Baby is ready for Camping, are you?

Baby is ready for camping 1

By Allison Barfield

Now that baby is finally here and you’re enjoying your maternity/paternity leave, you might be hearing the call of the wild with twinges to return to the woods. As an avid hiker or camper, you probably want to bring your baby out the trails with you to benefit from all the wonder that nature has to provide.

However, sometimes the call of the wild can be silenced with the incredibly common concern of age. Many parents worry that their infant is too young to go camping while wondering when they’ll finally be old enough.

 

When Can Baby Go Camping?

The answer to that question doesn’t actually involve your baby’s age. Your baby is ready to go camping whenever you are. Just make sure you have physically recovered from giving birth, which takes an average of six to eight weeks.

Once you feel ready to return to your favorite campsite, there’s no reason not to bring baby along. In fact, it can actually be easier to take an infant camping than a toddler because it involves less work. Although, keep in mind camping with your children at any age is an extremely rewarding, bonding experience.

Infants are less mobile than toddlers, therefore easier to keep an eye on. You will most likely not turn around to find them rolling in or eating dirt. With a toddler, it’s good to bring a playpen for them to hang out in, but you don’t need to pack one for an infant.

Depending on how your baby sleeps, you may not have to bring a bed or sleeping pad either. Some babies are happy campers in their own car seats and have no problem taking naps or sleeping through the night. Just remember to bring your baby’s favorite item associated with sleep such as their favorite blanket or plush to comfort them.

If your baby is still breastfeeding then you have fewer snacks and meals to worry about. Simply feed your baby according to his/her regular schedule. Be sure to have distilled water to clean your breast pump and bottles if you use these items during your trip.

Babies are also very easy to entertain on camping trips. While you may get to interact more with your toddler and play games, infants are happy simply soaking in the environment. They like to look up at swaying branches and enjoy the scenery during hikes and canoe trips.

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Tips For Baby’s First Trip

Once you’re ready to take baby with you on camping adventures remember these important tips for their  first trip:

  • Start off small. You don’t want to overdo it during your baby’s first camping trip. Don’t fill your days up with too many activities. Let your baby peacefully adjust to their new environment and try to stick to their regular nap routine.
  • Bring layers to prevent your baby from getting too hot or cold during the trip as the temperatures rise during the day and suddenly drop during the night. Give your baby a bath during to day to prevent it from getting too cold at night and stay shaded and hydrated during extremely hot afternoons.
  • It’s okay to call it quits. If you need to pack up and leave in the middle of the night, don’t worry about it. Go home and do what’s best for your baby. You can learn from what went wrong to better prepare for next time.
  • Be prepared for extra work. You have more stuff to carry than usual, plus a baby to take care of. Carrying extra supplies and caring for an infant can be exhausting. Give yourself extra time to for each activity and invite a relative or friend along on the trip to help.
  • Remember to take care of yourself. If you become dehydrated, hangry, or sick then your trip could become a disaster. Drink enough water, bring enough snacks, and take advantage of breaks.

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Happy Trails

As long as you feel ready to get back to your tent, then your baby is ready to go to. Babies and toddlers love camping, so the sooner they can start, the better. It’s a relaxing yet exciting adventure for the whole family and you’ll enjoy seeing your children appreciate nature for same reasons you do.

The Very Real Benefits of Camping That Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

Benefits of Camping That Shouldn't Be Overlooked 1

By Scarlet Gratton

Although you probably love your convenient coffeemaker, blow dryer, and Netflix, ridding yourself of all modern comforts and technology will provide you with an escape from the daily grind of life – something that we all truly need once in a while.

Besides going on an adventure and having fun, losing yourself in nature has very real health benefits. Below are only a few reasons why you should skip a fancy holiday this season and go camping instead.

 

Your stress, depression, and anxiety levels significantly decrease

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Research has shown that green spaces can decrease depression by up to 71%. This is due to several factors such as absorbing essential nutrients, spending time under the sun, eating healthier food, and simply allowing your mind and body to relax. Your days are simplified in terms of not having to impress anyone, worry about how you look or think about deadlines. Camping allows us to break free from the chaos of life, everyday stresses, and the constant worries that prevent a good night’s sleep, and instead enjoy the simplicity of nature. Additionally, camping trips strengthen social bonds, serving as a perfect opportunity to repair strained relationships, rebuild some bridges, and grow closer to the people who matter to you. Also, in this busy age where people are dependent on their phones for any and all forms of communication, camping is a rare and valuable opportunity to connect on a unique, deep level with new people as well.

 

You are finally unplugged

Although nowadays many campsites offer Wi-Fi services, most campers refuse to use it. In order to absorb all the benefits camping can offer, it is crucial to allow yourself to totally unplug and disconnect from your addictive habits of checking your social media accounts, reading the news, or replying to emails. Research shows that the decreases in constant exposure to over-stimulating technologies can encourage greater psychological and emotional health. You’re able to think and engage meaningfully away from screens full of distractions in order to come to terms with reality with a clear mind — and this benefit alone is priceless.

 

Your diet becomes healthier

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Camping limits your meal options, explicitly leaving out fast food and impulsive snacking. You will also have the chance to look for some fresh fruit or herbs in the surrounding environment or even go fishing for dinner. You can roast some potatoes or tomatoes, have some corn on the cob, or treat yourself to some toasted marshmallows while chatting with your camping fellow(s) at the campfire at the end of an eventful day.

 

You can get a good night’s sleep

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Thanks to the natural light sources around you, a day full of outdoor activities, and good-quality camping equipment, you’ll be able to sleep like a baby over the course of your camping trip. We’re almost continuously exposed to incandescent light and other artificial sources, which cause insomnia and low-quality sleep. Since nature’s yellow light triggers the production of melatonin at night, you will be able to sleep more soundly and fully.

