What To Do If You Lose Communication While Camping

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For many of us, there is nothing like going into the great outdoors to get away from the stress and strife of modern-day life. Unfortunately, however, while being out in the wilderness is great to unwind, it’s still nice to have some connection to the outside world, which is why we also bring our phones with us. However, trying to get reception can be a huge pain, and if you ever lose your device while out in the woods, it can be almost impossible to retrieve it. For that reason, we are going to go over what to do if you lose your communication and how to find your phone with AVG if it is lost.

 

Maintaining Reception

lose communication 2If you are worried about losing your signal while out camping, you can plan ahead by bringing other devices that can offer you cell service no matter where you are. These include mobile wireless routers, cell phone boosters, and portable battery chargers to help you maintain access to your device at all times. These are the best ways to stay connected, but that doesn’t mean they are the only ones.

 

lose communication 3If You Lose Signal

For those that didn’t plan ahead, you can help improve your signal in a couple of ways. First, you can find a clear, elevated area that can give you more direct access to a signal, or you can craft your own makeshift antenna. Chip cans and aluminum foil can help boost your phone’s range if you know what you’re doing. Fortunately, there are plenty of tutorials out there that can help.

 

Losing Your Phone

lose communication 4If the worst happens and you misplace your device while camping, all is not lost. If you have AVG as your Android security and antivirus, then you can track your phone’s location, even if it’s off. This will help you pinpoint where exactly you left your phone so that you can retrieve it. Fortunately, if it’s in the woods somewhere, then you shouldn’t have to worry about someone stealing it.

 

 

Overall, the best way to keep your phone in tip-top shape while camping is to plan ahead and have AVG antivirus installed beforehand.

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Article provided by Lizzy and our friends over at AVG Anti-Virus.

The 11 Step Guide to Planning a Problem-free Group Camping Trip

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By Alex Gulsby

If you have ever attempted to coordinate a trip with friends or family, you know how difficult the process can be. Logistics get hairy, people cancel or maybe one of you gets dragged off your United flight on the way there. The destructive possibilities are endless.

If you’re planning a trip to go hiking or camping, it can be even worse. Varying skill levels, experience in the outdoors and the amount of gear required may mean that you’ve already lost before you started.

But fear not and know that it can be done! It just takes a few extra steps of planning. I’ve put together the 11 step checklist to making sure the trip really does happen and that it’s a trip everyone will enjoy.

Designate a Trip Coordinator

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If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’re probably the trip leader. The cats you’re herding need some sort of guidance. As you continue this guide, remember that you are allowed to delegate tasks and tell others what to do.

Opt for the road trip

For your first camping trip, it doesn’t hurt to stay as close to home as possible. If you’re all getting on a plane and flying to a location, the cost can skyrocket and complicate how you do all your grocery shopping and planning. Accessibility is key. Carpooling or convoying gives you the opportunity to pack a lot more glamping and camping gear. Besides, you’ll be able to get as messy as you want without worrying about a rental vehicle.

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Make All your Reservations

Depending on where you stay, chances are you’ll be in a national park, forest or state park. Some campgrounds are “walk-up” only which means you can’t make a reservation. For large groups, this is risky. Try to find “reservation only” camping and read the specifications for group size.

Research the Campground

Large camping groups want to party, because duh…wilderness. Some campgrounds have quiet hours and depending on what your plans are, you may not want to shut the party down at 10am. When choosing a site at a campground, pay attention to the park map.  Look through every photo they provide. How close are the camp bathrooms? How close are your nearest neighbors? Do they offer potable water? Electrical hookups? Are there any cool features like rivers or rock climbing nearby?

When you get there, it’s not a bad idea to befriend the camp host too and tell them your plans. If the night gets rowdy, you’ll thank yourself that you have a friend.

Research the Area

As much as I love day drinking by a tent all day, it’s a good idea to actually plan some activities for the weekend. You are not guaranteed phone reception at a campground so do it beforehand! Float the river, hike the trails, climb a mountain, explore a cave or chase some waterfalls. Learn what the region has to offer!

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Figure out the money early

You’ll be paying for gas, groceries, beer, camp reservations, (maybe) hiking permits, gear, and firewood to mention a few. It adds up and since you are the trip coordinator, you’re at risk for paying for a lot more than you should. Plan ahead and don’t be afraid to put stuff in writing.

