RV Experiences and Memorable Meals on the Road – Vol 3

Bedding and linens are an important constituent of your on board inventory. You will need several sets of sheets and pillow cases, a good mattress cover, at least 4 pillows for you and at least 2 guests and I recommend 2 sleeping bags for guests, assuming that you can sleep at least 4. Sleeping bags…

  • Bedding and linens are an important constituent of your on board inventory. You will need several sets of sheets and pillow cases, a good mattress cover, at least 4 pillows for you and at least 2 guests and I recommend 2 sleeping bags for guests, assuming that you can sleep at least 4. Sleeping bags are so much easier to deal with than sheets and can be used outside if weather permits, so include a good quality ground cloth, for those occasions. An electric blanket and or comforters and extra blankets can usually be stored under the bed in the master bedroom.
  • Towels for kitchen and bath, bath mat and of course toilet paper. Now you must NEVER use 2 ply toilet paper in the RV septic system. Use only 1 ply, although you do not need to buy the expensive RV toilet paper, they sell in RV stores. We find that the 1 ply paper, that is readily available in any grocery store, works just fine and is half the cost. It is important that you indoctrinate your children and guests, to use only the 1 ply paper provided and not to put ANYTHING else into your holding tank. Of course, using a biodegradable holding tank deodorizer is recommended.
  • Water is another important subject. Many chose to sanitize their fresh water holding tank, which is a time-consuming pain to me. We choose to not worry about the holding tank water, as we do not dry camp very much and usually have good water hookups, at the RV parks that we visit. We do drain and refill the tank several times a year and use the holding tank water only for toilet, showers and dish washing, if we do not have city water available. We carry one of those large dispensers, available at most grocery stores, for coffee and drinking water. We also have a good counter top water filter, so that we can use the holding tank water if necessary. We also use it to fill our coffee maker, even when on city water, to remove the chlorine taste.
  • Well, I believe we have covered the basics on outfitting of your RV. I would only add, again, that you should keep a log book to record things that you need to add to your on inventory inventory and things that you can remove – always remember your weight limitations and do not accumulate too much “stuff”. We can now move on some of the fun stuff associated with the RV lifestyle – the enjoyment of great food.
  • The New Orleans School of Cooking was founded in 1980, to demonstrate basic Creole techniques and share their favorite cooking tips. Creole cooking is born of Indian, French, Spanish and African food cultures and it combined the best of each culture, with what they found to cook with locally. The result is totally unique in the world and guaranteed to tweak your culinary palette. Classes at the school are held Monday through Saturday and tours are available. If you visit New Orleans, I highly recommend attending one of their classes. They are located in the Jackson Brewery, on Decatur St.. and their attitude is “Let the Good Times Roll”.

Picking Your First Tent

When looking at tastes it's very clear that you have lots of choices to choose from, matter of fact it's an overwhelming number of choices for many. This article will help you find the tent that is right for you so you can get out there and camp. One of the first considerations when selecting…

When looking at tastes it's very clear that you have lots of choices to choose from, matter of fact it's an overwhelming number of choices for many. This article will help you find the tent that is right for you so you can get out there and camp.

One of the first considerations when selecting a tent is what climate you are planning to camp in. If you are in the woods on the Oregon coast you'd most definitely want one able to work in a rainy, wet location. If you are camping outside of Phoenix you might want to consider something that has perhaps an additional shade room and you'll want more windows. In Alaska you'll want something more rugged and weather resistant.

Now that you have figured that out your will want to consider what size of tent is ideal. As a tall guy at 6 foot tall a tent with a center height of 48 inches does not cut it. Also the floor space of an 8×8 camping tent is a bit limiting. Unless you are a fan of really close sleeping corners you are better off to select a tent that is at least 10×10. That will usually give you ample room for a blowup mattress or sleeping bags for 4 with a little room to move about.

