Lighting Ideas together. What is your go to? Leave a comment below.

There are so many different ways to light up a campground from your traditional campfire to Coleman gas lanterns, battery operated lanterns and lights, and solar-powered lighting. We will dive into these realms of campsite light and try to figure out which will work best for your situation and maybe what we just might want to pass on.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SOLAR POWER LIGHTING BELOW!

Campsite Lighting Ideas

If you go looking for campground lighting these days you have so many to choose from that they all can’t be tried and tested in a timely matter. So we are left buying stuff that we can’t count on 100%. Not because they are an inferior product but because we don’t know anything about them.

Gas Lanterns

These babies are my personal favorite when family camping. Maybe that’s because I grew up with them. I don’t know, I just like the bright almost orangish tint it gives off. It just makes the campsite feel right. Burning multiple types of fuel like propane, kerosene, or white gas is what gives gas style lanterns the heat source to light up the ever so fragile mantles.  

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Mantles

Mantles usually take the shape of a small coin purse or bag but instead of a leather or fabric case its made with a ceramic mesh that encompasses the bright flame that is burned by the lantern.

The makeup of the common mantle is of a mixture of rare-earth elements such as; magnesium oxide, cerium oxide, and thorium oxide. These are forced into the fibers of the mantle which are made of a silk or silk-like material. And it has been the same makeup for the better part of a decade or longer.

The Danger of Gas Lanterns

Because of the rare earth elements and gas burn off, these types of lanterns do give off dangerous amounts of CO2. So please don’t use them inside of your tents. If you must, for safety reasons, please make sure your tent is ventilated and keep the lantern away from the walls of your tent. They get very hot and that would not be a good time if your tent burns down. Am I right?

(There is also a very minimal risk of radiation involved with the mantles form the Thorium and Cerium Nitrates. Read More about the radiation Here.)

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Styles of Gas Lanterns

Propane Lantern

Typically, a use and throw away container, propane is very inexpensive. The containers just screw on to the fitting on the underside of the mantles. Usually, there will be some type of base that you set the propane container into providing the lantern with some stability. You don’t want these guys falling over. Not only will it most likely destroy the mantle, but you might break the lens as well.

Coleman Lantern

Runtime for the normal 16.4-ounce bottles of propane is approximately 6-7 hours on high and 13-15 hours on low. Some of the newer models also come with regulators and self-ignitors making running these little gems an easy chore. And everyone likes easy when camping.

Liquid Lantern

These lanterns put out a very high lumen rating when burning. Some can be adjusted to burn not so bright nowadays though. That did not use to be the case. Because they are a liquid-based fuel, a huge issue is getting the fuel into the sometimes nickel sized hole. If not careful, you can spill the contents all over the place and that sucks.

These liquid fuel sources are also under pressure but it is not automatic. You must manually thumb pump these guys up until they are under enough pressure to burn for a few hours. Then you must keep pressurizing it every once in a while. “Coleman Liquid Camp Fuel” and “white gas” are the store bought kinds of “naphtha” the actual name of the fuel.

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Battery Operated Lighting

Now technology is advancing at an extremely fast pace and when it comes to camping gear, I am on the fence about many issues. Call me old school or maybe I’m just thick headed about certain things. But, I will tell you the truth, these new battery-powered lights are really fricken cool and they are the future of lighting.

Most if not all battery operated campsite lighting comes with LED (light emitting diode) bulbs. Because of this fantastic technology, they come with a number of advantages;

Battery Life

I have heard of these some of the lights last 200 hours on one set of batteries. And that’s running at 800 lumens. Ridiculous.

Kid Safe

Because of the LED bulb technology, these do not get hot so children can safely handle them and move around with them freely. It is especially great for tent interiors.

Durable

I have personally seen these lights fall from trees and still work perfectly. Mine have taken an extreme amount of camping abuse. They are made to last so have peace of mind when buying them.

Brightness

Although not as bright as their fuel counterparts, these lights can reach very high lumens and are a constant light source.

Battery operated lantern

The lanterns offered in battery power these days are awesome! They come in many sizes and shapes. Some are designed to look just like the traditional fuel lanterns and some, that are more mainstream, are sleek and colorful. Depending on where you buy them or the brand is going to determine what quality you get.

The LED lantern is pretty cut and dry when it comes to its functionality. Most of them have multiple settings like

  • Bright
  • Medium
  • Low
  • flash or pulse
  • Red

 

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It just depends. Some have multiple bulbs in one lantern. Some have single bulbs in four separate parts that can be removed for single use. The only downside I can see with an LED battery powered lantern is that you need to buy batteries now and then and dispose of them. Big woop! We can deal!