Start a Google Doc for the Gear List

The honey-do list will inevitably grow and get out from under you. If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve realized that. Unlike your typical travel trip, you’re probably not just packing clothes and toiletries. Set up a sharable google doc with everyone’s name listed. Make a gear list of everything the individual will need (backpack, hiking socks, sleeping bags, puffy jacket, pool float, whatever). Likewise, make a “group gear” list of things like the camp stove, tents, ice chests and music speakers. Note who has extra of something and who has none.

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It may seem excessive but it will allow you to make sure that everything is squared away. And when the trip is over, everyone will still remember who borrowed what.

Plan your recipes ahead of time

If one of your friends is a culinary genius, awesome! Can I borrow them? You can designate them as a camp cook….or not. Either way, decide what you are going to cook, how many you are going to cook for and when you’re going to cook it beforehand. It makes the grocery trip a lot easier when you have an objective.

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Decide on a moderate trail that everyone can complete (if you’re hiking)

Remember and respect the varying skill level of your group and leave your pride at the trailhead. There is nothing more dangerous or unpleasant than putting someone in a position of uncertainty out in the wilderness. I promise you that literally nobody will be having fun.

Bring more water than you’ve brought booze

Nothing spurs stoke quite like an epic camping trip. However, you are out in the wilderness. Just bring an absurd amount of water to support your hiking hangover. You’ll thank me later.

And as always, before you set out:

Buy a map, touch base with rangers, and check the weather!!!

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Did you enjoy this 11 step group camping article?

You can follow more of Alex’s adventures at www.wanderwritings.com

 

6 Safe and Super Fun Ways to Go Camping with Baby

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By Rita Myers

I’ve enjoyed camping since I was little, and it’s probably one of the few activities that have remained constant in my life, from childhood through adulthood. And now that I have a family of my own, I especially enjoy being able to go camping with all the members of our little household.

Yes, that means I regularly go camping with baby in tow. I’ve realized that a lot of people don’t think it’s possible to do so – it’s not safe enough, there’s too much to worry about, etc.

But it can be an incredibly fun and memorable experience that’s completely safe for your infant or toddler if you know what you’re doing. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to go camping with baby.

 

A QUICK LOOK: WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHEN CAMPING WITH BABY (#5 will be your favorite!)

  1. Bring These 3 Must-Have Baby Items
  2. Be Mindful of Temperature Changes
  3. Keep your Baby on the Same Eating and Sleep Schedule
  4. Choose a Nearby Campsite and Do a Test Run
  5. Don’t Worry Too Much and Relish in Your Baby’s First Camping Experience!
  6. Get Your Whole Family Involved

 

#1 Bring These 3 Must-Have Baby Items

As indicated in the video above, on top of the basic necessities for your baby, this is the trio that will make camping with your baby convenient and worry-free: a baby carrier, a natural insect repellent, and a safe area for your baby at the campsite.

A baby carrier will allow you to hike and move around while keeping your hands free. A natural insect repellent keeps your baby safe from insect bites – it can be used by the whole family too!

And finally, you need to create a spot at the campsite for your baby where he/she can explore and move around safely and under your watchful eye, be it a mat or a small tent.

Important Reminder: Choose an insect repellent with natural ingredients instead of chemicals. Before using it on your baby, you should read the label carefully and follow instructions closely. Only apply the insect repellent on your baby’s exposed skin and the outside of his/her clothes.

 

#2 Be Mindful of Temperature Changes

Camping with Baby 2

 

Temperatures can greatly fluctuate when you go camping, and it’s easy for grown-ups and kids to adjust to these changes, but you have to be on the lookout when you go camping with baby.

You could have him/her all bundled up because it had gotten cold overnight and into the early morning – thick blankets and a few layers including a hat – but within minutes, it could go from very cold to very hot, making the layers you put on your baby incredibly uncomfortable.

Be particularly mindful of the temperature inside your tent and dress your baby accordingly.

 

#3 Keep your Baby on the Same Eating and Sleep Schedule

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Babies need to regularly eat and take naps – try your best to stay within his/her regular routine even while you’re out camping.

It would be great if your baby is able to fall asleep on a carrier, so you can continue on with your hike while he/she does so. Otherwise, you’ll need to adjust your itinerary to make sure you give your baby enough time to nap.

You should also stick to your baby’s eating schedule as much as you can. If you’re breastfeeding, be sure you’re able to find a spot for you to do so even while you’re en route to your campsite.

 

#4 Choose a Nearby Campsite and Do a Test Run

Planning for your first camping trip with your infant can be a daunting task, so try to keep things as simple as possible. Start small and eventually work your way towards bigger and better camping trips.