Next you need to assess your skill level. Some tents are easy up and make setup a snap. These tents are great for new campers and experienced campers in that they are really easy to use. If you can setup your tent quickly you'll get to camping that much faster. However if you are someone who camps for a week at a time in rugged terrain you might go with something with more rigid poles. These take longer to setup but are often more sturdy. These days there are so many to choose from it'd be hard to go wrong on this category.

Next do you need a rain fly or not? Rain fly's are made to channel water away from the tent to keep the moisture at bay. If you are camping in a coastal area this is a must as even in summertime you'll wake up to a tent covered in dew so the rain fly is a good addition. If you are camping somewhere like Texas or Arizona this would be less important but it could also help with creating more shade so that you can stay cooler.

Price is also something you should look at. You can get a tent for $ 40 all the way up to $ 600. In this category you should look at how often you use it to decide what price range to stick with. I'd never recommend a tent that was under about $ 80 as they are usually really cheap. $ 120- $ 180 is about what you'll pay for a good tent.

The final consideration is weight, not all tents are created equal. There are tents that are from a few pounds like a hiking tent to ones that weight upwards of 40 pounds. If you are camping where you can park a vehicle this is not an issue but if you have to hike in to your camp spot you will not want to lug a 40 pound tent for any distance. There are many good tent manufacturers out there including Coleman, Columbia, Eureka, Swisse Sport, Tex Sport and many others.

Now that you know what you are looking next, go get your tent and happy camping!

You Need to Go Camping

You need to go camping. It is essential. Does this sound like the ravings of a fanatic? Sometimes it does, but I insist that you need to go camping. You need to go regularly. It can not be just a one off thing. You need to go often to stay whole and healthy. It is…

You need to go camping. It is essential. Does this sound like the ravings of a fanatic? Sometimes it does, but I insist that you need to go camping. You need to go regularly. It can not be just a one off thing. You need to go often to stay whole and healthy. It is as necessary as bathing or getting some exercise. It will not kill you right away if you do not but, life will not be as it should be.

If you do not go camping something nebulous and undefined will be missing from your life. Unless you are an exceptional person that has taken steps to deal with this, or a particularly boring person, you are aware of this hole in your life. It comes to you in those dark moments when you are alone and quiet and feeling introspective.

My apologies. I need to be clear. When I say you need to go camping, I am talking about real camping. I am not talking about pulling up to a campsite with your car trunk full of gear, setting up a tent on the tent pad, setting up a barbeque next to the picnic table, cranking the tunes on the radio and quaffing cold beer around the fire pit in your camp chair all weekend. For those of you who were with me and thinking, “Right on! This guy knows the truth of it! Preach it brother! My wife needs to read this!”, But thought that was what I had in mind, sorry. If you enjoy that kind of down time, great, have a blast and enjoy yourself. It is just one of many ways that people can 'get away from it all' and have a good time. All the more power to you, but your life will be no more complete for the experience. Perhaps it will be a little more tolerable or even a great deal more tolerable, which is why we love to embark on these diversions now and again, but absolutely everything will remain the same. The chances of experiencing anything are remote.

The kind of camping I am talking about can only be experienced in the back country, away from the haunts of men, where you have to be prepared and self sufficient and cut off from the outside world.

Not only do you need to go camping, not only does it need to be in some wilderness, but you need to go for more than three days. This is absolutely essential.

If you are not a camper your reaction will probably be, “Are you crazy? All those bugs! Sleeping on the ground! What happens if it rains? No way! If I'm going to take some time off give me a five star hotel and pool side service any day of the week. ” Yes I have heard it all many time before. For many the idea of ​​roughing it is repulsive. They recoil from the whole idea. As one person told me, “You're talking about my worst nightmare.” I suspect those are the people that need the experience of going back country more than anyone else. If that is your reaction, you are pretty typical – and I understand completely.

I head out into the wilderness every chance I get, which is not enough. Sometimes I will travel in wilderness for a month and I am loath to return, but almost inevitably the first three days are not a pleasant experience. The state of mind I am in does not fit my environment. I am still in the state of mind that is required to navigate modern life, and that is a problem.