Everyone knows that you get what you pay for and let me tell you, you don’t want to be out on a bathroom walk in the dark and your LED lantern decides to call it quits. So make sure and do your due diligence on the products before a purchase.

Battery Operated Headlamps

Oh man! Are these thing important or what? I don’t know what I would do without a headlamp while camping these days. Gathering wood is so much easier when you have two hands to cut and chop.  Being able to see the trails if you stay out too long and the sun gets behind the mountain before you make it back to camp.

With so many uses the battery powered LED headlamp (get the best one here) probably rates in the top 5 for my personal backpack list. I always have one and a set of batteries in my bag. With so many features I could write a whole post just about these guys and I might just do that in the future but for now, let’s look at some of the options.

Beam type

Floodlight wide range helps when you are cooking or prepping the fire, anything that needs to be done that fairly close up will need this setting for best results.

Spotlight tight range will help with navigating walkways and checking on noises in the forest. You can pinpoint the light on something very easily.

Strobe is made for more of an attention grabber. People will notice it easier than a straight beam. It can be used during emergencies.

Low beam is the less battery draining mode the headlamp will have. Used for small campsite tasks or reading in a tent.

Medium beam is a selection for really whatever you want. It’s kind of a mundane setting and I actually never use this setting. But its there on most headlamps.

High beam is used for looking at items further in the distance. Where you need more light to get the task done, such as pulling in a boat at a dock or ramp.

Red light beam is mainly used in the dark. It causes less stress on the human eyes and is just pretty cool to use.

Other amenities they offer are a tilting head that can be adjusted to point down which comes in handy when conversing with your campsite mates. Most, but not all LED headlamps, are going to be water resistant, That doesn’t mean you can take it swimming in Lost Lake, but it can be worn in a little rain if you need to.

Battery Operated Flashlights

Now that we have covered the ever growing class of the headlamp, let’s take a look at the age-old battery-powered flashlight. Flashlights are serious business actually. A flashlight is one thing everyone should have in their campsite gear.

Nearly all of the flashlights produced these days come with the LED bulbs and they have pretty much made all other bulb types obsolete. The options LED offer are just too great for other older bulb types to be able to match; such as efficiency, runtime, brightness, and different modes

A flashlight actually has the highest rated lumens available when it comes to mobile lighting. That means lighting up any area is going to virtually be a click of a button. Bam there was light!

😞The only sad face with these, in my opinion, is that they are a one-handed accessory and need to plan your task accordingly. For example, changing a child’s diaper, cooking, and wood gathering are all a little more challenging if the only light source is a flashlight.

 

                                      Big Boy

Beam Type

Spotlight beam is for pinpointing things in the distance such as trail and cave exploring. A single beam that’s tight and bright.

Adjustable beam is an awesome addition to a flashlight. Some of these you can turn to widen or tighten the beam making it very versatile when out in the wilderness.

Floodlight beams are the brightest and the option that will be used for the most basic tasks. Walking trails and trips to the bathroom are just to name a couple.

Size and Shape of a Flashlight

The size and shape of a flashlight can vary drastically. From your typical cylinder shape with a reverse umbrella shape head to a short and fat handheld one that looks like a disc. No matter what size you come across there is no way of getting around it they are very valuable when out camping or hiking.

Made with either a plastic, aluminum,  or stainless steel, they are drastically different in durability. some are thinner and lighter and some can hold a significant weight behind them. This does not mean that they produce a higher lumen though. Most flashlights can withstand some pretty heavy abuse.

A downside to the cylinder shape flashlights is that they tend to roll away from you if your on any type of an incline. Some model types are designed to anti-roll and are shaped kind of blocky or have angles on them to avoid the rolling.

Battery Powered Strip Lighting

These type of lights are becoming very popular with the modern camper. They have an awesome ability to light up the most modest areas. I personally don’t see any problems with them really. Maybe the only downfall is the battery replacement. But honestly, they last so long it’s not a problem. There are also styles that can be charged by USB and that allow for chargeable battery blocks to be carried around and used almost anywhere.

LED bulbs that are inside of a waterproof membrane is what supplies these lights. They can come in many different lengths and widths. I have seen them from 6 inches all the way to 100 feet. Some of the LED strip lights come with sticky backs, magnets, or you can just hang them on some branches. It doesn’t matter as long as you are getting the area lit up, right?

Some are specifically made for a campsite and then I have seen some specifically for Christmas lighting being used in a campsite. Go figure. However you want to use them, they are extremely handy and bright. Again, choose wisely as you always get what you pay for.

Solar Power Lighting

Solar power actually has been around for quite a while but never has it been so reliable. The technology behind it is complicated and I will not pretend to understand it. (Sun makes power. No sun, no power). 

