Taking Care Of Camping Gear

I’m getting ready to go camping for the long weekend. That means dragging out all the camping gear I haven’t used in a few years. Everything is in good shape but it is all dusty and doesn’t smell very good! I got everything out, spread it all on the driveway to take stock. I have a dry pack that has all the cookware that is used just for camping, this was easy, hot soapy dishwater and it was ready to go. The cook stove was a little harder. I took it apart and used paper towels to get all the … Continue reading

Single Parent Vacationing

This weekend I’m taking a camping trip without my daughter. I’m looking forward to it, as a single mother there have been very few vacations for the two of us and even fewer just for me. It seems that money is always tight and sometimes a vacation just isn’t a priority. I had to learn ways for the two of us to vacation without spending a ton of money. One easy way to take a mini vacation for next to nothing is to camp in the backyard. If you don’t have a backyard borrow one, ask a friend if you … Continue reading

Camping With Children

This photo of Stanton / Meramec KOA is courtesy of TripAdvisor I love taking vacations with just Hailey now that I’ve gotten the hang of it. Initially it was kind of scary. When I was married the only vacations we took were to visit my ex-husband’s family, so I didn’t really have any experience with booking rooms and flights and things like that. It was intimidating to think about going to a strange place and being the only responsible adult. My first vacations as a single parent were camping trips, usually with friends. The first solo trip Hailey and I … Continue reading

Make Camping Easy: The Camping Box

I’d like to share a brilliant idea that I got from a friend. I’m implementing it in my own home over the next couple of months. It’s the idea of the camping box. You see, I can’t stand packing. It is one of the things that I despise most in the world. Before every vacation, I spend at least a week dreading the packing and a day foully irritable while I’m actually doing it. It’s not that I’m not organized. I have packing lists. I have most of the things that we need. However, my lists simply serve to remind … Continue reading

Making Camping Fun for Kids

Confession time: I’ve never camped with my own child. To those who know me well, this is no major revelation given that I’ve only roughed it a grand total of four times in my entire life, and all of those trips took place while I was swinging single. What can I say? I’m not a big camper. Still, I don’t want to deprive my child of the opportunity to commune with nature, so this summer I’ve decided to pitch a tent with my preschooler (and others). The only problem: all my camping experiences came while I was in college when … Continue reading

Updating Your Exercise Routine

You’d never know it by looking out my living room window, but according to the calendar, spring is on its way. For may fitness buffs, this means switching up the ol’ exercise routine and adding more outdoor calorie-burning activities. When the weather warms up I surf the Internet and plan hiking adventures. Backpacker magazine has an extremely user-friendly Find-A-Hike option that provides incredibly detailed maps. If you are looking for cool places to explore nature with your entire family, you’ll find this tool indispensable. The Find-A-Hike electronic helper allows you to simply scroll across any U.S. state and find detailed … Continue reading

Dining in the Woods—Campfire Cookies and Ice Cream in a Bag

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over. That’s the way I feel about summer. While the majority of students head back to school this week it doesn’t mean you have to put a lid on outdoor activities. If you haven’t had the chance to go camping yet this year don’t despair. Many campgrounds stay open through October, giving you the opportunity to take your kids on an outdoor adventure of a lifetime. One of the highlights of camping is getting to cook meals on an open fire. Kids love munching on anything that can spear with a stick, but they also … Continue reading

Dining in the Woods—Cooking Breakfast in a Bag

We are just hours away from the start of the Labor Day holiday weekend–the official end of the summer season. For many families the weekend marks the last chance to escape city life before the new school year begins. If you are one of the millions heading off on a camping adventure today or tomorrow you might find the following recipes helpful. If you have never cooked a dish in a paper bag now is a good time to start. Unique cooking techniques are often employed out of necessity when you’re roughing it. Start your day in the great outdoors … Continue reading

Three-Course Campfire Meal

I give blogger Valorie credit for heading out to the great outdoors with five young children… and feeding them there. My camping expeditions have been limited to adult-only outings and even then the food was not exactly gourmet. Of course, we were starving college kids at the time so none of our meals (whether in the woods or in our tiny apartments) were exactly five star dining experiences. Then again, when you are “roughing it” you really shouldn’t expect a menu of prime rib and mashed potatoes every night. Rather, you should aim for simple, no mess dishes that are … Continue reading

Hiking and Camping with the Pups

Love the great outdoors? Your dog just might love it, too! If you’re planning a hike or camping trip with your four-legged best friend, here’s a list of supplies to get you started. For your pup: Collar and ID tags — these are essential on ANY trip. If your dog becomes separated from you, how will you find him again? Make sure your cell phone number (if you have one) is on your dog’s collar. A leash. Just because you’re in the wilderness doesn’t mean you want to let your dog run wild all the time! Current vaccination records. They’re … Continue reading