Top 10 Campgrounds in Washington State

Top 10 Campgrounds in Washington State

Top Ten Campgrounds in Washington State

Thinking of visiting Washington State this summer? Carry your favorite camping gear because you are going to get some of the best campsites around.Here is a list of my Top 10 Campgrounds Washington state has to offer. Washington is one of the best places for those who love sleeping under the stars. All you have to do is pitch your tents, build a campfire (when we can), and start enjoying your time. There are plenty of campsites in this place, but finding the best is not an easy task. This list highlights some of the best campgrounds in Washington.

If you do plan on taking an Awesome trip to one of these Parks  or Campgrounds please be prepared. Check out my other posts to help you do that here.

1. Ohanapecosh Campground – 46.7311111. 46° 43′ 52.0000″ N.

Ohanapecosh Campground provides three beautiful campgrounds located right in the heart of Mount Rainer National Park. If you need some humble getaway time in a less crowded campground, Ohanapecosh guarantees exactly that since it’s one of the most peaceful places you can visit. Apart from giving you a beautiful and friendly camping site, this spot will also expose you to the beautiful scenery of a wild river running right in the middle of the campground together with magical old-growth forests. You’ll also enjoy some hiking experience in the nature loop trail right outside the campground and see some of the biggest trees on earth.  After a long walk, treat yourself to spar experience with the bubbling waters of the Ohanapecosh Hot Springs.

 

 

 

2. Moran State Park – 48.6650° N, 122.8240° W 





Moran is one of the greatest places to camp in Washington State. Located at the San Juan Islands, this place provides the best outdoor environment, and every outdoor enthusiast will love it. While at the campsite, you can climb to the top of the small mountain and treat yourself to the beautiful scenery on the Northwest Straits.

With a total of 166 campsites, there is plenty to do in this campsite, and you’ll never get bored. Get a taste of the freshwater lakes around the area or treat yourself to some humble time on the mountain lake. Hop on a ferry and go all the way to Orcas Island and find a variety of fun things to do. You can also stroll around the lake and relax your mind as you think about how you are going to spend the rest of your vacation. 

3. Colonial Creek Campground, Washington –  48.6902 N, -121.0979 W

If you love those campsites that are not yet over-utilized, then Colonial Creek located at North Cascades National Park is one of the best places you can visit. The park boasts of over 300 glaciers, 400 miles of hiking trails and 127 alpine lakes. You will never run short of things to do at this camping site. Treat your eyes to some beautiful old growth forests, go fishing, hop into a boat, or treat yourself to some mountain climbing. If you’re camping with your family, Colonial Greek is the best place to pitch your tent. It is located near the amphitheater and the interpretive center, and you will have the opportunity to experience all the fun with your family.

4. White River Campground, Washington – 46.903° N, 121.641° W.

White River, which is located in the Mount Rainer National Park, is one of the great places to enjoy some camping time. At 4,400 feet elevation, this campsite is suitable for late summer camping. Apart from the great camping experience, you get to treat yourself to a view of mountain goats, wildflowers, and the stunning Mt. Rainier. With up to 112 camping sites, you will have easy access to trails such as Wonderland Trail and the Glacier Basin Trail.

5. Kalaloch, Olympic National Park – 47.6057° N, 124.3710° W

You will never run out of things to do at the Olympic National Park. This is the best outdoor playground where you get plenty of things to do, including hiking, paddling, backpacking, among other fun things. If you want to treat yourself to some camping experience, then the Kalaloch is right inside the pack offering up to 170 campsites to choose from. You can pitch your tent anywhere you want and enjoy a silent night. If you love some oceanic view, you can walk along the oceanic stretch of the coastline, and enjoy the sound of the crashing waves.

6. Deception Pass State Park – 48°24′23″N 122°38′40″W

Deception Pass State Park stands as the most viewed camp in Washington State. The Park spans across Fidalgo and the Whidbey Islands which connects to the famous Deception Pass Bridge. You can treat yourself to a walk along the saltwater and freshwater shoreline of over 100,000 combined feet. You can also hike the 37 miles of the trails, pass through the coves, and see the wildlife cliff. Treat yourself to the West Beach Sand Dunes, the Kukutalki Preserve, and the Rosario Beach tide pools. There are a total of three campgrounds to choose from with a total of 167 tent sites. The camps start from the Bowman Bay, Cranberry and the Quarry Pond.

7. Ginkgo Petrified Forest – 46.9124° N, 119.9946° W

Ginko Petrified Forest is located near the Vantage. The forest has a wide variety of petrified trees which resulted in it being designated as a national landmark. The camp offers a unique camping environment where you can relax and spend some fun time either with friends or family. You will also treat yourself to a beautiful view of the Columbia River with more than five miles of freshwater shoreline. As if that’s not enough, the camp treats you 7,100 backcountry hiking experience. You have up to 50 campsites to choose from at the Petrified Forest as well as the Wanapum Recreational Area with options for tent and RV camping. 

8. Camp Disappointment State Park – 46.2936° N, 124.0642° W

Contrary to its name, there is nothing disappointing about this park as it only ensures you have maximum time during your camping time. This is the oldest parks in Washington State, but despite its age, it still makes it to the list of the top camping grounds in the state. You get to enjoy many activities during your stay in the camp including fishing, hiking, clamming and some lighthouse tour. The hiking trails continue to improve each year thanks to volunteers of Washington Trails Association who are dedicated to making the place a great place for outdoor enthusiasts.

9. Salt Creek Campground, Washington – 48° 9′ N, 123° 42′ 0.7” W

Salt is not only a great camping site, but it’s also a recreational area with all the amenities you need for camping and recreation. The play sports and the fields are located in the northern part of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The whale trail and the birding trail offers an exceptional wildlife view located at National Audubon Washington. You can choose to relax at the beach by Crescent Bay or go hiking, kayaking, and surfing. The campground offers up to 92 sites with views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Canada. You can also enjoy tide pooling opportunities of the Tongue Point Marine Sanctuary.

10. Lake Wenatchee, Washington –  47.8245° N, 120.7770° W

Lake Wenatchee is another great camping site preferred by many people in Washington State with many campgrounds to choose from. You can choose to camp at Nason Creek campground which offers 73 large secluded parks where you can treat yourself to some private time. Another great place that will comfortably accommodate you and your family is the Lake Wenatchee State Park campground. There are several activities you can indulge in, including hiking, fishing, playground, and canoeing. Another great place along the lake area is Glacier View Campground which does not disappoint with up to 23 campsites with a beautiful view of the Glacier Peak.

Dont forget to check the weather and let someone know where you will be going….

campsiteplanning.com/campsite-101/

Enjoy. Relax. Have Fun.

 

 

 

Top 10 Family Tents

Top 10 Family Tents

Ever heard of a home away from home?

Nothing beats a weekend getaway to the countryside, safely tucked away in the comfort of your tent with family and friends.

As enticing as the offer of camping in the wild may look, you don’t want to go ill-prepared.  As much fun as you might have, when it is time to sleep, no one wants to be uncomfortable.

Take a look below at the amazing features of our family tents. Each one offers comfort, relaxation, and space to store your gear.

 

  1. Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent
  • Designed for fast and easy setup in minutes,
  • A ground vent and large windows for the expulsion of warm hair
  • Inverted seams and patented welded floors allow you to keep dry.
  • A rainfly attached to a door awning of the durable poly guard double-thick fabric is sure to protect campers from rain
  • A spacious inside accommodates a queen size air mattress
  • This tent has a storage pocket for your gear

The Coleman Sundome 4-Person tent comes with an e-port for inside electrical power

Check Price here

 

  1. Coleman Evanstone Dome Tent with Screen Room
  • This very spacious tent has enough room for two queen-size airbeds
  • It requires only 15 minutes for set up because of snag-free, Insta-clip pole attachments and a continuous pole sleeve
  • A separate screened room provides more ventilation and an extra sleeping area.
  • A removable rainfly accommodates stargazing or increase sunlight through the mesh roof
  • A separate screen ensures your lodge is bug-free

Check Price here

  1. Coleman Elite Montana 8-Person Tent
  • This roomy tent accommodates the entire family with space for three queen size airbeds
  • It has inverted seams with hidden needle holes and a strong windproof frame to increase weather resistance
  • This tent has a zipper cuff made of weather-resistant fabric and a waterproof floor
  • It comes with six built-in CPX LED lights for illumination when the sun goes down
  • It has an energy pack with a USB port for charging electronic devices

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  1. CORE 9-Person Extended Dome Tent
  • This wind/rainproof tent is reinforced with extra-wide heat-sealed tick tape
  • The interior spacing of the tent is increased with two additional ridge poles.
  • It comes with a secured access point to an electrical cord for passing electrical current

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  1. Coleman Tenaya Lake Fast Pitch 8-Person Camping Cabin Tent with Built-in Closet
  • This tent can conveniently house up to eight people
  • It has a hinged door for easy access and illuminated reflective guy for clear visibility at night
  • It has a room divider for added privacy and storage space for safely securing your gear
  • The built-in closet has a hanger bar and shelves which allow you to neatly arrange your clothes.
  • It is easy to pack for travel inside its carry bag.

 Check Price Here

 

  1. CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent
  • Setup for this tent is made easy with pre-attached telescoping poles
  • A slide T-door allows access to the tent and airflow through the windows.
  • A detachable room divider provides privacy when needed.
  • A heat-sealed seam that runs from the rainfly to the floor ensures water does not enter the tent
  • Air intake vents on the floor draw in cool air while the hot air is expelled through the mesh ceiling.
  • This tent can conveniently house nine people and their gear

Check Price Here

  1. Coleman Sundome 6-Person Dome Tent
  • Suitable for a family of six, this tent has a large door for easy entry
  • A hooded fly allows ventilation in all weather conditions
  • Cross ventilation occurs through a rear hooded window and the mesh vent on the roof to reduce condensation
  • The corner seams are welded to protect the tent from a leaky floor
  • The fly is coated with polyester for durability and ruggedness
  • This tent holds up well during a storm and high winds.

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  1. Pacific Breeze Easy to Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL
  • This beach tent provides an interior space to accommodate three or four people
  • An internal pocket allows you to conveniently store items.
  • This tent is composed of a durable fiberglass frame and a water-resistant PE floor
  • It is compact and lightweight, weighing just over 6 pounds
  • It includes a carrying case and five sand pockets for increased stability in windy conditions.
  • Even on the beach, this tent offers protection from the sun and includes a large window for ventilation.