For starters, choose a campsite that’s near your home, so that in case things don’t work out or something goes uncontrollably wrong, you can quickly pack up and go home.

You can also opt for a familiar campsite, one that you’ve already visited previously. This way, you already know what kind of surroundings you’ll have on the trip. That’s one less thing that’s unknown and unexpected for your trip.

And before you go on your camping trip, take time out to do a test run. Go on a simple road trip with your infant and see how you and your partner will handle traveling with your baby.

That way, you’ll have an idea of what to expect when it comes to the real deal. You’ll also get a good idea of the items you’ll need and what items you can live without in order to minimize your packing.

A test run can also be a bit of motivation – when you witness your baby enjoying him/herself and discovering the great outdoors, it might turn out to be the final push you need to go on a camping trip. Which is related to my next and final tip on how to go camping with baby!

 

#5 Don’t Worry Too Much and Relish in Your Baby’s First Camping Experience!

I believe that a lot of the anxiety that comes with camping with your baby is during the planning stage, when you don’t know what to expect and you want to be prepared for anything. But by the time you actually start the camping trip, you should worry less and enjoy more.

Don’t sweat the small stuff and allow yourself to witness your child discovering the great outdoors. Take your camera out and capture those memories that you’ll want to remember forever. Let your child go a little bit, and don’t be afraid to let him/her explore the immediate surroundings (but under your watchful eye).

Getting your child started on camping early can be the beginning of a lifelong passion for the outdoors and a great bonding experience for you and your family. So don’t worry too much and have a great time with your partner and child!

 

#6 Get Your Whole Family Involved

Camping with a baby requires team effort, so ask the rest of your family to pitch in. You and your partner should take turns spending time with and taking care of your baby, while the other kids in the family can have smaller responsibilities like bringing some of the baby’s items and the baby’s toys.

If your kids are old enough, you can even ask them to take care of their youngest sibling while you do some chores. Don’t leave your kids unattended, but that doesn’t stop you from giving your older kids a sense of responsibility by asking them to take care of their sibling (still under your watchful eye – always!).

Quick tip: don’t make pitching in to take care of the baby feel like a chore for your older kids – instead, make it fun by presenting it as a mission or a game.This can also be a good lesson on responsibility for them!

 

Conclusion

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Not only is camping a great way to take a break from the stress and pressure of daily city life, it’s also an awesome opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones. It’s a chance to reconnect, reflect and recharge!

So don’t be afraid to go camping with baby! It’s one of the many firsts you’ll want to witness and enjoy for yourself.

The planning and the preparation might take longer than for your usual camping trip, but the extra effort will be worth the joy and satisfaction you’ll feel as a parent. Happy camping!

 

Was this list helpful? I hope so, because I want to break the notion that you can only go camping with baby when he or she reaches a certain age. Camping is an activity that can and should be enjoyed by everyone!  You can even find free checklists to help when camping with your kids (of all ages and stages) by going here.

I would love to hear your thoughts and reactions, so please post them in the comments section! And do share this article if you enjoyed reading it. Wishing you well on your camping adventures!

 

Free checklists for lovers of the great outdoors

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By Nicole Anderson

Many of us live for the time when we get to experience the outdoors.  We are constantly planning the next great escape from the city to again be at peace with the serenity, majesty and wonder of nature.

Often in our pressured, busy lives it is so easy to forget a few things that would make our experience in nature all the better.  How many times can you recall running late to get away from your routine and in your rush, you overlooked things you wished you hadn’t?  If you’re anything like me (human, that is), then you can surely relate.

And let’s face it.  On some outings, be they for a short or a long while, there can be so many things to remember, depending on what you are doing and who you are doing it with.

So with the above in mind, a few Camping for Women contributors have come up with some checklists to help make our planning and getting things together a little easier.   There are 6 checklists that we have put up initially and more will be added to in the future.

Enjoy the Free Checklists!