Then on the third day something quite extraordinary happens. I used to think that it was a unique personal experience that I had, but after reading many wilderness travelers travel journals I came to realize that it is a common experience. Sometimes you have to read between the lines. It is typically on the third day people say, “It suddenly hit me. Other times the tone of their journal takes a great change. They stop fretting and become exuberant about the world they find themselves in. Some say it is as if suddenly time has slowed down. Professional wilderness guides observe it in their clients all the time. I watched a bunch of boisterous, and exuberant, out of control kids on a summer camp canoe trip experience a third day transition. While paddling through a canyon on dazzling blue water, as vultures swooped overhead on the updrafts and the heat shimmered off the cliffs, the whole group became utterly silent for hours. They were not the same for the remaining six days of the trip. They were awesome!

It has been referred to as the “third-day syndrome” and became the subject of articles and academic study. The May 2012 issue of Backpacker includes an article by Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan called, Making Makes You Smarter, which follows the work of Neuroscientist David Strayer, Ph.D. Elisabeth calls Strayer, “… something of a rock star in the world of brain science.” She goes on to say, “His pioneering, 15-year work on the dangers of distracted driving helped spawn public awareness campaigns, dozens of state texting-while-driving bans, a segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning series in The New York Times. ” In the Backpacker article the “third-day syndrome” is described as, “the optimized cognitive state you reach after spending at least that much time [3 days] in the backcountry.”

Other references to Strayer's work and the “third-day syndrome” can be found in the August 15, 2010, New York Times article, Your Brain on Computers: Outdoors and Out of Reach, Studying the Brain. Except it has nothing to do with computers. I experienced transitions long before the digital age.

The way I can best describe what I experience is with a metaphor. It is as if there is a shell around me and it shatters. Suddenly I am there. I have not been fully present up until that time.

The world becomes expansive and viable. I can see things in greater detail. My field of view widens, so that I notice things well out on the periphery of my vision. Colors become alive. Smells, sounds touch, everything becomes more intense. I experience a heightened awareness. I feel connected to the universe. I have arrived. I am home. Relief.

Remember The Matrix where Neo becomes conscious and aware of what his real life is like – that he is a battery in a power array? Except I wake up in a beautiful place. From that point on my time in the wilderness is nothing but pleasure. It is where I belong. I am more alive than it is possible to be at any time in the city. Life is as it should be. This is substantial and a deeply spiritual event, and this is why you need to go camping; to wake up.

You have no idea as to how sleep you are. That is the strange thing about states of consciousness. While you are in a particular state of mind you think that that state is a perfectly normal, base line state. It is not until you experience a sudden shift do you realize what a stupor you were in.

Have you ever been in shock? Remember the time you got that wicked jolt while putting up the Christmas lights and you fell off the roof? Then suddenly you came up with what you thought was a fabulous idea.You just had to try on your daughter's tutu. You could not understand why the ambulance attendants would not let you off the stretcher so you could bake them some brownies, and you've never baked a thing in your own life. Through it all you thought you were brilliant, did not you?

Did you know that, according to most jurisdictions on the subject, the average person spends four to six hours every day in a natural state of hypnosis? Do you notice when you are in this state and when you come out of it? Probably not. Slipping from one state to another is quite natural and normal. We all do it without realizing that we have. The only time we notice is if the shift is abrupt.

Personally, I think the shell I find I have been wrapped in is a defense mechanism, and the fact that so many people go through the same type of shift when they are in the back country means that the mechanism is commonly and potentially invoked and possibly universal. It defends us from modern life.

Modern life is harsh. It can be overwhelming. We have advertising, news and information blasted at us all the time. We scream around in loud, jostling vehicles. We hustle and bustle around on schedules and time tables. Our entertainment is sensational and aggressive. We are subject to claims, claims, demands. We have all kinds of things vying for our attention. Is it no wonder that we build a protective wall around ourselves. We have to meet with it all. We need to tone things down or we would be so frazzled we would lose our sanity.

