Archive for the ‘RV lifestyle’ Category
One of the first things a cook learns when camping, when camp is a mile or more high, is it takes longer for things to cook. Fred is a meat-and-potato kind-ah guy and for a long time I just could not get the two done at the same time until I learned these tricks:
1. Peel your potato,
Cut in half,
Than cut the potato in quarters the long way,
than across in thin (about 1/4-inch) slices.
Toss in your pot and bring to a boil on campfire or campstove. The potato cooks in less than half the time. Leftover potatoes are ready for a breakfast.
2. Use pre-cooked or frozen potatoes.
3. Instant mash potatoes must have been invented by a camper. Lightweight and quick, requiring less water and minimal cooking time, they are my favorite and most trusted go-to potato product.
Avoid the “Are we there yet?” from the backseat by providing each child with their own map each morning at breakfast. (I would provide a map of our “before lunch” route to one child and an “after lunch” map to the other one.) You can print such a map from Google maps on the internet or from a mapping software you might have on your computer or use a road atlas map.
Briefly talk about the route, giving the child some idea of what might be waiting up ahead, such as a town with a funny name or a river with a history. You might want to highlight the planned route, may be not. Give the child a pencil and have them make notes on their map about what they see along the way. Maybe there is a 10-ft cowboy that waves at passing traffic, a herd of black cows with a white cream center (we called them Oreo cows) beside the road, or a really fun rest area they will want to remember.
Remind the child, they are the co-navigator and should let the driver know the name of any upcoming river or town and if there is some turn or change in the route coming up.
Some things to talk with the child about so they might be more aware of what they are going to see are:
Do the number signs look different for State, County, and US routes?
How does the map tells us if a route is State, County or US?
What are mile-marker?
Does every route have mile-marker? Why would mile-markers be important?
Are the mile-marker numbers going up or down? What do you think that tells us?
Whether heading to the grocery store or a favorite camping stop, the ride there can be really boring for little passengers. There are just so many times “She’ll be around the mountain” can be sung. A possible alternative is “The State License Plate Game.” Basically, you print out the Game “board”, hand a copy to the little passenger along with a crayon, pencil, whatever, and have them find and scratch out as many of the state licenses as possible. The one with the most states is the winner. The prize could be anything from picking a lunch stop to an extra 30 minutes by the campfire. You can also challenge the passenger to find the license plate for the state where Uncle Tom lives, or where Grandma and Grandpa live, or where they live, or where a special place is located.
It is suggested the “State License Plate Game” be attached to a hard surface, like a clipboard or clipped to a bookcover.
Thanks to www.thedatingdavis.com.
“We want to camp in June. We are a small family with two pre-school children and a big dog. What campground would you suggest?”
Okay, I am paraphrasing but you get the idea. We get this question, or some variation, almost every week. I know finding the “prefect” campground is a challenge but a key is to narrow down your selection criteria.
From the above I have a bunch of holes that need to be filled in such: Where, like state, do you want to camp?; What mode of camping will be used?; Are they tent campers, car campers, or maybe they have some recreational vehicle (RV); Is that RV a Class A, pop-up travel trailer or something in between? and, What are your “must-have” amenities?
I suggest making a list of what your “perfect” campground “must have” as a starting point. For Fred and I the requirements are different but we agree our top “must have” is a lack of crowds. So with this in mind I look for a campground without a lots of whiz-bang fancy attractions. In a private campground that means no playgrounds, swimming pool, restaurant or such. In a state or federal campground we stay away from places with big lakes, whitewater rivers, and super outstanding fishing and head for campgrounds off a paved road and less than 50 campsites.
For me (and this is my list only), a private campground must have full hook-ups, a laundry, clean bathrooms, hot showers and not be priced beyond reason. Fred would add wifi and enough separation between sites to put out the awning. In a state or federal campground, I want trees, at least one trail, potable water, a bathroom, and quiet. Fred wants a level parking apron, a good amount of sunshine, and a water spigot really close by. (Notice Fred’s wants are difficult to determine until we get to the campground.)
So what would be on your “must have” list? Okay, now you know what you want, which would you prefer — public or private campgrounds? Do I need to say we tend to opt for campgrounds in national forests and grasslands? But a lot of folks go for private campgrounds while others are happy with a Walmart parking lot campsite.
Okay that’s a good start but where does one go to locate information about campgrounds? The problem with answering this question is there are so many places to go for campground information. You can use one of the telephone book size directories like the one published by Trailer Life and Woodall. And then there are numerous websites, like ours, ForestCamping.com, that list hundreds of campgrounds. Toss in “word-of-mouth” suggestions and you can be completely overwhelmed even before you take a look at what’s available via today’s technology and apps.