The totally free checklists that have been prepared for anyone to download and use below:

 

Free Checklist Hiking and Backpacking

The Hiking and Backpacking Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

hiking-and-backpacking-checklist.pdf (118 downloads)

 

 

 

Free Checklists CampingThe Camping Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

Camping-checklist.pdf (104 downloads)

 

 

 

Free checklists Camping with kids at all stagesThe Camping with Kids at all Stages Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

Camping-with-kids-at-all-stages-checklist.pdf (94 downloads)

 

 

 

Free checklists the ultimate road trip checklistThe Ultimate Road Trip Checklist by Janessa Tice Miller

Click below to download:

The-Ultimate-Road-Trip-Checklist.pdf (101 downloads)

 

 

 

 

 

Free Checklists first aidThe First Aid Kit Checklist by Amanda Parent

Click below to download:

First-Aid-Kit-Checklist.pdf (96 downloads)

 

 

 

Free Checklists post camping

And lastly, but by no means least:

The Post-Camping Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

Post-camping-checklist.pdf (98 downloads)

 

 

 

Use, share and tailor the checklists

You can also tailor these checklists by adding other things that may be particular to your circumstances, activity or location.

And in the future, Camping for Women plans to add to these checklists with different activities that readers tell us are useful.  Future free checklists and any updates to these initial lists will always be accessible from the Resources tab at Camping for Women.

You will be able to download which ever free checklists you like in future directly by going here.

We sincerely hope you get great value out from these checklists and that they save you some time and hassle that often goes with forgetting to take something that you really felt you needed to have.

Be sure to share this resource with your family and friends who love the great outdoors too!

Free checklists for lovers of the great outdoors

Personal protection against bears – guns or bear spray?

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By Carley Fairbrother

I spent seven years as a backcountry ranger in northern British Columbia, and one of the question I got asked the most was, “do you carry a gun out there?”  They seemed genuinely concerned when I told them that I usually just carried bear spray.

To many folks in the north, and I’m sure wherever gun culture is prevalent, bear spray is seen as something a gimmick. I can understand that.  I have been approached by an angry grizzly, and let me tell you, that can of bear spray made me feel a little like I’d shown up to a formal ball in my Pjs.

Yet here I am, years later still traipsing around bear country without a gun. Here’s why.

bear spray 2Effectiveness of bear spray

This may be counterintuitive, but bear spray does work better at deterring bears than firearms.  It’s nasty stuff, and when an animal with the sense of smell 100 times more powerful than a human’s gets a face-full of it, it’ll usually stop its charge immediately.  Bears, particularly grizzlies, often continue their attack, even after a fatal shot. It’s not surprising then that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service report that around 50% of people using firearms in a grizzly encounter still suffered injuries.  Those using bear spray suffered from much fewer and less severe injuries.

A 2008 study by biologist Tom Smith looked at 600 bear encounters in Alaska.  Bear spray proved 92% effective in the 72 cases that it was used.  Four years later, Smith did another study in 2012 looking at bear encounters involving firearms.  Depending on how you interpret the study, firearms were somewhere between 58% and 76% effective.

Speed and Ease of Use

bear spray 3Even a good marksman or markswoman will take at least a few seconds to unsling a gun, chamber a round, aim, and fire.  Even if you are in ready position with your gun, simply aiming is going to take longer than unholstering a can of bear spray.  To make matters worse, a bad shot may just make a bear angrier. Add to that the panic that comes with being face-to-face with and angry apex predator, and I’d say your chances are a lot better with bear spray.

Weight

Carrying too much weight isn’t just unpleasant, it can be dangerous.  If you are fatigued, you are going to be less aware of your surrounding, less likely to make noise, and slower to react in the event of a bear encounter.

A 12-gauge shotgun is going to weigh 6 or 7 lbs.  Compare that to 8-11oz for a canister of bear and there is no contest.  While a lighter gun may stand up against a black bear, a grizzly needs some serious power to bring it down.

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Unnecessary Killing

Just because a bear is angry at you doesn’t make it an evil creature that needs to die.  Remember, you are in its home, and it’s usually just defending itself.  Sometimes it’s only approaching out of curiosity, and spraying it will simply teach it that humans are best avoided.

That being said a predatory, habituated, or unusually aggressive bears should be reported to the appropriate authorities so they can take action if necessary.

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Human Safety

No matter how safe you are with your firearm, it’s hard to predict what kind of bad decisions you’ll make if you are panicked. There are plenty of stories of people inadvertently shooting themselves or their partners while hurrying to get a shot at the bear.

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What about Wind and the Short Range?

In good conditions, bear spray should shoot at least 16 feet, but some brands will shoot further.  This may seem uncomfortably close, but a bear further away will likely decide you aren’t worth the trouble before it actually attacks. You can also spray a bit earlier to make a cloud for the bear to run through.

In the Smith study, only five of the bear spray cases were effected by wind, and the spray still hit their target.  You may get sprayed a little yourself, but it’s a small price to pay.