 Check Price Here

 

  1. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4 Person Tent
  • The fabric of this tent is polyester to ensure resistance to water and protection from UV exposure
  • Two aluminum poles reduce the frustration of setting up this tent.
  • It has two doors for easy entry and exit
  • It is fitted with two vestibules for additional gear storage and an extra-large 8-zipper.
  • The factory-sealed seams and floor seals ensure protection again harsh weather conditions.
  • Ventilation occurs through a mesh positioned halfway up the wall on either side.

 Check Price Here

 

  1. Everking Automatic Hydraulic Camping Tent
  • The pop-up design of this tent allows for instant setup in about 60 seconds
  • It is adequately spaced, and the outdoor frame is stable
  • This tent is made from high-quality durable material and a sturdy fiberglass frame
  • Ventilation is aided by one zipped door with a dormer window for a great view

Check Price Here

 

 

 

SELECT YOUR FAMILY TENT

Whether hiking, camping, visiting the beach or having a backyard sleepover, do not let harsh outdoor elements spoil your fun.

 

Our selection of family tents can provide the comfort, protection, and privacy you desire. 

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e

Top 10 Favorite Solo Tents

Top 10 Favorite Solo Tents

Top 10 Solo Tents

Embarking on a camping adventure but want to have the same bedtime comfort you have at home?

No need to worry. We have your home away from home.

Whether camping with your friends or relaxing at the beach, our one-person tents will make your experience a pleasurable one.  Take a look below at the amazing features of our top 10 solo tents.

 

  1. Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
  • So light-weight – it feels like you’re not carrying anything
  • An easy set-up that saves you time
  • An interior space that provides a comfortable home experience
  • A polyester wall and nylon floor allow durability for three seasons each year
  • It’s waterproof and comes with an internal storage pocket
  • Color-coded clip and fly attachment
  • A wide D-door and fully seam-taped construction

 

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  1. SnugPak the Ionosphere
  • Very small 1-person camping tent that protects you from the elements
  • A single entrance and completely taped seams
  • DAC feather lit NSL anodized poles with press-fit connectors
  • Flysheet is a lightweight 210t Polyester ripstop up
  • Constructed inside with nylon polyester mesh
  • 5000mm waterproof polyurethane coating
  • Comes with an on-the-go repair kit

 

  1. Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking Tent
  • Very spacious, lightweight tent, and ultra-light set-up
  • Rugged with long-lasting durability for three seasons each year
  • Its safe rainfly provides superior protection from the wind and rain; great for use with its lasting waterproof footprint
  • A compression-folded stuff sack for easy packing and minimal pack size
  • Single aluminum pole structure for relocation without disassembling

 

  1. Geertop 1-person Backpacking Bivy tent
  • Lightweight, portable, and compact enough to fit into your backpack
  • Easy assembly and break-down makes it perfect for new and experienced users
  • Constructed of two aluminum folding poles, nine aluminum tent pegs, and windproof ropes
  • Double-stitched seams and taped seal
  • Two doors and two windows for increased airflow throughout
  • A built-in mesh that protects against bugs and insects.

aluminum

 

  1. Winterial Single Person Tent
  • Flyless makes this tent is perfect for a warm summer night
  • Securely attached rainfly makes it great for the rainy nights
  • 14 heavy-duty stakes are unstoppable, even on tough ground
  • This bivy tent has three bundles of strong cord.
  • A ventilated roof mesh with a full-coverage rainfly
  • It is perfect for hiking and any trip.
  • Long-lasting durability for three seasons each year

 

  1. Flytrap Bubble Tent
  • Lightweight and easy-to-carry tent
  • Inside top light hanger and window for good air circulation
  • A floor made of fabric PU waterproof coating
  • Its inner and outer body is made of polyester
  • Easy one-person setup

 

  1. Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Tent
  • This tent has instant set-up and take-down with just the push of your thumb
  • A built-in zipper guard and guy wires for staking in high wind
  • A micro-mesh inner with waterproof rainfly
  • Built to give you a perfect view of the outside right from the inside
  • Both tent and rainfly are constructed from 2000mm treated taffeta with flame retardant and water-resistant coating

 

  1. River Country Product Trekking Pole Tent
  • This one-person tent is comfortable for two
  • “No pole; no problem” – this tent works with sticks or trekking poles and between trees
  • Comes with eight ultra-light aluminum stakes and a carrying bag
  • Unexpected features include a personal item pouch and a corner loop for hanging a lantern

 

 

  1. ALPS Mountaineering
  • This polyester UV resistant tent has meshed walls for increased ventilation
  • The fly and floor seams are factory-sealed to prevent cuts
  • It has one vestibule for extra storage space
  • The easy to use clips quickly snap over the poles.

 

  1. MSR Fly Lite
  • This ultra-light tent is made for one but can accommodate two people.
  • A great choice for couples seeking a wicked-light shelter for appropriate conditions
  • Its well-vented large door, for easy entrance and increased airflow, has a protective storm flap
  • Its walls are made of dura shield coated nylon which lasts longer than a traditional polyurethane coating.
  • Setup in as little as 30 seconds
  • It is strong enough to withstand 40-mph wind
  • Perfect in time of rain for storing your gear.

 

Adventurous? Want to enjoy every moment you spend inside your tent? Worry no more!

No matter what level of fun you are looking to have, we have the tent to give you a restful experience at bedtime

SELECT YOUR SOLO TENT

 

These high-quality Solo tents can protect you from the outdoor elements and give you the privacy you want; all while delivering an unparalleled camping experience.

BUY NOW

 

How to Make A Campfire: A Beginners Guide to Flame!

How to Make A Campfire: A Beginners Guide to Flame!

Why is a Campfire Important

A lot of people see the time spent around the campfire as the soul of the camp. Perhaps they’re exaggerating a bit, but we understand the importance of the campfire.

Camping isn’t complete without a campfire. Aside from the warmth generated by the dancing flame, lots of camping activities are only made available by having a fire.

  • Cooking Food (Smores)
  • Boiling water (Coffee)
  • Drying Wet Clothing and Gear (Rain)
  • Lighting Camp (Darkness)
  • Raising spirits (nerves)

Not only does it give you a physical attribute as heating there is a mental side as well. It helps make you feel safe and secure. At least In my mind.

keeping the critters away at night is a significant effect fire has as well. I don’t know of many animals that will come toward a camp that is lit by a campfire. (honestly, I don’t know any critters, just an example…;)

Starting  A Fire

Knowing how to start a campfire is a skill you should know before going camping. In this piece, we will explain how to start a campfire and the different styles to accomplish this.

Before we go into the ABC’s of how to start a campfire, a little insight on the chemistry of fire itself will help your case a little.

Speaking of ABC’s a fire needs three core elements; Oxygen, fuel source, and heat. Once these three elements combine in the right order, They create a chemical reaction known as Fire!

Campsite planning

The Fire Triangle

They call it The Fire Triangle, it is the basic chemistry behind a flame.

  • Oxygen (O2)
  • Fuel (Wood – Fuel)
  • Heat source (Ignition – Spark)

The fuel source could range from papers, oils, to chunks of dry leaves. But for a campfire, dry wood is the standard used fuel.

Campfire Location

Depending on the location of the campsite you might have to improvise accordingly. In the warmer times of the year, just about everything can serve as fuel.

Of course, we don’t recreate only in those times and moisture may cause issues when using natural resources in the wetter and colder months.

Natural Resources

If you are camping in the forest and it has been dry, you will most likely not have an issue finding fuel for the campfire. Small twigs to dead trees will be abundant most of the time.

( Check your local burn bans and code at your local forestry dept.)

If you are camping next to water sources or up in the mountains with heavy snowfall the resources might be more on the damp side and finding burnable fuel can become a very stressful situation if your campfire experience is low.

MORE | Tents or Hammocks?

Other Essential Tips

Be prepared the best you can. Bring waterproof matches; a lighter, a striker, a magnesium strip, anything you can bring along that can help your situation if you get yourself in a bit of trouble will go along ways.

To create a campfire, you need to have the necessary resources. Take a tour of your surroundings and see what you can find.

Wood will mostly be available, but its condition will depend on the weather situation around the area.

Getting a campfire started doesn’t just involve stacking some limbs or fallen trees onto a fire ring and lighting it on fire.

This style can work, don’t get me wrong, to sustain a fire it needs to be nurtured and done in a way you will not run out of fuel to fast, and it won’t go out due to the elements.

Successful campfire building in the wilderness requires some fundamentals you must have to start one. We will take a look at them now!

Fuel Gathering

Situations

The speed and effectiveness of starting your fire will largely depend on your level of preparedness and ability to gather fuel. This will depend of course on your circumstances.

If you become lost and you are not prepared for this, the whole situation becomes dire, and the need for fire becomes almost an emergency, in some instances.

Finding fuel in this type of situation is stressful and can be dangerous. If its dark out and you can’t see anything finding just the minimal amount of resources to get the fire going should be a priority. (Try and gather plenty of fuel to burn long enough to be able to get more though.)

Once a fire is started, and you have light then you can find more resources easier. Remember speed will be a factor. Fire burns quickly, and you need to keep it fueled.

Although if your camping with friends and family or on a hunting trip, the situation entirely changes and is more laid back and your fire starting necessity may not be as urgent.

Many time fire fuel is brought with us in these instances and fire starting becomes a fun activity we can share with friends and family. (One of my favorite things is to watch my children practice these skills)

Materials

Wood Wood is an essential element is necessary for all campfires. It can be small scrapes, strips, shavings or logs. Regardless of their form or shape.

It would be best if you seek out the driest logs and pieces of wood. This will save you from the stress of having to expend more energy and resources trying to get through the wet exterior.

(It is possible to burn damp wood it is just incredibly time-consuming and challenging)

There are different names used for referring to wood resources based on their size or their sources, and for your campfire, you sure will need most (if not all) of them.

Tinder – material that will take the initial ignition and become the start of the fire. Usually a small dry substance such as dry tree needles, moss, or wood shavings, etc.. (Burn approximately 10-30 seconds)

Kindling – small twigs and branches generally under 2 inches in diameter and about 8-12 inches long. This is the “get the fire going” material. (burn approximately 1-4 mins each.)

Limbs and Branches –  Larger diameter wood that has fallen from trees to the ground and can be cut up into 12-20 inch lengths.  (burn approximately 20-30 mins each.)

Logs – fallen tree trunks that can be bucked up into long-lasting firewood. Usually, 4-24 inches in diameter does take longer to process but also burns much longer. (burn approximately 30min -2 hours each Depending on size.