It is not until you get well away from the typical modern day environment that you realize how dulled down you really are. We all dwell in this groggy, semi conscious state so that we can meet with the barrage of modern living. I know, you are totally cynical. When you are dashing around yacking on smart phones, up loading, downloading, acting, reacting and oh so busy and hyperactive, how can you be described as being groggy? But you are. If you were wide awake it would be so overpowering it would etch an indelible impression on your mind and soul. Each moment would be vivid and stay with you forever. Yes there are occasionally wonderful, salient moments, but for the most part it is all mundane and not the stuff you want to carry around with you forever, so you protect yourself.

In the wilderness it is OK to let the universe in. You want to carry the experience with you forever. I am always astounded at how beautiful everything is. There is nothing that I do not want to drink in and have with me for the rest of my life. Even as you crouch under an overhanging rock and watch in awe as a thunderstorm of roiling green clouds lashes the trees, drenches the land and slams it's forks of fire into the planet, it is beautiful. But what if it rains? You will, some how, be richer for it.

Modern life creates an extraordinary paradox. Life should be a vivid and intense experience. It should be rich and exciting. We all want that. We all want to feel so alive. However, because there is usually so much going on that is harsh and abrasive we can only survive if we protect ourselves and dull the impact. Unfortunately we inevitably dull the impact of everything, including all the things that enrich our lives. We are left too groggy to really experience our own existence.

So what do we do? We pump up the volume to break past our protective barrier; to penetrate the numbness. We are always seeking, bigger, faster, brighter, louder, wilder, more sensational, more razzle and more dazzle. We are wonderfully innovative and create all kinds of excitement for our selves. Unfortunately all the abrasive stuff is intensified too. More hype, more aggression, more demands. Life gets even more overwhelming and our defense mechanisms numb us even further to help us cope. So again, what do we do? Again we seek even bigger, faster, brighter, louder, wilder, more sensational and even more razzle and more dazzle than before. We are trapped in a viscous cycle. Great for those in the world of marketing, but not so great for the rest of us.

That is why you need to go camping. Let the shell break away. The way you are experiencing life now is skewed. The real experience of living has become obscured. We are all probably in a state that evolved so that people could cope with being under attack, but it is not a normal state. You will never experience life as it should be until you get away from the assault.

This is why I feel sorry for people that will never get away from it all, and I mean really get away from it. They will probably never know what it is like to experience life in its most natural, meaningful state. They will always be in the groggy, rolled down state that seems to be an inevitable part of modern life.

Part of the paradox that is our existence, as we strive for a richer more extraordinary, larger life experience, is we tend to inundate ourselves with more and more things – a bigger TV screen, wild computer games all with bigger and better sound, sometimes a racier car, a smarter phone – when the answer is getting away from all of those things.

Also, in the mad scramble for all of these artificial things, that might give us a kick now and again, we end up destroying our wild places as we mine them for their resources. These are the very places that can give us the thing that we all hunger for – life as it should be.

I can just hear the critics saying, “Ya it might be life as you think it should be, but it is not necessarily life as I think it should be.” which is absolutely missing the point. I do not know what you are going to experience in the wilderness. That is entirely subjective. What I do know is you need to clear your mind to experience anything, and a clear mind is what you experience in the wilderness. There are other ways to make this transition, but a camping trip in the wilderness is the most effortless and natural way that I know of.

This is just one of many reasons why we need to preserve our wilderness places, and not just the really remote and isolated ones. Wilderness places are important for our sanity and spiritual well being as a race. They need to be protected and accessible to everyone.

As I said before, when you are in a state of mind you may not be aware of what that state is until you experience a shift. On a long trip you can start taking your wilderness state of mind for granted, but what you experience for the first three days when you return to populated areas assures you that you are indeed in an alternative state.