Best I could find on Amazon HERE

There are actually quite a few different types of solar lights and lanterns out now. I have even seen an inflatable type. They look pretty cool but are super cheap. I personally don’t know if I would trust that as my light source out in the wilderness. Possibly on the back porch barbecuing with some buddies, but that’s probably it.

There are hybrid styles as well. You can charge these models by car chargers, portable batteries, and some by a hand crank and then use the sun as a source of power which would probably be a great campsite lighting idea. Anything with multiple sources of power is really great in my opinion.

There are several different designs to choose from, from traditional camping lantern designs all the way to the aforementioned blow up design. They are also available as a bare bulb that can be suspended, which are great for the inside of your tent. You can pretty much choose from any style your little heart desires.

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Conclusion

We have gone over a lot of campsite lighting ideas throughout this article and if you have anything to add please do so in the comments below. I would love some feedback and to hear your opinions. We can venture into any of your ideas as well.

I did not delve into the art of DIY lighting because that will be a whole post on its own and I am looking forward to putting that down on some paper soon.

And remember

Explore. Relax. Have Fun.

 

 

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Welcome

Hi, Dennis and Shelly Jackson here, we are the faces behind Campsite Planning. We are parents of 4 great kids and a little dog. And we are sharing some of our experiences with the site. I hope you enjoy and please do not hesitate to contact us for any reason.

Thanks

This site is owned and operated by Docslys Design. Docslys Design is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

How To Camp In The Desert: A Non Expert Guide

How To Camp In The Desert: A Non Expert Guide

How To Camp In The Desert

We were out camping this weekend in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Right now there’s a statewide fire ban, so a campfire in the evening to cook on was not an option. The reason is that it’s too dry. Well, that got me thinking about the desert because a desert is super dry. Can you have a fire there? I don’t know the answer to that, so I’m going to look into desert camping a bit.

Desert camping is not a trip for the faint of heart. You have the sun bearing down on you almost continuously during the day and it’s tough to find any shade to protect yourself during those hours. Food, water, and shelter are tough to find unless you bring the gear yourself. Depending on what part of the world you are camping in, different natural resources will be at hand. If desert camping is a recreation that you are interested in doing, stay tuned and pay attention to this article. It will give you some guidance, some tips, and hopefully a little confidence to help you on your way to a fantastic journey!

What is a Desert?

Deserts, in general cover about one-fifth of the world’s surface. Extreme environments and lack of precipitation cause these areas to have minimal plant life and animal life. The plants and animals that are there have adapted over the years to survive in such a harsh environment.

Many people have the perception that deserts are very hot and dry areas, and that’s true for the majority of them. But some deserts are very cold and covered in ice and are very baron.

Planet earth has four main types of deserts:

Coastal Desert

These deserts usually sit on the western coastline of continents. They are generally between 20 degrees and 30 degrees latitude, and the wind blows from the East which prevents moisture from coming onto land. Also, that’s what creates the dry environment. These type of deserts usually have cold winters and warm summers. An example of a coastal desert is the Atacama Desert in Chile.

Cold Winter Desert

The Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau in the red desert, are cold winter deserts in the United States. These type of deserts usually have long dry summers and very cold winters with minimal amounts of rain and snowfall. This makes them considered a semi-arid style of a desert.

The minimal amount of rainfall in these cold deserts are often caused by what’s called the rainshadow effect. This happens when the mountains are so high they keep the moisture from coming into the area.

Cold Weather Sleeping Bag at Amazon

Polar Desert 

There are very few polar deserts. They are only found in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Like all deserts, they get very little precipitation and have very little plant and animal life.

Subtropical Desert 

When you think of a desert, a subtropical is what you’re most likely to think about. These are they very very hot deserts. These are the big boys. They are found in Asia, Australia, Africa, North, and South America. The Sonoran Desert and Mohave are probably the most popular in the United States.

Moisture in these areas comes in such a small amount that when it does fall it dries and evaporates before it even hits the ground. The plant life and animals have evolved to be able to retain moisture and hunt and move around at night so they don’t have to be out in the sun during the day.

Camping in the Desert

Camping in any of the areas mentioned above is going to be an excellent experience if planed correctly. Anywhere that moisture is between 1 and 16 inches in a year or considered desert-like conditions.

You will need to pack according to wherever you’re going. That means having your warm clothes for the night because in the desert the temperature can drop 30 to 40 degrees, if not more. It could be a hundred plus in the afternoon and drop down to 50 or 40 degrees in the night time, which if you’re not packed correctly for, could cause real issues.