 

You get much-needed exercise

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Even when seemingly not doing anything, your body is continuously active during outdoor exploring. There is exercise involved in getting everything prepared, setting up your tent, collecting wood for the fire, swimming, fishing, and more. You also find yourself taking part in various activities, from canoeing, hiking, and swimming to playing sports, bushwalking, or simply getting the fire started. Effectively whatever you do on your camping trip, you’re liable to be burning more calories than you would burn by sitting in an office.

 

You are challenged to try new things

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Each camping experience is unique and stimulating. It allows you to challenge yourself in new ways and explore alternatives sources of inspiration and exploration, helping develop your mind and body. Whether you are camping in the wilderness or in a designated campground, you will certainly find yourself crossing out some assorted items from your bucket list that you never imagined you would – or maybe even adding some new ones.

 

You reconnect with nature

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Being outside allows you to develop a greater appreciation for the world around you and a more intimate relationship with nature. You can finally free yourself from screens, flashing city lights, and tiring routines. Enjoy some genuinely quiet time listening to the gurgling of the river, chirping crickets, and the breeze rushing through the trees. And the best part comes when the sun goes down – good old stargazing.

 

You inhale fresh air

Getting some fresh, healthy air is a luxury today. This alone should be a good enough reason for you to get up, pack your backpack, and head to the nearest campsite.

Camping is an inexpensive but exciting way to travel and unquestionably one of the best ways to unwind while developing your brain and body all at once. It’s neither a glamorous kind of holiday nor is it about the comforts and ease that luxurious hotels can offer you, but that’s the beauty of it. So, dive into the healing powers of the wilderness and come back home refreshed, healthier, and happier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet is a passionate writer and a regular contributor at ripped.me interested in fashion, lifestyle, and health. She loves travelling, you could say that she is a real travel addict, especially when she has a chance to visit some exotic destinations. She would tell you that inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places.

 

Best Campsites in Scotland

Best Campsites in Scotland 1

By Jade Hadden

As the summer holidays draw closer, it’s the ideal time for you to grab your camping gear and set off into the outdoors!

VisitScotland has analysed Instagram and TripAdvisor data to discover which of Scotland’s campsites are getting the most commendation for their Instagram views.

Here are VisitScotland’s recommendations for a fun, family summer:

 

Spectacular Stargazing

Horgabost Campsite, Isle Of Harris

The remote campsite of Horgabost boasts views over the water of Taransay Island, which is believed to be the largest island in Scotland without a permanent population. Visitors may even be lucky enough to glimpse the flickering Northern Lights, due to being so far North, so unsurprisingly, TripAdvisor reviews are 92% positive.

 

Invercaimbe Caravan And Camping, Arisaig

Surrounded by a rocky shore and a beach not so far away, this is the perfect west coastal spot to grab your telescopes and gaze into the night’s sky. With a 5star TripAdvisor rating, this is a must visit spot.

 

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Beautiful Beaches

 

Fidden Farm Campsite, Isle Of Mull

 Escape to somewhere more tropical when visiting Fidden Farm, as their white sandy shores and crystal clear waters would make you question if you were still in Scotland. As the campsite is only meters away from the water, doze off to the sound of the natural waves crashing on the rocky shores. Visitor’s gave Fidden Farm 94% positive ratings.

 

Sands Caravan And Camping Park, Gairloch

Perched between a valley, moorland hills and golden sands, the north-west Sands Caravan Park prides itself with panoramic views. With a high rating of 91%, relax at this idyllic park.

 

Wild Woodlands

 

The Lazy Duck, Nethy Bridge

Take yourself back to nature as amongst the acres of pines are cosy rustic lodges for you and all the family to enjoy. TripAdvisor 90% rating surely recommends visiting during the winter months, when the snow dusts the surrounding thicket, encouraging you to grab the hot chocolate and snuggle under the blankets.

 

Ruberslaw Wild Woods, Scottish Borders

As the spring begins to blossom, this 98% positive rated woods is a must see as beautiful bluebells begin to sprout and lighten up the ground. It truly provides a magical feel.

 

Magnificent Mountains

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Lomond Woods Holiday Park, Balloch

Be in awe of the largest freshwater loch in Scotland and dare to hike the marvellous mountains which surround Loch Lomond. This wooden park has been awarded Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence award and boasts a mixture of luxury hot tub accommodation or glamping pods to suit every budget.

 

Kilvrecht Campsite, Pitlochry

The steep mountains on the southern shore of Lock Rannoch have been voted 100% positive by TripAdvisor due to their challenging hikes but beautiful botanical views.

 

Stunning Sunrises

 

Port Mor Campsite, Isle Of Islay

This peaceful isle encourages the sun to sneak across the rocky ridges and surrounding water. Just a short walk to the local village, it’s not surprising that 84% of TripAdvisor reviews recommend this campsite.

 

Ardnamurchan Campsite, Lochaber

Stunning views down the sound of Mull, the westerly campsite reassures the early morning light to slither in and brighten any lingering clouds. With a 92% rating, escape to this Scottish Highlands retreat.

 

Soothing Sunsets

 

Wheems Organic Farm, Orkney

This family friend farm is perfect for the summer holidays, with a mixture of animals and horticulture facing the sea on the Island of South Ronaldsay. Due to the horizontal land, this is ideal location for a sunset, as 85% of TripAdvisor reviews agree.

 

Tantallon Caravan & Camping Park, East Lothian

Enjoy nature as this camping site as it has unparalleled views of the Bass Rock and the world’s largest colony of gannets. With the nearby Tantallon Castle, 75% of reviewers recommend this spot for its natural beauty.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about camping in Scotland, go to  https://www.visitscotland.com/blog/accommodation-ideas/campsites-scenic-views/ 

 

Best Campsites in Scotland 4

 

Health and Safety Tips for Camping With Your Dogs

Health and Safety Tips for Camping With Your Dogs 1

Sponsored Post

Summertime is an excellent excuse to go on a camping trip and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors. If you have a pet dog, taking him on a camping trip can also be a way to spend some quality time together, and ensure that he enjoys the adventure, too. Dogs make great camping companions, but it can help to know how to keep your dog healthy and happy on a camping trip. That way, you can ensure everyone avoids any health or safety hazards and has an excellent excursion.