Warning – Please respect our wilderness areas and unless it is an emergency do not cut down, limb, or break wood off living trees. The wood sucks to burn anyway and its devastating to the environments. Just a thought.

MORE | Hatchets

A heat/fire source Having a good ignition source will increase your fire making abilities by a lot. Don’t rely on one type of source either. Make sure to have a few options in your gear.

Waterproof matches Can be purchased for your camping gear and should be in everyone’s kit for emergencies. Depending on your source they can work or they might not.

Butane Lighters (Bic) These also can be put into your camping gear to help with fire starting. This is the way most people will be able to get a fire started quickly and easily. The downfall is that one they get wet they are garbage.

Strikers (Ferro of, Magnesium strip, fire steel), All of these, are for emergency uses and can work when wet. (Most of the time).

Friction Fire (bow drill, Hand drill, etc.) These are more of a primitive and last form of survival technique to get a fire going. Unless, you know how these styles work and have used them, achieving fire this way is extremely difficult.

SETUP

After securing all the materials that you will need for your campfire, the next logical thing to do is to set up the fire.

You have your wood and other fuel sources; you have your ignition, now is the time to put the materials together and get the fire you need to be started.

However, to have a good flame, you must take the time to prepare your campfire site. This involves taking some necessary precautionary actions and clearing the area of materials that could prevent the setup of a good campfire.

Clearing and setting Is there an existing fire ring (a spot where previous fires have been made)? Go on and clear away the cold ash and charcoal.

Doing this will present you with enough room to arrange your wood and fire materials for the new burn. You may leave the old ashes at the edge of the ring or do away with them altogether. Depending on how cold and damp they are they could affect the new fire.

If there is no existing fire ring, you will need to clear out a spot for your campfire – this would mean that you will have to remove dead grass, vegetation around your chosen place.

Using your shovel, lightly scrape off the soil from the fire ring, and keep it nearby in case of an emergency.  You are free to use the freshly removed earth as a border fence for your fire ring, or you may choose to use rocks (recommended).

I always try to use rocks, and if necessary use the earth that’s been dug up to fill in gaps.

(Be aware of your surrounding don’t be that person that starts a wildfire that burns people out of their home)

Burn it up!

Structure

At this point, you have cleared your fire ring, and you are ready to start setting up your kindling and wood for the fires. Some fire types are best suited for different occasions.

Before we go on to discuss them, take your tinder as we talked about above or some light wood, paper material, cardboard and place them at the center of the fire ring, it shouldn’t be more than a foot in diameter.

Now to the fire! Most people do not realize that there are several forms of campfires, and each has a specific purpose that they serve.

The following are some campfire types you can set up and their designated functions.

Log Cabin Fire – This is a fire that is intended to last long. It is great for long nights in the winter.

Lean-to-Fire – This is a fire type that is great for cooking. It is not meant to last long. Use small pieces of kindling and tinder to start the flames and then add more wood as the fire grows.

Teepee Fire – The Teepee fire is great for cooking. All you need to do is to arrange the sticks in a teepee above the position of the tinder.

Cross Fire – Also suitable for fires that are meant to last for a while, the Cross Fire differs in wood arrangement slightly as the wood pieces are placed in a criss-cross manner.

Ignition

On to the final part of it all and that is lighting the fire.

Keep kids and pets away by a safe distance before you set fire to the tinder. Light it up from several edges. This ensures the tinder lights up quickly.

Never use gasoline regardless of the circumstances you might find yourself. Gas is extremely volatile, and the situation could escalate rather soon especially when in the woods.

All Done?

When you’re through, and the fun is over, ensure that you thoroughly and exhaustively put out the fire.

Do these strategies to avoid problems. Gently sprinkle water onto the flame. As you continue doing this, watch the embers and stir them gently while pouring more water. Continue until you can no longer hear the hissing sound of the embers.

That’s it; you’re good to go.

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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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Tent or Hammock? What’s the Difference?

Tent or Hammock? What’s the Difference?

Tent or Hammock? What’s the Difference?

When you go on a camping trip what is the form of shelter you prefer? I have been a tent man my whole life, and I don’t expect that to change. A buddy of mine swears up and down that a hammock is the way to go. How about we take a good look at the two and see which is better or worse for you!

Tents are far from ideal. There are lots of things to consider with the use of the tent. From finding the perfect campsite to the fear of the unknown, the list is endless. But we have warmed up to it.

Then there’s the hammock. This tent – the alternative is hinged on an arboreal lifestyle. Yes, you read that right. You’d have to take a nap on a synthesized material supported by trees. As crazy as that sounds, many are making the switch without looking back.

What makes these two camping accessories different? Let’s find out.

The Differences in Setup

The most conspicuous difference between the use of the tent and hammock is tied to their setup.

With a tent, it’s all about searching for the right surface – no flooding, possible animal invasion nor awkward terrain. It has to be perfect or at the very least, close enough.

The setup of a hammock couldn’t be any different. This camping approach is heavily dependent on trees.

To camp in a hammock, you’d have to find the right trees. Besides proximity, these woody plants have to be strong enough to support your weight.

No exceptions! This shouldn’t come as a surprise since the hammock material is tied to both trees.

With a hammock, the action on the ground isn’t much of a concern to you – unless of course, it affects the supporting trees.

More | Camping in the Desert

The Weight Factor

Tents are usually heavier than hammocks. They are built to withstand the elements while camping. It’s like taking your home along in a backpack. With structural components consisting of cotton, nylon, and polyester, the tent is bound to be heavy especially when it rains.

While this will add to the burden of transportation, it keeps you safe from the weather.

With the hammock, things take a different turn. Weight isn’t much of an issue with this camping accessory.

Most hammocks are made from nylon which improves their tensile strength. The only issue is you’re at the mercy of the weather.

Innovation appears to have taken the outdoor market by storm offering products which can keep the elements at bay and providing the warmth you need.

However, these accessories could add to the weight of your backpack.

Size

One area where the tent seemingly triumphs over the hammock is size. Tents come in varying sizes. Depending on its dimensions, a tent can hold as many as four persons comfortably.

While weight might be an issue, there’s that closeness a tent breeds especially among family members.

Hammock users are not necessarily loners, but this camping accessory is about getting the privacy you need. Hanging out alone on support anchored by trees doesn’t exactly engender togetherness.

Yes, camping hammocks are available in various sizes, but they can support just one person comfortably – lovers might differ in this regard.

Time Constraint

Camping might be that place where time seems to stop. Being surrounded by nature has a way of making time irrelevant.

Even so, there are occasions when you have to set up or dismantle your tent/hammock for different reasons such as personal issues or weather conditions.

This is when you’d observe some small differences. For a tent, you could spend a few hours putting it together or dismantling it.

This will also depend on the size of the tent. Bigger tents will take more time especially if you are handling this alone.

Unlike tents, hammocks are easier to set up and dismantle. All you have to do is tie or untie the straps. This should only take you some minutes to complete.

However, the use of accessories such as the tarps and sleeping pad could add to the time spent.

MORE | How to Make a Campfire

The Change factor

The condition of your preferred campsite can change within hours of making that choice. You could sleep under cover of a tent and wake-up in a waterlogged space. Often, there’s the need to change tent positions due to the unforeseen situations. If it’s a rather large tent, then there’s a problem.

With a hammock, there’s a lower chance of surprises springing up. Having the straps of a hammock tied to the stem of trees wouldn’t put you in harm’s way if you did your homework.

No, snakes wouldn’t lunge down on you from above – real life isn’t the same as the movies. In fact, the odds of that happening are higher in a tent since more snakes are adapted to a land-dwelling habitat than an arboreal one.

Adaptability

Who wants more from their tent? Everyone. We can’t just carry around a bulky tent and get only a roof above our head. Sadly, that’s the way it is.

Innovation might be making inroads into the outdoor niche but the flexibility of the tents seems to have been missed.

The modern-day tent isn’t as adaptable as it should be. Aside from providing some sort of protection against the elements, its functions are greatly limited.

The adaptability of the tent fizzles out when compared to the hammock. The latter has a wide range of uses. Besides acting as a resting place, it’s the perfect spot for grooming your reading culture.

Many regard the hammock as an epitome of improvisation, and it’s not difficult to understand why.

The Impact of Water

The undoing of every tent is the presence of water on the surface of a campsite or the closeness of a water source. This reduces the number of potential sites for the location of your tent.

Regardless of how alluring an area might be, water can bring all that to naught. Also, you can’t enjoy the view of water bodies from a resting place.

Water isn’t a problem when resting on the hammock. From such an arboreal position, chances are you’d be unaware of the emergence of water onto the land below.

Also, you can enjoy the beauty of water bodies without fear of the condition on the ground around.

Comfort

This is one of the strengths of the tent. With its structural build, the tent provides some semblance of warmth.

Spending a cold night in a tent might not be exactly splendid, but it supersedes whatever a hammock has to offer in this regard. The absence of several openings in the tent reduces the impact of the elements on a cold rainy night!

The hammock and warmth are seen as oil and water – they don’t mix. With the level of exposure observed in the hammock, it’s difficult to argue with that.

However, innovative products like the underquilt, and sleeping pad have brought some relief to worthwhile camping gear.

Similarities Shared by Tent and Hammocks

The similarities common to both the tent and hammock could be based on their composition and function.

From a functional perspective, they provide a resting place for you when camping.

As regards the structural constituents, both tents and hammocks share the same base materials. Nylon, polyester, and cotton are some of the materials used.

Another similarity between the tent and the hammock is the level of customization possible with both camping gears.

These accessories can transform your desired camping gear into a warm safe house.

Final Thoughts

Tents and hammocks have all the attributes required to make camping less hazardous. But the hammock has shown signs of offering much more than the tent.

Accessories can erase Even its current flaws. While the tent is the pinnacle of our camping days both present and past, the hammock has the future in its sights.

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Camping In The Rain Guide

Camping In The Rain Guide

Camping in the Rain

Your going camping in the rain huh? Umm…wait! Is that something you are really going to do? On purpose? Hmm, are you sure? OK. I guess we better get to informing you about the ins and outs of this type of camping. Follow along as we run down our list of Camping in the Rain Guide.

Camping when it’s raining isn’t super ideal of course. That would hinder the amount of time we can spend outside. We would all rather it be warm and sunny. This guide will set you up for an ideal trip rain or shine. But if it does rain, you will be ready. We will look at setting up camp and tent locations, items to bring in your gear to stay dry and warm, and other tips and techniques to make you forget that the heavens have poured out all along the forest floor.

