Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Winter Camping Tip

Its that time of year again. I don't think I've ever done any winter camping myself.

My son's have done a lot over the years, with the scouting program they were in. They always seemed to have a great time. I remember one long weekend in May a few years back.

It was cold, snowy and miserable. We even had a layer of snow on our tents one morning.

At least I can say the fishing was great, the weather not so great. Do you have a tale or tip you'd like like to share. Just leave a comment.

Here is a tip for you winter or cold weather campers. Dress up in enough layers of warm clothing to ensure that the weather isn't going to spoil your trip.

Three layers should do the job of keeping your warm and dry. Would you like to comment on this winter camping tip. Would love your input.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How To Cut Down The Cost Of Camping Equipment

By Jeff Marshall

Tent Camping is a wonderful out-of-the-ordinary experience which can be enjoyed by anyone. Unfortunately, one of the disadvantages of Tent Camping is the high initial cost of buying camping equipment. Sadly, this hurdle keeps some people from ever even going tent camping. The good news is this does not have to be the case at all. With a little planning and effort, you can buy quality camping equipment at a reduced rate. Here, are some tent camping tips to help reduce your overall camping equipment bill:

1. Know What You Like: Camping equipment is not much different than purchasing any other consumer product. This means you can bargain hunt for clearance items or discounted items just like you would for a designer shirt or other product. To find out what you like, there are really only two ways to determine this:

a. Go to camping stores and try out the products: There are certain brand products that you can test at the store or will be on display. Take some time to review these products and determine what brands you like or what it is about each product that you like.

b. Borrow other people's camping equipment: This gives you an opportunity to find out what brands you like and will allow you to make some more informed decisions.

c. Ask A Friend: Be sure to ask friends what type of equipment they liked and also what equipment they did not. This will help give you a reference point in making your decision.

d. Use The Internet: There are now a number of chat forums where people discuss certain types of camping equipment they like and what to avoid. Since it is already out there and free, do not be afraid to use it.

2. Discount Shopping: Armed with what you like, go to discount camping stores or shop online at discount camping stores trying to find the brands or products that you really like.

3. Online Coupon Codes: You can search online to find online coupon codes. There are a number of sites that can provide coupons for camping equipment. Just do a search engine search using the phrase "camping coupon codes" and you will find a number of good sites with coupons.

4. Clearance Sales: Camping equipment has a tendency to go on sale around labor day and there usually is a summer and winter clearance sale as well. A good shopper can delay purchases to around these times to find good deals.

5. Used Camping Equipment: Search for used camping equipment. This can be found in several areas:

a. Bargain hunt at garage sales and estate sales.

b. Shop at army-navy stores for certain items.

c. Look at classified newspaper ads or Craig's list.

By using these tent camping tips, you should be able to find some quality camping equipment at a reduced rate. Remember after the initial cost of camping equipment is made, the additional upkeep costs of camping are very small.

When compared to other vacation trips, a tent camping trip is by far the most economical. So go ahead get your camping equipment and start planning your trip, I think you will find that you will be glad you did.


Jeff Marshall is an avid tent camper and former Boy Scout. To read more tips and advice like the ones in this article, please click here: http://www.goingtentcamping.com

Friday, July 04, 2008

Portable Water Purification Systems

By Trent Barrett

Water is a basic necessity of life. You simply cannot survive more than a few days without it. More than half your body weight is water. Every cell of your body uses it. Your body fluids, including blood, are mainly composed of water. As water travels throughout your body, it carries nutrients, oxygen and wastes to and from your cells. Many parts of your body, including your heart, need water-based fluids to survive.

The water we use to shower with, cook with, or prepare juices, teas or coffee with can affect our health as well. Thus, we all need a reliable source of clean, pure water.

Pure water, however, rarely occurs in nature. Precipitation absorbs carbon dioxide and other gases as well as traces of organic and inorganic material from the atmosphere. Surface waters can be contaminated by domestic sewage and industrial wastes. Groundwater may contain nitrogen compounds and chlorides. Even bottled water can be contaminated.

By choosing the proper water filters and water purification systems, you can ensure the supply of the clean, pure water you and your family need.

While there are many filters, most of them do not remove pathogenic bacteria from the water. Worse still, what they will remove is the minerals your body needs.