 

Health and Safety Tips for Camping With Your Dogs 2Go to a Dog-Friendly Campsite

If you’re going to a public campsite to camp, it’s important for you to choose a site that’s dog-friendly.

Do your research before you go so you make sure you end up somewhere that’s accommodating to your pup. You don’t want to show up at a campsite, only to find out that Fido can’t come in, too.

 

Health and Safety Tips for Camping With Your Dogs 5Bring Portable Bowls

When you’re away camping, you should still make sure you to feed your dog on the same schedule as before, and to ensure that he stays properly hydrated. Bring portable dog food and water bowls that can be collapsed and easily carried in a bag. That way, you can enjoy a lighter load than if you were bringing their regular bowls, and you can ensure that your dog will easily get enough to eat and drink.

 

Health and Safety Tips for Camping With Your Dogs 3Bring Along Poop Bags

Just because you’re out in nature doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pick up after your dog. Bring along poop bags when you go on your camping trip. This will allow you to pick up your dog’s poop and keep the trails and camping areas clean for everyone around you.

 

Health and Safety Tips for Camping With Your Dogs 4Bring a Doggy First Aid Kit

When you head out on a camping trip with your dog, make sure you bring a first aid kit with anything your dog could need in case of emergency. This means that you should bring a blanket, tweezers or pliers in case your dog gets anything in his paws or skin, the name of an emergency vet nearby, a stake and leash (and collar), and more. Do some research online about the safety risks where you’re camping, then bring tools and remedies to help combat any of those risks.

 

Health and Safety Tips for Camping With Your Dogs 6Check Your Dog for Ticks

When you’re done camping, there’s a good chance your dog is going to have spent some great quality time in the outdoors. However, being outside in the woods comes with its fair share of risks, including the risk of fleas and ticks. When the camping trip is over (or at the end of each day), inspect your dog for ticks. If you find one, remove it. Make sure you check with your vet if you find a tick to make sure that your dog is not at risk for any health problems. To help stave off ticks to begin with, try a preventative like Revolution tick treatment.

 

If you’re planning a camping trip this season, there’s no reason not to bring along your furry friends. However, you should learn about how to keep your dog safe, healthy, and happy on a camping trip first. That way, you can avoid any potential risks or issues that could arise, and simply allow everyone to enjoy a fun and adventurous escape into nature.

 

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Indoorsy Camper

Indoorsy Camper 1 - Indoorsy

By Kristi Westberg

I grew up in the suburbs, surrounded by paved roads, city parks, the occasional stream and plenty of Target stores. I’m a knitter, a reader and a Netflix binger among many other things.  I’ve NEVER thought of myself as an outdoorsy person. Sure, I had some tennis shoes and plenty of workout gear, but all of it was pristine thanks to my local sparkly gym…no dirt please, and thank you.

 

The Big Move

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Two and a half years ago my wife Catherine and I moved from Massachusetts to Los Angeles for work. To say this was a bit of a culture shock would be a gross understatement!

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Joshua Tree

In my mind LA was one overpriced green juice bar after the other, surrounded by the nipped, tucked and Botoxed who were most likely lounging beside an infinity pool or pointing at me and telling me to get off their private beach.

While this might be the case in certain zip codes, thankfully this has not been the LA I’ve lived in at all. Sure, some of the Californians I’ve met may have gone under the knife, but they spend their spare time hiking, surfing, camping or at the beach (the public ones).

As I started to get comfortable in my new home I began noticing a large number of people heading off on the weekends with camping gear in tow. Several of my co-workers would return on Monday with tales of hikes, river crossings, Joshua Tree pictures and a glow of renewal. A little niggle of jealousy popped up in me and got me wondering if I could be a camper?

 

“Indoorsy”

I’ve always been what Jim Gaffigan would call “indoorsy”. You’re probably indoorsy too if you’ve:

  • Jumped in your own house because you think you saw a bug (which turns out to be a chocolate covered raisin).
  • You insist on showering daily….because if you don’t the world could end…I mean not end, but come pretty damn close.
  • You place a high value on cool dry air conditioned air (and not the crappy kind of A/C….the good stuff…what I sometimes refer to as “Texas air conditioning”) because it’s big, bold, and hits you with a cold slap in the face when you enter the room.

Indoorsy Camper 4 - CampingGearRentalAs of the beginning of 2018 I had officially gone camping 8 times in my life. I slept in a tent only one of those times (and it was terrible!). Truth be told there were two camping trips in there where I was in an air conditioned cabin (does that even count as camping?). So number of camping trips few….number of hotel stays many.

If you asked me two and a half years ago if I wanted to go camping I would have laughed and then politely said, “no thank you”.

Why would I spend my hard earned money on a sleeping bag and a tent so I could lay on the ground in the cold and have bugs crawl all over me? When I say it like that the answer is crystal clear.

BUT here’s the thing. I’m totally wrong. Camping doesn’t have to be expensive, if you bring the right gear you won’t be cold, the ground won’t be uncomfortable and at least where I’ve been camping bugs aren’t even a problem…plus, bug spray.

 

How to make the leap from indoorsy to indoorsy camper:

Camping can seem pretty intimidating. There’s all the gear you need, deciding where to go and if you’re in California, bears.