Once I was out on a canoe trip for three weeks. My wife and I had leisurely traveled about 160 km. Friends picked us up at our predetermined rendezvous spot. We feasted on fresh food and spent the last night of the trip in the woods with them. The next day we had a long drive back to Toronto. None of my friends liked to drive and I am normally extremely comfortable behind the wheel and love long drives, so I grabbed the keys. Just getting into the vehicle was strange. It was a new van and it felt tiny. The speed was extraordinary. We were flying down back roads at all of 45 kp / h (27 mph) and it felt like the speed was going to strip the body panels right off. The noise and vibrations were horrific. Someone turned on the radio and the cacophony of sound drove through me and raked my brain.

We came to a small hamlet. After a long trip you tend to crave things like really ice cold drink, so we stopped into a variety store. I walked in and the ceiling seemed like it was going to scrape my head. All the packaging of the typical products you see on store shelves looked garish. The fluorescent lights throbbed and pulsed. They were extraordinarily green. Everyone looked hideous in the artificial glow.

As usual, as we got closer to the city the smells of exhaust assorted my nostrils and the noise got even more grating. The air felt dirty. The traffic around me seemed frantic. It was all very uncomfortable. The state of mind I was in did not fit my environment.

When my wife and I come back from one of our long excursions we know we are going to be in our wilderness state for three days. We go to see a big, block buster movie that is full of special effects, dine at a really exceptional restaurant, sometimes go see a good band. Without the protective shell it is all very intense, vivid and thrilling. Of course this all probably works to dull down our senses and return us to the groggy state that is an inevitable part of modern living.

The Art of Cooking On an Outdoor Stove

If you are an enthusiast cook and take delight in improving with meals using different ingredients, you are going to enjoy your next hiking trip. Backpacking for many people is more than just wandering around in the backwoods; it is feeling all of the experiences that are impossible to feel during the hustle of everyday…

If you are an enthusiast cook and take delight in improving with meals using different ingredients, you are going to enjoy your next hiking trip. Backpacking for many people is more than just wandering around in the backwoods; it is feeling all of the experiences that are impossible to feel during the hustle of everyday life, where you have all the modern conveniences right at your fingertips. Hiking or backpacking in an area where these modern conveniences are not available gives you an opportunity to fight for your survival using limited resources. There will be many instances where you will need to improve; cooking meals is one of them.

It is undeniable that you will need to prepare and cook your meals during your outdoor adventure. Since the amount of food you can carry with you is limited, you will need to have adequate outdoor cooking equipment available to assist you while you are in the backwoods. If you have prepared your backpack prudently and have taken all the necessary camping equipment with you, you will not find any difficulty. There is a variety of outdoor equipment available that can simplify the cooking job for you. These camping accessories may include an outdoor stove, crockery, cutlery, match sticks and fuel canisters, if you are using a gas or propane stove. These items can make your cooking experience a lot easier and more convenient.

It's actually fun to prepare food on an outdoor stove and those who enjoy exotic cooking are going to love it. Even though you have limited supplies and ingredients, there are many instances where you can use your creative mind to create a recipe that will bring about a delicious meal. Traveling is a great place to experiment with these new recipes that you have learned, but have not got an opportunity to try yet. Although your camping accessories can be somewhat limited, with an outdoor stove you have a good chance of completing your culinary task. Get your ingredients ready and enjoy the experience.

Outdoor cooking also depends upon which camping stove you have chosen. If you have opted for the lightweight single burner stove, you will have to wait a little longer before the food is ready.

There are also double and triple burner camping stoves available, however they are comparatively heavier. No matter which camping stove you select, as long as you have one with you, cooking will not be a hassle. You will enjoy your food wherever you are. When it's time to stop and eat during a hike, you can take the outdoor stove from your backpack and cook a quick meal for you and your companions. Indeed, the right outdoor equipment makes hiking a lot more exciting and enjoyable.

Backpacking is an art that can only be learned through trial and error and the experience that comes from many outdoor adventures. Although the knowledge of balance between weight and utility is clear, keeping up with this balance can be a challenge.

No matter how limited your selection of camping equipment, make sure that a compact outdoor stove is included in your pack. This will insure that your trip is a lot more pleasant and convenient.

