Staying Safe in a Rain or Lightning Storm

by Donna 29. June 2012 21:04

Nature’s Clues

Veteran campers generally know when the weather is taking a turn for the worst without having to listen to the forecast. There are always those telltale clues – such as gusty wind or an unsettling calm. Fishermen often note that fish will bite more frequently before a rainstorm as well. Needless to say, those kinds of hints simply are nature’s way of preparing you for some rainy weather or, at worst, a blowing rainstorm.

Make Use of Plastic Bags

Therefore, it’s always good to be prepared for the rain whenever you journey into the backwoods. Make use of plastic bags—sandwich bags and trash bags. Use them to keep out the moisture from items such as camera equipment, fishing licenses, matches, or any personal documentation, such as a passport.

Carry a Newspaper in your Backpack

It’s also a good idea to take a newspaper in your backpack. Not only will you have something to read if you are caught in a rainstorm in your tent, the paper can be used as a fire starter or placed in wet shoes to remove the excess water.

Be Extra Careful if you are Hiking over Rocky Terrain

If you are hiking in a rocky area while it is raining, be very careful as the craggy terrain can suddenly become loose and slick. Even after a rain, the mosses on such slippery slopes only make walking just that much more of a hazard. To reduce your chance for injury then, make it a point to wear hiking boots designed with good ankle support and a ground-gripping tread. It doesn’t hurt to use walking poles or hiking sticks either. Pack your backpack so the items within it are evenly distributed so you can keep your balance and increase your traction too.

Taking Precautions against Lightning

Lightning often makes an appearance during summer storms as well. Its tines can light up the sky even after thunderheads have made their entrance and left. Should the weather take a turn for the worse and you are in a boat or swimming then, make a quick exit to the shore. Or, if you are hiking in a hilly area, head toward a lower elevation. You also don’t want to find shelter under a tree during a wind or rain storm. While you may not get struck by lightning, you may easily get hit by a falling branch.

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Summer Tips for Camping in your Car

by Donna 15. June 2012 21:00

Carry Plenty of Water

Not every backcountry enthusiast camps in a tent. Some outdoor adventurers like nothing better than camping inside their SUV or four-wheel drive. So, if you are new to this kind of camping, you’ll soon learn that carrying plenty of water is a priority.

Indeed, people who have not camped before—whether in their car or in a tent—may forget that their supply of water should extend beyond the amount they need for drinking. Therefore, make sure you have plenty of water available for cleaning, bathing, cooking, or a health emergency. In fact, take double the water of what you think you’ll need, especially if you are camping in your car as you have a way to carry the extra liquid.

Always Carry a First-aid Kit

Also, a first-aid kit is a priority as well, regardless of whether you are camping in your vehicle or trekking through the countryside with a backpack. Of course, it might defeat the purpose of carrying a first aid kit at all if you don’t have all the supplies you need. Therefore, before you set out on any camping adventure, make sure your kit contains all the essential items, including salve, bandages, and a painkiller medication. Include insect repellant, sunscreen, and lip balm as well.

Pack Bulk Staples

Since you are camping inside your vehicle, you’ll also want to make sure that you pack plenty of victuals. Most people, while camping, can get pretty hungry, particularly families with children or campers who’ve set their sights on fishing or hiking.

Pack some Rainy Weather Foods Too

So, buy the food for your car camping trip in bulk and pack staples such as cereal, rice, and pasta that are easy to cook and will not cost too much. You’ll want to include foods that are simple and quick to prepare in case of a downpour too.  Therefore, make sure you also bring peanut butter, bread, jelly, and energy snacks such as raisins and trail mix.

Bring along a Couple Fire Starters

Speaking of rainy weather, it’s not a bad idea to carry a couple fire starters either. Store matches in your glove compartment and bring along a couple of weather-resistant lighters. Store some dry kindling wood in your car as well in case it rains and you can’t use the wood at the campsite.

One Final Suggestion

Naturally, when you are car camping, it’s easy to become tempted and turn on the music in your car or truck. However, if you don’t want to scare away the wildlife and turn your camping adventure into a tailgating event, it’s best to listen to nature’s music instead.



Keeping your Campsite Clean: Organizational Tips

by Donna 4. June 2012 20:54

Keep your Tent Pleasant-smelling and Clean

It’s helpful, especially on rainy camping days, to make sure that you set up your tent so it will completely dry out in order to prevent mold and unpleasant scents. Brush off any moldy residue and clean your tent with a natural solution of a cup each of salt and lemon juice added to a gallon container of lukewarm water. Use the solution to clean your camping gear as well.

Use a Tarp Beneath your Tent to Make Clean-up and Packing Faster

It’s also helpful to place a tarp beneath the tent as a form of temporary flooring. That way clean-up is faster and easier. The tarp can act as carpeting underneath your feet and will help to protect the floor of your tent helping it to last longer.

Keep Sand out of your Sleeping Bag when Camping at the Beach

If you camp at the beach, you’ll keep sand from sticking to your feet if you sprinkle talcum powder on the mat at the entrance to your tent. That way you can sleep soundly without having to worry about the bottom of your sleeping bags becoming littered with sand.  Who likes sleeping with sand paper?

A Makeshift Paper Towel Holder

If you need a holder for your paper towel, why not use a wire clothes hanger? Simply snip off one end of the bottom wire and insert the role. Keep it close to where you cook and hang the towel holder from a small yet sturdy limb. Or simply use a regular hanger (wire or plastic) for your terry towels.

A Campsite Wash Basin

A campsite sink can be put to use by placing a jug with a spigot on top of a picnic table. Place a tub underneath the spigot to catch the water and some liquid soap next to the campsite faucet so you can conveniently wash your hands.

A Way to Keep Spiders from Sharing your Tent

If you are camping in a screened shelter with a concrete floor, you can disinfect the floor by adding one part bleach in water before washing it. The process will keep any spiders from sharing the space with you while you are camping or cooking.

Do you have any other tips you use to keep your campsites clean?



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