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Here are some easy steps indoorsy campers can take to get outside and enjoy their first camping trip:

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  • Ask for advice, whether it’s through the Camping for Women community, friends, family or a helpful sales associate at REI.
  • Rent or borrow gear before you buy. We did this for our first camping trip. Renting takes some of the financial pressure off and helps you decide if this whole camping thing is for you.
  • Two words, Car Camping. I highly recommend car camping for the indoorsy camper. It means you can bring most of your comforts from home and not be literally dragged down by their weight. If it fits in your car you can bring it, you have plenty of time to pair down your camping necessities later.
  • Bring food you love. Camp cooking might seem difficult, but I’ve found the easiest way to make awesome camp meals is to cook them before you even get there. Catherine and I spent Easter in Joshua Tree eating lamb tagine….not because we’re bougie, but because I made it the weekend before, froze half and threw it in the cooler before we left.
  • Taking pictures and video while camping is pretty irresistible…I know I’m guilty. But remember you’re camping to be outside in nature so turn off your phone, open your eyes, listen and breathe in the fresh air.
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Another shot of beautiful nature found at Joshua Tree

There’s no reason “indoorsy” folks can’t take the leap and go camping. Prepare a little, have an open mind, go with the flow and see where your adventure takes you.

 

Camping in Armenia Georgia and Azerbaijan

Camping in Armenia Georgia and Azerbaijan 1

By Anoosh Reinolds

Camping is the best choice for lovers of nature and secluded recreation. If you are not afraid of wild conditions, long walks and nights under the open sky, then it’s time to get your backpack ready for a trekking and camping tour. Moreover, a camping tour is an excellent choice for a budget holiday, especially if you are planning to visit several countries.

Today we’d like to tell you about the amazing region of the South Caucasus which includes Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. This region is a great choice for camping lovers – lush forests, majestic mountains, fast rivers and mysterious ancient sights – what can sound more appealing?

 

Camping in Armenia

Like other countries of the South Caucasus, Armenia is an ideal place for trekking and camping. There are several popular camping destinations in the country, each of which has all the necessary conditions for comfortable holiday.

 

ARK Armenia Kapan Eco-Camp

Over the years, the government has paid more attention to the protection of nature. Today, several eco-camps function in Armenia. ARK Armenia is a popular place in a beautiful region called Syunik. The region is known for its unique nature and priceless historical monuments.

Eco-camp has all the amenities for your comfort including a toilet, drinking water, a kitchen and a place for a fire. Whilst camping you will enjoy the boundless silence of Syunik mountains.

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Crossway camping, Armenia

This is another eco-camp in Armenia that is aimed to preserve the environment and, of course, to attract visitors from all over the world. Crossway camping is a modern camp with its own garden and fruit trees. You can pick up fruit and vegetables, eggs in the henhouse and make a fresh eco-breakfast. Within its territory, there is also a small lake for fishing, a kitchen, a place for a fire, drinking water, summer house, laundry and a swimming pool.

We can confidently say that the whole country is absolutely perfect for camping and you can find less discovered but no less amazing corners for a rest in the lap of nature.

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Camping in Georgia

The territory of Georgia is one big “camping platform”. Do you want to spend your vacation on the lake or in the forest? In Georgia, wherever you go, you will see boundless forests, mountain rivers and lakes hidden in the forests.

Camping by the Black Sea

In summer, you can perfectly combine camping with a beach holiday on one of the Black Sea coasts of Adjara. Several popular resort towns, including the capital of Adjara, Batumi, are located along the Black Sea coast.

The camps are also located along the beach. The most popular place is Anaklia during the annual GEM fest. Even if you don’t manage to get to the festival, you will still have an unforgettable vacation on the island.

Another equipped camp is located near the resort town of Kobuleti. There is a kitchen, shower and toilet on the territory. Tourists can stop and arrange a camp right on the beach.

Camping in Borjomi

The other perfect destination in Georgia is Borjomi resort town and national park. By the way, Borjomi national park was the very first one in Georgia and today it is considered the largest in Europe.

There are ready tourist trails along the most picturesque places of the park, as well as camps for overnight stays. By nodular railway you can travel from Borjomi to Bakuriani, swim in therapeutic sulfur baths and go back.

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Camping in Azerbaijan

Our journey through the South Caucasus is coming to an end. The last stop is Azerbaijan, another great destination for exploring nature. You can always escape Baku’s noise travelling to the north-western regions, where modern technologies have not changed the experience of nature yet.

 

Camping in national parks

Camping in Azerbaijan is a new developing branch of tourism, and so far there are no special camping places in the country. Most tourists visit national parks for pure nature. There are also mini hotels and cottages found in the national parks as well as other tourist services for passive and active holidays.

The most popular destination is Sheki park where you can combine camping with recreation. Due to the mild climate, the resort is perfectly suitable for health improvement. There are trails for biking and horse riding in the park, as well as a cable car to the top of the Choturmas.

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Camping on the coast of the Caspian Sea

Most tourists organize camps on the coast of the Caspian Sea, not far from the capital of Baku. Camping on the beach is not only pleasant, but also affordable. The money you save on camping can be spent in the capital.

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5 Irresistible Cooking Ideas on a Camping Adventure

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By Judy Robinson

Those who love outdoor adventures such as bonfires, picnics, and camping, know the stress of satisfying food cravings. The tiresome journeys trigger hunger but unlike other luxury getaways, arranging food at campsites is difficult. The most significant limitation of preparing food for camp outings is to keep it smooth and simple without compromising on taste and menu. You cannot live on a pack of instant noodles or nachos throughout your camping trip.

Good food is not only an energy booster, but it also helps enhance your travel or outing experience. If you have a creative menu and a well-planned preparation system, you can use food preparation as a fun activity while on your camping adventure. With some advance preparation, your food plan won’t blow your budget out of proportion.

Here are five food ideas that will ensure that your camping meal plan is scrumptious and easy to prepare.

