5 Great Ways to Get Your Children to Sleep Easily While Camping

5 Great Ways to Get Your Children to Sleep Easily While Camping 1

By Margaret Smith

Camping is a fun and inexpensive activity that lets your kids spend time with you and the great outdoors. But as with all things when children are involved, there are some challenges that lay ahead when planning a family camping trip.

One of these is getting children to sleep well in their tents, especially when they aren’t so used to roughing it just yet. So whether you’re a pro-camper bringing your kids along for the very first time or just looking to try something new with your family, here are five great ways to get your children to sleep easily while camping.

5 Great Ways to Get Your Children to Sleep Easily While Camping 2Plan to sleep well

Invest in lightweight, durable, and comfortable sleeping pads for you and your family, and make sure to plan out sleeping arrangements. For families traveling with toddlers, the Travel Channel recommends bringing along a pack and play to serve as a familiar bed for sleeping and as a playpen during the day.

Stay close to your usual bedtime routine

5 Great Ways to Get Your Children to Sleep Easily While Camping 3Kids tend to eat and sleep on a schedule, so be sure to stay close to their routines whenever you are camping. If they brush their teeth, get into pajamas, and read books while cuddling with you in their room before sleeping, make the necessary preparations so they can do the same when you are in your tents. Let them bring their favorite stuffed animal and blanket along to give them a sense of familiarity and make it easier for them to fall asleep.

Use white noise

Although some campers enjoy letting the music of nature lull them to sleep, young children and first-timers might not be as open to the sounds of Mother Nature’s critters in the dark. ParentMap Magazine suggests solving this issue by using a white noise app or music player to drown out unpleasant sounds and comfort your children as they try to sleep at unfamiliar spots. If possible, choose a campsite that’s well away from campsite entrances, loud gathering spots, or main roads to minimize noise.

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Wear them out

Sleeping in a tent can feel a lot more refreshing after a full day of hiking, swimming, and playing, as opposed to simply relaxing around the campsite all day. Enlist your children to help set up camp with easy tasks and give them fun activities to play and explore nature. Set up a rock tower activity or nature scavenger hunt like what Bryony Sumner did with her kids. These are a great way to get them to rest naturally in the evening after a fun-filled day.

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Have a fireside story time

Let your children wind down after the aforementioned activities by treating them to a fun campfire. Singing songs, sharing stories, and spending time simply gazing at the fire at the end of the day can help them relax and set the mood for sleep. To make the most of the evening and get better sleep, Leesa recommends keeping away all smartphones and tablets. Not only will this get them to be fully present during your family bonding hour, it also keeps them away from blue light that can mess up their body clock and keep them from sleeping later on.


Although camping with children can be daunting, kids can surprise you by how well they can adapt to their environment. With proper planning and the right attitude, your outdoor trip will be a success. And while you’re here, be sure to go through Camping For Women’s checklists for camping with children as well so you won’t forget anything!

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The Magical Waterfalls of the Havasupai Indian Reservation

By Ashley Barlow

As an avid waterfall chaser I have always dreamed of visiting the waterfalls of Havasupai. My dream became a reality when I was surprised with permits for my 25th Birthday!

Havasupai means people of the blue-green waters. The Havasupai people live on one of the most remote Native American Reservations in America. The Supai Village is located 8 miles deep into the Grand Canyon and can only be accessed by foot or helicopter. The waterfalls of Havasupai are by far the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen and definitely rank the list of must see waterfalls in the US. These waterfalls attract thousands of visitors each year and getting permits for the campground can be very difficult. It is recommended to reserve early. 

Reservations have changed this year and you no longer have to continuously call a phone line.
Permit reservations became available February 1st 2018 through their new online reservation system at HavasupaiReservations.com

Campground Information:

Sites available for up to 350 campers per night
Available in campground, drinking water, restrooms, and picnic tables

Pricing for 2018 is as follows and includes all necessary permits, fees, and taxes:
One Person, 2 Days / 1 Night: $140.56
One Person, 3 Days / 2 Nights: $171.12
One Person, 4 Days / 3 Nights: $201.67

Weekend nights (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), Holiday weekday nights (February 19, May 28, July 4, September 3, October 8), and Spring Break weekday nights (March 5-8 and 19-22) are an additional $18.34 per night.

There is a requirement to make a reservation for a maximum stay of 4 Days / 3 Nights per reservation in an attempt to accommodate more visitors who desire to visit the canyon.

All reservations are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Reservations can be made here at: HavasupaiReservations.com

The campground is located right along the water and we were fortunate to get a spot right next to the gorgeous blue water in this heavenly oasis!

Pack Horse & Saddle Horse Fees
$132.00 one way, $264.00 round trip per pack horse: RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

I highly recommend using a Pack horse and to stay for at least 3 nights. There is more than one waterfall to see. The Arizona desert heat can get VERY hot. We had most of our items carried in from a pack horse which made our hike that much easier since we had to hike 10 miles in the desert beating sun to the campground.
The trail into Supai begins at the Haulapai Hilltop
More info on the Havasupai Indian Reservation from the National Park Service

Trail Distances
(one way)
Miles Km
Hualapai Hilltop
to Supai
8 13
Supai to campground 2 3
Hualapai Hilltop
to campground
10 16
to Mooney Falls
0.5 0.8
Mooney Falls
to Colorado River
8 13

For those who don’t want to camp, there is a lodging option located in the Supai Village.

