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Camping Tricks & Tips
By Anne Peterson
As the warm weather rolls around,
excursions are planned, tents are being aired out, and campers everywhere are itching to set out for the wilderness once again. This season promises to be a busy one, with more campers and RVers roaming the country’s campgrounds than ever before. But before you venture out, consider this list of
that will enhance your experience.
• Drink plenty of water when camping in high altitudes (over 7,000 feet). Three to five quarts a day will prevent dehydration and high altitude sickness, which cause headaches, nausea and muscle cramps, and makes you susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. Not a fun way to spend a vacation.
• Discard all the plastic and cardboard packaging your food comes in. Instead, use clear plastic bags that can be tied in a knot at the top, and mark them with indelible marker so you know what is inside. This method drastically cuts down on trash accumulation and the bags can be reused for other things, like collecting blueberries for blueberry pancakes.
• Build your campfire away from tree and underbrush root systems. You might never guess, but these can also catch on fire. Believe me, a good night’s sleep is far better than spending the wee hours putting out a root fire.
• Only when you can sift your fingers through the ashes of your fire can you be sure that it is truly out.
• Use a pine cone or a handful of sand to scrub your dishes clean. That way you are not always searching for the dirty, smelly pot scrubby.
• Fill your water bottle with boiling hot water, wrap it in a towel, and put it in your sleeping bag a few minutes before you climb in. This makes for cozy sleeping quarters.
• If you really can’t seem to warm up, and you and your campmate’s sleeping bags are the same brand, zip the bags together to make one bag and cuddle up close. Nothing beats this method on a chilly night.
• Rub a bar of soap along the outside of your pans when you’re cooking over an open fire. That way the black scorching from the fire will come off without too much effort.
• If you have ended the day with a pair of wet socks, sleep with them around your midsection. I know it sounds terrible, but your body heat during the night, coupled with the warmth of your sleeping bag, will dry them by morning. Trust me, the cold night air will not.
• If you are making bread and can’t find a warm place for the dough to rise, put it in a plastic bag next to your midsection. Again, your body heat provides the perfect amount of warmth for proper rising.
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Anne Peterson is a freelance writer from Evanston, Illinois.