 

Mac n Cheese

5 Irresistible Cooking Ideas on a Camping Adventure 2One of the easiest, tastiest and the most pocket-friendly camping meal is Mac n Cheese. It is one of those meals that you will primarily prepare in advance at home. This means that you only need to heat it on an outdoor grill for a few minutes and it will be all ready to eat.

You need to get a few pie tins from a local grocery store and spray them with a non-stick cooking spray. This will keep your food from sticking to the container. Now prep up your macaroni and boil them with Soy sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce, Alfredo Sauce, Parmesan Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, Cheddar Cheese and salt and pepper to taste. If you have a thing for spices, add pepper, red chili flakes and Oregano too. Add milk to keep the macaroni from sticking together. Once boiled, drain your macaroni and let it cool down. Dish out your Mac n Cheese in portions in separate pie containers and seal them with an aluminum foil. It is recommended to spray the foil with the non-stick spray too.

Let the coals burn at your camping site. Place a cooling rack or a grill over the coals and let them heat the pie tins for 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure you do not overheat or burn them. Serve immediately.

 

Campfire Potatoes

5 Irresistible Cooking Ideas on a Camping Adventure 3Anything potatoes make the most exciting snack for camping and weekend getaways. Nothing is more satisfying than a filling potatoes snack after a swim in the lake or a long hike in the mountains. You will require aluminum foil, sliced potatoes, diced onions, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, butter or margarine and salt and pepper to taste.

Layer the ingredients over a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap the foil properly. Spray the foil with a nonstick cooking spray. Now heat the campfire and place a grill on top. Cook for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes get soft.

 

Cornmeal Pancakes For Breakfast

5 Irresistible Cooking Ideas on a Camping Adventure 4Pancakes can make a wholesome filling breakfast on your camping trip. As a bonus, they are super easy to cook if you prepare the pancake mix beforehand.

You will need cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Put all the dry ingredients in a container such as a mason jar and shake well. At the campsite, take a mixing bowl, add two eggs and whisk them well.

In a separate bowl, combine milk, your dry ingredient mix, whisked egg and butter and mix them well. Place a griddle over the campfire and grease it with butter. Once the griddle is heated, pour the mix on the griddle and make pancakes until you run out of the mix.

 

5 Irresistible Cooking Ideas on a Camping Adventure 5Cheesy Nachos

Nachos and cheese are delicious snacks that you can add in your meal plan if you are on a family camping trip. To prepare cheesy nachos, mix chopped chili and pepper with salsa. You can buy salsa off the rack and use that too. Place a Dutch oven over your campfire and add nachos, salsa and stir it well. Throw in some cheese on top. Cook for a few minutes and serve.

 

Campfire BreadSticks

5 Irresistible Cooking Ideas on a Camping Adventure 6You can use this super simple recipe for breakfast or a snack. The best thing is that it needs no fancy preparations. Just buy a ready dough from the grocery store. Toll it flat and cut it into strips. Wrap the dough strips around a wooden stick and cook it over a campfire. Your breadsticks are ready. Prepare a mayo dip, a ranch sauce or any sauce to your liking and enjoy the snack.

 

If you are looking for a romantic vibe in your canvas bell tent, take a camping stove along. These stoves are available in different sizes to meet your specific needs.

 

The Author:

Judy Robinson is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger. She loves to write on healthy lifestyle, travel, fitness 101 and DIY related topics. Follow @judyrobinson for more updates

THE PLACE WHERE I’M FROM | Discover the northeast of Italy

Discover the northeast of Italy 1

By Alessia Morello

Hi girls,

Today I decide to write a different post.

It’s not just a trekking post, it is more a celebration of my homeland.

You have to know that my region is not considered much at all in Italy. Sometimes this is sad and sometimes I’m happy for that because we don’t have many tourists that hike and explore our incredible mountains.

I live in the northeast of Italy, in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Yeah, my region has three names because after wars and wars it was decided to join together 3 different areas.

I live very close to the border with Slovenia and Austria and to the south it is lapped by the Adriatic Sea. In the upper part you can find wonderful mountains where you can ski or hike and climb. In the middle there are amazing hills and open spaces to ride by bike and in the south there’s the sea side with beaches and ports.

 

Nothing missed at all in my land but why is it so unknown?

The main point is that Italy has too much in the way of beautiful places to go and the tourists that come here want to see the most famous things like Rome, Venice, Milan, the Tuscany etc etc. so it is hard to compete with these beauties. Secondly our people are a bit stuffy and don’t like having a lot of new people around. After a hundred years of foreign domination we do not openly welcome new tourism that much. Thirdly, our land has never had problems of job shortages or similar so we never needed the tourism market.

But now with the help of social media and the Internet, I want to show you the magical place where I’m from.  NOW I bring you with me in the “hike of the cheese” that is the walk that the cows usually do in the mountains from the Aly (or alpine hut where the cheese is made) and the place where the cows are brought to pasture.

Ready?

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If you do a hike in Italy there are 3 different kinds of hut that you can find. The Bivaccothat is usually a red metal covert shelter just with some bedding where you can sleep. The classic alpine hut is an easy restaurant and where you can rent a bed or room and then there is the malga (the hut where the cheese is made and where the cows stay during summer season).

The nicest hikes always finish with a lunch in a hut.

 

The trek

The trek starts from the bottom malga where the cows stay during the night and most part of the dayand.  This is where the restaurant of the malga makes delicious homemade gnocchi with their cheese, cheese and ham plates to share together with other typical mountain dishes.

From there after we enjoy an espresso coffee and start the walk. After a not too difficult uphill part, a flat walk followed and we had the chance to visit a little cave. In just one hour we arrive in a wide lawn where the cows are left free to graze.

After a break we decide to start again and to make the whole ring of the pastures also overcoming the border with Austria.