Grab your compass here

The desert is relentless and it has killed many people over the years, so be careful. Make sure you let family and friends know where you will be and make sure you’re prepared. If all those things are checked off, you should have a great experience and most likely want to come back to the desert.

 

Remember always document your expeditions and trips. Take as many pictures as possible and write down in your journals whatever you do to keep those memories. Because, I promise you, in the future, you will want to look back and show your family, friends, and everyone else who will listen.

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What Kind of Gear do I Need To Camp in the Desert?

Clothing

When it comes to clothing, you want to be careful what you bring you don’t want to over pack for your trip, but you also don’t want to under pack. You’re going to want to bring t-shirts and shorts and flip-flops, but I’m telling you, you don’t want those for your main attire. The sun is hot, it will burn you and it will suck the moisture right out of your body. What you need are articles of clothing that will retain the moisture inside. Shirts that cover your arms, your neck, and your midsection and pants that cover all the way to your ankles. Socks that wick away all your sweat and keep your feet dry because wet feet in the desert cause serious issues.

Desert boots from Amazon

You also wanted pack warm things like fleece jackets, wool sweaters, and any type of synthetic like a rain jacket. Anything that will breathe well. Here’s a list of a standard pack for a desert camping trip. Certain things are optional and certain things are mandatory. Depending on where you’re going, you’re going to have to make that call.

More: Dispersed Camping For Noobs

Base Layer

  • synthetic undergarments
  • long john set top/bottom medium weight
  • breathable t-shirts
  • synthetic liner gloves
  • wool or synthetic socks (2 per day)

Outerwear

  • waterproof pants/shirts/jackets
  • breathable synthetic or softshell hiking shirts/pants/shorts/
  • large brimmed hat/bandana/beanie
  • hiking Boots/waterproof shoes/sandals

Extras

  • waterbottles
  • tarps
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • camera
  • map
  • gps
  • compass
  • paracord 550lb
  • insect repellent

More: 12 Essential Camping Items

Camping Gear

  • single wall tent ( protect from dust )
  • first-aid kit
  • personal medications
  • toiletries/shovel
  • hiking backpack
  • sleeping bag (-30° to 20°F)
  • sleeping pad/mattress
  • stove and fuel
  • lighter and waterproof matches
  • cookset/eating utensils
  • lanterns/headlamps/batteries/fuel
  • water filters and additives
  • multitool/knife

MORE: Camping with a two-year-old

How to Set up a Camp in the Desert?

Another thing to remember about deserts is the flash flooding. The ground is hard and there’s a lot of dried-up river banks and Ravines. When it rains, where you put your tent could mean life or death. A flash flood can happen in a matter of minutes and if your asleep and that happens, it’s trouble. Look for a high spot to pitch your tent.

The desert floor is made of mostly rock. It’s going to be pretty hard. So a pad or mattresses is recommended. Your tent or sleeping situation should be stable and able to keep you warm enough for the chilly night. Ultralight Desert tent here

Campfires 

Campfires are nice but not always needed in the desert. For a comforting effect they are nice to have and to keep critters away and what have you. Cooking over a fire is great too if that’s the type of food you will be bringing.

More: Dogs and Bears when Camping

Water 

A fire is almost always a good idea for boiling out the contaminants in water, that is if you don’t have any filtration systems along with you. Water can be tough to find in the desert and dehydration is a killer.

The body sweats heavily in the dry climates and can leave you extremely thirsty very fast. The obvious thing to do is drink your water. However, be careful and ration your water when you’re on hikes or out on a day trip in the desert. Try not to drink everything you have on the first leg or your trip. Be smart and make sure you have plenty of drinking water with you at all times.

Lighting 

Lighting is invaluable. If you have battery-powered lanterns and headlamp lights that they make these days, you’re in luck. They are bright and last a very long time. For setting up camp after dark to walking away from camp to use the bathroom. They are handy and cheap enough to stock up on.

Where can you camp in the desert

There are many places in the world that you can plan a desert camping trip. However, here are my favorite five in the United States. They can be beautiful and at the same time, show no mercy to its inhabitants. Respect the regions and wilderness and enjoy what Planet Earth has given us.

More: High Altitude Camping

Saguaro National Park

Located in Tucson, Arizona, the giant Saguaro is the largest cacti in the United States. Named after the cactus is the beautiful and relentless desert of Saguaro National Park. The weather here is relatively mild compared to other deserts in the United States with wintertime temperatures getting as high as 70 and as low as 50 to the summertime highs of over a hundred down to the mid-80s. The best time to come camping is in the springtime.