We are getting away from those phonebook directories and going more with an app Fred has on his smart phone. One reason is it includes reviews and another reason is the app will actually guide us to the campground. However, on problem with Fred’s campground app is huge. I would like it better if I could use some filters so my choices would be limited to campgrounds with, say, a laundry and are dog friendly.
Fred loves spam. If given a choice between Spam and breakfast sausage, I think Spam wins 9 out of 10 times. There is always a can of Spam in the pantry. The preferred preparation is fried crispy.
One problem I have always had with Spam is slicing it. Getting it evenly thin enough to fry up nice a crisp was a challenge until I discovered my wire cheese slicer. I hate taking anything in the motorhome that serves only one function. While my wire cheese slicer has long done double duty producing even slices of butter, refrigerated cookie dough, and a variety of cheese, applying it to a brick of Spam never entered my mind until recently. Brilliant! No fuss. No mess. Each slice is the same thickness for its entire length. Why didn’t I think of this sooner.
Here are 25 survival uses for duct tape (DT) from Outdoor Survival, in no order whatsoever. One tip they omitted was DT is great for repairing holes made by tree branch in the outside skin of a motorhome or travel trailer.
1. Repairing a cracked water bottle or a pierced hydration bladder. A little strip of DT is the next best thing to a bandage for an ailing water vessel. Just dry the surface before you try to tape your patch in place, most forms of duct tape don’t stick to wet surfaces.
2. Survival arrow fletching. Tear off a few 5-inch pieces, and a long edge of one piece to the arrow shaft, fold the tape lengthwise, and stick the other long edge of that piece to the arrow. Repeat this process one or two more times; trim the vanes to shape with your knife; and you will have a serviceable arrow fletching.
3. Butterfly bandage strips. Cut two small strips of DT, and add a smaller strip across their centers (sticky side to sticky side) to create a makeshift butterfly suture.
4. Make cordage. Twist one or several lengths of duct tape into a cord or rope.
5. Patch a hole in canoe. I wouldn’t trust my life to this one, but it’s been done more than once.
6. Fashion a belt. When you are starving in the wild, and your pants start falling down, run a piece of DT through your belt loops and stick it to itself in the front. Overlap it about 4 or 5 inches and you’ll still be able to peel the belt apart when nature calls.
7. First aid sling. Fold a length of DT down the middle, so that it is half the original width and no longer exposing a sticky side. Use the strap to make a sling for a busted arm.
8. Leave a note. Write on it with a Sharpie, or use strips to form letters.
9. Handcuff alternative. If someone is acting up during a survival emergency, you can duct tape their hands together around a tree to prevent them from becoming a danger to themselves or others.
10. Mend shoes and clothing. You can skip the sewing class, if you have enough duct tape.
11. Repair your glasses. The tape on your glasses my look a little nerdy, but at least you’ll still be able to see.
12. Attach shelter elements. Just a few trash bags and some duct tape, and you have a survival shelter roof, or a sleeping bag cover, or a wind break, or…
13. Attach survival gear. Tape a spark rod to the side of your knife sheath, and you’ll always have a back-up fire source.
14. Make a hat. If you believe what you see on TV, the “Mythbusters” guys made a pretty nice looking hat out of duct tape on a recent episode.
15. Afix bandages. Place a sterile dressing over your wound, and strap it in place with DT. Hopefully you’re not too hairy where you got injured.
16. Fix your rain gear. Keep the dry stuff dry, and keep the water out, by mending your ripped rain gear with a few strips.
17. Make a drinking cup. Some creative folding and sticking can result in a cup you can drink from.
18. Make a spear. Strap your knife to a pole and you have a trusty spear to fend off beasts, or make one into your dinner.
19. Blister care. Cover the blistered area with a bit of cotton gauze, and tape over the cotton. Make sure that the duct tape fully covers the cotton and doesn’t touch the blister at all.
20. Mark a Trail. Use it to blaze a trail or signal for rescue, especially if your DT is brightly colored or reflective.
21. Make emergency repairs on your Bug Out Vehicle. Leaking hoses and windows that won’t stay up don’t stand a chance against the mending powers of duct tape.
22. Keep the feathers in your sleeping bag. If you have a hole in your down sleeping bag, the feathers will pour out faster than excuses from a politician. Patch the hole with DT.