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The Law

It’s now legal in many U.S. national parks to carry a firearms, but the ruling is still subject to state laws. Here in Canada it is illegal to carry firearms (with some exceptions for polar bears) in national parks.  Oddly, it is also illegal to carry bear spray in Yosemite, so if you plan on hiking there, bring your bear sense.

Things to Note

Now I want to make a few points clear.  Carrying any form of bear defence does not replace the need to use your bear sense.  Always make noise while hiking, stay aware of your surroundings, avoid hiking alone, keep you camp free of food smell, and know what to do in a bear encounter to avoid an attack.

Also, no matter what you choose to carry, know how to use it.  If you choose bear spray, practice unholstering your bear spray and removing the safety, and ALWAYS keep it somewhere where you can grab it.  Should you have an expired canister, practice discharging it.  If you choose a gun, make sure it’s going to be powerful enough and practice getting it ready and taking aim in a variety of situations.

Sources

U.S. Fish & Wildife Service. Bear Spray vs. Bullets: Which offers better protection? Living with Grizzlies http://www.bearsmart.com/docs/BearSprayVsBullets.pdf

Tom Smith et al.  Efficacy of firearms for bear deterrence in Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management. 76(5):1021-1102J. July 2012. https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/326124/efficacy-of-firearms-for-bear-deterrence-in-alaska.pdf

Tom Smith, et al. Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management 72(3):640 – 645 · December 2008.  http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/bear_cougar/bear/files/JWM_BearSprayAlaska.pdf

Video

Also, check out this video put together by Carley Fairbrother, together with a giveaway she is running this month:

 

 

Explore the Magical Desert of Joshua Tree, California, USA.

Joshua Tree

By Lucy Gomez

Explore the Ancient Desert at Joshua Tree

The Joshua Tree Park is considered as a magical and massive desert land, which is about 790,000 square acres. And speaking about the desert, here you need to know that there is absolutely no electricity, no lights, no food service and mobile receptions. Water is a scarce resource, so when coming here make sure that you bring enough to last during your visit. Luckily, there are toilets available, however, they’re not the flushing type, so you better be prepared.

Feed Your Soul with Creativity

Joshua Tree is the home of numerous artists, and many visitors are inspired by the artworks created by these amazing individuals. From the Farmers Market to the different Art Galleries scattered around the place, you’ll definitely feel the creative juices flowing.

Visiting the town proper is an amazing part of the Joshua Tree camping experience. In this area, you’ll be able to find various restaurants, boutiques and shops, as well as music events and galleries. The Downtown area is situated on the corner of Park Boulevard and Highway 62.

The citizens of Joshua Tree have been going the beyond the limits in preserving the authenticity of the place. For this reason, you won’t be able to find any fast food chains, or high rise buildings or even the famous malls and super stores. Exploring the place will give you a different sixties feel while helping the locals in promoting their own products and their local economy.

Take Advantage of the Annual Pass

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As soon as you arrive at the Park entrance, you will have the choice of getting a day pass or the annual pass. If you want to be able to fully appreciate and enjoy the Joshua Tree Park, you need to obtain the annual pass, as you will have the advantage of getting into the Park for free over the next 12 months.

It is a must that you ask for a map and be updated via their newsletters so you will be informed on the latest happenings across the park. Having the annual pass will also give you the advantage to cut in line and get in faster as a priority guest.

Enjoy your Stay at the Campsites

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Staying over and camping at Joshua Tree will give you the chance to sleep and experience the amazing night view brought about by the billions of stars. Start the morning and be amazed by the breathtaking view of the California desert. You may also be in awe as you can hear the coyotes howling from a distance.

Over 300 campsites are scattered within the boundaries of the park, so you just need to choose your own spot and spend the night there. The camping fee is usually around 15 dollars. You have to know that running water and electricity are non-existent in the park, so you do need to bring everything you might need.

Explore the Intersection and Arch Rocks

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When you are coming from the west entrance of the Joshua Tree, the Intersection Rock should be your first stop. This is the perfect place to check your maps and plan your destinations and activities for the day. This rock is situated about on the center of the various highlights of the park. You can also follow the available trails and explore more around the area.

On the other hand, entering through the North or South of Joshua Tree, you will have the Arch Rock as your first major pit stop. Following the trails nearby is also a great idea, but you won’t need to worry about getting lost since all the paths will eventually lead towards the camping ground.