Hammock Camping Basics

Tent camping may be fun, but its disadvantages lead vacationers and backpackers to another form of camping-the one that uses hammocks instead of the usual ground-erected tents. If you have a garden hammock, it can be used for hammock camping. You only have to modify it. Hammocks offer a more versatile camping shelter than ordinary…

Tent camping may be fun, but its disadvantages lead vacationers and backpackers to another form of camping-the one that uses hammocks instead of the usual ground-erected tents. If you have a garden hammock, it can be used for hammock camping. You only have to modify it. Hammocks offer a more versatile camping shelter than ordinary tents.

Hammock tents are the convenient alternative to ordinary tents as long as they are put up properly. A fitting hammock tent would be more comfortable than those that sit on the ground. The setup looks simple, but it can offer a temporary shelter in the woods for campers. Hammock tents can actually turn out to be a nice place to lie down, because they are more comfortable. There are a few versions of hammock tents available.

The hanging tents look vulnerable. They are vulnerable if you do not tie the ends right. But if the end straps are tied to sturdy tree trunks, the hammock should hang fine. Just do not hang the hammock too high, that it will become difficult to climb in.

For some people, sleeping in the hammock can be discomforting, especially because the tiny space restrictions movement. For other people, it's a better option than having a tent that sits on a stony or damp ground. When you are out there camping, you really do not have much of a choice. Some people say that hammocks reduce back discomfort, which you will probably get from lying on uneven ground.

The very nice thing about these tents is that they are suspended about two or three feet from the ground. This means that you will not have to worry about lying on wet ground. You can also avoid crawling insects or slugs.

Setting up a hammock tent can be a worthy activity, but you have to choose the right location for it. Novice campers may be troubled, but there is no need to be. If you are going to a national park, you can inquire about the designated camping sites. A hammock allows you to camp deep in the woods or on rugged mountainsides. You can almost camp anywhere, but avoid camping near lakes or springs. Find a spot where there are no bugs and flying insects. A windy place would be nice, because insects do not stay in that area. However, winds can bring chills at night.

Not everything is good about hammocks, though. These tents can be difficult to put up if there are no sturdy structures in the area. Even in a forest, it can be a challenge to find trees spaced far enough for you to put up a hammock between. These tents are also vulnerable to strong winds.

Setting up these tastes is quite easy. You need a hammock, strong routes and a fly. When you are looking for a campsite, you have to look carefully. Find two trees with enough distance for your height. The trees should have robust trunks measuring around 8 inches in diameter or 25 inches around. Make sure that you tie the ropes to the trees firmly. Set up the fly over the tent for cover.

Staycation Planning: I Went on a Staycation and Didn’t Realize It

It was summertime in 2005, and my wife wanted the family to go on a vacation. I had vacation time coming, but very little money. Well my wife had an idea for a low-cost vacation. And when she explained her idea, it sounded like a good plan. Here's how it worked: We are surrounded by…

It was summertime in 2005, and my wife wanted the family to go on a vacation. I had vacation time coming, but very little money. Well my wife had an idea for a low-cost vacation. And when she explained her idea, it sounded like a good plan.

Here's how it worked: We are surrounded by interesting, and fun places to see. These places are within a 2 hour drive from our home. So on Monday, we could drive south to one of our favorite amusement parks. We do not go there very often, because It's an hour and a half drive one way.

On Tuesday, we drove west to Chicago. We could go to the Science and Industry, or Field Museums. We live in a small town in Indiana. It's a little over an hour drive to Chicago. I really enjoy going to the museums. But I do not go there to often, because of the heavy traffic.

On Wednesday, we'll go east to Amish country. They have a huge flea market there. It's only open on Wednesday, so it's a big event. Also it's interesting to see the town that it's located in. Some of the buildings are very old. It's like, going back in time. And a big contrast, from a big city like Chicago. This is about an hour and a half drive one way from our home.

On Thursday, we traveled north about 45 minutes to the Indiana Dunes State Park. Here we can go swimming all day long in Lake Michigan. Then in the evening we drve another half hour to a drive-in theater. There are only three drive-in theaters in our area. Years ago, there used to be a drive-in theater in every town. Now you have to drive 45 minutes one way, to get to one.