Watch the video below!

Tent and Campsite Location

When looking to set up camp, try to stay up and away from water. Lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans all rise very quickly with big rainfall and if you are near bodies of water there is the possibility of getting washed out during the night.

Do not set up camp right in the middle of a valley or a dried up stream or river bed especially in desert areas because these formations are hotspots for flash floods and can be very deadly. Instead, look for elevated areas at least a hundred feet from water areas. I like to try and face my tent toward the sunrise if possible. It gives you a little bit of resolution to get up and face the day after a cold, wet night. If you can find an area that has trees and is elevated, even better.

Try to set your tent in between a few good sturdy trees so you can tie up cordage to hang some tarp overtop of your tent if needed. However, you don’t want to be in the direct path of a falling branch in the middle of the night either. So be aware and if you can avoid being directly under large branches, maybe think about it. Check out the waterproof tents on Amazon here. /p>

Setup A Dry Area

Tarps and Paracord

Tarps are a camper’s best friend even in dry weather. I have always used a large 20 x 20 tarp doubled up under our family tent. Not only does it help with padding, but it keeps sticks and sharp rocks I have missed from penetrating the base of our tent. So when it comes to helping you stay dry, they are a mandatory accessory in my mind.

If you come prepared with a few tarps and some cordage, you will be so much happier. Coming from experience, being out in the rain in a dry tent at night only to wake up in a completely soaked tent kind of sucks, to be honest.

If you need paracord I picked up a 500ft spool here but they have many new colors now and I think you can buy smaller amounts. And tarps you can get at your local harbor freight or Maynards if you dont want to wait for amazon delivery. More| Campsite Essentials

Dried in Outdoor Space

Once you have reached your campsite destination and have picked your tent setup areas, the next area of business is comfortability in the camp. You want to create an outdoor living space for cooking and working the fire along with any other activities you will want to enjoy while having it drizzle down on you.

The size of your camping party will determine how large of an area you will need. If you have the whole family and some friends, this could be a pretty big area and need some time to set up. On the other hand, if you are soloing out in the woods, a small 10-foot area will do just fine.

Tarps come in some good kits these days.

Start by stringing up a couple of overhead tarps by hanging them from a couple of trees across from each other. Making sure they are angled to a drainage area that is lower than the area you are trying to keep dry. Done wrong and the water will drain off and hit the high ground and then just run right through the camp. Not good!

After the tarps are in place and all are draining correctly then you can start on the mingling area. A place to hang out drink some warm beverages, eat some dinner, play a game, or just relax. Since you are already dry overhead, you might want to think about the ground and staking down a couple of tarps that will let the water stay beneath them.

Then set up your tables chairs and anything else you brought along. Now if you are by yourself or a couple, this is going to be way less intensive, but the exercises are the same on a smaller level.

Tent Setup

(First and foremost check that you have a waterproof, good working tent with rainfly. If your gear is weak and broken, your struggle will be rough.)

As I said before, I have always laid a tarp under my tent for protection. I still do that when it rains even though some people say that it is not needed. Whatever, I like it, and I will keep doing it.

This is your decision to set up as you seem it necessary. Although I do set a tarp under my tent, I also lay one down on the inside floor of my tent. This will help with any pooling or seepage from the ground and the sides of the tent.

What happens is the water that does make it into the tent will follow gravity and end up under the tarp along the floor, allowing my sleeping bags, gear, and myself to stay dry on top of the tarp. More | Camping with a 2-year-old

Trench

The final prep for keeping the rain out from my tent is light trenching if I am going to expect a lot of moisture. What I do is grab my campsite hatchet and use the backside to carve in some trenches on the high side of my tent. Diverting any water that may try to come under my tent.

Usually, I have been able to get away with 4-6 inches deep and maybe 3 inches wide. Of course, this will vary due to the area you are camping. It rained more than the trenches could handle a few times and honestly, the tarps kept me dry enough.

Tarps are somewhat bulky and can be a pain to hike with. Pick and choose your gear accordingly.

Staying Dry Away From Shelter

Best way to stay dry while camping is not to get wet, right? Well, if you stay in camp and do not venture out at all that might be an ok scenario. Most people who do go out and camp tend to venture and like to go and explore the wonderful outdoors. Doing this can and eventually will leave you out away from camp without the proper gear to stay dry.

Having the proper protective outerwear or shell layers is going to make the difference between getting soaked and the situation becoming dangerous to getting from “point A” to “point B” and enjoying every minute of it. Great set of outer shells! With such a vast selection of weather gear, someone might get overwhelmed. There are types for the extreme cold to desert heat rain gear.

Know the area you will be going and bring the set that is suitable for the condition. If you bring the wrong one you could overheat and become dehydrated or get so cold and wet that you get hypothermia.

It is very important to pack the right raingear set. Gore-tex or E-vent are very breathable and have a waterproof membrane. There are many brands out there, and most are very durable and comfortable but be aware the prices can be high for the big brands.

I have found many lesser known brands that do just as good. Lighter items and more of an emergency type gear are available at a big box store and online. Ponchos, PVC rain suits, and cheapies are good in a dire situation but not recommended for day hikes or long-term use. They will fail you.

Getting Wet!

When you get wet, and you will, eventually. You need to get dry, especially in a cold weather environment, as fast as you possibly can. Hopefully, you have warm dry clothes back at camp in a drybag. If you don’t, things can go bad if the right steps are not followed.

The first thing is to get the wet clothes off. Hopefully its warm enough where a little birthdate suit time is going to be ok. You will need to get your skin dry and warm so it can start helping the body rewarm itself. Jump into your sleeping bag until you are warm enough to start drying things out.

If there is a fire already going, great! Use that to your advantage and get close to it if possible. Hang a tarp over one side creating a heat reflecting wall to help radiate the heat toward you. Hopefully, you do have warm clothes and are able to get changed right away. Awesome, tragedy diverted, and off you go to your next adventure.

More | Snowmobile Camping

How To Dry Wet Gear

Assuming the rain does saturate you and your clothes, you are staring down a tough test ahead. Drying items in a high moisture area is a crappy thing to try and do. If you are lucky and set your campsite up the right way you already have a dried in the area and fire is going or at least an area you can have a fire. In that case, a dry line strung underneath the tarps can keep you wet items hung up to dry overnight and hopefully be ready for use the next day.

If a tarped area or fire is not in the cards for you, the task you face is a much more difficult one. I have searched and found the driest limbs or sticks I could find and make a log cabin style layered frame and laid wet shirts and socks over them so they could air dry. It does work but it takes time, and you can’t do a lot.

I also have cut holes in the top layer of my tent near the poles and strung a para cord from one tent post to another making a mini dry line inside the tent. It works but depending on your style of the tent could swing either way. Again getting wet sucks and if not prepared for it can be very devastating to your camping trip.

Fire in the Rain

Having a campfire is the main priority when camping in the rain. It provides warmth, cooking, and good spirits. Having the ability to dry your thing if wet is priceless.

The process of starting a fire is challenging to many in dry weather. To do it in a wet environment with very little to no fuel and the surroundings soaked is a monumental feat carried out by very few outdoor enthusiasts. This is so freaking cool. A lighter and flashlight in one on Amazon

Tinder

To begin the process of starting a fire, you will need starting fuel known as tinder. A lightweight extremely flammable substance usually made up of a fibrous thin cut wood. Sometimes moss or needles can be used as well.

A birds nest is a name they call a small bundle that you shape tinder into. It allows oxygen in but has wind resistance built into the design.

Making tinder is sometimes done by using a campsite hatchet or survival knife and running it down the length of the driest piece of wood you can find, carving off pieces about 1/8 of an inch wide. Creating a pile of these will hopefully be able to get a fire going once ignited.

Char Cloth

My favorite and really the simplest is to have and make your own char cloth. This can be anything from pieces of bandanas, old shirts, or chunks of rope. Shoot, I have even seen old gloves in there and they actually worked really well.

What you do is take a tin can of a sort. I like the large size smelly candle cans they hold a little more and are almost airtight. I put about ten holes in the top with the head of a nail or knife. Put the cloth of your choice in there. Do not pack it real tight. Seal it up with the lid and put it on the fire. You want to wait until you see smoke to start pouring out of the hole.

This will not take long a few minutes depending on the temperature of the fire. Watch the smoke and wait until it stops. When it stops, you need to let it sit because if you open it it will catch on fire and you will need to start over. I flip it over and let it completely cool off before opening the can.

Ignition

Ignition can be a tricky part as well. If you rely on only a lighter bought from the store and you get wet out hiking or boating or just getting rained on, you are screwed. They are so worthless you might as well had left them at home. Don’t get me wrong. I usually have 3 or 4 in my gear for emergencies.

Another style to start thinking about is flint and steel ignition.  There is also a Ferro striker style. Both of these styles need a metal striker that kicks off sparks onto your tinder. Then you can get into your more primitive ignitions. Hand drill and bow drill are a friction based fire starting technique.

Wood

Gathering wood is the biggest chore there is when camping. You need to go out find dry wood and bring it back to camp. It is tedious and physically tiring sometimes. When its wet out, that makes it even more challenging, because everything is soaking wet. That means its heavier than normal and chances are you won’t be able to burn it anyway.

If you can find burnable firewood, get it to camp and keep it dry. Gather as much as you think you will burn than get another few loads. We always burn more than we think.

Stay away from trees that are alive they won’t burn well, and it will be a smoke fest. Now that your wood is back to camp you will need to buck it up to fire length size with your campsite hatchet or ax. Do you have one right? After you buck it up, stack it next to the fire so it can start drying out.

Keeping Your Gear Dry

Bring Waterproof Bags

If you are counting on being in the rain, you better get your gear in some waterproof bags, then put them in your camping bags or backpacks. Sleeping bags, clothes, food, electronics, maps, and whatever else that can’t get wet, should be put in a waterproof bag when heading out. If you don’t have any waterproof bags, thick black garbage bags will do just fine for a trip, but that’s probably it. One trip.

Waterproof Backpacks and Stuff Sacks

Having one of these waterproof backpacks saves you so much trouble. If your hiking into camp or doing a day hike, if it rains and all your stuff gets wet, you’re going to want to go home right away.

Be prepared! I can’t say that enough. Don’t get a cheap water resistance backpack! Go out and pay for something you know is going to keep your gear dry.   Get some stuff sacks too. Put everything in a waterproof sack and then the problem of getting wet is almost eliminated. They come in all sorts of sizes. And you can get them in so many places.