What they found are filters that can cleanse water for a variety of purposes, including for irrigation and drinking or to fill aquariums and swimming pools. These filters can also be used for removing harmful substances, or even to improve the taste, color or odor of drinking water. Recreational hikers and members of the military need filters that are portable and lightweight. Because they are mobile, they need a system that filters either through the use of a mechanical hand pump or one that employs a siphon drip system. They might also consider using water bottles that have filters built right in.

There are purification systems that uses ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria, viruses and other parasites. They can eliminate 99.99% of bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli. They purify in just a few seconds, no matter the source of the water. This is a system that you can take wherever you travel.

Try one of the many purification systems and filters available, and you will enjoy cleaner, better tasting water whether you are at home or on the go.


Trent Barrett is a consultant who writes for Home water purifiers You can visit their homepage to learn more about home water purification systems

Friday, June 13, 2008

Camping Green - How To Enjoy The Outdoors Enviro-Friendly

By Ben Anton

For some people, camping is a way to get back to nature while for others it means bringing out the big toys and having some fun. For the people who bring out the big motor home equipped with satellite television, cook tops, refrigerators and other neat gadgets, camping can leave a negative impact on the environment. For the people who wish to camp and do so while leaving the smallest ecological footprint possible, there are some clever tricks to keeping your camping "green" and safe.

LED Flashlights and Lanterns

LED lights are the most energy efficient light source currently available for flashlights and lanterns. They produce a brighter sustained light while still using less battery power than a traditional flashlight. In fact quality LED flashlight can provide over 600 hours of light from one set of regular AA or AAA batteries. The combination of battery savings and bulb efficiency results in up to 90% less energy consumption than any other flashlight. LED lanterns use the same bulb technology making them a good idea for having around the campsite as well.

Wind-up LED flashlights are an even more environmentally-conscious light source. These are fairly easy to use. All you have to do is wind them up to create power creating friction and turn it on. These lights don't put out as strong of a light as a regular LED but they are an excellent option for short hiking excursions.

Cookware

Don't use styrofoam cups while camping, no matter how convenient they may seem. The same goes for paper plates and disposable plastic forks. Instead, camp with reusable dishes and utensils and wash them after each use. This will drastically decrease the amount of trash you burn (bad for the enviro-gases pollute the air) or throw away (plastics don't biodegrade quickly, overfilling our landfills).

Recycle

Think about what you do at home to be ecologically friendly and institute it on your camping trip. Keep paper bags or bins around for recycling. You can then easily take this stuff back with you and recycle it appropriately when you get home. Also, consider composting your trash in a bucket if you can.

Go Low -Tech

A tent and sleeping bag is far more environmentally friendly than a motor home or camper trailer. Motor homes require large amounts of fuel and energy to keep in operation every day. With the cost of energy and fuel where it is right now, your camping trip could cost you a lot less if you consider more green camping alternatives.

You can enjoy a true outdoor camping excursion more if you do it electricity free. Leave the games, portable TVs, and computers at home. Pack a cell phone or PDA in case of emergencies but turn it off or just plain leave it alone. Every little bit helps when it comes to reducing how much energy we consumer every year.

Cookstoves

Unless you're allergic to smoke or have strong asthma symptoms, the campfire is still the most ecologically friendly way to cook food. Fueled grills require propane or electricity to operate. Campfire requires wood that can be easily picked-up off the forest floor and a light source. It may not be practical to cook everything you want on a fire but you can use it for some things to help reduce the amount of time you cook on a fueled cook stove.

Going on a green camping trip can actually be one of the more fun vacations you take this summer. Look into ways you can help make less of an impact on the environment the next time you venture out into your home state's mountain country or forested parks.

~Ben Anton, 2008


Ben Anton lives in the Northwest and writes for DLK.Ben Anton invites you to read more about energy saving Coast LED lights at our easy to use hunting, fishing and camping equipment website.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Will Gas Prices Stop Camping

By Brenda Williams

Gas prices continued to rise again today as oil hit record high today on the first day of a long weekend. There are millions of people traveling out to their cottages this weekend and with gas costs running high it's strange that not many people would rather stay in over paying high gas prices.

The cost to have fun is becoming highly unmanageable for some and it could pose a threat in the next few years as gas continues to rise and people continue not receiving raises. Most people don't have cottages either and instead they have a big trailer with a big truck that has to haul to trailer, and this causes for some unreal gas pump prices.

It's estimated that with the current gas prices that a truck pulling a trailer is costing roughly $120 per fill-up. Now if you realize also how much gas is being burned due to having such a heavy load then you'll realize that one trip could entail four or five fill-ups of $120. This is a mortgage payment for some people and this is the cost people are going to be seeing all summer long.