Ask for a Guide

No matter what type of activity you intend to do, especially if you are a beginner, it is better to seek help from a guide. These guides will aid you in a more enjoyable and safer adventure in the park.

Joshua Tree offers an incredible and unique adventure for you and your family or friends. You will be able to enjoy the different and creative culture of the place; therefore, it is important to plan the trip carefully. Make the most out of every event and the views offered by this majestic place. In the end, you will surely come back for more, as the people living here really go for the extra mile in providing an enjoyable and memorable experience for every traveler.

Check out the Joshua Tree Park website here.

Related article and additional information: Dry but Delightful: Hiking in the Desert.

 

9 Points About Using Menstrual Cups While Camping on Your Period

menstrual cups

By Phoebe Hodina

Menstrual Cups: Because your period shouldn’t ever hold you back. Period.

Thinking of using menstrual cups on your adventures in the great outdoors (or anywhere for that matter)?  Here are nine points to consider.

1. The cup is better for Mother Earth.

In a lifetime, the average female uses between 8,000-17,000 tampons. Adding up everything involved (tampons, panty liners, pads, etc.), and multiplying that by all the women in the world… adds up to a lot. If you take in account the energy and carbon released to create those products, and the time it takes for those products to decompose in a landfill… you’re looking at more than just some pesky cramps and PMS to deal with.

To save our planet, switching to menstrual cups can make a serious impact. Silicone cups don’t contain rayon, dioxin, or harmful chemicals. But more than that… they are reusable. They’re pretty much the eco-friendliest way to have a period (other than free-bleeding… which is a whole different kind of article, and not my preference for my clothing).

2. You can skip packing out your used feminine products, and lighten your load.

Lighter pack. This is probably the best perk of camping with a menstrual cup… you don’t have to carry out, and later deal with the waste you’ve created. Simply dump your red stuff in the toilet (or hole), rinse the cup with clean water, reinsert, and continue doing whatever you were doing before. Easy.

 3. You get to worry less and have more fun.

Your lady parts are warm, moist, and the perfect place to a tampon to harbor the deadly bacteria that causes TSS (toxic shock syndrome). Did you know that tiny bits of cotton shreds from tampons can cause small cuts in your vaginal walls—and lead to TSS? For me, remembering to change out a tampon every six hours while in the middle of the great outdoors can be a drag on my fun time. With a menstrual cup, the risk of TSS is almost null. As a woman, you’ve got enough to worry about… TSS shouldn’t be on that list. Plus, with the cup- you can go up to 12 hours before having to fuss with it.

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Spending my time petting a wolf, instead of changing my tampon

 4. You can save money… loads of it.

The average menstrual cup will cost you about $30 USD. You could easily spend that every other month on pads and tampons. Over a decade, you’re looking at a savings of around $1,500 if you replace your cup annually. Being a lady is expensive enough, save your cash for camping gear!

 5. You will be untethered in the best sense.

Tampon strings have the gross habit of being gross. Swimming causes other problems with your string, as sometimes it has the tendency to make an appearance. Skinny dip with freedom… without the string.

 6. You can stay hydrated… everywhere

No really, hear me out. Cotton tampons can strip your inner walls of not only their natural lining, but your natural moisture as well. This can make your lady parts more susceptible to infection. Not fun anywhere, especially out in the woods.

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No fear, and no leaks while snorkeling!

Tampons also absorb that extra moisture that is naturally secreted when you’re sexually aroused. So when you remove it before getting intimate, it can make for a less than slick experience. Also, there are some brands that claim you can wear it during intercourse, mess free(!!). I cannot personally attest to these products, but I am 110% behind women who get busy during that time of the month.

And the 3 things you should know, because you should always be prepared:

 7. It can get messy

The first time you’re using the device… be prepared for your bathroom floor to look like the elevator scene of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shinning. OK- it’s not that bad at all, but be prepared. After a couple tries, you’ll have your technique down, and if a drop spills… you will clean it up as the empowered, fierce woman that you are.

 8. Don’t freak out, it will be fine.

The first time I used mine, I had some difficulty… getting it in, and then out. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say I was sitting, squatting and everything in between all over my bathroom. If I wasn’t so panicked about getting it out, it would have been incredibly comedic. If you’re trying it for the first time… make sure you are in the privacy of your own home. But trust me! The learning curve is well worth it.

 9. There are two sizes.

If you’ve delivered a baby vaginally, your body is a little bit different from those who haven’t. There are two sizes of menstrual cups, one for pre-birth, and one for post-birth. Make sure to choose the correct size for your body.