Conclusion

Camping in the rain is not everyone’s cup of tea. I understand that. If you get caught in a rainstorm and were not expecting it, it can be awful and turn you away from this recreation. Please don’t let that happen. It is nature and she will throw everything she has at us. As long as we are prepared for it, our adventures and family outings can be enjoyed to the fullest.

One thing I did not discuss in this article is clothing. I figure clothing is pretty much common sense and I don’t know where anyone of you will be going. I could have covered every region and temperature but decided against that. It is too large of a topic. I hope you can use this to help you decide how to set up your next outing. Comment below if you think I need to add some other things.

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.

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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.

More | Campsite Lighting

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.

MORE | Tents or Hammocks?

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.

More | Campsite Essentials

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.  

More | Dispersed Camping

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.

More | How to make a Campfire

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.

More | Dogs Attracting Bears

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.  

More: Desert Camping

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Reserve now

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.

Reserve now

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

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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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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.

12 Essential Camping Items

12 Essential Camping Items

So you’re heading out on a camping trip with the family. Do you have everything you need? Do you have these things on my list of 12 essential camping items?

The more you know about camping, the better prepared you will be. This isn’t the expert guide to pack for camping, but it’s an essential list for the average family that’s heading out to the campsite. Here is my list. Check it out.

12 Essential Camping Items
1) Tent
Tents are the main item in most people’s arsenal when heading out to camp. Whether it is for a single person or a whole family, you want it to be large enough, so you’re not sleeping on top of one another.

When choosing a tent for camping, you want to pay close attention to the actual dimensional size of the tent, rather than the per person tag. It does not know if you are a large person or a small child. A four-person tent barely fits my two of my tweens inside with all their gear.

Rule of thumb is if you are going to sleep four, don’t get a four-person tent, get the next size up or larger, depending on your circumstances. I know that when we go camping, we have a queen size air mattress, duffel bags for each person, the baby’s bag with all her diapers, and what have you.

A tent’s primary purpose is to create a microclimate that allows the person that is going to sleep in it be as comfortable as possible. So help yourself out and get a decent tent that will not puncture too easy, rip from pulling on the zipper too hard, or fall from a strong gust of wind. There are many decent styles and brands out there. Just do a little research, and I’m sure you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.

More: How to Camp in the Desert

2) Sleeping Bag
Picking a great sleeping bag can be a daunting task when you go to an outdoor store. The so many different styles, colors, and ratings to choose from that it makes it difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Picking the right sleeping bag is very important depending on what kind of camping you’re going to be doing. If you’re planning to do summer camping only, lightweight sleeping bags will be just fine. If you plan on doing some hunting and you need a warm weather bag, then that’s the way you have to go.

Most sleeping bag manufacturers have the same ratings.

Summer Season Reading – which is comfortable at 35 degrees Fahrenheit and higher

Three-Season Bag – which is over 10 degrees Fahrenheit up to 35 degrees Fahrenheit

Cold Weather – which is usually from 10 degrees Fahrenheit and anything lower

Often, when picking a sleeping bag, you want to choose one that is the stage lower than what you’re going to be camping in. You never want to get stuck out there and get cold.

There are four styles of sleeping bags.

Regular rectangle shape – which most people had as they were growing up. They have a canvas outside, and a plaid inside and are comfortable honestly. But, they are super heavy.

Semi-rectangular – called a barrel-shaped. They are tapered towards the legs, and they offer a little bit better efficiency than the old bulky rectangle bags, but they still have a room for the most part.

Mummy Style – they are very lightweight and compact. Many people have trouble with these because they’re so tight that they never can get comfortable and are the more restrictive.

Double-wide – where you and you’re significant other can get inside together. If you have a young child, they could probably jump in there with you too. If you buy two of these things, you could have a comfortable night on a king size air mattress. Most of the time, it’s too hot honestly.

3) Fire / Fire Starter
So fire is a valuable commodity when you’re out camping, but it is not always acceptable and permitted, especially in the summer months. At least where I live in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s still nice to have. I’m not going to get into any survival techniques or what’s the best fire starter or anything like that. I am just going to list a couple of styles of fire starters, and we will go from there.

A more primitive style and survivalist style is the wood friction fire bow drill, fire plow, or fire saw. I don’t have any experience using any of these, and I don’t plan on it unless it’s an emergency, then I’ll try my best. But I don’t see that happening I always have lighters and strikers.

Next is flint and steel or striker. You know the kind where you take a sharp object, and you scrape it along the flint and light tinder. A fun way to teach your children how to get a fire started honestly. The last camping trip, my boys, played with those things for a couple of hours trying to get the fire going. It was pretty fun to watch.

You also have the magnifying glass fire starter situation. Which if you grew up in the 80’s and 70’s you probably know all about that. Use the magnifying glass with the sun glaring down through it and angle it down onto a piece of wood or piece of paper to get it lit. It works pretty well actually, as long as it’s sunny out.

Good old matches if you use matches. You’re going to want to have a waterproof container to keep them in. If you have any rain or your kayaking or boating and drop them in, you’re screwed.

Then you got your refillable butane lighter. You can buy a pack of six from Walmart for a couple of bucks. It’s great! To go through, by a box to throw them in your camping gear, and you’re all set. Another thing about these, you do not want them to get wet, or they’re useless.

4) Food
Unless you’re a pure survivalist, and out to fish and catch your food for the weekend for your family, you’ll need to bring along some food. It would be fun to fish and find all your food, but, I think it would be tough, and not a thought-out process. My family always packs food, and we pack a lot of it. We usually end up cooking it all up on the last day and eating it. Or we bring it back home if we still have ice in the cooler.

Here are my food essentials when camping:

hot dogs

eggs

potatoes

pork ribs

marshmallows

chocolate bars

graham crackers

sausage for breakfast

oatmeal

If you buy enough of these products, you will have meals for every day you are at the campsite, At least if you’re only out for the weekend. After a few days, you probably would end up getting tired of it if you’re there too long.

My Favorite Campsite Meal
I cook the pork with some potatoes the night before in a cast iron dutch oven. Just drop it right down into the coals. I let those pork ribs cook up nice and tender to eat them if we want for dinner. Then we have some left over for the morning. We chop them up, scramble some eggs, and throw it in a pan. Just let it cook. Put some cheese over the top and there you go, you got yourself some camp hash.

And then of course for the kids, you always have your s’mores over a campfire before bed. It’s very messy and especially if you have a little one, but we can handle the mess to see the smiles on their faces.

5) Water
Water is the most important element in the world. So on a camping trip, of course, you need to have an adequate amount of fresh drinking water. If that’s coming from bottled water or 7-gallon freshwater tank that you filled up from your bathtub at home, it doesn’t matter as long as you have it.

What I usually do is I have two seven-gallon jugs I bought from Walmart with the spout on the inside. Until you need it, then you spin it around and stick the spout on the outside. You can figure that seven gallons last a family of four for two days with cleaning dishes and washing hands, brushing teeth all that kind of stuff. Then you have your other seven for drinking water, boiling for cooking, etc.

Nowadays, they have an assortment of backpacking water filters that you carry around with you. You can put water inside these water bottle filters, suck them up through the straws, or pump it into your water bottle with a carbon filter. I don’t know a lot about them honestly. I know that they’re out there and they are trendy among the hikers.

Here are a few ways to clean your water – pump filters, purifiers gravity filters, ultraviolet purifiers, bottle filters. Squeeze filters, straw style filters, chemicals, and then boiling. I recommend boiling everything that you are going to drink from the wild.

6) Cooking Supplies
If you wanted, you could go to the outdoor store and spend over $1,000 for just a minimal amount of cooking supplies. There are double cooking stoves, there are single burner cooking stoves, and there are jet boilers now.

We use a stove for breakfast. A double burner propane stove. I have a little cheap one I think I paid 40 bucks for. We also have a cheap little cookware set that comes with a couple of cups, plates, bowls, utensils, a boiling pot, and a small frying pan. The kids usually use that to cook up some hot dogs, or they make some water for tea or hot cocoa. You name it; it works great for them.

I prefer to cook with our cast iron. We have a griddle that we can use on both sides, that is awesome. It can cook everything from steaks to fish to pork loins. Everything you can think of, we can cook on it. We also have a 9-inch skillet pan and a dutch oven. Honestly, with these and some foil, that is all we need to cook whatever type of meal that we are going to make when camping.

So for years, I used metal spatulas, spoons, and forks that we had in our camping gear. And I would use that to cook all the food, and it was fine. I noticed I was starting to get specs of cast iron in my food because I was scraping the pan so hard. I decided to switch over to wood cooking utensils. They seem to work fine.

We have bought all the kids their own multi utensil multi-tool. It comes with a spoon, fork, can opener, and a butter knife. It will break down so they can have just the fork or just a spoon. They’re pretty cool, and they’re relatively cheap. I think I paid like eight or nine bucks for each one and they each have their own color. It’s pretty awesome.

7) First-aid
First-aid kits are so important you wouldn’t believe. The worst thing that could happen is your young child is running and slips or trips and hits her head on the picnic table or the fire ring. Or even worse, accidentally falls into the fire and you’re stuck with nothing to help her, nothing to cover the wounds. I’ve been there, and it is disheartening.

What we have are two Walmart pre-made first aid kits that we throw in the camping gear.  We also have some elastic bandages, bug spray, and extra-large stick-on bandages. I also added some hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, diaper rash cream, anti-itch cream, and some calamine lotion.

You get the point – you want to make sure that you’re fully prepared for anything that might happen. Don’t forget the Aloe Vera for burn injuries. They do happen especially if you cook a lot of marshmallows and hot dogs. The end of the stick is burning hot and will burn finger while they are pulling off the food. This is very common.

8) Warm Clothes and Rain Gear
Living in the Pacific Northwest, you start to understand that the weather will be sunny one minute and then rain the next. You always want to make sure and pack warm clothes, even if it’s a hundred degree day. By the time the sun goes down behind the mountains or the trees, the temperature is going to drop 20 to 30 degrees. The wind us going to pick up, and you are going to be chilly and cold. Always pack a sweatshirt and always pack rain gear. Bring a pair of shoes, don’t pack a pair of flip-flops because you will get cold.

I have a light set of rain gear that I pack in with my gear for my wife and me. The kids all have their own cheap stuff from Costco that we have packed away and use if we need to during the Fall and Spring. I always carry a heavy duty top and bottom set. They’re fairly warm, and I wear them when I’m fishing.