Now I know the enthusiasts won't be staying inside and away from their trailers and friends but I'm sure the high gas prices has ruined the idea for younger couples and families to enjoy the outdoors. There are enough costs to worry about and many people simply can't afford a couple hundred dollars in gas on a weekend trip to the cottage country.

Reports have shown that the highways and stores have been busy like usual for this first day of the first long weekend in the summer and it seems most are willing to part with the cash for fun in the sun. I'll still enjoy the camping life this summer but I will be ensuring that my trips remain close to home so that I can conserve on the gas costs as much as possible. It's recommended that you should remain close to your home this summer due to high gas prices. The closer you stay the less you'll spend on gas and the better off you'll be.

RV's are even worse on gas then trucks pulling trailers and you can bet that they will be feeling the gas prices as well this summer and I doubt well see as many of them as the summer goes on, but today reports all over show that RV's are being rented at a steady pace and they expect it to follow through into tomorrow where a lot of people will be traveling in the morning looking for rentals as well. Businesses can only be optimistic about the gas prices and hope that it doesn't keep the consumer indoors at home this year, but early signs show the gas prices haven't bottomed out this dedicated group of individuals. Boats may also be scarce this year with the gas prices so high and more people may be paddling around the lakes rather then booting around in an engine.

Gas prices continued to rise again today as oil hit record high today on the first day of a long weekend. There are millions of people traveling out to their cottages this weekend and with gas costs running high it's strange that not many people would rather stay in over paying high gas prices.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Camping - The Truck Bed Tent Camping!

By Abhishek Agarwal

If you are planning for great outdoors trip in a convenient,simple and inexpensive way, then it's better to consider a truck bed tent camping for this. This type of camping (truck bed tent camping) is a new concept of camping which allows very convenient way of vacationing outdoors. This truck bed tent camping has many benefits without letting any hindrances to come your way while enjoying your outing. The cost of this kind of trip will work out between 100 to 300 dollars, which is quite affordable to get away for the camping vacation.

This is the best alternative to get away from rusting on groundsheets and also erecting a tent with weights and pegs. The truck bed tent camping is simply setting up a tent in the backside of your truck. When you stop at the campsite, you simply have to park the truck and set up a camp on the back side of your truck.

It is always exciting to sleep outdoors while on camping vacation. But when you are on truck bed ten camping, you can assure yourself a good night sleep as sleeping in truck will prevent unwanted visitors from creeping into your tent in the middle of the night and cause disturbed sleep for you. There is also an advantage of being more secure in this type of camping as your belongings will not be stolen and you do not have to sleep in separate tents. As you will be sleeping in truck bed tent camping, there is no fear of anyone stealing your camping equipments or even your truck is secure.

It might sound weird to you initially, but come to think of this, you will not have to suffer from rain sodden ground or a cold ground during the night at the campsite. You will be very much protected from all these problems while continuing to enjoy your outdoor vacation. Storage of camping supplies will also become easy when you opt for truck bed tent camping. After you use the truck bed tent, it can be folded and stored behind the driver's seat while driving to another camping adventure.

One more interesting thing about truck bed tent camping is that you will have lot of ease in erecting your living space .Truck bed tents take only 10 to 15 minutes setting it up, which will give you more time for vacationing .Setting up the tent in the truck also depends on the kind of truck truck tent bed you have purchased for camping .You may sometimes be required to get inside of the truck to set up the tent .Keep this in mind that it is always better to practice this whole procedure before starting on to your camping trip.

Truck bed tents may or may not have floors. Both of these styles have benefits. Truck bed tents which do not have floors mean that there is no need to empty the truck before setting up the place for the night. And truck bed tents which have floors give you extra coziness and also the extra layer for insulation. Set up few air mattresses on this truck tent bed and the cozy space will be ready for you to have good sleep through out the night outside and also off the floor. The walls of the truck also provide extra protection from cold wind during the night.

These days any type of tent is available for any make of the truck. Make sure that you check the tent size with the truck bed, which should fit properly and not leave any room for any inconvenience.

