Monthly Archives: August 2017

Maintaining, Repairing and Replacing Camping Gear

The Spring camping season is upon us. Starting now and going forward we will be hauling out our gear, assessing what is still in good shape, performing maintenance on the gear that needs attention, and perhaps making a list of gear we might need or want. Hopefully, we stored things away in a fashion where loss or major repairs are not necessary. However, due to oversight or maybe just getting in a hurry, we may need to address some problems with our gear. We may also need to shop for gear that is not salvageable or to fill needs that we we now have.One of the most common issues we must deal with is mold or mildew on tent fabric, sleeping bags, etc. Can these problems be addressed? The answer is sometimes. First lets deal with cleaning a tent.First of all, avoid using detergents and/or bleach. Yes, these will likely remove the mold, but will likely leave damage that may be worse than what you started with. The damage from bleach is fairly obvious. The damage from detergents is that they often leave a residue that cannot be removed and over time deteriorate the ability of the fabric to be water repellent. One product that is unlikely to damage the material is Nikwax Tech Wash. It’s a bit pricey at $26 for a liter (recent price through REI), but much less than replacing your tent. It is advertised as a non-detergent soap that protects waterproof fabrics like gore-tex and those in tents. Set up your tent in a shady location on a warm day. Add the soap to lukewarm water and go at the tent with a cloth or sponge. Pay special attention to areas around seams and zippers. Rinse very thoroughly with a hose. This probably goes without saying, but this time make certain the tent is thoroughly dry before storage.

For sleeping bags, the job is a bit easier in most cases. This is because you are rarely dealing with also trying to preserve waterproofing in the material. First, READ THE CARE INSTRUCTIONS on the sleeping bag’s label! Wash the bag with all zippers closed so they do not snag and tear. It is strongly suggested that you take your bag to a front-load washer if you do not have one so the agitator does not rip up your bag’s fabric. For down, use Woolite for the detergent. For synthetic bags, use a mild detergent. In all cases, use the minimum detergent required. Wash on the machine’s gentle cycle. Carefully remove the bag after washing, supporting the water-soaked bag, again to prevent damage. Use a large commercial dryer on its lowest setting. Pull the bag out intermittently and check for dryness and clumping. You can reposition the fill in the bag if it is clumping up. Dry for the minimum necessary time.One issue we see on occasion is damage to small electrical devices because they were stored with batteries not removed. Here are a couple of things to remember. One thing you might consider is contacting the battery manufacturer if the device is ruined. A few offer guarantees against damage from leaking batteries. When cleaning, use safety glasses and rubber gloves. Mix a small amount of solution and baking soda. Use a Q-Tip and gently remove corrosion from the battery compartment being as careful as possible not to slop water into the device. After removing corrosion, repeat procedure with clean water. Finally, use a dry Q-tip and dry the device compartment out as much as possible. Finally, let the device air dry until thoroughly dry. The device will likely work just fine.

When you get ready to put together your list of needs and/or wants for the coming year, here is some advice. First, think carefully about the trips you are planning. How can you minimize the gear requirements needed for all the trips you plan. Perhaps a small compromise on the gear you want/need for one trip might allow an item to fill a need on another trip. Often, taking a comprehensive list of camping gear, crossing off as much as you feel you can, and then analyzing carefully what is left, is a good strategy.

Your Absolute Camping Gear Necessities

There is nothing worse than driving to the campground, finding the perfect campsite, opening up the trunk, and finding that you forgot to pack your sleeping bag, a can opener, or worse yet, the tent itself! So, before heading out on your next camping trip, plan ahead and make a list of the absolute necessities you will need to bring with you to the campsite. You can use this camping gear checklist or make one yourself and add your own camping gear necessities as you see fit. Check off each item as you pack up the car or prepare everything ahead of time and keep them in large storage bins that you can just carry out together for those last minute camping excursions.Shelter is the most important thing you need to consider for any camping trip, whether it is for just one night at the nearby lake in the middle of spring or for an entire week at a campsite three states away in the dead of winter. Your camping shelter necessities should include a tent that is made for the terrain and weather conditions, tent stakes to keep the tent from blowing away, a sleeping bag with an appropriate temperature rating, and a tarp to protect your camping gear or to be used with your tent for added protection from cold, sun, or rain. You might also want to add a sleeping pad, a pillow, or rope to use with the tarp for added comfort.