9) Light / Lantern
When camping, you don’t want to get stuck out there without any lighting. You want to make sure and have enough propane for your propane lantern and enough batteries for your battery lights as well. If you decide to have battery lanterns or lights out there, that is.

Have propane lanterns, and carry extra Mantels in case they get wet. I do prefer the Coleman brand for my lanterns, my tents, and cooking gear. We just haven’t had good luck with anything else. If you decide to go the battery powered headlamp and lantern style gear, that’s great; you need to carry many batteries because they do go dead very fast. The best place I found to buy lighting is Amazon and Costco.  Costco sometimes has a three-pack of the small lanterns that collapse. I own them myself, and my kids love them. They hang them the inside of their tents. You can close them, so it’s like a little night-light. They’re great!

I also think that having four or five headlamps in your gear is an excellent idea for late-night bathroom treks and walks down to the water. We have a telescope that we like taking with us, and it’s good to have those headlamps with us so we can turn them off and on to see what we’re doing when we’re tuning in the stars.

10) Knife / Hatchet
This is probably my favorite essential just because I have had it for such a long time. Of course, you need to have a Leatherman Wave. I’ve had mine for 20 years, and it has everything on it that you need.

Then you have to have a hatchet for cutting firewood into kindling. It doesn’t matter on the brand name or anything. Just be sure it has a sturdy handle and durable, broad backside. That way you can use it to pound on your steaks as well.

If you have the chance to pick up small firewood saw, get one.  A saw will cut the time to gather wood in half. I was lucky enough to find a kit that had the hatchet, a bowie knife, and a saw all in one, so I bought it. I will have a review on that very soon.

11) Toiletries
When it comes to toiletries, make sure you pack light. You need the essentials.

Think carefully about how much toilet paper to pack. Think about how long your trip is and how many in your group. You want to be sure to pack enough so that you do not run out! If you do run out though, there are other options out there, leaves for one.

If you decide to stay in a campground, then most likely you will have a toilet in there. Hopefully, the Rangers take care of it because there’s nothing worse than a nasty, smelly outhouse toilet in a campground that everybody uses.

If you want to spring for a couple of items, you could purchase a campsite shower hooked to a campsite sink. That way you can wash right inside your campground. Use your own seven-gallon jugs to gravity feed the shower of course. Soap up right there, no one would be the wiser.

12) Navigation
Navigational items like a compass and map should be a part of your camping gear. You don’t want to leave them in your camping bag. You need to take them with you when you are going on walks and hikes. If you don’t keep them with you, then they are useless. They are in case you need them to get yourself out of an unfortunate predicament in case you get turned around.

This is a huge one – there are places to go in your local area to learn how to use read a map and to learn how to use your compasses. I suggest doing that. Maybe you and your significant other go or you and your children, whatever. Just make sure that you learn how to use it. It will come in handy someday. You always know which way you’re going.

Conclusion
So that’s my list of 12 Essential Camping Items. I do not know if you want to use this list or not, but it is a good list to go by. It hits all the primary marks. What you don’t want to happen as you get to your campsite and realize you forgot one of these items. They are all critical to having a successful camping trip.

So go out, have fun, and relax. If you follow this list, you won’t have anything to worry about. Everything and all things will be covered.

Have fun. Enjoy. Relax.

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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.

Camping With A Two Year Old: 10 Rules To Keep Your Sanity

Camping With A Two Year Old: 10 Rules To Keep Your Sanity

Camping with a two-year-old can be an enjoyable experience. All the critical values of nature you can teach them. However, let me ask this question. What if they change? You know what I mean. They flip that switch, and you are not in control anymore. Can you keep your sanity intact?

The mind of a two-year-old is quite simple. They use the right side of the brain. That would be the impulse side if you were wondering. They have no control over it. That develops on the left side. So they pee in weird areas, run around shrieking entirely buck naked, and they color their faces with a permanent marker, just to name a few. They are not logical or patient. It’s just science! So relax and be patient because we can. Here are “10 rules to keep your sanity” when camping with a two-year-old.

A majority of people with kids have experienced the feeling of absolute frustration. As your two-year-old is having a nuclear “not listening” meltdown in the middle of the grocery store. Running from you, and grabbing everything that they can throw on the floor. You feel as if you are the worst parental figure in the world, with all the eyes digging into your back. Don’t worry. Follow these “10 rules to keep your sanity” to ease the stress just a little.

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1) Pack the best as you can – If you have all your camping gear packed away in totes already and have to throw them in the car, then you can skip to the next rule. Big giant rubber made totes with lids is the way to go. They are lightweight, and you can stuff everything in there to keep it dry. You do not want to spend hours packing and unpacking. You will go crazy when she is running around you grabbing stuff and tripping over the pots and pans. Trust me. A good pack is the best way to start the trip.

2) Arrive early as possible – if you can make it out of the house as soon as you can, and get to your camping spot, you will be ahead of the curve already. It gives you time to set up the tent while taking your time. If you were to arrive too late, you would be pressed to get the vehicles unloaded, tent set up, the fire started, food prepped and made, and so on. The whole reason to go camping with a two-year-old, in my opinion, is to relax and let the family enjoy their time together in the outdoors. Learning and playing together is what it is about.

3.) Keep her busy – Have her help you with camp set up, as much as possible. I usually will hand her the plastic stakes and tell her to go and pound these into the ground so that daddy can tie the tent to them. Of course, the task cannot be done. However, it keeps her hands busy, and she gets to help. It also gives her a sense of responsibility.camping with a two year old

Also, let her help put the tent poles together. I will hold one end and make her snap them together. It is a small task, but she seems to love it. I have her hold the poles as I slide them through to the other side one by one until the tent is up and we then can start on the Bedding.

She will also get the task of putting pillows on the air mattresses. I’ll say “now the pillows,” and she will walk them over and lay them down. In mommy’s spot then daddy’s, then she will put one on hers. If possible do not let her sleep with you she will get used to it, and as she grows up, she might have problems sleeping in her tent.

4) Have a large size tent – This is a big deal especially if the weather is not going to be very generous. If you can make it work, get the biggest tent possible that is not too extreme. The reason is that it gives her a safe place to play and move around in the evening time and bad weather. If she can release a little bit of steam before bed, it will help.

Another reason for a big tent when camping with a two-year-old is that you do not want to feel cramped. Even though this article is about camping with a two-year-old, you don’t want to make the situation any more stressful than it should be. A full tent is annoying. You cannot move around and change clothes comfortably. So give yourself some room to breathe as well.

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5) Plan out you snack and meals – If you go camping with a two-year-old and have no meal plan things can go sideways very quickly. If she wants snacks right away, that is fine, but limits are a necessity. She might have the idea because you are not at home, that she can have more or get something special.

I suggest not going away from usual home habits. Have a set time for dinner and not let her spoil it by eating marshmallow and graham crackers before its actually s’mores time (guilty as charged). Bring fruits and vegetable for snacks. Candy will give her a sugar high. Then she will burn out, and that can trigger her to become that little one we are trying to suppress.

Breakfast is the most important meal when camping with a two-year-old. A lot of time, everyone is already tired from the day’s recreation, that dinner is often a thrown together quick meal. Nevertheless, breakfast is where you go “hard in the paint.” By that, I mean put your resources into this. Pump that baby full of protein so she can go most of the day strong. This, in turn, will keep her happy. With that, my friend keeps you happy.

6) Drawing and color crayons – Now we all know that no matter how much we keep her busy, we as a parent are going to need some us time. Bringing crayons and paper is an excellent idea to keep her busy. Just set her down in the tent for rest time, let her draw and color until she’s blue in the face. It might not sound like a lot, but at this time, you can press some coffee, make lunch, or use the bathroom. It rests for mom and dad, and that is a key to keeping that sanity in sight.

7) No toys allowed – This is huge. We all want to believe that getting outdoors is essential, and it is, very much so. So why do we continuously bring crap from home with us when we visit. I see it so often when camping, Kids on tablets, phones and other electronics. I mean how they are even keeping them charged. Lol.

When camping we try not to allow ordinary “toys” to come with us. We want her to explore and find natural “toys” in the woods to play with. Not only does it help with exploration and independence. But it teaches her that material objects are just not that important. I say that as I am typing on my PC with two monitors. Nevertheless, you get what I am saying. Hopefully.

8) Go for a walk – Not only is a walk a great exercise while camping with a two-year-old, but it’s also a great “tiring them out” type activity. Take them down to the water if there is some nearby. Stop and chat with other campers most people are friendly and will be good company. camping with a two year oldIf there are hiking trails, do a half mile or more and let her walk as long as she can.

I know that does not work too well as we have a super cool carrier that my wife wears a lot. Even then, it is still a relaxing and fun experience. All of these are to keep her busy as not to have a fit. But also for you as a parent to not get overwhelmed with the children. Focus on your thought and wellbeing as well. How about you soak in some scenes too!

9) Teach them until they get bored – these kids are sponges at this age. Teach them everything you can about the wilderness and camping. Point to trees and shrubs let them feel them and experience what it is like to really, be out in nature. Let them get dirty while digging in the dirt.

Take them to some water and show them what a crawdad is. When camping with a two-year-old trying not to scold them if they run too far in front of you. Let them enjoy the new scenery. Do not forget that we have been there and had knowledge of what’s out there. They do not. Being that young, even if they have been out before, might not remember. A new to them experience, so try to treat it like that.

10) Bring bedtime books – Bedtime is where we have some of our major issues. She knows its bedtime but does not want to miss all the fun that we will be having once she is asleep. We get it but bedtime is bedtime so bringing a bedtime book and reading it under the low light of a lantern would put the best of us daylong coffee drinkers asleep fast. They are no different.

Bonus) – Bug spray or bracelets for the little ones – Make sure when you camp with a two-year-old you come ready for the bugs. Although they don’t bother kids as much as adults if she is eaten up you will hear about it all night because she cannot sleep. Also, that transfers to the rest of the trip because she will be tired the rest of the way.

Have fun. Enjoy. Relax.

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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.

Dispersed Camping: How To Rough It For Newbies

Dispersed Camping: How To Rough It For Newbies

Dispersed Camping It isn’t a household word. I was having a conversation with a guy from work, and I was telling him about a dispersed camping trip I was getting ready for. He was looking at me as if I was nuts. He had no clue what that was. I decided I would write this post to him. Hope to see you out there.