Lodge Fees

Room Rate $ 175.00* per night,
Rooms accommodates up to 4 persons.
Deposit $60.50 per room/ per night
Additional entrance fee of $90.00* per person will be charged upon arrival.

*All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are non-negotiable.

All fees are taxable by 10%.

Lobby Hours

Daily Hours: 8:00 am- 5:00 pm

Lodge Reservations

At this time, all reservations must be made via telephone.
To make reservations please call at:
1(928) 448-2111 or 1(928) 448-2201

Directions to the Havasupai Reservation & Supai

You will need to exit onto Historic Route 66 to Route Indian 18. You will travel 63 miles north to Hualapai Hilltop.

Reservations are required before entering the reservation. Guests can hike down 8 miles to the lodge and tourist office, then 2 more miles to the campground.


Navajo Falls

On your hike in towards the campsite, this waterfall is just off the path to the left. You can hear the rushing water as you walk past and I just had to explore around here to get a closer look.


Havasu Falls

As we were hiking towards the campground you start the notice the beautiful blue waters of Havasu as well as the famous Havasu Falls!

Havasu Falls tends to get more crowded compared to the other waterfalls due to its easier access and location.


Mooney Falls

About a half mile hike from the campground is the towering 200 foot Mooney Falls! Be warned, it is a bit of a treacherous hike down to the bottom requiring you to climb down through rocks and down a ladder.

On my 25th birthday I couldn’t believe I had this whole waterfall all to myself!

The most beautiful natural swimming pools I have ever seen! Happy Birthday to me! 8)


Beaver Falls

Beaver Falls is a 3 mile hike down from the campground and was by far the most tropical, amazing oasis hike I have ever seen!

The turquoise blue waters took my breath away to believe that a place like this existed deep in the desert of the Grand Canyon of America!

The magnificent Beaver Falls! There was so much to explore and see here! I even climbed up on some of the rocks and it made me feel like a kid again!

Havasupai is definitely a bucket list adventure that you have to add to your must do list! Craving an adventure or epic waterfall chase? Havasupai has it all! Excitement and adventure everywhere you look! A heavenly oasis you must see to believe! I promise you won’t be disappointed! So what are you waiting for? You better reserve early before tickets sell out! HavasupaiReservations.com

Is Havasupai on your Bucket list!?


Dear Natalie: Told You So

Ask Natalie Banner Dear Natalie: Who else does this?

By Natalie McCarthy

Dear Natalie,

Seriously, didn’t we tell you it was dangerous out there?


Yourself, and society – again



Dear everyone,

So yeah, it happened.

My friend Inga and I, both aiming for a grand total of at least 52 hikes by 12/31/18, decided to go on a quick hike one Saturday in February. The sky was a bit overcast. Gray skies on our valley floor, a mere 1000 ft. in elevation, often mean snow storms at 4000 ft. We opted, then, to avoid a mountain trail. Instead, we decided to hike at lower elevation, closer to home.


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Midway up, we were starting to see patches of snow


The trail started off damp and drizzly, but easily navigated. As we went higher in elevation, the rain got heavier, and by the time we reached our destination – a viewpoint at the summit of a foothill, maybe only 2000 feet in elevation – it was actively snowing.


Dear Natalie Told You So 2
Inga, about a mile from our turn-around point at the top of the hill. The trail was quite snowy by this point.


We tried to relax a bit and enjoy our accomplishment, but the skies were angry, and the snow was freezing. “We thought we were going to avoid this,” Inga reminded me, and after rolling our eyes and muttering a few choice curse words, we headed back.


Dear Natalie Told You So 3
Actively snowing at the top of the hill, looking out over the trees and a large lake. The lake is barely visible through the snowy air.


At some point during the hike, I told Inga the story of the first and only previous time I’d hiked this trail. On the descent, I stumbled on gravel and fell into a split, sliding a few yards down the trail and scraping up my legs. Luckily I was able to get up and dust myself off. Other than a couple sore spots and a few scratches on my shins, only my ego was bruised, and even that was minor; the only witness was my then-husband. “I learned my lesson,” I said, nodding to the fancy trekking poles I brought with me this time.

As we lost elevation, we navigated icy spots and chunks of accumulating snow. The faster we hiked downhill, the faster the snow turned to rain, and eventually we were walking between drizzle-drops on a muddy, soggy trail.

This is when it happened.

I was speaking, or maybe Inga was, but before I knew what was happening, I was in the air. I felt my right hand let go of one trekking pole, and as I noted the other still in my left hand, I heard the sound of a thin branch snapping. An explosion of pain shot up my left arm, and suddenly, the second trekking pole was gone. I was on the ground, right arm wrapped around the left, and I was sobbing.

