Monday, January 30, 2012

Camping Year Long Items

If you enjoying camping, you know there some things that you can leave there all season long! That means less to haul each time you need to get away. Here is a brief list of items you can leave in a camper all season.

Games and activities
Do not forget games and activities to keep your family entertained in the event of rainy days while you were camping. Good ideas to include are a deck of cards, a card game, dice, writing implements, and a notebook or two.

If you are camping with children, include puzzles, coloring books, crayons, and other activities to keep them happy and they are stuck inside.

You can add balls, jacks and other playthings kids will enjoy in your home away from home. Camping is a vacation for everyone in the family, so include activities for all age groups.

Some clothing is permissible to leave in the camper after you open up for the summer. Make sure you have a clean outfit for each member of the family for both high and chilly temperatures. Be sure to include warm socks that your family can use any time in the camper for those chilly mornings or nights. Extra shoes always come in handy.

It is a great idea to keep a light jacket or sweater in there as well for those cold damp rainy nights.

Canned goods will be fine when you need to store them in the camper. When you are opening your camper for the season make, sure you stock it with canned goods that your family can enjoy. Make sure you have a can opener as well to ensure that you can open the cans.

Any fresh fruits, vegetables, along with some snack items will have to be removed each time you leave the camper for a few days. However, things like marshmallows and bags of snacks if they are sealed can sit in airtight containers to maintain the freshness.

This way when you return to camp when you have a few days you really do not have to bring very much food as the camper is already stocked.

Pest control
Keep a bottle or two of OFF insect repellent spray around. I like the spray because one can spray it on the screens and this will prevent bugs from entering the camper that way. You could also spray it on curtains.

Wear the insect repellent bracelets on your body, but you can also stretch these around table legs, hang it on garbage cans or other places to keep bugs away. Wipe all surfaces clean after food prep or mealtime and that will help immensely.

Waterproof matches are important do not forget them, and keep them stored in the camper.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cheap Summer Vacations

Cheap summer vacations can be relaxing or hectic, me I prefer the relaxing type. Have you planned your yet? If not why not? Do not give me the bull of money to tight, high gas prices etc. We all need to have cheap summer vacations, which help us to relax.

So how can you plan for cheap summer vacations this year? Simple grab a tent and pitch it in the great outdoors. Of course, a camper if you have it is much better, but pitching a tent is good too.

I will take a few cheap summer vacations this year. I am a lucky woman. Of course, these are all cheap and kind of close to home, but they will provide me with the much-needed relaxation. The first break in my routine begins this Saturday when I head out of town to begin a three-week stay in the camper.

Camping is one of those cheaper vacations if you have a private campground that will not cost you money. Ours is free to any family member, and this year cousin Dan and his wife Cindy had better join us at some point. Bring a tent and pitch it!

There is nothing as relaxing as being in the great outdoors, where you can sit and relax by a huge bonfire by night. The lighting bugs are plentiful and so are the chirps from the crickets. Oh what a wonderfully cheap summer vacation it is. The tiki torches light our way to the campers and tents and keep the wild animals from the camp when we sleep.

When morning rolls around and the sun peaks over the mountain camp begins to stir to the sound of the birds. Gather the firewood for the day and how about a nice game of redneck horseshoes. There is a creek to cool off in for the little ones, but the shade of the private campground provides comfort to all.

Even though this is one of those cheap summer vacations, I still have to work. I will be taking my computer up and leaving it at a home within a mile of the campsite. This way I can still work and pay for the fun as it comes!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cheap Vacations

If you do decide to camp by the water, the best time to do so is over the fourth of July holiday as the fireworks on the water re awesome. When I was a child, I spend many summers camping with my parents and assorted friends down at horn brook. We pretty much lived there, dad commuted back and forth to work while mom and us children remained at the park.

Now days with inflation and the cost of everything going up my family has gone back to the traditional summer vacations. With soaring gas prices, and prices of amusement park entry fees camping is the smart answer to the tight budgets we all live on.

If you have a family member who has plenty of unused land in the country this could very well be the perfect spot for a private campground. My sister has 80+ acres in the country so we have converted a few acres into a private campground. We are close to home, so gas prices are not really an issue.

We simply used my brother in law's backhoe to clear out campsites in among the trees and to make the ground move even in some areas. Now we have a nice secluded campground in nature, with plenty of trails to walk. We simply pack up and go when we have a few days.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Saving Money while camping

Saving money for camping is a necessity, especially with many families who are battling in these tough economic times. How can you save money when camping and still have fun? Trust me there are plenty of ways to stay within your budget while camping.

Save money on lighting
Those tiki torches are nice and do provide a measure of security for a large campsite. In our privately owned campsite we have several of these every ten feet or so around camp to light the pathways to the individual campsites. There are twenty of these and when they are filled every night trust me it gets expensive to keep them all going with the expensive tiki torch oil, which went from 5 dollars a gallon to a little over 10 bucks for the same amount this year.

We began filling these tiki torches with kerosene as it is cheaper and it burns slower then the commercially prepared and expensive tiki juice. We keep these torches burning through out the night so this is a great way to save money.

Purchase candles in windproof housing these throw off lots of light in a camper or even a camp table. To get even lighter from these simply place the candle housing in a large stainless steel bowl or place it on a mirror.

Save money on ice
You can save money on those expensive bags of ice to keep meats, and dairy products at safe temperatures. Simply by recycling plastic covered dishes or even 2-liter bottles you can come up with a cheaper alternative. Just remember to only fill any container half full of water before freezing as liquids do expand as they freeze.

Ice will last longer in a cooler if the cooler is kept in the shade. If no shade is available or limited, toss a towel or something over it to make it a bit darker. Stainless steel will keep all products cooler so if you can purchase a stainless steel cooler I encourage you to do so.

Stainless steel coolers are hard come by. However, watch your local convenience stores for bargains. My boyfriend got a tall stainless steel cooler for drinks at a very good price, and it works wonderfully for hot or cold products.

Save money on food purchases
Purchase large bags of meat including hotdogs and at home store them in meal size packages. Freeze them so that they go into the cooler frozen and this will help to minimize ice purchases.

Grab a jar of peanut butter to help at those times when a quick sandwich it needed and it is a healthy alternative to hotdogs.

Store snacked in individual serving sizes to save money when camping. When stored in these individual sizes it prevents waste from stale snacks and of course overeating.

Saving money on camping begins at home. All the change we get during the fall, winter, and spring seasons goes into the camping funds. Roll it up and cash it up for those summer fun expenses.

Camping with the extended family

Camping with the extended family is one of the best summer vacation ideas I can think of to have fun and bond with extended family members. This is something that our family has done since I was a child, and each year memories are added to enrich our lives.

When I was a child, I could not wait for school to let out for the summer. I knew we would leave for Mount Pisgah within a few days and I was just so excited. Our family would all gather on top of the mountain and enjoy the summer days as a whole family.

Camping on the mountaintop is always one of the best summer vacation ideas you can do. Think of all the hiking you can do the wildlife you will see and the peacefulness of nature almost unbroken.
All you need is a tent, coolers for your food, blankets, and other personal items. You can take a puzzle book or board games for when it is raining but get out there and enjoy nature on your camping trip.
This is perfect for adults or families with older children and it is relatively cheap. The memories you will create are priceless and it good for the whole family to be out in nature.

Camping with extended family by the lake or other body of water is also nice. This one is perfect for families with children of all ages as long as the children are supervised. Please also take the time and educate your children about water safety before allowing them to run loose.