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Joshua Tree National Park

What can I say, this place is incredible! It’s open year-round to the public and it’s about 800,000 acres of awesomeness. Joshua Tree is one of the most visited deserts in the United States with just a few hours drive from Los Angeles, Vegas, and Phoenix. It gets almost three million visitors a year. Besides camping, there is also hiking, photography opportunities, and many rock climbing areas. This desert is the busiest through the months of October through May when it’s not as hot.

reserve now

Canyonlands National Park

This desert is also open year-round with an approximate 338,000 acres of land and water. Canyonlands is divided into three different sections by two different rivers. The Green and the Colorado River split the park up. The three parts of the park are Island in the Sky, The Maze, and The Needles with the Island in the sky being the most challenging area to recreate it. This desert is among the most challenging of this list as there are very few park amenities.

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Death Valley National Park

Well, this one is not called Death Valley for fun. This desert sits on Highway 190 between California and Nevada. It is hazardous with flash flooding happening regularly in summer and fall months. Death Valley National Park is the largest national park outside of Alaska. Containing almost a thousand miles of paved and dirt roads is a great feat. They provide access to all the remote areas. Ninety-one percent of this park is protected, so be courteous and play by the rules.

This place is filled with Barren Salt Flats, massive mountains, and deep canyons that get hit with flash flooding. Make sure you check with local National Park Service to find out if any emergency closures are going on. Prepare and pack carefully so that you can enjoy the situation

Reserve now – There are No reservations at this desert. it is open year-round and pretty much can go wherever you’d like.

Great Dunes National Park

This park contains North America’s tallest dunes and is a recreational hot spot for camping and four-wheel-drive enthusiasts. Great Sand Dunes National Park sits at about 13,600 feet and is one of the highest deserts in the United States. Sitting inside of Colorado, the storms in this place can come in quickly making it very wet and cold very fast. Make sure and pack accordingly.

Summertime is usually the best time to go with highs averaging in the 80’s and lows in the 40’s. Springtime is the worst time to go. Weather can range from being blizzard conditions all the way to swimsuit weather. March and April are the two snowiest months in Colorado.

Reserve now

More: Snowmobile Camping

Is Camping in the Desert Dangerous?

Yes, it is, dangerous if you are inexperienced and not knowledgeable of the areas. There are precautions you need to take in any outdoor situation. Know the weather first and foremost. Flash floods, lightning, snow, rain, and anything else mother nature throws your way. You need to be prepared. Also, the only way to be fully prepared is to know all the aspects of the trip.

Animals and critters are also a concern. From snakes to scorpions. These things are killers if not taken seriously and given their distance. Check all your shoes, bags, tents, and anything else they could get into. It happens all the time.

Is Camping in the Desert Fun?

Yes. Absolutely.

If done right and with caution, this could be the best experience of your life. The beauty of an early morning sunrise of a desert is a unique sight. The dew on blooming desert cactuses is picturesque. I recommend this recreation for the whole family. It is a memory maker and extremely fun atmosphere.

Explore. Relax. Have fun.

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Welcome

Hi, Dennis and Shelly Jackson here, we are the faces behind Campsite Planning. We are parents of 4 great kids and a little dog. And we are sharing some of our experiences with the site. I hope you enjoy and please do not hesitate to contact us for any reason.

Thanks

This site is owned and operated by Docslys Design. Docslys Design is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

How To Camp While Snowmobiling: A Wonderful Ride

How To Camp While Snowmobiling: A Wonderful Ride

….If you ever get the chance to take a trip and go camping while snowmobiling up on the side of a mountain, I suggest you do it. Few things in life are that much fun. Here are a few tips and warnings about this Recreation.

Snowmobiling, when safe is a significant activity, but things can go awry very fast make sure especially during heavy snowfall you have the proper safety equipment and Back-up Plan if the machine goes down. Also, make sure that your camping bag has appropriately been packed for a cold camping trip. Sub-Zero sleeping bags and portable heaters if necessary Etc. if everything is on point and packed for the journey, you will enjoy something like you’ve never experienced before

Camping While Snowmobiling

The very first thing when camping while snowmobiling that needs to be brought up is where and when you are going. Many areas that are covered with snow are designated for certain winter recreational Sports, so you need to make sure that snowmobiling is acceptable, and that camping is acceptable on National Land or BLM land because if you get caught where you’re not supposed to be there are hefty fines and possible jail time.

Another precaution is to always check your local forecast for inclement weather and the possibilities of avalanches if you will be creating an avalanche prone areas. Once all that is figured out you might need to pull a permit to go where you want to and that can be completed at your local National forestry headquarters they should be able to tell you all the information you need to know about the area you will be going and what permits and other passes you may need.

More: How to Camp in the desert

Clothing

Once all the form mentioned items are taken care of, then you can get everything packed up To get ready to head out. You will want to make sure and pack necessary gear for riding and camping in the winter.