Cooking gear is the next most important camping necessity every camper needs to consider. Unless you are trying to become the next contestant on Survivor, you will want to take with you the necessary items needed to cook any food you brought, caught, or shot! Your camping cooking necessities should include a cooler, butane lighter, propane camping stove, extra propane, pots and pans, a can opener, and one set of dishes and utensils for each person in your camping party. Of course, do not forget about bottled water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning, as well as whatever food items you want to bring with you on your camping trip. Also, bring along a bag of charcoal to use in the campground grill!Personal hygiene is another important concern when packing for your next camping trip. Unless you really want to be roughing it you should make sure you have the following hygiene items with you on all your outdoor adventures. You will need your tooth brush, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wash rag, towel, nail clippers, and contact lens solution. If you are really concerned with how you look (and perhaps smell) to the other campers, you might also want to include a hairbrush, razor, dental floss, and unscented deodorant. Anything you bring with you that has an odor will only attract bugs or animals to your campsite, so avoid scented products.First aid and safety is the final thing you should worry about when it comes to your camping gear necessities. You never know what adventures your camping trip will bring you, so you need to be prepared for both the best and the worst. You can buy a premade first aid kit or put one together yourself that includes any medications you take, aspirin, antiseptic cream, burn ointment, sunburn lotion, sun block, hydrogen peroxide, snake bite kit, eye wash, Band-Aids, medical tape, gauze, scissors, and tweezers. For your personal camping safety, you should also be sure to pack a flashlight, extra batteries, compass, cell phone, utility knife, pen and paper, water filter, whistle, and a small toolkit.

Bringing these camping gear necessities will ensure you a comfortable and safe camping trip, no matter where or when you go. From here everything else you bring with you on your camping trip is for your own personal comfort and enjoyment, so add those camping items as you see fit and enjoy the great outdoors!

Family Camping Gear – Getting Ready to Pack

Trying to decide what gear to pack for your upcoming camping trip can be a stressful undertaking. Creating and following a checklist of the family camping gear your trip requires will save loads of time, keep you from forgetting vital gear, and leave you ready to enjoy a relaxing vacation in the outdoors.This checklist will help get you started thinking about what to take camping.
Food – Plan your meals in advance and plan for plenty of snacks in between. During your trip you will most likely be doing more strenuous activities than you are accustomed to, so be prepared for bigger appetites. Don’t forget the S’mores!
Drinks – Water, water, water. Bring enough and then bring some more. Powdered drink mixes are an easy way to add different flavors. If you are going to be camping remotely you should also bring a water filter. Do not count on the campground’s water supply.
Shelter – Proper tents for camping are a key element to a comfortable campsite. Practice setting up the tent in your backyard to familiarize yourself with the tent and double check that all components are present.
Extra Tent Stakes – Rocks and hard ground do bad things to tent stakes. Mallet – For pounding in those extra tent stakes.
Tarp – A tarp can serve many purposes at your campsite. A tarp that is slightly larger than your tent not only protects the floor of your tent from rips and punctures, but aides in keeping your tent clean as well. Some tents even have custom footprints available as an option
Sleeping Bags – Make sure your sleeping bags are rated appropriately for the temperatures you are going to be in during the night. Spare blankets are great to have in case a cold spell hits or just to use while sitting around the campfire.
Cooler – To keep your food and drinks cold and fresh.
Camp Cookware – Dutch ovens, pots, pans, utensils, etc. Look over your meal plan and make sure you have what you need. Don’t forget to bring dish soap to clean them.
Tableware – Plates, cups, silverware, coffee mugs, etc. Paper plates and plastic utensils make for a lot of unnecessary trash.
Garbage Bags – For all the trash you will have to deal with. Always leave the campsite in better condition than you found it.
Lighter – Rubbing two sticks together is fun, but it’s no match for a lighter.
Fire Tinder – Dryer lint or an old news paper works great for getting a fire started.
Clothing – Don’t forget towels and swimsuits in the summer, gloves and hats in the winter.
First Aid Kit – Murphy is always lurking behind the next tree. Be prepared with a well stocked camping first aid kit. Sunscreen and Insect Repellent – Sunburns and mosquito bites can ruin a camping trip fast.
Rope – Clotheslines, tarp supports, jump ropes, mock bullwhips… what more needs to be said.
Multi-tool – Useful for so many things. Always carry a multi-tool.
Lighting – A good lantern and plenty of flashlights. Don’t forget spare batteries.
Toiletries – Toothbrush, tooth paste, toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, etc. Wet wipes also come in handy and can double as toilet paper.
Camp Chairs – A simple camp chair is a lot more comfortable than a cooler or log.
Extra Cash – Cash is king. Even more so when you are away from your home turf. You shouldn’t need much, but you can expect prices at the camp store to be higher than back home.
Optional Items:

 

Camera – Preserve the memories, capture the scenery!
GPS – Great for knowing where you are. You can also take the kids Geocaching.
Fishing Gear – Rods, reels, lures, bait, etc.
Sleeping Pads – Pads, cots, or air mattresses. While not a requirement these can make a big difference in your comfort level.

