Longer Camping Set Up Suggestions

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By Oceana Setaysha

Camping is a great way to spend a weekend, but every now and then you get the urge to just set up somewhere and enjoy it. Maybe you’ll stay for a week or two, maybe for the entire summer, but the fact is that setting up for longer camping is a bit different than setting up somewhere short-term. So, here are some suggestions to get your long-term campsite comfy and cozy for an extended stay.

Get Your Kitchen Set Up Right

Things that you can put up with in the short-term, will absolutely drive you crazy the longer you have to put up with them. So, when it comes to something you’re planning on doing every day (like cooking) you want to get it right. From day one make sure you have a really good cooking setup, whether that is a fire cooking area or a stove that is at the right height for you to use it comfortably and doesn’t need to be constantly packed up in order for you to make use of the rest of the space. If necessary, bring another small table to put your stove on, ensuring that it has enough space for food prep as well.

Have A Defined Pantry Space

Longer camping really means one thing: long-term planning. And if there’s one thing you don’t want to under plan for, it’s your meals. Have an actual written meal plan of all the ingredients you’re using, what meals you’re making, and when they need to be eaten in terms of perishable items. Then, make sure you have a defined pantry space that will allow you to organize your food and keep it safe from animal interference. A tent might be a good idea, otherwise a lock box or even keeping food in your car, providing it isn’t too hot. If you’ve hiked into your camping area, look for sustainable ‘food hide’ options.

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Keep Your Tent Clean

There’s no need to be a clean freak when you’re camping, in fact it’s pretty much impossible to do so. But that doesn’t mean that you have to live in dirt. Your tent in particular should be a clean space, as there’s nothing worse than having grit in your bed. Make sure that you have a space in your tent, or close to it (such as an annex) that is sheltered for you to leave your shoes, and brush off your feet. A washcloth can be a helpful thing to hang close to the door, just to brush anything off your feet once you take your shoes off. Also, if you’re driving to your site, bringing a small broom to clear up dirt on the inside of your tent might be a good idea.

Mats Are Your Friend

This is really only a suggestion for those who aren’t hiking into a campsite, but those who drive in and therefore have the ability to pack without thought to weight. Get a good mat, one that doesn’t stain and is easy to sweep clean, and make it the centre of your campsite. Plastic weave mats are really good for this because they allow you to have a space to move between different areas of your campsite without necessarily putting on shoes. This might not sound like much, but it’s one of the little things that can really make your campsite feel like a home.

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Have Adequate Light

You might be able to get around a campsite for a day or two without adequate light, but the fact is if you’re staying somewhere for longer camping, then that just isn’t feasible. One of the main things that makes a home is the feeling that things are visible and well-lit, so make sure that you have both handheld lights, like torches, but also standing and hanging lamps to light up your space. A standing lamp should be able to provide light to your living area, while a hanging light is a handy thing to have in your tent.

Create Longer Camping Home Comforts

Camping is essentially about roughing it, but when you camp somewhere on a more long-term basis bringing some home comforts should not be frowned upon at all. These little things tend to be what makes your campsite feel so homely, and really encourages you to stay longer. Some people find that a portable hammock, which can be easily strung up around camp provides a nice relaxing spot to enjoy themselves. Others prefer to bring a squishy pillow or blanket to make their tent cosier. Of course those with space concerns can always bring the best home comfort of all: marshmallows!

How do you make your campsite feel like a home?

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5 Ways to Turn Your Camp Out into a Glamp Out

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By Whitney Klenzendorf

Photo Credit: The Resort at Paws Up

Talking about Glamp Out, did you know there’s such a thing as International Glamping Weekend? Yes, apparently that happens every year. Nothing needs awareness like the cause of glamping, right?

But as many readers of this site may agree, I don’t need a designated weekend for an excuse to go camping. I do, however, always look for ways I can make our camp outs special! And often that comes in the form of some “glamping” elements.

Glamping?

For starters, what is glamping? In short, glamping is “glamourous camping.” It means to be out in nature but to keep the roughing it to a minimum.

Glamping means nice sheets, rugs, romantic lighting, fine food, and an air of sophistication.

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It is the juxtaposition of luxury and wide open spaces, soft pillow topped beds and brushy, untamed plains.

There are degrees of glamping….

From high end, lap of luxury resorts in the middle-of-nowhere….

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Photo Credit: The Resort at Paws Up

Such as The Resort at Paws Up (#15 of Best 100 Resorts in World, Conde Nast) and the great safari lodges of Africa…

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Photo Credit: Electrify Mag

…to DIY glamping with fine cotton sheets and Kona coffee over a campfire at a state park.