 

All in all, menstrual cups can be a great option for outdoor activities during that time of the month. For more info, make sure to check out: Camping And Hiking On Your Period: Don’t let it slow you down! 

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Free to frolick with the flowers!

The Exhilarating World of Women Camping: What Is Your Style?

Camping: What is your style?

By Iris West

As summer comes to a dramatic but scintillating close, it wouldn’t hurt to squeeze in a last-minute camping venture into the great outdoors. Well, there’s something alluring about a woman’s camping experience. Maybe it’s a wonderful way to get that sun-kissed, summer tan that is the envy of all your friends. Or perhaps a chance to get away from all the hustle and bustle of your everyday doldrums of life and work. No matter what your reason to get real up close with nature, camping is a sure-fire way to kick back and relax. And, boy, we certainly deserve it.

Here’s the thing you need to know before packing your backpacks with camping essentials: not all camping is actually created equal. In fact, I get forwarded this question now and then: what is the best style of camping out there? Right off the bat, I’ll have to say that it boils down to personal preference.

Nonetheless, below I will walk you through the different types of camping. The good news is that any kind can get you that adrenaline-packed adventure and thrill or that rest and relaxation that you need before wintry months kick in. Let’s get started, shall we?

Camping: What is Your Style?

#1. Backpacking Camping

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Backpacking is perhaps the most extreme type of camping out there. Here, hiking is what I figured for the longest time to be the name of the game. So, if you love hiking and would like to garner an awesome camping experience, backpacking could be a slice of heaven. For this type of camping, however, a nice pair of hiking boots is essential. Here’s a no-brainer tip for any backpacker: pack efficiently but lightly, only bringing stuff that will last you for your hiking adventure. Packing too many things can get a little hectic, if not downright overwhelming out there. In essence, here is a backpackers’ packing list:

  • Light, mostly dried foods found in camping store aisles
  • Bear canisters to keep bears at bay
  • Wealthy supply of clean water
  • Backpackers guide tailored for your hiking destination

#2. Car Camping

The second type of camping is what many American families consider a “real” camping holiday. Car camping encompasses exactly what you are thinking: taking your friends, family or colleagues out in a car to a campsite. Once there, you can pitch a tent, from where you can make day hikes, swimming, play camp games, sports, and a raft of other exciting camping activities. The allure of car camping style lies in its straightforward and no hassle manner. It’s modestly safe and can make for an excellent group camping experience. Day hikes are the highlight of camping, though. This means you can go for nature walks, summit climbing, and so forth. A campfire can also make your nightlife exciting. With it, you can roast marshmallows while enjoying “monster stories” and cold/hot beverages.

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#3. Trail Camping

Before you even ask, trail camping entails traveling from point A to B on a ‘trail.” When it comes to trail camping, anything and everything goes. Most trail campers spend many days out in the wild transcending mountains, hillocks, thickets, and so forth. Of course, trail camping is more than a camp. It can be an indispensable way to shed a few pounds while at it. Much akin to meditation, trail camping can help campers find their “inner selves” and “real meaning in life.” No matter what your reason for trail camping, this type of camping can be fun. A lot of fun.

#4. Cabin Camping

Simply put, cabin camping is much like rustic hotel camping. More often than not, this type of camping has been associated with most baby boomers and retirees. Well, they are dead right on the point on this one. Cabin camping takes camping experience to a whole new and exciting level. If you like as much contact with the great outdoors as possible, however, this is not your camping style. Try something like trail camping. Nonetheless, cabin camping provides decent opportunity to mingle with the wild.

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Of more importance, however, is the fact that cabin campers can bring a truckload of food supply – groceries, hamburgers, beverages, water, condiments, and so on. That is the magical allure of cabin camping and the reason why it has gained increased traction with city dwellers and vacationers looking to find a teensy bit of quiet and peace away from their lousy jobs and fast-paced lives.

#5. And, finally….. RV Camping

As you might expect, RV camping is uncannily similar to cabin camping style, but you get to sleep and rest in a 5th wheel or RV. Again, this style isn’t for people looking for good contact with the wild and outdoors. It’s for individuals who need a small nature walk and hike just to breathe in that ambient and alpine air. Nonetheless, RV camping can be the ultimate fun. You can select a rustic spot to enjoy fishing, campfires, outdoor grilling, and much more. Some RV campers tug along a boat equipped with all fishing essentials.