It wasn’t a branch that snapped; it was some part of my left arm.

I tried to explain to Inga what happened, and though I was achingly inarticulate, she was right there, grabbing naproxen from my backpack. “The damn bottle won’t open!” she muttered, and as though possessed by Bear Grylls, I grabbed it with my teeth and opened it also with my teeth. As soon as the pill hit my tongue, Inga was tilting my canteen into my mouth, and I was back on my feet – still crying.

She took my trekking poles – one had flown six feet away, while the other had landed just next to where I had. She slowed her pace. I held my left forearm with my right hand, and we walked. Within minutes, it became clear that my wrist was broken; it looked like a pale, rubber prosthetic topped with a swollen hand-shaped water balloon that was tilted at a sick, unnatural angle.  Around this time, the trail crossed a forest service road, and we were able to bypass the trail and walk instead on more stable ground. A few miles later, we were back at the car, where Inga fashioned me a sling out of a blanket and began the drive to the hospital.


Dear Natalie Told You So 4
Selfie snapped en route to the car shortly after breaking my wrist. My face is wet with tears, melted snow, and rain.


I waited a few hours in the emergency department with Inga, and our friend Jessica brought me snacks and additional moral support. Eventually I left with painkillers, a splint and a sling, and x-ray confirmation that I had broken my wrist in two places. Several splints and casts, two surgeries, and multiple medical appointments later, and my left wrist and forearm are internally reinforced with small steel plates and screws. Externally, they have the support of a splint and a heavy wrap.


Dear Natalie Told You So 5
Me and my first (ugly) cast.


 If I hadn’t been hiking, this wouldn’t have happened.

For a few days, I was despondent about this. “Now I have to exercise in gyms,” I thought bitterly, screwing up my face at the thought of spandex and treadmills. “Now I’ll be scared to go up mountains,” I told myself, tears trailing down my cheeks at the thought of boring, flat, developed cityscapes. “Now I can’t hike alone,” I said, and that’s when I got angry with myself.

The fact is, my outcome would have been the same if I were solo. Yes, my friends offered me much-appreciated help and support – but if they hadn’t been there, I still would have ended up getting medical care. I still would have walked back to the car; after all, Inga didn’t carry me. I would have driven myself to the hospital, which, while painful and challenging, would not have been anywhere near impossible.

Another fact is that I’m also capable of getting injured at home alone, or shopping with friends, or running around the seven miles of hallways at my daily job.  There’s a legitimate argument that hiking is more dangerous than regular ol’ walking, but I would argue it’s safer than driving an automobile – something I do much more frequently.

I have fear that my injury – which is the most common bone break, statistically – will lend credence to the myth that outdoor adventure is an inherently super-dangerous activity, and certainly not a hobby one should pursue alone. Despite my initial tearful-fearfulness, I feel the same about walking in the woods as I did before.

In fact, I am moved to get outside even more. This injury has opened me up wider to the kindness and generosity people freely offer. My friends took shifts to care for me after surgery. My youngest brother re-routed his air travel to stay with me. My coworkers collected a generous sum of money to make sure I could order all the Thai take-out I wanted and would not need to cook while convalescing. They also signed two greeting cards with messages that entertained me for days. The computer gurus at my job fast-tracked dictation software for me, saving me from the time consuming task of typing with only my right hand. My friend brought by elastic, thread, and her seamstress skills to make my button-up pants easier to slide into. One of the psychiatrists at work even offered me his shoulder when I was required to elevate my cast.


Dear Natalie Told You So 6
Photographic evidence of using a psychiatric doctor as an armrest. I figured I’d protect his identity, lest anyone try to take advantage of his kindness.


When I am reminded of the goodness humanity has to offer, I yearn more strongly for the beautiful, pristine places where I feel most connected to that goodness. If that means slipping my rain jacket over my cast so I can hike to those places, so be it.

With Love,





P.S. – Have thoughts to share? Share via email at AskNatalieColumn@gmail.com

Contributors are identified by their first name, but you can request anonymity if you’d prefer.


Top 4 Amazing Tree House Hotels in Italy

By Alessia Morello

The best tree houses to sleep in while in Italy

If you’ve always wandered to sleep in a tree house surrounded by meters and meters of snow … now is the time!

The United States has been the forerunners of this wonderful idea and even Italy in recent years has worked hard to make tourists and locals live a unique experience by spending a holiday staying meters high in the middle of our amazing woods.

I’m so happy to announce that one of the most beautiful and design tree house is in my area, the northeast of Italy, in the middle between Venice and Austria and this place with has breathtaking views and the beautiful woods full of giants beech, larch and fir create a really magic atmosphere. 

Top 4 Amazing Tree House Hotels in Italy 1


The Pinecone of Malga Priu, Ugovizza in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy)

In a place where man and nature come together the Pinecone is a design treehouse built respecting nature and its environment. 3 amazing floors where you can see the woods around at 360°.

This is part of one of the many eco-sustainable projects to support the mountain economy even in the less touristic areas of Italy. It combines respect for the environment and design and aims to bring more people closer to the mountains and to eco-sustainable tourism. This is absolute not cheap but I assure you that the experience is worth the money spent.