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The great thing about camping, glamorous or not, is that you are required to pare life down to the simplest of things–what’s absolutely necessary for existence. Glamping adds in the luxurious bits of life, like fine food, dreamy sleeping conditions, and beautiful decor.

You can make your camping experience a glamping experience in these five quick and easy steps. I’ve selected these because they are do-able for a short weekend getaway.  Have fun with it!

Glamp Out Tips

Glamp Out 6Lighting

Get a campsite with electricity and string lights around the entrance to your tent and nearby trees. Even better over a table where you’re preparing food.

This is a fun opportunity to experiment. You can use white Christmas lights, twinkle lights, lanterns, or colored. Use red lights if you plan on star gazing so your eyes can adjust.

Fine Food

Now is the time to go to Central Market or Whole Foods and treat yourself. Fine wines, Advanced S’More Making, Irish oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts for breakfast, good coffee, etc! Arrange an assortment of fancy cheeses on a cutting board for appetizers. What about zucchini pancakes as a side dish? Sounds yummy to me.

Nice Bedding & Air Mattress

Make a real bed for yourself, with sheets, pillow, and blanket. Don’t use a sleeping bag. Pack your nice pajamas. Note: do not use an air mattress in winter, it wicks away heat and will leave you very cold in the middle of the night.

Glamp Out 7Cute Attire

Have fun with it! I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that half the fun of going out to a nice dinner is getting to dress up, am I right? Same goes for glamping!

One of my biggest problems with the established stereotype of outdoorswomen is that we are a subset of women, a group of folks who are grungey and live in a tree. Au contraire mon frère. We are the girl next door. Coworkers, aunts, moms, and girlfriends. We snapchat, we wear heels, we wear make up, etcetera. So why change when we go camping?

Colorful Rug

Take a small (no larger than 3×5) rug to lay at the entrance to your tent, either inside or outside, whichever you prefer.

Of course, the best decoration–and one you can rarely get at home–is the backdrop. Nothing can compare to a luxurious little tent in the midst of a beautiful landscape.

Glamping Resorts (they do it for you!!)

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Before you go, be sure to check out my Pinterest Board, Glamping Inspiration, for more images to whet your glamping whistle.

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Haven’t Heard About Geocaching?

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By Oceana Setaysha

It’s A Camping Activity You’ll Love!

If you’re an outdoors person, if you love camping, hiking and long walks out in the wilderness to nowhere in particular, then we have a new hobby you’re going to love. Not only does it fit perfectly into all the things you already enjoy, it actually improves them, helping you find unusual and hidden places you may not have come across otherwise.

It’s called geocaching.

 

What Is Geocaching?

Geocaching 2Geocaching is the world’s biggest treasure hunt.

Or at least, that’s what how the largest community of geocachers describe it. Basically it’s like a game of hide-and-seek that you can play on a phone or GPS out in the world, but instead of looking for a person you’re looking for a ‘cache’. Caches are containers hidden in all kinds of places, and they are the playing pieces of the geocaching universe. Globally there are more than 2.7 million geocaches, varying in just about every way. Sometimes they’re the size of a fridge magnet, other times they’re as big as a moving box, always hidden just out of sight.

The aim of geocaching is to find a cache using the GPS coordinates, or the Geocaching app, and then sign the logbook inside. When the cache is a bit bigger, geocachers often leave behind little knick-knacks to trade and swap. These are called ‘swag’ and are an unnecessary but fun part of geocaching.

Ok that’s the basics, of course there is more to learn, but we’ll cover as much as you need to get started!

 

Why Will Geocaching Improve Your Next Camping Trip?

Geocaching might sound a bit geeky, but the truth is there are so many reasons to try geocaching, and so many ways for this cool activity to make your next camping trip something really spectacular. Here’s just a few of them:

 

Geocaching 6You’ll See New Places:

Geocachers are placed by passionate hikers and campers just like yourselves, except unlike you they’re often local and have a strong knowledge of the area.

This means they know about amazing little places ‘just off the beaten track’ that you might never have found yourself.

 

Geocaching 5It’s A New Challenge:

If you love hiking in one area, but you feel like you’ve done all the hikes and camped in all the places, geocaching will give you a new lease on that environment.

Almost everywhere is home to at least a few geocaches, meaning you can ‘discover’ a location all over again through the game.

 

Geocaching 7There’s A Sense Of Adventure:

Finding things is just fun, that’s why Easter Egg hunts were always such a ball. The same goes with geocaching, and when you join the game there’s a new sense of adventure to every place you go to.

It’s hard to stop yourself from checking nearby caches, and you’ll always be on the lookout.