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There you are – five types of camping styles.  So when it comes to camping: what is your style? With all these options, there’s always a camping style for everyone.

 

How to Prepare For Motorcycle Camping From a Woman’s Point of View

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By Daniela Schoenberg

As a woman motorcyclist, you want to make sure you’re prepared for your exciting camping adventure. Taking your bike on a long ride to the great outdoors is a great way to spend time with friends, family, or just by yourself.

Whether you’re going for a short ride/stay or you’re in for a longer adventure, these are the things you need to know for your trip.

Before You Hit The Road

Make sure your bike is ready to go. If you’re mechanic savvy, then you can do some of these checks yourself. Perhaps you know how to change the oil, check the fluids, and the lights and controls. If not be sure to take the bike to your local mechanic to check it out before you head out on the road. You also need to check your tires to make sure they are ready to go. You want to purchase tires for motorcycles before heading out. You don’t want to be stranded somewhere due to the motorcycle tire you need not being in stock.

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Packing For The Trip

Make sure to pack your heaviest items towards the bottom of the bike or luggage compartment so it doesn’t mess up your road control. Also be sure you have the right motorcycle apparel for your trip. Be sure that you have a variety of apparel to protect you from the weather you may go through. If possible check the forecast for your route so you are not caught unaware.

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Planning out your route ahead of time is also a great idea. Make sure to have alternative routes in place as well should you run into issues along the way.

Most of all bring along your sense of fun and adventure. Taking a motorcycle road trip can be an amazing experience when you take the time to prepare.

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Repel Mosquitos from Your Campsite, Naturally

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By Phoebe Hodina

Dealing with mosquitos

While the mosquito is a part of the ecosystem, it’s probably our least favorite part. Additionally, heavy exposure to DEET has been linked to all kinds of symptoms such as: headaches, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, shortness of breath, and is particularly toxic for small children.

Here are some other, more natural options.

 

mosquito 1Lavender

Lavender not only smells fabulous—but it’s great for repelling mosquitoes as well!

There are a couple ways to incorporate it into your mosquito prevention.

 

mosquito 2Candles

If you have access to your car, or can bring lot of extra stuff while camping or glamping, you can bring some homemade citronella candles with a few drops of lavender essential oil added into the mix to strengthen it!

Works every time!

 

mosquito 3Lotion

You can also add about 15 drops per 1 tablespoon to coconut oil and rub it onto exposed skin.

You’ll smell heavenly, and have bite-free soft skin!

 

mosquito 4Rosemary

A Barbeque Addition

Mosquitos love to strike while cooking, and a great way to keep them away is to add a bunch of rosemary to your grill! Add a few stalks of rosemary to the grill to flavor your food, and keep away the pesky insects. You can also add in a few blocks of cedar to your fire to get a similar effect!

 

mosquito 5Neem Oil

Applied to skin

Known as the “tree of life”, the Neem tree is native to India, and produces an oil that is a natural insecticide. The best part? It works on humans too! Just apply it to your skin to keep away unwanted bugs.

 

Garlic

mosquitos 6Consumed via capsule or in meal

Some people swear by eating tons of garlic. Whether you just add it to your food, or take garlic capsules… people say that it helps keep the bugs away. Personally I feel the research is still out on this one… but I’m not one to say “no” to a tasty meal! As a side note… too much garlic may also keep away your loved ones. But everyone needs a bit of solitude sometimes, right?

 

mosquitos 7DIY Bug Keep-Off Spray

Applied to skin

You can create your own natural bug spray with some witch hazel and essential oils. Simply just combine the ingredients in a small spray bottle or mason jar, and apply liberally to your skin! You can divide or multiply the below as needed, I like to make a lot at the beginning of the summer.

 

Base: Witch hazel (1 cup)

Essential Oils (use at least 4 of these): mint, citronella, rosemary, lemongrass, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, tea tree (15 drops each)

 

mosquitos 8Stay Covered at the Right Times

Extra layers of protection

Early morning and dusk are peak mosquito times. Conveniently, it’s also when you’re likely to be able to wear longer sleeves and pants. Try to cover up during these times in the day for maximum mosquito armor.

 

Avoid Perfumes

Keep them off your trail

Artificial smells found in lotions, perfumes, shampoos, fabric conditioners, and strong-smelling sunscreens can all attract mosquitos. Try to avoid these as much as possible prior to your camping trip.

 

Happy mosquito-free camping!