One of the huge rules to remember is that no cotton it absorbs the moisture and sweat from your body so easily, and when you get wet it can freeze. so please do not wear cotton underneath your snowmobile clothes

A better first layer is going to be a polyester blend long underwear top and bottom. Make sure these garments aren’t too tight so your body can breathe. Another type of fabric includes silk because of its thin and lightweight makeup that allows your body to dry naturally and keep moisture away from your skin.

Stay warm in this from Amazon

Try wearing more than one layer the more you wear, the more you can take off if you start getting warm and not having to search for more clothes that you did not bring to put on trying to get warmer. You see the logic here you can always take more off, but you can’t put more on.
here is a short list of a few items you might want to pack

  • snowmobile suits 
  • goggles
  • Gloves
  • helmet
  • face mask
  • snowmobile boots
  • heavy duty winter socks
  • stocking cap

Tools

It’s best to bring a friend or a group because you don’t want to get stuck up there with a broken machine if you do end up having an issue at least you’ll have somebody you can ride back with or might have the knowledge to be able to help you fix it if you don’t.

Depending on how far you go out what kind of terrain you will be riding this is probably one of the first things you think about before going on your snowmobile trip. Usually, snowmobiles have a basic kit they come with but if its an older model they could all be scattered in your garage or something.
here’s a list of tools you might need to pack with you

  • Spark plug wrench
  • Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers
  • A tow rope
  • electrical tape
  • a bag of Rags
  • some bungee cords
  • razor knife pliers
  • Extra battery
  • Walkie Talkies

walkie talkie kits

Location

Once you are packed and ready to go, head out, it’s going to be a fun ride. Depending if you’re going by yourself, with a partner or with a group. You’re going to need to find a spot, and when you do find a place, you need to understand where you are. Are you right on a track where other snowmobilers are going to be coming through and waking you guys up in the middle of the night? Or are you away from the main path where you guys can rest and have some privacy.

Another thing to think about or wild animals that might be brought closer to Camp by the noise of people in the surrounding areas you must think it’s not normal to have such sounds in the outdoors and the animals that live there going to be curious and want to check it out.
Make sure you keep food in tight containers and put up that night, so it does not attract animals to Camp by the odor of food.

Gear

Just with any other type of Adventure, you need to be packed correctly. With the right kind of activity, you will be doing. Now being up high and in the snow. You will need a certain amount of tools that you will be bringing along if that’s Towing something behind you or packing it on a backpack and dragging it on your sled then that’s what it is but remember everything you take in you got to bring back so don’t make more than is necessary.

  • 550 Cord
  • Altimeter
  • Cell phone and satellite phone
  • Cookstove (Small)with pot, utensil, and fuel
  • Emergency candles
  • Firestarter
  • Fluorescent tape or flagging
  • GPS-beacon
  • Headlamp
  • Hunting knife
  • Map, compass
  • Multi-tool
  • Saw for wood
  • Shovel (tempered)
  • signal mirror
  • Snow Probe (10 ft min.)
  • Spare batteries
  • Sub temp Sleeping bag (-50)
  • Tinfoil
  • Toilet paper
  • Waterproof lighting source—flint
  • Whistle
  • Winter tent

 

Keeping Your Gear Dry

So at the end of the day, when you get back to your Camp, You’re going to want to dry off. Now if it’s super cold, as soon as you take it off and get into your night gear, it will freeze. What I suggest is to bring a Buddy propane heater with you and that way you can dry your socks, your pants, your gloves, your boots, and anything that got wet throughout the day. That way when you start fresh in the morning, you’re not going to be uncomfortable.

Another option is if you can start a fire to hang a clothesline across over top of the fire from a tree to your machine. And hang your socks above the fire. Of course not close enough to catch on fire, but you get the gist. And if necessary you could lay your stuff on your idling machine it will waste gas, but it will warm up your socks your boots Etc.

Sun

Make sure you wear sunglasses and sunscreen because the glare of the snow is going to torch you your face your eyes everything that is exposed to the air is going to be hit with the Sun. Bring up in the snow and at a higher elevation means that sun’s coming in hot even if it’s behind clouds or it’s gloomy, or you’re in the shade or behind Mountain that doesn’t matter.

80% of the UV radiation is going to be reflected at you compared to at a beach where it’s only 20% coming off the sand that’s a big difference and not to mention because you are so high or closer to the Sun

So sunscreen and sunglasses and don’t forget to reapply sunscreen anytime you think about it. Just put it on. It’s going to help you in the long run, it will also keep your skin from drying out after riding for 8 hours a day.