 

Geocaching 3You’ll Join A Worldwide Community:

Depending on where you cache, geocachers might not run into each other that often. But as a community they are tight-knit, friendly and always happy to share a geocaching story or experience. Joining the geocaching universe unlocks a whole new group of outdoor lovers to share your passion with.

 

Are There Really That Many?

Yes, there absolutely are.

Instead of chasing numbers about how many geocaches are in each continent or state, we thought we’d just show you. As we said before there are about 2.7 million geocaches hidden all over the world, and that number grows every day as more and more people join the game. Here is a map of the United States (and surrounds) that shows you just what that means. You can see this yourself on the Geocaching.com website, and the more you zoom in, the more caches appear.

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What Are The Costs?

Upfront, the costs for geocaching can be absolutely nothing. Geocaching.com offers their own free app so you can try the game out for absolutely nothing. If you like it, you can buy the paid app, which has more functionality, or even get a premium membership. The cost of the membership varies from country to country, but in the United States its $29.99/year. If you have your own GPS, you can program it quite easily to find geocaches, and you’ll need a premium account for this.

 

When Can I Start?

Why not right now? Jump onto Geocaching.com and see what caches are near you. Familiarize yourself with the game and then get planning for your next trip. Believe us, it will change the way you camp!

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Ever tried Orienteering?

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By Lynley Joyce

Campers and orienteers share a love of being in the great outdoors so it’s not surprising that many orienteers are also campers and vice-versa.

What is orienteering?

Orienteering 2Orienteering is both a physical and mental sport.  It involves finding a certain number of “points” in an area as quickly as possible.   The area might be an urban setting, but more commonly are in parks or wilderness areas.  Serious orienteers run the course, but people can also walk it. Before starting, people get a map of the area showing the points.  Sometimes the order in which people have to do the points is marked out. Other times people have to get a certain number of points and it’s up them to choose which points to aim for and their route.

The map marks the location of a point and generally gives a clue.  Examples of clues might be “track junction”, “significant tree” or “ruin, west side”. These days most clubs organising the sport will provide electronic tags to swipe when people reach a point, plus at the beginning and end of the course to track how fast people have completed the route.  Sometimes you may come across the more traditional way of having a card with a hole punch or stamp pad at each point to prove you’ve been there.  People start at different times, so often people have little sense of how well they’ve done until everyone has finished.

Orienteering 3The sport mostly involves running or walking. There are also versions for bike riders, horse riders and potentially any sport that involves getting from one place to another.  Mostly running/walking courses range from just over a kilometre for beginners, children and anyone just wanting a stroll, to about 3 to 4 kilometers for averagely fit people to longer courses for serious athletes.  The difficulty of navigation can also range. There are also longer versions called rogaining, which can last for 8, 12 or 24 hours.

Who does orienteering?

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Anyone with two working legs who can read a map can do orienteering.  It’s a great family activity with young school aged children and up.  It’s basically a big treasure hunt for them, plus great outdoor exercise for the whole family. People of all ages use it to exercise the brain as well as the body.  After work orienteering is the perfect way to switch off as the need to think about where you are running means you have to leave the worries of work behind.

Orienteering 5Orienteering is a great way to introduce kids to maps and map reading.  Many clubs have shorter and easier courses suitable for kids.  When kids are ready to start orienteering on their own, it’s worth a parent trailing along behind. The parent checks the kid doesn’t become lost or frustrated, while being careful to let them work out the course themselves. Kids doing orienteering on their own should have some idea of what to do if they become lost. It’s worth talking through their route with them beforehand.  Point out significant features in the landscape that can help guide them, if they are lost or not.

There are two broad types of orienteers: those who go orienteering to keep a bit active and fit, and those who train and get active and fit to do orienteering. There are national and international orienteering competitions and it is a serious competitive sport at the elite levels.  However, it’s also a sport that seriously welcomes people of all abilities.

Orienteering started in Scandinavia but is now in at least 80 countries. It started as a military exercise in Sweden in the late 19th century.

How can I try orienteering?

Most orienteering clubs are very welcoming to new people, no matter what their ability.  To find orienteering events near you, try googling the name of your country, state or province, and “orienteering”. Something should come up.  If it doesn’t try www.orienteering.org/about-the-iof/national-federations/  .

What do I need for orienteering?

Aside from at least decent good health, for running/ walking orienteering you just need suitable shoes and sometimes a compass.  Normal running shoes or sneakers are fine, as long as they are comfortable.

Compasses are handy for longer or more complicated events, especially in an unfamiliar area with relatively few nearby landmarks such as mountains or rivers.

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