At the main floor you can find the living room, the toilet and the kitchen all built with local wood from Italian artisans. At the top floor you can find in an amazing round room the bedroom with a window above you perfect to see the stars before sleeping and on the lower floor 2 hanging chairs wait you for your relax with a breathtaking panorama. Isn’t a magic place to stay?


Tree Village in Claut, Friuli Venezia Giulia

This is the biggest treehouse village in Italy. Here you can find more solutions and is perfect for families. Built in the middle of a National Park close to the most amazing mountains of the Dolomites, the memories of a holiday in this village will remain in the heart forever. Here the contact with nature is total. Breakfast is served under the leaves of the trees before going out to explore the park through well-marked paths or swim in the river. The activities for kids are various and the parents have the time to relax and have fun.

Click this LINK to check out the Tree Village website.

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B&B La piantata, Arlena di Castro (Viterbo)

The owner says: “At 8 meters from the ground, among 12 hectares of hills planted with lavender, in the thick foliage of an ancient oak tree, it has built the refuge of your dreams”. 

This is the dream of any foreigner who comes on holiday in Italy, sleep in the country surrounded by rows of vines or cultivated fields and to feel this classic “italian atmosphere”. This place is a super luxury treehouse where you can have breakfast in your private balcony and smell the fragrance of the lavender all around you. This is a really lovely escape where you can appreciate the slow pace of time and being together. 

Here is a LINK to see much more of this luxury option and the beautiful surroundings.


Caravan Park in Alto Adige

If you love the mountains and the classic alpine style this area is what you are looking for. The Alto Adige is famous for the amazing mountains and for the beauty of their villages. During a holiday here you can opt for a sporty trip and do trekking, hiking, mtb and more or with their dozens of spas decide to take a holiday in total relaxation. If you want also to combine an unique experience the treehouse at the Caravan Park is the best you can find.  Here you have a flat all for you with an incredible view and bathroom with sensory shower, whirlpool and sauna. Not bad at all! 

You really have to check out this site to believe the majestic natural beauty of this place – click this LINK to see for yourself!

Top 4 Amazing Tree House Hotels in Italy 2I know that the things to visit in Italy are various but visiting the mountains and sleeping in places like this help the locals to work and live in the places where they are born. I hope more people start to come in Italy for visiting and do trekking in our amazing mountains and start to appreciate the slow life and focus more on what we have and not what we miss.



Alessia Morello lives in the north-east of Italy. After working for several years around the world she decide to stop and come back in her homeland and do the things she loves like trekking into the Dolomites with her dog Giorgino and creating posts and videos for her blog. She grew up doing outdoor adventures with the family and now the nature is part of her life. Other interests? Rock climbing, mountain bike trails, cooking vegetarian recipes and having fun!

Follow her travels at www.theitaliansmoothie.com and on Instagram and Facebook.



How to Build an Emergency Snow Trench Shelter

How to Build an Emergency Snow Trench Shelter

By Carley Fairbrother

Why Build a Snow Trench Shelter?

Imagine you are out for a snowshoe or a backcountry ski, and you get lost, or a storm makes travel too dangerous, or your friend gets injured. You need a shelter, and fast. Luckily for you, you are surrounded by one of nature’s most convenient building materials.


How to build an emergency snow trench shelter 1


Contrary to what your instincts might tell you, snow is a excellent insulator. While a snow shelter isn’t likely to get much warmer than 0° c, it probably beats whatever winter weather you are trying to hide from. Snow and ice shelters such as quinzhees, snow caves, and igloos have been used for millennia, and be rather roomy comfortable, but they also take a lot of time and energy to build.


How to Build an emergency snow trench shelter 2


Trench shelters are quick, effective, and can be built in many different snow conditions. They are not, however, very comfortable. If you have plans to stay overnight in a snow shelter for fun, I would recommend a snow cave or a quinzhee (see video below for how to build a quinzhee). With the right tools in your emergency kit, and maybe a little practice, a snow trench shelter should take less than an hour to build.


Some Helpful Tools

How to Build an Emergency Snow Trench Shelter 3

Mylar emergency blanket: I like to carry at least two with me, even in the summer. When wrapped around you, they will reflect your own body heat, preventing loss of precious heat. They can also be used to reflect heat from your fire, or can line the roof, walls, or floor of an emergency shelter. If you want to get creative, add tarp, signal, and fishing lures to a mylar blanket’s possible uses

Folding saw: This is a great addition to a winter emergency kit. Wood for making fires and shelters can be tricky since most of the dead wood is under the snow, and a saw makes collecting it a lot easier. You can make a trench shelter without branches, but they make building the roof and insulating the floor a lot easier.

Collapsible shovel: A shovel is a safety essential of you travel in avalanche terrain, but it can come in handy for any snow travel. I use mine to build a trench or a wall to protect myself from wind while I eat or rest. If you don’t have a shovel, bare in mind that it is important keep your hands warm and dry in a winter survival situation, so try to find something besides your hands to dig with, like a snowshoe.