We walk along the cresta a few meters from the border and we can admire on the right Italy with its pastures in the distance and on the left the meadows and the slopes of Austria, where in winter there is one of the biggest ski resorts in the area.

The walk is beautiful, the sunny day allows us to take beautiful photos and also reach the Bivacco Lomasti, a red dot in the middle of the valley that dominates above all. Very beautiful.

 

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An amazing day spent in the middle of my mountains that are not just beautiful and sweet. My mountains are hard, difficult, challenging. Not for everybody. But surely, they leave you with a sense of success and greater satisfaction.

 

Hope you love my pics of my homeland and I hope one day if you decide to visit Italy, you remember my beautiful area in the northeast of Italy ? The Friuli Venezia Giulia.

 

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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.

 

 

One Pot Camping Meals

One Pot Camping

By Megan Darmody

A camping trip is one of the best ways to unwind and destress from the craziness of our daily lives. As a woman, you likely wear many hats, whether it’s mom, wife, business owner, employee or friend. When you immerse yourself in the wilderness and unplug from all devices, you can reset and return to your busy schedule and loved ones with a whole new perspective.

Depending on the length and location of your camping trip, as well as the size of your group, prepping for your trip can require some planning. Especially, when it comes to food, the most important element! While camping at your campground, you’ll likely have a fire pit or grill, but it can be helpful to bring one of your own.

You’ll need hearty meals to fuel your energy, particularly if you are hiking and exploring all day long. One pot camping meals are a simple and easy solution. Use the same pot or skillet to prep your ingredients, cook and clean up your meal. The visuals below include one pot camping meal ideas that everyone will enjoy. They’re broken up by breakfast, dinner and dessert to give you some inspiration when it comes time to plan your camp meals.

For breakfast, 2 ingredient egg and banana pancakes are super simple and quick to make. They’re also gluten and dairy free! All you do is mush 2 ripe bananas and whisk 2 medium eggs together and fry in your pan with a little heated oil or butter.

 

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Another camping favorite for lunch (or dinner) is toasty mac and cheese. Simply boil your water, add the pasta (brown rice, gluten free or regular depending on your preferences) and cook until tender. Add the cheese of your choice and any protein add-ins you like. As far as dessert, you can’t really wrong! Make a delicious s’mores dip in your cast-iron skillet or pot by layering graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow a few times.

 

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These are easy classics that just about anyone can throw together. You don’t have to be a chef to eat delicious meals in the great outdoors. One pot meals will satisfy a big group and best of all, you can spend more time enjoying your trip or sharing stories over the campfire, and not dealing with clean-up.

If you don’t have much experience cooking outdoors, it can be challenging, if you don’t know where to begin! There are many helpful tips and tricks you can use while camp cooking to save you time and a headache. Particularly, if you are camping with a large group, you’ll want to ensure you have enough food, dishes, and wood, coals or lighter fluid depending on what you cook on.

 

Some tips for camp cooking are:

  • Pre-chop and pre-measure your ingredients then pack them in labeled ziplock bags.
  • Freeze meat before putting it in the cooler, so it lasts longer and helps keeps other food cold.
  • Put whatever ingredients you can (such as oil or dressing) into squeeze bottles to save you utensils and time.

 

Similarly, there are helpful tips when it comes to using your grill while cooking:

  • Apply oil to your grill to keep food from sticking to your camp grill.
  • For steady heat with little smoke, cook directly on or right over the coals.
  • Use a durable cast-iron pot or skillet for even cooking on your grill.

 

Utilizing some of these tips will help save you time when it comes time to start cooking. You can avoid any unnecessary stresses on the trip with a little preparation and knowledge. That’s the number one goal, right? View the full post from Wayfair on one pot camping meal ideas and enjoy!

 

The Natural Beauty of Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand

By Nicole Anderson

I had been fortunate enough to visit this wonderful country a couple of times on past trips but my most recent visit (April 2018) took me for the first time to Northern Thailand, which is a stunning contrast to the metropolis of Bangkok and the more popular coastal areas.

Known as the “Rose of the North” Chiang Mai is where I was based, which is quite central to explore all this fabulous region had to offer.  The Chiang Mai region is situated much higher geographically than the rest of the country and is known for its mist-shrouded mountains, its lush green valleys and abundance of fauna and flora.

While it would just not be possible to pack in everything I saw, experienced and learned into this piece, I have instead included a summary of what I thought were some of the more significant highlights and photos of the what this part of the world has to offer for the outdoor enthusiast.

 

Northern Thailand: A paradise for nature lovers

Here are my top 5 nature-related places from my trip that I really enjoyed and would recommend you to see if/when you visit this corner of the world.

Mae Kajan Hot Spring

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Mae Kajan Hot Spring, Chiang Rai Province, north of Chiang Mai.

I have previously seen natural hot springs/pools/geysers in Japan and New Zealand and even though these weren’t quite in that category in terms of size, this was still worth a stop.  This spring is located at Tambol Mae Chedi Mai, Wiang Pa Pao District, Chaing Rai Province (north of Chiang Mai).

This natural feature has become very popular for Thai people as a stopover while travelling between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai or vice versa.  The Spring has also become a bit of a tourist attraction and many enjoy getting a wooden basket to boil quail eggs in the water and then eat the eggs as a snack.

The water contains a high concentration of dissolved minerals.  Visitors are really captured by the naturally hot spring and in some sections (that are not boiling), love to bath their feet in the natural warmth.

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People relaxing by soaking their feet in the warm waters of the spring.

 

The Golden Triangle

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This monument overlooked where the rivers intersected on the Thai side.

The “Golden Triangle” refers to the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak rivers.  The name “Golden Triangle”, coined by the CIA, is commonly used more broadly to refer to an area approximately 950,000 square kilometres (or 367,000 square miles) that overlaps the mountains of these three countries.  This area has been one of the most extensive opium-producing areas of Asia, and indeed the world.