Abhishek is a Camping freak! Visit his website http://www.Camping-Guru.com and download his FREE Camping Report "Camping With The Family: How To Have A Safe, Fun, And Inexpensive Vacation" and learn some amazing Camping tips and tricks for FREE. Learn how to have the perfect vacation on a shoe-string budget. But hurry, only limited Free copies available!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Cold Weather Camping Tent - Feel Snug As A Bug In A Rug

By Abhishek Agarwal

Keen on holidaying in Karakoram and the mighty Himalayas or other such snow-bound areas? Then you need the basic multi-layered clothing and camping kit to keep the chill at bay! This includes packing smart bedding and a sturdy cold weather camping tent of which the new-age, easy to assemble all-season Expedition tents are! It's your choice whether you buy or rent out a light, modern cold weather camping tent that comes in many durable fabric choices, space afforded, tent-poles in compact storage sizes and also afford better ventilation.

Want to Know about Seasonal Tent Ratings? Here's the lowdown!

The best kind of cold weather hiking tent you can take along to the extreme weather conditions like described above, is the kind that comes with a Four Season rating; this variety provides superior protection against all types of high country weather conditions as compared to the shield provided by the Three Season and Summer tents.

The cold weather hiking tent is made of stronger material and tent-poles so is more effective in demanding weather situations of high country; those that are all-season campers will definitely enjoy the flexible variety of the Three season tent that allows one to remove or un-zip panels, though less hardy as compared to the Four season variety.

The Four season variety is durable, sturdy and long-lasting besides being the right type for the extreme climatic conditions and come with extra poles, stronger fabrics, shorter profiles, storm-flaps and secured loops for guy lines and pegs. Thus, the 4-season camping tents made exclusively for the expedition-trekker kind are ideal for facing inclement weather conditions!

Kinds of Tents

The best cold weather camping tent is rounded, has a double wall protective shield of material that faces the wind and shrugs off the snow while also acting as a suitable lining support.

Some are shaped like domes, others give a tunnel-look but both kinds of tents are suitable for camping during summer, spring and autumn as they are spacious, even though wind-resistance is low in extreme climate. The common free standing variety has a square base with a dual pole dome, modified into the triple pole dome with a hexagon-base for better ground-grip.

The first choice of extreme climate trekkers is the Geodesic tent (3 or more tent poles crossed-over) or the dome-tunnel combi-style. The cold weather camping tent featuring a tub floor and opposite doors, multiple vestibules (for easy movement) and gear lofts besides separate kitchen area is by far the best kind of tent for those heading for high altitude high jinks!

Camping out at high altitudes is a great experience if adequate precautions and advance preparations are taken into consideration: smart campers should buy appropriate winter camping gear and accessories, besides the cold weather camping tent and insulated clothes that prevent sweat from forming on the skin but protect against blizzards and hurricane-like conditions.

Set-tent on solid ground, keeping vents open to avoid drip condensation taking place on the surface of the tent material and include buying sleeping support/ seat-pads made of foam or the mummy sleeping bag (has space for extra sleeping bag liners). With these done, setting out on a winter expedition that includes camping on high-altitude will be challenging, unforgettable and safe fun in colder climes!

Abhishek is a Camping freak! Visit his website http://www.Camping-Guru.com and download his FREE Camping Report "Camping With The Family: How To Have A Safe, Fun, And Inexpensive Vacation" and learn some amazing Camping tips and tricks for FREE. Learn how to have the perfect vacation on a shoe-string budget. But hurry, only limited Free copies available!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

RV Spring Preparation Checklist

By Mark Polk

Your RV has been sitting idle over the winter. Now the early signs of spring are here and it's time to take it out of storage and prepare the coach and chassis for this years camping season. If you're like me, you want to have some type of logical sequence to follow rather then haphazardly checking the unit out. I made a simple checklist to use so that nothing is overlooked. I prefer to do the majority of spring preparation myself. If you're more comfortable having someone else do it you can schedule an appointment with a reputable RV service center to have it done.

* Depending on how your unit was winterized it will need to be de-winterized. If you used non-toxic RV antifreeze you need to run fresh water through the entire system until all traces of antifreeze are gone. To remove it from the 12-volt water pump add water to the fresh water-holding tank, turn the pump on and open all water faucets. When the antifreeze is out of the system turn the pump off and take the water heater out of the by-pass mode (if applicable). Re-install any water filter cartridges you removed for storage.

* At this point I like to sanitize the water system. Make sure all of the drains are closed and drain plugs are installed. Take a quarter cup of household bleach for every fifteen gallons of water your fresh water tank holds. Mix the bleach with water into a one-gallon container and pour it into the fresh water holding tank. Fill the fresh water holding tank completely full of water. Turn the water pump on and open all faucets, run water until you smell the bleach. Close the faucets and let it sit for at least twelve hours. Drain all of the water and re-fill the tank with fresh water. Turn the pump on and open all faucets until you no longer smell bleach. It may be necessary to repeat this process to eliminate all signs of the bleach.