Tarp: I carry a silicon 5’ x 7 poncho/tarp. A cheap alternative is to pack along one or two big, heavy duty garbage bag. An extra mylar emergency blanket could work too, though they aren’t particularly durable and could tear on a branch.


Get Building!

Step 1- Choose you Location

Choose where you want your entrance and what direction you want to lie. While sleeping with your feet close to entrance may keep you warmer, it will make for a slow exit if you need to get out quickly, so plan for your head to be near the entrance. You’ll want your entrance facing downwind, so take note of where any wind is coming from. A slight hill can make digging easier if the snow is deeper than six feet or so. Otherwise, find a level spot.

Step 2 – Break ground, err, snow

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Dig a three foot hole where you want your entrance to be. Ground is a lot warmer than snow, so dig to the ground of you can.

Step 3 – Dig your trench

How to Build an Emergency Snow Trench Shelter 5

Now that you’ve gotten the right depth, it’s time to dig out the trench. It’s going to be up to your body to heat that space, so the smaller the better. Make it a little wider than shoulder width and around two feet longer than you body.

Pile snow up on the sides to make it a little taller (especially if the snow is less than three feet deep). If you have enough snow, pile it around the entrance as a windbreak too. If you get any big snow or ice chunks put them aside.

Step 4 – Lay the framework

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Skis and ski poles make fantastic roofs, but even with them, extra branches will make it more stable and easy to work with. The important part here is to work with what you have or what you can find.

Step 5 – Lay down the tarp

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If you have an extra emergency blanket, it could be a great addition here. Lay it down first. Try to spread your tarp so that the edges touch all the sides and secure it in place with anything you can find with weight; branches, ice blocks or packed snow will all work.

Step 6 – Bury it

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Fluffy snow provides the best insulation, but use what you have. When I was building this trench shelter, I found a good ice layer, so I balanced them on my frame until the gaps were filled in, and then buried it in fluffier snow.

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Step 7 – Add an air hole

Add a vent hole at the end or your trench by poking a stick under the tarp and wiggling it until it’s a inch or so in diameter. The entrance will probably provide enough air, but an extra hole for ventilation is still a good idea.

Step 8 – Insulate the floor

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It may seem like it would make more sense to put the floor down before the roof, but roof building knocks down a lot of snow, so you’d likely find yourself rebuilding the floor anyway. Lay down green fir or spruce bows, or whatever you can possibly find to add space between you and the snowy floor. I used a sleeping mat for this shelter because I didn’t want to damage the trees in my yard. After the snow is totally covered, lay down your emergency blanket. It works best with some space between you body and the blanket, so add another layer of branches. They will also help the blanket stay in place.

Step 9 – Get cozy

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Crawl in and fold any of the rest of the emergency blanket over you. If you have an extra, and it’s not in the roof, you can out it on top of you. Move you pack, or whatever else you can find, into the doorway to block the wind. Don’t make it airtight though; you need oxygen.

Never place the emergency blanket over your head. At worst, it could this cause suffocation; at best, it will cause moisture buildup that will keep you cold.


Some final thoughts

This could be modified for two people by making it wider, but still keep it as small as possible.. The closer you are to your friend, the warmer the both of you will stay.

As I mentioned, this is not a comfortable shelter. It’s hard to move around, or get in and out. Being alone in the dark, in a confined space, buried in snow is not something that I imagine a lot of people enjoying. Trench shelters do, however, get you our of the elements and give you something warm to lie on.

Another thing to remember is that no shelter will ever be the same. It will always depend on what you have with you, what your needs are, and what you can get from the environment. If you go into the backcountry in deep snow, it is definitely worth it to practice building snow trench shelters with the supplies you carry. The more you practice, the faster you will be, and the more ready you will be to improvise if need be.

Oh, and those mylar emergency blankets will never fold up again, so buy a few to practice with.


Watch Carley’s  short videos on this subject:

How to Build a Snow Trench Shelter

How to Build a Quinzhee


10 Best Winter Hiking Trails in Southern Utah

By Janiel Green

We have all felt the Winter chill, and some of us even the winter blues. Why not get outside and explore what your favorite trails are like in the winter time? Winter gear is readily available, and snowshoes are cheaper than ever. Here are a few of my favorite trails in Southern Utah. Depending on the year, it may look deceivingly like Springtime.


  1. Corona Arch Trail in Moab

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Any trails that allow dogs is on the top of my list! Corona Arch is one of those trails I have hiked several times with my Dog Zoey. There are not many trails within National Parks that do allow dogs on them, but Moab is special in that it does. The Trail is relatively easy, but when traveling with your dog, there is a ladder and a steep climb with chains. With a little guidance from me to Zoey, she was able to scramble up the mountain and find a route around the ladder with her four little legs.