So long as you travel in established routes where locals and tourists go, you are really very safe from the dangers associated with the illicit drug trade.  In the case of my fiancé and I, we were visiting the area to see the lush vegetation and natural beauty as well as to travel the rivers where the Ruak and Mekong converge between the three nations.

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James, my fiance with myself immediately behind making the journey down and across the rivers.

We hired a local boat (punt) along with other visitors to experience the waters here and it was amazing to see how obvious the demarcation of the different rivers were where they met.  You could actually see straight lines that formed separating the different colours of each river!  We went up right next to the Myanmar shore and then turned to visit some markets in Donsao, Laos.

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Made it across to Laos!

In Donsao, we took a few photos of the area (including some bottled snakes, scorpions and other creepy crawlies) before doing a bit of Jade shopping where my lovely fiancé bought me a lovely green jade bracelet.  We then took the boat (which was really rocky) back to the Thai border to return back south.

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Jars of snakes and all kinds of nasty things were for sale as a novelty at this market.

 

Doi Inthanon National Park

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Entrance to the park

Doi Inthanon National Park covers an area of 482 km² in Chiang Mai province. The park is actually part of the Himalayan mountain range even though the elevation ranges just between 800 and 2565 meters.

Located south of Chiang Mai, the park is one of the most fertile troves of natural treasure in Thailand.  The invigorating mountain air and fresh, cooler climate makes it a rejuvenating break from the cities.  This area is extremely popular among bird watchers and many tours come here also with people wanting to experience a very different side of Thailand.

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This was one of the sites greeting you near the entrance to the twin chedis.

Aside from the amazing vistas of stunning nature, the park is also home to the Twin Chedis.  The twin chedis were constructed by the Thai Royal Air Force to honour the 60th birthday of the King and Queen of Thailand (in 1987 and 1992 respectively). The darker colour chedi with the brown tint (Phra Mahathat Chedi Nophamethanidol) is for the king and the one with the light-blue or lilac hue (Phra Mahathat Chedi Noppholbhumsiri) is for the queen. The area is beautifully landscaped with a stunning display of flowers and on a clear day provides glorious views over Northern Thailand and the mountains of Myanmar/Burma (to the west).

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It was hard to get both chedis in one shot and you can’t really tell from here how big they are.

 

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Me on the balcony area of the King chedi with the Queen chedi in the background.

 

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Beautiful gardens abound all around the twin chedis with natural vegetation beyond.

 

Great Camping Spot in Northern Thailand:

Doi Inthanon HQ is situated at 30.8km near the Ban Khun Klang village of Hmong (Meo) tribe. 500 meters west from the HQ there is a market with few restaurants around, there is also an ATM nearby.  The camping area and bungalows are 500 meters north from the junction or nearly 400 meters east of the HQ. Camping gear can be rented at the entrance to the campsite. There are no restaurants in that area, the nearest options are around the HQ and the market. The smaller options of tents for 3 people costs 250 THB/day while bigger ones for 5 people costs 400 THB/day, sleeping bags, matt and pillows included in the price.

 

“The Roof of Thailand”

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Me at the “Roof of Thailand”!

Doi Inthanon within the National Park is the highest mountain in Thailand.  It is in Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai Province. This mountain is an ultra-prominent peak, known in the past as Doi Luang (‘big mountain’) or Doi Ang Ka, meaning the ‘crow’s pond top’.  These days it is referred to as “the roof of Thailand”.

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Dense vegetation all around the summit.

Due to the higher altitude, the summit has high humidity and cooler weather all year round. The average daily temperatures are normally around 10-12 °C.

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At a pergola at the summit.

Reaching the summit, you can definitely feel the chill and moisture in the air.  It was really fun to follow the established path under the canopy of forest branches, noting the different plants and many insects and small lizards as well as to appreciate the cultural monuments there such as the King Inthanon Memorial Shrine.

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King Inthanon Memorial Shrine

 

Wachirathan Waterfall

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Wachirathan Waterfall

This waterfall is really lovely.  It is a multi-level fall with a total drop of around 80 metres.

It is reached via a narrow and steep road off the northern side of the highway at roughly the 21 KM mark on highway 1009.

Although the falls are flowing all year, the biggest quantity of water will be flowing during the wet season from May to November.

There is a lot of spray from the falls which creates a rain-like mist that flows down the valley. If you have camera gear or sensitive electronic equipment that may be prone to water damage you may wish to bring protective coverings.

The mist can be at times very impressive to look at and you will almost always see rainbows within.  This makes it a popular spot for taking movies and photos.

It is also recommended that you wear appropriate footwear as the area is often slippery and muddy.

 

 

Below is a very quick video shot by my fiance showing me and our guide Maggi at the falls

 

Northern Thailand’s Flora and Fauna

Quite aside from the top 5 attractions/locations of this holiday, I really feel I should make mention of the wildlife flora and fauna that is fairly unique to the region.

Elephants

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At the main entrance to the largest elephant camp in Northern Thailand, housing some 80 elephants.

This majestic animal is the national symbol of Thailand.  They are revered where ever you go and there are countless statues, ornaments and images of them across the land.  I first came across elephants in Thailand when visiting the resort island of Koh Samui and really fell in love with their intelligence and beautiful personalities.

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An overview of the entire camp and attractions to see and learn all about the elephants.

While in Northern Thailand, I visited the Maesa Elephant Camp and to quote from their website: “This area of the Maesa Valley is home to the largest assembly of domesticated elephants in northern Thailand. Visitors can see the elephants working with their mahouts (trainers), bathing in the river and even painting landscapes!”.

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Two of the elephants getting their bath!

 

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Mahouts ride their elephants into the arena

 

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Playing soccer. The aim of kicking the ball was really good.