Folding Table – Good for meal times, card games, etc.
Extra Shoes – Wet shoes make for unhappy feet.
Games and Fun – Board Games, story books, musical instruments, decks of cards, etc. Don’t forget to bring some entertainment to pass the time.
Camp Axe – Having an axe does not make you an axe murderer. Sometimes you may need to split wood.
Camp Shovel – A good folding camp shovel can serve many purposes.
Camp Stove – Even when you have a campfire a propane camp stove makes cooking and cleanup much easier.
Food Storage Container – If you are going to be camping in bear country, make sure to bring an approved food storage container such as a bear canister. Bear bags are still OK in some places, but in severe problem areas, such as most of Yosemite National Park, bear bags are ineffective and have been banned.
All things considered, every time your family heads into the wild will be a unique experience and will have different family camping gear requirements. Always take into consideration the number of campers, length of stay, planned activities, etc. Our best advice is to include the entire family when making your packing list and to remember to have fun.

Camping Gear Canada – Preparing Camping Gear For Canada

Are you planning to go to Canada? Do you live in Canada? Yes, you heard right. Canada has various sites for camping in different terrains and climates. All you need to do is to plan for a proper camping gear once you have decided the place of your choice. For people, who love to freak out, Canada is the best place to visit for vacations.Russia is the largest country in the world and Canada is the second. So, you can imagine the number of places you have to visit in such a big country. It has coastlines on the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific ocean and six time zones.Only the southern portion of Canada has hostile northern climate and therefore majority of people love to live there only. This portion of Canada has lushy green scenery and forests due to adequate rain in the area. Moreover, there are warm Pacific air currents from the west that adds to its environment.

Rocky Mountains starts after these forests that have high plateaus and rugged mountains. You would discover wheat fields when you enter into the Canada towards east. But when we move further towards east, the Arctic and Atlantic cold make the conditions very harsh.Therefore, western and central Canada is the favorite places for the campers. From May to September, Canada is best for camping. Some people say that this is the camping season in Canada when most of the campers plan to camp. Many people like to camp around Canada in the month of June to August as the weather is warm and stable in those months. Canada is famous for unpredictable weather, therefore you should always carry sufficient camping gear along with you once you have decided the place you would camp.Place where you would be visiting in Canada plays a vital role in your checklist for the camping gear. In a country like Canada with various terrains and weather conditions, it is advised to plan your camping according to the place you are visiting. For example, if you are visiting west coast of Canada where the weather is rainy then you should prefer carrying sleeping bag and a waterproof tent along with some plastic tarp to protect you in case of heavy rains.

In case, you are planning to visit central Canada then you need not to equip yourself with waterproof tents as the weather here is like desert. You would only require good quality tents and sleeping bags. You can browse internet to find the checklist for camping in various parts of Canada to be sure of your protection.Canada being a campers paradise, has various weather conditions for you to offer. This weather also gifts you with types of bugs and insects, so remember to carry an insect repellent in your camping checklist. This would help you to safeguard yourself from mosquitoes and other bugs.

Camping Checklist – Don’t Leave Home Without the Right Camping Gear

Have you ever gone camping and realized that you left a valuable piece of camping equipment at home? Whether it’s a big or small item, not having what you need can be a real problem. Rather than devote everything to memory it pays to have a camping checklist so you can make sure you have everything you need.When creating a camping checklist it helps to start with the essentials. Camping equipment that you just couldn’t live without like your tent, sleeping bags, food, and drinks are a must. Here’s some of the major categories of the items you’ll need while camping. The camping checklist headings I use for creating my list are Shelter and Bedding, Cooking Utensils, Camp Cleanup Supplies, Outdoor Apparel, Personal Hygiene, First Aid, and Miscellaneous Camping Gear.

You should keep in mind that your list will vary depending on the type of camping you will be doing, time of year you’ll be going, and the weather conditions. Backpack camping will require a lot less gear than car camping, so plan your trip according to the type of camping you’ll be doing.One thing you want to avoid doing is buying food, water, or equipment after you’ve arrived at your destination. This can cause you to spend much more money than you normally would by purchasing your gear at your local sporting goods store. Plus, who wants to shop after you’ve arrived at your camping spot. Instead you should plan your trip correctly so you can spend more time doing the activities you enjoy. One thing you should always do is check with the campground for reservations, entry requirements, and hours of operation.