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 The flat expanse prior to this is lined with arrows painted on the rock in the winter, and with the spring rains, they place cairns (stacked rocks) to help guide you to the Arch. There are two arches that you end up visiting: Bowtie Arch and the greater more impressive Corona Arch. Be sure to pack a picnic as this is an excellent spot in the winter to soak up the sun and chase away those summer blues. Please check the weather prior to doing this hike, if it is snowing the rock tends to be slick. Most of the trail to the first ladder is sandstone so you would just need good treads on your shoes. You can still see the arch if you choose to do the trail but will have to stop at the first ladder.


  1. Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

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This is an easy drive over from Zion’s National Park, and well worth the drive. The different areas that are the most noteworthy are slightly hidden behind pine trees, so when entering the park (which there is a fee) be sure to ask for a map. There are brown wooden signs with white writing on the side of the road to guide you. Be sure to keep your eye out for them as they blend in well to the pine trees.

Inspiration point is one of the more popular trails and in the mild to moderate range. If you have bad knees or a bad back be sure to bring your hiking poles with you. Depending on the year it may get slick due to the trail being made mostly of sand. The weather may be different here than in other parts of southern Utah so be sure to check each National Park weather service. If you are lucky you can get a light dusting of snow on the tops of the towers in the basin and really gives it a special look with the stark white on red and the moisture bringing out every shade of color in the rock.


  1. Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park

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This is a very well-known hike, but not many attempt it in November or the deeper winter months. There are some treacherous areas should it be raining or snowing, but well work the effort and risk of going should the weather be favorable. This picture was taken in November with a rain storm blowing in, but never actually dumped any rain. The thing to know about Utah is that if there is rain on one side of the street, you can walk to the other side and have sunny weather. I would rate this trail in the moderate to hard range, with those who are afraid of heights to steer clear and opt for Observation Point instead as it is less hazardous and dizzying.


  1. Canyonlands

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For a more serene type of outdoor bonding, I would suggest Canyonlands National Park. This is a more laid-back park, with a trail right near the visitor’s center with fantastic views. Bring your camping stove, cook up some soup and a hot drink and just enjoy and bond with those who came with you. If the weather gets bad while you are in Southern Utah, this is a great alternative to the other hikes.


  1. Courthouse Towers and the Three Gossips

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Located in Arches National Park, this hot spot for climbing is also a great hike for all. You can see it either from the car park with an educational sign, or you can hike to the towers themselves. If you drive 4.5 miles from the park entrance you will see the carpark. There are also several other interesting rock formations in this area such as the Tower of Babel, and Sheep Rock. Please stay on the trail as there is a fragile bacterium that grows as a crust on the ground in southern Utah that helps prevent landslides and runoff from happening.


  1. Dead Horse Point

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You have two options with this location, you can either drive or take the trail near the visitor’s center. The trail itself is mostly flat with fantastic views of the cliffs and valleys that surround you. Check out the Legend of Deadhorse Point and see why it was named as such. If you take the trail be sure to bring your camera as you will be greeted with several odd and unique rock formations along the way. The trail is mostly rock with some sand that could get a little muddy in the winter, but overall even if the weather was bad you could still manage this easily.

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  1. Double Arches in Arches National Park

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An easy trail accessible all year round in full of bird watching and if you happen to go in the summer the trail is filled with wildflowers. The trail is mostly sandy so be prepared to get a bit muddy if you go in the winter (easily thwarted with some gaiters). These are quite unique as compared to other arches in this park as there are two of these massive wonders right next to each other. Be sure to check out the parade of elephants right next two the arches (rock formations that look like circus elephants on parade).


  1. Vodoo Trail in Dixie National Forest

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This is another trail that allows dogs and although it is a shorter loop it is quite fun. There are different rock formations that appear as if you have landed in the movie Labyrinth and make you want to break out in one of David Bowie’s songs. This is a moderate trail with some snowy, sandy areas but there is enough traction on the trail that it is easy to work around the trail conditions. Park next to the Dixie National Forest sign, the visitors center will be closed, but there is a sign that will have several other trails for you to explore.


  1. Angel’s Palace Trail in Kodachrome Basin State Park

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This was surprisingly one of my favorite trails, I have never seen photos of this prior to attempting this trail. The view over the valley, the palace that is strikingly white among the sea of red. I felt as though I started out on a trail and ended up in heaven. The trailhead is clearly marked with parking nearby. The trail is easy with a few hills and valleys to hike through. The hardest part about this trail is following the arrows, which are not always correct as some appear to be broken. I was able to find my way around the hills and was greeted with a fantastic view.

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  1. Fisher Towers in Moab

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With sweeping views of the surrounding valley and one of the most popular climbing trails, this is a must on your list. The Titan towers over you as you approach this trail, with the trail to the optimal viewing point being 1.5 miles, and the amphitheater rock formation just beyond this. The trail is a steep downhill entrance with a moderate to hard level rating of the trail. When you approach the first fork in the trail be sure to take the trail in front of you and do not veer to the left as this leads to a dead end and a sheer drop off. There are both parking and restroom facilities available at the trailhead.


Bonus: Tunnel Arches in Arches National Park

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An easy trail 0.7 miles roundtrip and good for all hiking levels. Perfect in the wintertime as this is a mostly sunny trail and made mostly of rocks. Have a fantastic time crawling around in this odd little tunnel with the perfect time to get a picture when the sun is shining through the arches. Pine Tree Arch is right near this arch as well and worth a look.