A 4 minute compilation of video of the elephants:

I was very fortunate to see all of the activities described above and even got up close and personal with a couple of very large elephants that came by for a cuddle!  What a photo opportunity that was!  I was halfway between being exhilarated and terrified…

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A couple of elephants coming in for a cuddle from behind…

 

Tigers

The largest and often most feared of the cat family, Tigers are looked after these days in wildlife preservation centres, some of which also encourage tourism and (for additional fees) will facilitate photos right up close.  How close you might ask?  Well at Tiger Kingdom you actually are let into the enclosure and can pat them before (or while) posing for a photo!

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Planting a flag at the entrance to Tiger Kingdom after making a donation to wildlife preservation.

 

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Tiger Kingdom had a variety of all the big cats and most where understandably under cover during the day.

Now I have considerable respect for the sheer grace, speed, strength and power of these awesome animals and I was not overly keen to push my luck here…not even with experienced trainers with me.  So instead I opted to go into the enclosure with some smaller cats to give them a bit of a pat, get a photo or two and then respectfully retreat.  One of them even gave me a bit of a kick with his hind paw, much like a domestic cat when annoyed and I took that as my cue to leave!  Being up close was a wonderful experience to look back on and their fur is quite soft, although quite thick at the same time.

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Feeling particularly brave that day…

 

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This guy gave me a kick with his hind paw after this photo was taken and that’s when I thought it best to retreat.

 

Orchids and Butterflies

Not far from Tiger Kingdom is Bai Orchid and Butterfly Farm which, although not overly large in size, contained some wonderful displays of flowers that grow so well here.  A visitor who was a keen photographer and lover of nature could probably spend many hours engrossed here.  Although I am not a professional photographer by any means, I have included a few shots here of the flora here as well as a couple within the butterfly enclosed area.

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People and Culture

I don’t think any article on the beauty of this area could be complete without talking a little about the wonderful people of Thailand having regard for the cultures and traditions that make up this peaceful country.

Thailand is predominately a Buddhist country and its people are overwhelmingly friendly, courteous and thoughtful.

Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand generally has fascinating natural beauty and cultural heritage. The endless rice paddies that you will find at every corner of the region, tranquil lakes, and lush forests make the atmosphere full of phenomenal calmness.

The temples of Chiang Mai are many and all are just stunning in their design and workmanship.  I doubt anyone could visit here and not want to see these amazing structures from the outside and in.  Their beauty mirrors that of the fundamental principles of Buddhism and has such a fundamental and lasting impact of serenity for most of the people.  It is hard not to be moved.

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With fiance James at the famous and beautiful White Temple, Chiang Rai.

Externally, adventure seekers are drawn from all four corners of the globe.  During my trip I met a solo woman traveller (Brooke, from Florida USA) who was on extended holidays from her job as a military and civil air traffic controller based in Kabul, Afghanistan!  She was having a wonderful time traveling through South East Asia and loved Northern Thailand just as much as I did and focussed a lot on hiking as many scenic treks as she could.  Otherwise my fiancé and I met many other couples and singles that could not get enough of the fabulous country and its people.

Below is a video of Brooke and I try a local Thai delicacy…silk worms!

 

Naturally it goes without saying that if you like Thai food, Northern Thailand has some of the most mouth-watering dishes full of taste.  Even the mildest Thai curries are so yummy and the ingredients used are all fresh and very healthy for most diets.  They also offer Thai cooking classes for tourists who want to be able to show off a few exotic culinary skills back home.

 

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So tasty, healthy, looks good…what is not to love about Thai cuisine?

 

While we were there the annual Songkran (Water) Festival also occurred which really should be seen to be appreciated.  This festival takes place at the beginning of the New Year in the traditional Thai calendar.  The festival is the most important/significant in Thailand, originating in Northern Thailand and involves spraying water on anyone in your vicinity as part of a traditionally spiritually cleansing process.  Nowadays the festival has gotten a lot bigger and is all over Thailand.

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Water shooting, spraying and throwing on the streets as part of Songkran Festival.

To quote the website: “A feature of the celebration was that some of the lustral water used to bathe the Buddha images was collected. It was then gently poured onto elders and family members as a sign of respect and to ensure good luck and prosperity in the coming year. What has happened in modern times is that this aspect of the celebration has become its central theme, and has become much more intense. The result is that Songkran now resembles a three day water-fight in which any weapon, from high pressure squirt guns to buckets filled with icy water, is considered fair game.

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Two standing at the ready – and one shooting at us as we go by, in front of a stall selling water blasters.

It has become very popular with younger Thai people, and the younger tourists from overseas, who see it as three days of fun, rather than a religious festival. In fact, most Thai people are happy to take part in this fun aspect of Songkran, particularly as April is usually the hottest month of the year, when temperatures can top 100º F (40ºC). Every year there are calls from political and religious leaders to moderate the festival, particularly in light of the horrendous carnage on the roads, but every year these calls are ignored.”  I had to laugh at James (my fiancé) who got well and truly drenched while traveling in an open tuk-tuk and arrived at our accommodation completely soaked!

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A young local girl stands by with her bucket of icy water, ready to soak anyone who passes…the road is definitely not wet due to any rain…

 

Northern Thailand In Summary…

Many enjoy the Northern Thailand region as it’s relatively higher altitude means it is not as hot as other parts of the country.  It still has the warmth of hospitality as anywhere else in Thailand and is surrounded by natural beauty.  It doesn’t have the crazy-busyness of Bangkok or the same heat of places like Koh Samui or Phuket.

I am so pleased to have come here to discover and experience much of this special part of the world first hand and I know I won’t be the last to want to make this trip, as more and more, the word gets out about everything Northern Thailand has to offer.

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Appreciating the intricate beauty of the 600 year old Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep on a mountainside overlooking Chiang Mai.

 

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