Finally our family went camping on Friday, and Saturday, at our favorite campground. I do not remember what this vacation cost alike. But I had sufficient money to pay for it. And I did not know that this would (someday) be called a “staycation”. My family enjoyed the week. And we consider this to be our vacation.

There is a simple formula to this type of vacation. By using your home as a daily starting point, you'll be sleeping in your own beds at night. This will save the cost of staying at a motel. Also, you can pack a picnic lunch to take with you each day. Actually we had a big cooler full of food and drink. Enough to last us all day. Food and lodging are two big expenses when budgeting for a vacation.

Then I tried to find fun places, that my family would enjoy. I looked for places that I could drive to in about 2 hours. And I did this for several reasons: I did not want to rent a car. My older car could handle a 2 hour drive. My kids would get restless on long trips. They did pretty good sitting in the car for two hours. And last, but not least, the high cost of gasoline.

Save Money On Your Next Vacation – Go Camping At State Parks

Are you daydreaming about summer vacation? Do you have mixed emotions? I can relate to that. You really need a vacation. And you really need to have some fun, and relaxation. The only problem … can you afford it. Believe me, I know the feeling. And I will share some real money-saving tips for taking…

Are you daydreaming about summer vacation? Do you have mixed emotions? I can relate to that. You really need a vacation. And you really need to have some fun, and relaxation. The only problem … can you afford it. Believe me, I know the feeling. And I will share some real money-saving tips for taking a vacation.

The plan that I want to share with you, came about quite by accident. I live in Indiana. One day I was in a convenience store looking at some magazines. One magazine in particular cult my interest. It was about things to do, and places to see, in Indiana. I think it was called “Wander Indiana.”

After I looked through the magazine, I was really surprised at all the different types of State Parks in Indiana. I was raised in Northwest Indiana; and never wandered too far from home. In our little corner of the State; there is Lake Michigan, and sand dunes. Then it's all flat land, and corn fields, as far as the eye can see.

I was really surprised at all the pictures in the magazine of our different State Parks. The scenery, the terrain, it was all different from around here. I kept looking at the pictures and thinking to myself, I want to go there. Wait a minute, that place looks interesting too. And it's really not that far away.

I determined right then, where I'm taking my family on our next vacation. And since my family loves to go camping, we'll visit State Parks. This was an easy decision to make, because the rates to camp were very reasonable. I had vacation time coming, but I did not have a lot of money. It was a perfect fit.

Please do not misunderstand this plan. This is not about vacationing in Indiana. But rather, it's about vacationing in the State that you live in. Look at your State Parks. You might be surprised at what they have to offer. Your family may enjoy hiking trails, swimming, boating, and sight-seeing. We have caves in Southern Indiana too. If your state has them, go explore a cave.

I do not know how you feel about tent camping, but if nothing else, it's a great way to sleep cheap. Build a campfire, and cook your meal over it. Once again you've saved more money. Going to the nearest supermarket, and buying food to cook at the campsite, is cheaper than going to a restaurant.

The rates to camp at State parks vary depending on the sites, and the days of the week. There are primitives sites with no hook-ups (electric, sewage, water). Although the primitive sites are the cheapest, I always paid a little more to get a site with water, and electric.

First you'll need some camping equipment. Depending on your finances you can buy new, or used equipment. Of course you'll need a tent, and sleeping bags (I always slept on an air mattress). Next I would suggest you get a good size cooler. Big enough for your food, and sodas. I like to use a tripod grill for cooking over the campfire. Hint: maybe you can borrow some, or all of the camping equipment from family or friends.

How To Change The Colour Of A Campfire

Sitting in front of a fire or enjoying the dancing flames with family and friends over good conversation is a great way to pass an evening. Adding some flair and color to the fire with everyday items will astound your guests and make them squeal with delight. Several household items change the color of a…

Sitting in front of a fire or enjoying the dancing flames with family and friends over good conversation is a great way to pass an evening. Adding some flair and color to the fire with everyday items will astound your guests and make them squeal with delight. Several household items change the color of a fire from standard orange and yellow to blues, greens and reds.