Be Responsible

By the way, I should have mentioned this earlier in the article. Don’t forget to let your friends and family know which way you are going to travel, or which recreational area you will be staying. Because if they don’t hear back from you by the time you’re supposed to be home, they need to send somebody out to look for you.

Hopefully, that doesn’t happen, and if it does happen hopefully, you are adequately prepared with a GPS beacon or cell phone somebody they can pin your positioning. it’s incredible to go out and have these Great Adventures, but we need to be able to go out and do it safely so we can come home to our families when it’s all said and done because that’s what it’s all about

Conclusion

And finally, when you go camping while snowmobiling, have some fun. We work hard day in and day out to be able to go ride and explore the Wilderness like this. So enjoy it and take lots of pictures. Write it down in a journal. Somehow document what you’re doing because in the future all you have is memories. So pack right, be ready, and let’s hope they’re great memories.

Relax. Explore. Enjoy.

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Welcome

Hi, Dennis and Shelly Jackson here, we are the faces behind Campsite Planning. We are parents of 4 great kids and a little dog. And we are sharing some of our experiences with the site. I hope you enjoy and please do not hesitate to contact us for any reason.

Thanks

This site is owned and operated by Docslys Design. Docslys Design is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

High Altitude Camping With Kids

High Altitude Camping With Kids

High altitude camping can be fun if you are geared up for it right. Now couple that with kids at an elevation of 3000-5000 ft. And high altitude camping with kids is an entirely different experience.

Planning and preparation have to be on point; you could ruin or make your trip. Whichever you prepare for will define that in the end. High elevation camping with kids is very exciting but extremely dangerous. Between altitude sickness, dehydration and sleeplessness the risks are high, but if prepared correctly it can be the best times of your life.

HIGH ALTITUDE CAMPING WITH KIDS

Camping at high altitude

This is very different from the usual camping methods scenarios, where the feeling of lush green leaves stick to your skin, insects swarming on you and breathing in the early morning dew. High altitude camping is entirely different from all that.

Picture yourself standing on a building over 5000 feet high.  This can be like high altitude camping at least the visual aspect. The cold and icy feeling stinging your skin, the dirt in your eyes, slippery and uncomfortable footpaths on the mountain slopes,  all come together when your high altitude camping.

You should not go high altitude camping with kids unless you have a very a precise preparation plan in place. You do not want one of the kids falling ill with High altitude sickness without having the provisions to treat it.

high altitude camping with kids

Breath and take a breath. It took a long time to get up there

Some of these sicknesses may be;

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • restlessness
  • confusion
  • short breath
  • lack of appetite
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • short sleep

A study from the wilderness medical society shows that specific factors were likely to contribute to altitude sickness,

They include; dehydration, and ascending altitude, etc.

You as a guide or parent should also realize that kids have difficulties expressing how they feel in regards to altitude sickness, so you might have a hard time finding out exactly what is wrong with them.

More: How to camp in the desert

High Elevation Warnings.

Due to this, some studies have recommended specific viable factors that you should note before heading out high altitude camping with kids.

  • Kids between 1 day to 1-year-old should not be taken on altitude camping trips and locations between 5000 to 8000 feet, generally.
  • You should monitor and supervise kids under the age of 3 very closely during altitude climbs for symptoms of high altitude sickness.
  • Ascension for kids should be slow and gradual.
  • You should monitor kids who have a problem communicating, after about 3000 feet, you should begin the descent.

The study has shown that some physical conditioning for kids can reduce the likelihood of altitude sickness in them. These include;

  • Keeping them hydrated. You need to make sure that the kids have adequate amounts of water and fluid in their system before the ascent to the campsite.
  • Make them eat meals with high carbohydrates regularly. It keeps them sharp and alert.
  • Don’t make the kids climb to the location in one day; it should be at intervals. Preferably 1000 feet should be covered in a day. Any more is pushing their physical limits.
  • Sleep at an altitude between 1000 feet to 5000

You should consider all this and do proper planning before thinking about going high altitude camping with kids.

So that you know, the only cure for altitude sickness is descent. For that reason, you have to avoid it in the first place.

All packed? What’s next?

I am hopeful with all this information, next time you plan on going high altitude camping with kids, you will have made sufficient plans for altitude sicknesses and all other factors that might trigger its likeliness.

This brings us to another critical factor.

Pick up your backpack; it’s going to be a crazy sweet ride.

Camp set up.

This is the next thing you should consider after tackling altitude sickness. I made it clear earlier that high altitude climbing with kids is not at all the same as camping on a lowland campsite; you need to take ample precautions for safety which will naturally increase the amount of fun you will want the kids to enjoy.

Here are some things to note:

  • Pick a shelter out of the wind and possible falling rocks

During ascent, avoid camping on mountain passes that can be wind tunnels.