23. Keep your tent closed. A damaged zipper could leave your tent door flapping in the wind. Stick the door shut, and keep the bugs and critters out.
24. Splint a leg. A broken ankle or leg can be stabilized with ample splint material, padding and duct tape. Pad the crotch of a forked branch with some cloth and duct tape to fashion a quick crutch to go with your splint.
25. Splint a broken tent pole or fishing pole. By taping a stick to the broken area of your tent pole or fishing rod, you might just get one last adventure out of it.
Actually, this is good for skin that has suffered abuse from winter or summer.
February was a long stretch of freezing temperatures, high wind, and super low humidity as my skin’s condition can verify. After all the abuse, I made the decision to try my old standby skin conditioning treatment – yogurt with a little ground oatmeal. The results were fabulous.
Here’s what I did: First, I scooped out a generous 1/4 cup of plain yogurt;
Using about a tablespoon of yogurt from the 1/4 cup, I mixed in a scant tablespoon of finely ground old fashion oatmeal;
Next I draw a delicious hot bath, mixing in the remaining yogurt;
Once in the bath, I applied the yogurt and oatmeal mixture to my face, shoulders, and elbows and just soaked.
After the water cooled, I rinsed all the yogurt and oatmeal off. Although it probably isn’t necessary, I do rinse again using fresh, warm water. A brisk toweling to dry and my skin is radiant, soft, and flake-free. Now, I am ready for Spring and my short-sleeved outfits.
PS-This is great for skin that has had too much sun and wind from summer time fun.
Whether a tent, car, and rv (recreational vehicle) camper, a tool box is an important. I’m not talking about an assortment of tools you might need to rebuild engine but some basic stuff to correct small problems like a tear in a tent, hanging a line to dry wet swimsuit, or change out a blown fuse.
Here are tools all campers should have in their toolbox. Make sure all tools fit your hand comfortably.
Hammer – 16-ounce curved-claw model. It’s lightweight and effective.
Screwdriver – a multi-bit ratchet screwdriver is best. It will save you weight (won’t need more than the one), money (no need to buy any others), and time (no need to reset the tool after each turn).
Pliers – slip-joint for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts and needle-nose pliers for twisting wire and reaching into tight places.
Hardware – a variety of nails, screws, eye hooks, and cup hooks along with wire and lightweight durable string. S-hooks and clothespin can be useful, too.
Adhesives – Carpenter’s glue for wood and paper, Super glue for almost everything else, but tape such as masking, duct, and electric, is probably more useful.
An rv camper will find a socket and ratchet set useful.
I *love* Crookpots (a.k.a. slow cooker) and this pot roast recipe is the best and easiest thing in my cookbook. There is more risk a failure when toast than in this recipe. All you need is in this photo; a can of Cream of Mushroom soup (although Cream of Celery or Cream of Chicken works, too), a 2 to 4-pound chunk of inexpensive beef that was on sale, and Crookpot. Put beef and whole can of soup into the Crookpot and cover with a lid. I’ve been known to toss in some old mushrooms and a splash of wine in, too, but it’s totally unnecessary.
One of the highlights of our travels in 2011 was a Guided Auto Tour through Picketwire Canyon (available starting 3/1/13). It is a recommended “Must Do” for anyone visiting the Comanche National Grassland in southeast Colorado. A personal favorite stop on that tour was at the meandering dinosaur tracks near the Purgatoire River.
What I have just learned is, within the area covered during Picketwire Canyon Auto Tour, there have been upwards of 50 locations bearing dinosaur bones discovered since 2001 and four of these areas have been excavated. The discoveries were made by Passport in Time volunteers and a task force of volunteers selected by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a Forest Service partner, is taking on the task of stabilizing and storing the fossils.
So far, the remains of Ceratosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Allosaurus, and a limb bone possibly from a Stegosaurus have been found at what is called the “River View” quarry. FYI: Ceratosaurus and Allosaurus are meat eaters while Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, and Stegosaurus are plant eaters. Apparently, meat eating dinosaurs shed their teeth, like sharks, and a bunch their teeth have been found. The theory is bones were washed in and stacked up on a gravel bar in the river, thus the “toss dinosaur salad” image. It is thought many of the dinosaurs dead up river then either their partial skeletons or full carcasses washed down river, became lodge on an ancient sandbar, only to be chewed up by carnivores (meat eaters), thus, accounting for the tossed and strewn about fashion of the bones.
And to think we were there and, besides walking in dinosaur footsteps, we could have been walking on dinosaur bones! I want to go back!!!!
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