Dispersed Camping is a saying that people use for camping anywhere in a National Forest that is not inside of a managed campground. This style is very basic. Normally there is no water besides creeks or rivers, No toilets so walking and digging a latrine is necessary, no tables fire rings or any other amenities that normal campgrounds usually have. In addition, cleanup is especially important. This to me is a very special kind of camping and I enjoy it very much. Let us dive a little deeper into the recreation of Dispersed Camping.

Roughing it

People who enjoy dispersed camping fit into two main groups.

You have your penny pinchers who love to save money by not paying for the reservation fee or parking fees. In addition, will deal with the lack of amenities during the evening then drive to the nearest campground to wash up or use the toilets.

The other kind is nomadic at heart. They are the kind of people who love to be outdoors. Live within nature. Typically have no issues with solitude, and self-reliance is a key feature of their personality. The lack of a toilet or fire pit is not a real concern.

Ask yourself. Are you able to “Rough It” if it meant you are saving 20 bucks a night? If so, you are a minority. Because of the Primitive style of dispersed camping a little more skill and responsibility is in order. It is ideal to know how to camp in this style and be able to respect nature and not ruin the areas for future campers.

A rule of thumb is that you always bring out more than you brought in. That means do not leave your trash, and if you can, take out any that you see. Before heading out to try your hand at this extraordinary experience please be advised of the rules and regulations of the region. They are in place to ensure people stay safe and that nature stays intact.

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Dispersed Camping Areas

Dispersed camping in certain locations is acceptable in national forests, such as the Department of Natural resources (DNR), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). You can research your areas on their websites to find out if there is any closure or emergencies happening at the time.

Campsites in these areas are first to come first serve that means you might need to get out of the house a little earlier if you know you’re heading to a more populated area.

Depending on the region you live in the days allowed to camp in the same spot is limited. Ten to fifteen days in a thirty day period is the max I believe. However, it does vary so make sure and plans your trip accordingly.

Campfires in Camp

Campfires permitted in designated camping spots only. We all know what the price can be if a large fire is sparked from a campground. More rules, regulations, and the possibility of them closing down the areas for a very long time or permanently. In a designated dispersed campground, gathering natural firewood is not legal. Purchasing your own wood on the way to the camping spot or bringing it from home will be the only way to have it without receiving a fine if caught.

This “primitive” style of camping is wonderful, and if you are into it then great. If not that is great too. Just remember in developed areas, you cannot clear brush and debris to set up a camping spot. You must use the designated area for tent camping. Known as a best practice, do not set up a camp closer than 150-200 feet from the water source. You can intimidate wildlife from its natural drinking and resting areas.

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WHERE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM

Needed Items Two plastic baggies One latrine shovel or digging device (stick) Toilet paper (leaves or other natural elements) This is what a lot of people is the biggest difference in dispersed camping and regular campground camping. Even in a pay to play campground, the bathrooms are disgusting. There are many more germs in one of those pit crappers than there ever will be out in the woods. I am just saying.

I get the comfort of a toilet, compared to a tree. Believe me. I am married and have four kids and I know that taking them along on a dispersed camping trip is not the best of choices. My children 12, 11, 11, and 2 and my wife do not think a tree or bush is the best place to go potty. I totally understand. It is not user-friendly for one. You run the risk of soiling yourself on accident if you are not very experienced at the whole crapping outside thing.

I repeat this but stay 200 feet away from any water source, when going to the bathroom. You will want to find a nice flat area. With soft soil so that digging a hole will not be too difficult. Next, you need to decide if you are a squatter, a tree leaner or a catcher. These are the three main styles of doing the deed when out camping without the toilet. I suggest not to squat that gets tiring after a bit. Once you figure out your plan of attack. Locate the drop zone and dig yourself a hole, about eight inches wide by eight inches deep. Go ahead and do your doo at this point. Once finished do not forget to cover it back up with dirt.

Some places allow the burial of the toilet paper but most areas do not. So you must fold it up and stash it in the first baggy. Then stick it in the second one for good measure and dispose of in your trash haul out when you leave the area. That was Easy right? That part is a key factor in may peoples decision not to go dispersed camping, believe it or not.

 Water use

If you are fortunate enough to be around a water source, try not to disturb too much of the area and if you notice game trails or resting areas leave them be. I hope that you can bring your own drinking water so you do not have to boil or treat any to keep hydrated. If need to get your drinking water naturally. You will need to be extremely careful of where you gather your liquids.

Check that there are no feces in the surrounding area. Along with carcasses of animals that might have gotten sick. That is not a good sign. Luckily, nowadays they have straws that filter the water while you are drinking it. Just remember to boil your water. Once brought to a boil. One minute of rolling boil will purify the water. If you are in higher elevations though like 2000 ft. or higher you will need to triple that time.

Trash out pack out

When you are super fun time is over, and you have had all the relaxation you can take. it’ll be time to pack up camp and head back to civilization. YAY! (Sarcastic). Your camp cleanup is probably the most important aspect of your camping trip. The more you can take out, the happier everyone will be.

In addition, the forestry departments will not have any ammo to close down the campgrounds. Make especially sure that your camping spot is perfectly clean. No beer cans, paper plates, or little propane bottle caps. (You would not believe how many of those I have found over the years). If possible, try to remove garbage that was there as well every little bit helps.

Regions

I live in the Pacific Northwest and I am very lucky to have cascade mountain range and the Pacific coast mountain range on both sides of me. It makes for excellent recreational endeavors. The region here is going to be different from the region in Utah. I have linked local sites, but I am sure you can find what you are looking for, now that you have finished this article.

Conclusion

Please let me know in the comments if you have experienced dispersed camping, in your region. In addition, how it probably differs from mine. I would love to hear about it. To finish this article I just want to say, do not let the wilderness scare you. Go out, explore, and stand in a meadow or at the base of a mountain. Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to remember all this beauty.

I do hope my children will be able to share the wonders that lie out there with their children. At the pace, the forests are disappearing right now they might not have that chance. So for now;

Have fun. Explore. Relax.

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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.

Mandatory Camping Accessories That You Must Have

Mandatory Camping Accessories That You Must Have

I got to thinking the other day when stuck at work in my dump truck; what are the most important things I need to pack in my camping bag? After giving it some thought, this is what I recommend.

Mandatory Camping Accessories That You Must Have When it comes to a accessories list for a camping trip these necessary camping accessories are probably the most critical items minus the tent. I left the tent off of this list because it is not an accessory, rather a necessity. Read through this list and comment below if there is anything you would add to it.

Camping First Aid Kit

When you spend as much time camping as I do, you know you will come across specific activities that will leave you scratched, cut, sunburned, and just plain out dog-tired. Having a good, well-stocked first aid kit will help keep you on the positive. Just in case of an emergency, here is a small list of items that you should not go without in your first aid kit:

hydrogen peroxide – for cuts scrapes and keeping wounds clean

thermometer – to check for fevers

bandages – for covering cuts, scrapes, and bruises; if large enough can be used to cover  small lacerations, hands, feet, and head

cold compress – for bumps and bruises that have the possibility of swelling; sprained ankles, hands, feet, and toes

heat pack – for reducing pain for both acute and chronic injuries such as sprains, strains, whiplash, and arthritis

emergency blanket – for severe cold weather and to avoid hypothermia

pocket mirror – for reflection signaling when lost

neosporin – for antibacterial purposes on cuts, scrapes, and lacerations

scissors – to cut bandages down to size to fit injuries

sutures – in severe laceration emergencies for blood loss control

elastic bandage – for ankle, elbow, and wrist sprains

butterfly bandages – for light laceration closures

aspirin or acetaminophen – for mild pain relief or fevers

calamine lotion  – to relieve itchiness

Insect repellent/sunblock I hope that there will not be a situation where you will need many of these items on the list, but on nine out of ten camping trips, there are injuries. If you are well prepared for it, a minor emergency does not have to ruin your trip.

More: How to Camp in the Desert

CPR and first aid                              

CPR training is almost priceless information. If just one or two family members get certified in CPR safety training, it can save lives and more the merrier in this instance. If everyone is trained then the odds are higher for a good outcome during an emergency. Another useful item to have as a part of your first aid kit is an old smartphone that you might have lying around the house.

Make sure it’s fully charged and packed with a charger, solar if you can get one,(be sure the phone is off so it won’t lose its charge). Although service is turned off, or there is no service available at your campsite, an emergency mode can still be detected by emergency crews so they can come and save you if needed.

Whistles

Are also a great addition to ensure the health and safety of the group. When my family is camping, it is a requirement for everyone to have a whistle around their neck if leaving the base campsite. A whistle can serve a huge purpose. If someone was to get turned around on a bathroom trip or something worse like a hike, It could be used to be heard for about a mile and a half away, depending on the topography. See whistle prices on Amazon

Always do a campsite set up a meeting. Find out if anyone in the group has a medical condition or emergency medications. Make sure that the group knows what to do in case of a severe allergic reaction. Ask if anyone knows the symptoms of hypothermia and stroke. As a group, talk about common injuries and what to do in case of an emergency.

Pocket Knife / Multi-tool

A pocket knife or multi-tool is a great on person accessory. I wear one every day of my life. I have bought my children one each and my wife. It is something that comes in handy on every recreational thing we do out there from fishing to kayaking, into rock hounding and gold panning. Pocket knives and multi-tools are used for anything when it comes to camping in the woods. They are camping essential!

Mandatory Campsite Accessories

A useful multi-tool is a precious asset in the campsite

Firestarter / Matches

Chances are you are not a professional survivalist, and you cannot start a fire with a stick, a rock, and some vines. Most likely, you need to bring with you some flame. If you cannot get a fire started, you could run the risk of getting hypothermia and going hungry. If you invest in some decent fire starters, they will last you for years.

Fire Building / Backup

Fires can be tricky to get started. Therefore, the skill is never really mastered. Many situations can hinder starting a fire because of moisture in the wood. Like recent rainfall or if there is snow on the ground making its way to wet. If it is too windy and dry, there may be fire restrictions in the region as well. Always check your local forestry dept. For up to date rules and regulations.

Campers sometimes rely on cigarette lighters and striker rods as a go-to for backup’s fire starters. These usually will do the trick but to be honest; if it rains the lighter will probably fail, or butane can leak rendering it useless.

Flint Striker

Flint fire striker rods are compact and easy to use if it is dry and not too cold. To start a fire with a striker tinder is needed. Very small moss or cottonwood seeds are excellent for this style of fire starting. Another form of tinder is char cloth, which can be made by slow cooking a piece of cloth in a metal can over a fire and not letting the combustion process happen. When hit with a spark from the striker will catch fire fast.