If you are experiencing the winter blues, smog, and inversions that come with the winter months. Plan a trip to Southern Utah, get some fresh air and reconnect with nature with the 10 Best Winter Hiking Trails in Southern Utah. Happy travels, happy tales, and see you on the flip side.


About the Author: Janiel Green

Janiel Green - Cultural TrekkingJaniel is the founder and creative produce of Culturetrekking.com. She uses hiking outdoors as a way of expanding her internal boundaries. Her website is committed to connecting cultures, exploring without boundaries and finding unique art & adventure wherever she goes. Her favorite quote is from Patrick Rothfuss, “No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.”

Nature Play Ideas

Nature Play Ideas 2

By Bryony Sumner

When we were packing up our house to set off on our camping adventure around Australia one of the things that shocked me the most was how many toys we owned! Our boys were only aged 1 and 2 at the time – so in just 2 short years we had gathered enough playthings to start a sub-branch of Toys-R-Us! And the ironic thing was that the boys were always at their happiest when playing in the garden, finding the longest stick, or pulling all the dishes out of the drawers for a pretend picnic.

Nature Play Ideas 4I’m sure that we’re not unique in this – children thrive when using their imagination for play and it has been proven that the benefits of being outdoors go way beyond simply the goodness of fresh air. Playing in nature has shown benefits in all stages of childhood – from physical to social, emotional and cognitive development – and getting back out into the open was one of the top reasons for us deciding to hit the road.

As a family of four living full time in our bus and travelling Australia, storage is a big issue for us. We sometimes struggle to squeeze in the bare essentials – so when it comes to packing toys we have to be very selective. With this in mind we decided to pack as few as possible – we’ve got some Lego, cars and games for rainy days – but on a whole we depend on Mother Nature to provide our playthings. Here are some ideas that we use regularly that are great for camping and outdoor holidays – no extra packing required and the kids love them!


Nature Scavenger Hunt

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Nature Play Ideas 19This is a great game that can be tailored to suit all ages. If you have a pen and paper and your kids can read and write you can give them a written list to search with. As our boys are young we do this item by item – they go and search for one thing and when they bring it to us we give them the next challenge. This game works for all locations too – if we’re at the beach I get them to search for shells (you can do the biggest or smallest shell, the strangest looking shell, a round shell, a long shell etc) seaweed, coral, cuttlefish or sticks. If we’re in a forest they search for leaves, flowers, pine cones or nuts.

You can add an element of learning to the game by getting the kids to search for something beginning with a certain letter, or something of a certain colour, or collecting 3 of an item. You can add a time limit for older kids to increase the excitement – or if there are more kids you can make teams.


Build a Make Believe Camp

This is a favourite with the boys – they search for sticks to make a campfire, rocks to go around the outside, large leaves to make shelter, then they collect different pretend foods to cook on the fire. Their imaginations run wild and it keeps them busy for ages!

Nature Play Ideas 9


Wild Art

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Getting creative with nature provides so many opportunities for crafty play – we have made pictures with the things we have found on bushwalks, used leaves to do different painting styles and made daisy chains and hats to wear from our treasures.


Nature Play Ideas 1Rock Lego!

Rocks are an absolute delight to all our family – we love fossicking and finding different minerals and stones – and hubby even did a lapidary course so he knows how to polish them. When we are at a pebbly beach or at the river we always search for interesting stones – we make towers with them or build mini houses, and hubby has always been a fan of friendship stacks.


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Pirate Play

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If we’re at the beach or at a playground where there is a sandpit we turn into pirates for the day! I draw a basic treasure map – and X marks the spot of some hidden treasure. We collect treasure first (big shells, driftwood etc), pretend it came from a pirate ship then I make the boys turn around (no peeking!) while I bury the items in the sand. They then have to use their buckets and spades to uncover the hidden loot.

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There are a few toys that we feel need to be packed for every trip – a ball, frisbee and bats for sports games are always played with heaps, and a pack of cards can be used for lots of different games for all ages.

But the best games are the ones that cost nothing, fuel their imagination and get them back into the great outdoors!

Happy camping!

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How to hike and camp while on your period

How to hike and camp while on your period 1

By Krista Karlson

When my partner and I go for weekend trips, we pack like this: throw everything we might need in a pile on the living room floor, transfer the pile to the back of the car, and start driving north.

Last week, as Friday approached, I knew I’d be adding one more thing to the pile: tampons.

Having your period can be rough. If you’ve already got cramps, low energy, and high flow, spending your weekend outside without access to a bathroom can seem daunting and miserable. But with the right preparation, your period doesn’t have to derail your adventures. Use this guide to get out there and show your period who’s boss.


  1. Pack the essentials.

First, grab three Ziplock bags. The first one is for feminine products: pack a few more than you think you’ll need for the length of time you’ll be on the trail. (Click here for more information about menstrual cups.)  The second bag is for toilet paper: a small roll will help keep things tidy on the trail. The last bag is most important: this is for packing out all your waste, including used feminine products, wrappers, and toilet paper. If you want to be more discreet with your waste bag, wrap it in duct tape to make it transparent.