* With the water system under pressure inspect for water leaks. Check the operation of the toilet.

* Wash the unit thoroughly. This is a good time to inspect the roof and body seams, and window sealants for cracking that would allow water to get in. Consult a dealer for sealants compatible with these materials.

* Inspect the operation of the awning and clean the awning fabric as required.

* Inspect the tires for signs of dry rot. Inflate all tires to the recommended COLD tire pressure.

* Lubricate all hinges and locks with spray lubricant.

* Remove any tape or protective covering you may have put over LP gas vents to keep insects and rodents out. Check any mousetraps you may have put out. Open all doors and compartments and check for rodent intrusion and water damage.

* Inspect and clean the interior.

* Plug in any appliances that you unplugged for storage and replace any dry cell batteries you may have removed. This is a good time to put new batteries in items like smoke alarms.

* Test the operation of the carbon monoxide alarm, LP gas leak detector and smoke alarm.

* Check the fire extinguisher. Be sure it is fully charged.

* Reset any breakers you may have turned off. If you removed any fuses for storage re-install them.

* Clean or replace air conditioner filters if it wasn't done prior to storage and remove any covers that were put over air conditioners.

* Open vents and windows and air the unit out.

* If you removed the coach and chassis batteries for storage install them. Whether they were removed or not check the electrolyte levels, clean the terminals and clamps, and check the charge level in all batteries. Recharge batteries as necessary.

* Check the operation of the electric steps if applicable. Lubricate step mechanism.

* Test the operation of the hydraulic jacks if applicable. Check hydraulic fluid level.

* Test the operation of the back up camera and monitor if applicable.

* If you didn't change the oil and filters in the generator prior to storage this is a good time to do it. Inspect the generator exhaust system for damage prior to starting. Start and run the generator for two hours with at least a half rated load on it. Consult the generators owner manual for load ratings.

* Turn the generator off and plug the unit into shore power. Turn the refrigerator on in the electric mode. Allow sufficient time to cool and check for proper operation.

* Check all 12-volt interior lights and accessories.

* Test the monitor panel for proper operation.

* Check the operation of slide outs if applicable.

* Check the remaining 120-volt appliances for proper operation.

* Test the Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) for proper operation.

* Turn the refrigerator off, leave the doors open and allow sufficient time for it to get to room temperature so it can be checked in the gas mode.

* Before I use the LP gas system I have a leak test and gas operating pressure test preformed. A qualified technician with the proper equipment should do these tests.

* After this is accomplished turn the LP gas valve on and check the operation of all LP gas appliances. Be sure the water heater is full of water before testing the water heater. If a gas appliance is not operating properly have it inspected by a qualified technician. Insects are attracted to the odorant added to LP gas and build nests that can affect the appliance from operating properly.

* If your unit was in long-term storage and you didn't change the engine oil and filter prior to storage this would be a good time to do it.

* Check all fluid levels in transmission, power steering, engine coolant, engine oil, windshield washer and brakes. Consult vehicle owners manual.

* Start the engine and check for proper readings on all gauges. Check for proper operation of dash air conditioner.

* Perform a complete chassis lubrication if it wasn't done prior to storage.

* Check the condition of windshield wiper blades and replace them if necessary.

* Check the operation of all chassis lights.

* Make sure the vehicle emissions/inspection sticker is up to date.

* In addition to this if you have a pop-up or travel trailer the wheel bearings and brakes (if equipped) should be inspected at least once annually. Inspect any canvas for dry rot and tears; inspect all hitch work and the coupler for damage. Inspect the breakaway switch and pigtail for proper operation.

Happy Camping ,
Mark

Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101
RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books. http://www.rveducation101.com/

Mark Polk is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Three, specializing in wheeled and track vehicle fleet maintenance operations. In addition to owning and operating RV Education 101, (based in North Carolina) since 1999, Polk also has a very extensive RV background working in RV service, sales and management. Polk has a degree in Industrial Management Technology and his 30 plus years of experience in maintenance includes working as an RV technician, a wheeled vehicle and power generation mechanic, an automotive maintenance technician, Battalion and Brigade level Maintenance Officer, an RV sales manager and also in the RV financing department as the Finance & Insurance manager. http://www.rveducation101.com/