There is no promise that a fire will start every time an attempt is made. A set of extra warm clothes and a backup heat source, like a thermal blanket, are critical considerations when out camping during colder times of the year.

Camping Rope

The rope is another essential accessory that you can have in your camping supplies. We use it for everything from hanging up food from bears, hanging hammocks, tying up your animals, and pulling kayaks. The rope makes potentially tricky situations much more manageable.

Camping rope 

  • set up a trip wire rigged with bells to alert of incoming wild animal or unwanted visitors
  • hang from one tree to another as a line dry for wet clothing
  • secure down items
  • make a tourniquet during an emergency to stop bleeding
  • create a safety line from tent to tent for children to follow in the dark
  • build a snare trap for trapping game
  • replace a broken shoelace or belt if needed
  • haul canoes or kayaks from place to place

The rope is available in different styles, sizes, and materials. Some are better than others, especially in the camping world.

Twisted Rope

This rope is one of the most versatile. It has the most strands in its construction. When twisted together, the stronger it becomes, and you can keep adding to it. The more you add to it, the stronger it gets. One of the only drawbacks to the style of rope is that once it gets to a larger size, it is challenging to tie and hold knots.

Paracord:

The most common of this is the 550 cord, which has a tensile strength of 550 pounds per square inch. These ropes are thin and are great for hanging up hammocks, shelters, and tarps; you name it!

Baling twine:

With the breaking strength of 350 pounds, the brown baling wire that you see in any big box store is one of the most affordable, and it’s one of the most versatile. You can double it, triple it; add as layers as you’d like to give as much strength as you need. This type of rope is prevalent in the prepping community because it’s lightweight and inexpensive and you can pack a lot of it in a backpack. I do not recommend this line for any suspension or pulling.

Tarps

I used tarps like crazy when I’m out camping. We use them underneath our tents, hang them over the top of our tents for rain shelter, cover picnic tables, and We cover the inside of our vehicles with them when we are out hiking or kayaking (get a dry bag here) and may have wet clothing. You can use your tarp to create an overhead shelter by Tying your rope from tree to tree and drape your tarp over it. This helps keep pine needles and other debris that fall from the forest canopy from falling on food and cooking surfaces.

Bad weather

In a lousy rainstorm, your regular old rain-fly that comes with your tent isn’t going to be enough protection. So you can set up your tarp to cover the top of your tent and keep it dried in between two trees. You can strap a tarp over the top of your car and store all your belongings underneath it to keep them dry during a storm. String a rope between two trees throw a tarp over the top tie it down with some rocks, and you got yourself an impromptu a tent to sleep in if necessary.  

Lantern, Flashlight or Headlamp

Lighting is a vital necessity for a campsite especially once the sun starts to go down. With the mountains in the trees around you, it will get dark reasonably fast. Having the right lanterns, headlamps, and tent lights are going to make a huge difference. My personal favorite is the propane lantern. It has done me great for the last ten years, and I have I recently bought my son one. In my opinion, paying a little extra on a quality lantern is well worth it in the end.

Upgrade

I have also picked up nine of the small collapsible lights I found at a Costco that we just put into our camping gear. Those things are awesome. I suggest that if you do go out to purchase some new lighting accessories, always be upgrading so that you get the most high quality and high lumens. I suggest a minimum of at least 250 lumens for headlamps and 1200 lumens or above for lanterns.

Maps and Compass

I know that we are living in a high-tech digital age, but when you get out to your campsite or up in your hiking area, most likely, you will not have a GPS signal. I know I’ve come across that many times and am always thinking I wish I had a map. Having a map and a compass as a part of your camping gear is a good idea especially if your family is like mine and likes to go hiking.

Forestry department and scientific researchers rely on Topographical maps and a compass. By finding a land feature that you can recognize then referencing the map for your location. It is possible to be walking on these Trails and never have to pull a map out. If you can see the terrain and make a mental note of where your camp is, you will be able to determine your whereabouts easily.

need a compass or check prices on Amazon I got mine fairly inexpensive

Maps can be found here

Conclusion

Better safe than sorry, that is what I say. It is inexpensive to go to your local college or community resource center and take it to an hour-long class on Compass navigation it is a fun little class and does not hurt to know.

Have Fun. Be Safe. Explore.

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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 Dog’s: Bear Attractant or Not

Campsite Dog’s: Bear Attractant or Not

Does having a dog at the campsite with us increase the chance of attracting a black bear?

I was out camping last weekend with our family and dog, and my wife asked me this question. Honestly, I have never thought about it before. I always assumed they would keep them away. Let us find out.

Dogs can act as both a deterrent and an attractant. A dog’s heightened senses can alert the owners of an incoming black bear providing you a chance to leave the area if possible. On the other hand, there are more aggressive type dogs that will run after and chase the black bear until the black bear turns on them and tracks them back into the camp, which leaves a whole other problem at hand. Let us dive deeper into the do’s and don’ts of having Fido at your campsite.

Campsite Doggy Do’s

First, make sure that you know the regulations in your campground. Rules about dogs and other pets are different from one campsite to the next. Each state has its website where you can access campground information. I live in the Pacific Northwest and camp in Washington and Oregon.

More: How to Camp in the Desert

Health info.

Is your dog is up-to-date on all its shots and immunizations? Before taking him into the forest, you must make sure that the dog is vaccinated and up-to-date on rabies. The last thing you want is for him to get a tick or a bite by an indigenous animal and end up getting sick.

Pet-friendly first-aid kit

That brings me to my next point; an animal first aid kit is essential and should not be underrated. It is not a bad idea! You can buy a pre-assembled kit or make your own by throwing some dog sunscreen, quick clippers, a nail file, and some tweezers – for pulling out splinters in case it steps on something hidden beneath the forest debris-

Your dog will also require a place to sleep, and you need to decide if it is in your tent or the vehicle. Just not outside! Your dog needs a safe shelter where he will not bark at night waking up all the other campers or animals that might become curious and come walking into the camp.

Emergency info.

Have you updated your dog’s tags? If not, upgrade them to your home address just in case he trots off and is picked up by random humans in the forest. Also, if he is microchipped, you will need to make sure that is up-to-date as well.

Campsite Doggy Don’ts

Keep them on a leash

A very critical rule of thumb when it comes to allowing dogs in campsites is to make sure they are on a leash. I do not know about your dog. But mine is a small one, and he likes to put his nose down and take off. He does not run, only just wanders around marking his territory. He does this repeatedly.

Black bears will eat your dog’s poop.

This is another significant problem. Do not let your dog poop willy-nilly in the woods or the campsite. Make sure, if he does defecate, you pick it up and dispose of it properly. Wrap it in a plastic bag put it in the garbage bag. If you happen to have a campground bathroom, empty the contents into it.



Two good reasons to pick up your dog’s poop!

  1. The little bits of unprocessed dog food in your dog’s feces is not part of a natural diet of a black bear.
  2. If a black bear gets a taste of your dog’s food, chances are, he will want it more and more and go out of his way to get the dog food. That means in and around your campground and your car.

Leaving your dog

This is not a great idea. While you are off kayaking, fishing, or any other recreation, you must not leave him behind if you can help it. If it is not an option to take him with you, put him in a tent or vehicle with the windows down. Make sure he has plenty of air, food, and water.

Honestly, if he can’t go with you on some of your adventures, you probably should have left him at home with a dog sitter. I know I would not want to be left behind when my family went off and did a bunch of fun stuff….q;)

Dog and Black Bear Interaction.

Your dog takes off. You do not know which way he has gone. Everyone worries and starts searching. You are whistling and calling for him. Then all the sudden, you hear him coming.

Behind him is a giant black bear running full speed, following him into the campground! What do you do?

More | Light up your Campsite

No matter what you do, it could have been avoided!

You see, an animal is always going to be an animal, and your dog might take off if it has the chance and there is a possibility that he will bring back a black bear, a cougar, or another wild animal that might be a threat to your campsite.

It happens more than we would think and know what to do when this scenario happens is what is going to change the situation into a bad one or just another day that could have been bad.

If a black bear has laid eyes on you, you need to try to keep your dog as close to you as possible. You need to remember and respect the fact that the black bear is much more powerful than you and your dog.

Do your best to keep your dog calm. You should try not to let him start barking, freaking out, acting all tough and having little dog syndrome. Remember, you are in the black bear’s territory.

Do not make any sudden moves

If you can move, slowly back up as far away from the bear as possible until you can leave the area safely.

If the black bear comes close to you, you somehow end up close to it, or the black bear changes its actions. You need to make yourself as big as possible. Try to speak as calmly as you can until you can back up. Get your dog and remove yourself from trouble.

If a black bear does decide that it wants to come towards you threateningly. Make yourself as big as possible by waving your arms and making lots of noise. Most black bears will back off pretty quick. They are more scared of us humans and as hunters than we are of them.

Never corner a black bear

Make sure it always has a way to get out of the situation. You do not want the black bear to feel threatened or trapped. It could charge you. If that happens, you need to stand tall. Look right in its eyes and say “hey bear, get out of here bear.” If you have bear spray, I suggest you use it if necessary. If not get some here on Amazon

Take the Dog Camping or Not?

I was not able to come up with a cut and dry decision. There is many if’s and but’s. You love your dog and want it to be with you and your family when you are out making memories. I know I do.

With that being said, I do not want my dog to act in a way that it will put my family in danger. Acting out is barking at everything that moves and running around the forest as if he owns it. This action will start attracting these wild animals to the campsite where my family is living for a few days.

In my opinion

With my small, seven pounds, white dog, I probably will board him next time. Only because he did scamper off a few times were when we were camping. I did have to yell and holler for him to come back.

I want to circle back to where we first started.

Making sure that the park you are going to is animal-friendly is very important. The rules and regulations are in place for the safety of the campground and the rangers who take care of the parks and the other campers, hikers, anglers and hunters. It is all a big cycle. Wild animals are very unpredictable.

You are going to have to make your own decision

Everyone wants to bring his or her dog along to the campsite. That is fine. Just make sure that your dog well trained and they still keep him on a leash. You are going to need some planning ahead of time. Maybe check the local website (linked above) to see if there have been any black bears in the area. Just make sure that is going to be a safe trip for everybody.

Most importantly

Get out there and have a blast. Here in the Pacific Northwest we only get a few months out of the year too really enjoy our forests. So do not waste time and make sure you and your family and little Fido have a great adventure.

Be safe. Have Fun. Explore.

“Choose only one master – Nature” –Rembrandt

 

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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.