Next, pack a few anti-inflammatories like Aleve or Advil to keep you cramp-free and comfortable.

Make sure to pack one pair of underwear for each day. Changing into a clean pair when you get to camp will keep things smelling fresh.

Finally, be sure to pack hand sanitizer. Things can get messy, so it’s important to clean your hands afterwards.


  1. Plan a comfortable route.

You know your body, so if your period doesn’t usually inhibit daily activities, you might plan the same route that you would have sans period. But for some women, having their period can be debilitating, making it hard to even get out of bed. If you’re one of these people, don’t fret: plan a realistic route, and don’t worry if it’s not far.

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  1. Practice makes perfect.

When you’re on the trail and you think it’s time to change your feminine product, here’s how:

Tell your hiking partners you’re taking a bathroom break. You don’t have to tell them you’re on your period; just take your backpack and find a spot 200 feet from the trail (and water sources) to set up shop.

If you’ll be using the bathroom in addition to changing your feminine product, be sure to dig a cathole 6″ deep for solid human waste.

Start by opening all your Ziplock bags and having them accessible. Remove the existing feminine product and place it in the waste bag. Tidy up your lady parts with toilet paper and put the used TP in the waste bag. Insert the fresh feminine product and place the wrapper in the waste bag. If you dug a cathole, fill it in and place a stick or rock on top so the next hiker knows to avoid that area. Seal all your bags, wash your hands with hand sanitizer, and head back to the trail feeling fresh and clean.

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Most outhouses ask that you only use them for going #2, because liquid waste slows down the composting process. Outhouses are a great place to change feminine products as long as you refrain from going #1 and pack out all your waste. Never throw used feminine products or wrappers in the toilet; trail crews have to dig through the sludge and pick them out by hand.

Hiking and camping while on your period is not only doable, but easy once you get the hang of it. Give yourself time to practice and be gentle with yourself if the first few times are awkward or frustrating. Pretty soon you’ll be an old pro.


About the author:

How to hike and camp while on your period 4

Krista Karlson is a freelance writer and curiosity follower based in Connecticut. Her latest adventures involve learning to camp with a dog.  She is a contributor at Peak Explorations/Brown Gal Trekker.

Winfields Best Outdoor, Walking, Hiking and Camping Bloggers for 2018

Winfields Best Outdoor, Walking, Hiking and Camping Bloggers for 2018

By Nicole Anderson

Winfields Outdoors has released its best blogs for 2018 and what a fantastic resource this is for anyone who loves spending time in the great outdoors.

In all, Winfields Outdoors has recognized 136 blogs from around the world across the following six categories:

Best General Outdoor Blogs

Best Walking and Hiking Blogs

Best Camping Blogs

Best Caravanning & Campervan Blogs

Best Outdoor Activity & Health Blogs

Best Travel Blogs

Within the announcement of their 2018 best bloggers, Winfields has included a brief description and links to every one of the 136 blogs included so readers can easily check out all the outdoor blogs shown under each category.  This makes a great page to bookmark so you can visit blogs that appeal to you.  You can visit the page which includes all the links to each blog HERE.

There is no doubt you will find a lot of excellent information, resources and even entertainment from looking through such a comprehensive list of quality blogs.


Recognition of Camping for Women

Camping for WomenEveryone at Camping for Women were really pleased to have been recognized as 1 of 7 blogs within the Camping category.  Ashley McGovern on behalf of Winfields Outdoors said it was a “no brainer” to include Camping for Women as a result for their search fresh, exciting outdoors content.  She said she thought our contributor’s writing was really informative – something thoughtful to share with their own adventure-happy audience.


Those we need to thank

Camping for Women is extremely grateful to all of its contributors who so freely share their own skills, knowledge and experience with fellow women outdoor adventurers the world over.  This recognition is absolutely a tribute to their generous spirit to share detail of what they love so much.

We also really appreciate the loyalty of our subscribers and readers who interact so well with our contributors via the blog posts so positively.  This level of communication between readers and contributors highlights very much of a community feel even though the people involved are often geographically half a world away from each other.  We are nevertheless bonded by our shared love of nature and spending time outdoors.

It’s times like these when people outside your own immediate community recognize your efforts to make a difference for lovers of the outdoors, that you feel very grateful for all that are involved.  We are extremely thankful to many for adding their voice, the latest being Winfields Outdoors.

About Winfields Outdoors

Based in Europe, Winfields Outdoors is a major outdoor retailer that can boast excellent outdoor and indoor displays across most of its 8 brick and mortar stores within the UK showing tents, porch awnings, motor home awnings, campervan awnings as well as all the camping equipment, caravan accessories, outdoor clothing, outdoor gear and footwear.  Established since 1971, they have strong relationships with leading manufacturers within the camping and caravanning industry and state that their advice and after sales service is second to none.  Their website is https://www.winfieldsoutdoors.co.uk/