  • Make use of established campsites.

The reasoning for this is not that far fetched. Established campsites have been used multiple times, so there are safer and more reliable and most likely have provisions in them.

  • Hold your gear down with massive stones to avoid them from being blown away by gusts of wind.

It can get super crazy windy on a mountain. You need to make sure that your gear is solidly held down by heavy objects or you might find yourself running after your belongings, one after the other.

Picture one of your kids having his snacks all packed into a bag which happens to get blown away by the heavy wind, that kid is not going to be very happy. That kid is going to create all the trouble he can; he might cry, pout and be generally inactive during the rest of the camping trip.

If you still don’t get the picture, think about your maps and camping gear being blown away, all your preparations gone. You would be left with nothing but to improvise for the rest of the camping trip and probably need to turn downhill. You wouldn’t want that. So stay smart and stay geared down.

high altitude camping with kids

Watch where you step dangers are everywhere

  • Avoid ridges and exposed ground.

The primary reason why you should avoid types of places when going high altitude camping with kids is that they are usually a hot zone for lightning strikes. So it’s best to stay as far away from them as you can.

  • Shanks boots

    . Be sure the kids have shanks boots. You never know what part of the mountain might have ice on it. Boots with crampons are explicitly built for ice gripping.

 

  • Use an altimeter.

Make sure you have an altimeter in your gear. It is used to measure the altitude and changes in the atmospheric pressure. Very important.

  • Sleeping bags.

    Your kid’s high altitude sleeping bag is key to the success and survival for a high altitude camping experience. The right sleeping bag can enhance a good night sleep for a kid camping at high altitude.

Camping and cooking.

We all know how vital the right food is to kids. The importance of this increase by 200% especially with kids going high altitude camping. You need to keep their spirit up and their energy high.  So, for cooking, eating and drinking at high altitudes, here are some things you should take into consideration.

  • Bring your own wood. Finding dry wood can be hard at the peak or mountain pass as you To be on the safer side, pack your own dry wood.
  • Sometimes wood can be stressful. Carrying that much load while climbing over 3000 feet can be worse. To ease the stress, you may substitute wood for stoves and camping gas.
  • Make sure the kids drink a lot of water. During high altitude camping, it is found that adults urinate more and so do kids. To keep them hydrated, make sure they take in as much water as they can.
  • To reiterate my earlier point, stuff them full of carbohydrates. It will help the kids remain energetic.

Sanitation guide for altitude camping.

It may come across as common sense. However, most of these tips will steadily affect the success of your kid’s camping experience, sanitation included. You sure would not want the wind blowing back towards you as you urinate or an already used item not put away correctly, or still, kids coming in contact with the already decomposing material used days earlier, it can be traumatic for the kid. So, here are some things to take note of:

  • Make sure the kids have a portable WAG bag. Waste Alleviation Gelling (WAG) bag is a biodegradable bag which contains a powder that gels waste, neutralizes odor and starts the decay process immediately. It is also puncture resistant, so you have nothing to worry about carrying it along with you on your ascent.
  • Make sure the kids do not carry extra stuff they don’t need. This reduces the amount of trash they may need to dispose of.
  • Try to bury any trash by digging the ground with a small shovel.

Additional tips

Kids are unpredictable, so no matter how much planning you have made, they can surprise you. Therefore, it always advisable to have extra items just in case something goes wrong.

Kids want to have fun; they love to run around and jump. When you are up in a high elevation zone, try as much as possible to control the pace of the kids, so they don’t tire out before the main ascent begins. You should have a set target for each day of rising; you don’t want to carry some of the kids on your back, that will be too tiresome. So, ensure moderate elevation changes.

Since this is high altitude climbing with kids, you are going to be super close to the sun. Having good UV rated protective sunglasses will surely help your eyes and those of the kids as well.

Ensure the kids carry along SPF sunscreen to avoid sunburns.

high altitude camping with kids

You made it safe and sound. What a rush!

There is so much fun you can have on the mountaintop, explore. There is never a dull moment with kids

Get set and off you go!!!

High Altitude climbing with kids can is a daunting task for sure.  It will blow your mind away; adventuring with kids will give you double the fun. So fly on, enjoy the view, take pictures and have a blast. Do not forget to share your experience. We can’t wait to read your story.

 

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Best Campsite Hatchets Alright, Summer is just about to wrap up and if your anything like me you might be starting to keep an eye out for those...

Welcome

Hi, Dennis and Shelly Jackson here, we are the faces behind Campsite Planning. We are parents of 4 great kids and a little dog. And we are sharing some of our experiences with the site. I hope you enjoy and please do not hesitate to contact us for any reason.

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