Instructions

Things You'll Need

  • One of several chemicals listed below
  • A fire
  • Personal protective equipment

The most important and first step is read all the warnings for this article. If you do not, very bad things could happen.

Now determine what color you want to change the flame to. The options are red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, purple, and bright white.

Here's the breakdown by color:

Color
Salts

Red
Any Strontium salt like Strontium Nitrate

Orange
Calcium Chloride

Yellow
Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Chloride (Table Salt)

Green
Barium salts such as Barium nitrate, Borax

Turquoise
Copper sulphate

Blue
Copper (II) Chloride (Campfire Blue)

Purple
Potassium Permanganate

White
Magnesium Sulphate

There are a few different methods you can use, they are listed below.

  • Toss dry colorants onto the flames.
  • Soak logs in an alcohol solution of colorants.
  • Soak logs in an aqueous (water) solution of colorants and allow the logs to dry.
  • Prepare pinecones, sawdust, or cork with colorants.

In general, there is no specific ratio of colorant to mix with the alcohol or water. Add as much powdered colorant as will dissolve in the liquid. Do not attempt to mix colors together – you will probably end up with a normal yellow flame. If you want multicolored fire, try adding a few different pinecones, each soaked with a single colorant, or scatter a mixture of dried colored sawdust across the fire.

How to Prepare Pinecones or Sawdust

Remember to do this procedure separately for each color. You can combine some sawdust, dry pinecones or any other absorbant material with different colorants later.

  1. Pour water into a bucket. Use sufficient water to be able to wet your pinecones, sawdust, or waste cork. (Skip to step 3 if you purchased your colorant in liquid form.)
  2. Stir in colorant until you can not dissolve any more. For sawdust or waste cork, you may also add some liquid glue, which will allow the pieces to stick together and form larger chunks.
  3. Add the pinecones, sawdust, or cork. Mix to form an even coat.
  4. Let the material soak in the colorant mixture for several hours or overnight.
  5. Spread the pieces out to dry. If desired, pinecones may be placed in a paper or mesh bag. You can spread sawdust or cork out on paper, which will also produce colored flames.

How to Prepare Logs

Follow steps 1 and 2 above and either roll a log around in the container (big container, small log) or else pour and spread the mixture onto the logs. Wear appropriate protective gloves to protect yourself. Allow them to dry. You can make your own newspaper logs by smearing colorant onto the newspaper before rolling it.

Points to Keep in Mind

  • Always take care and use the appropriate protective equipment when working with chemicals or fire.
  • Keep the colorants away from children and handle them with the care and respect due to potentially hazardous chemicals. Read and adhere to any warnings listed on product labels.
  • The element sodium burns with a yellow flame. The presence of this element can overwhelm any other color. For this reason you should avoid using sodium if you are making a dry mixture.
  • If you are using alcohol-based colorants: Remember that alcohol is flammable. If you do not allow it to evaporate before use, you will get a lighter-fluid effect. Use with care!
  • You should not try to color the color of a barbecue, because although it will produce pretty flames it can also produce toxic fumes that will go into the food.

Autumn RV Destinations

Autumn in United States is a great season for RV camping. The frost-covered grass on the side of the roads joins a number of campers every year. Unlike winter RV camping, autumn offers a wide range of options. Campers can visit almost any part of the country with their recreational vehicle. Even the seasonal RV…

Autumn in United States is a great season for RV camping. The frost-covered grass on the side of the roads joins a number of campers every year. Unlike winter RV camping, autumn offers a wide range of options. Campers can visit almost any part of the country with their recreational vehicle. Even the seasonal RV camping facilities remain open during time of the year. Better yet, some of them also organize various special events for autumn campers. The following are some great autumn RV camping destinations to make your camping experience memorable.

Great Smoky Mountains: It is one of the only National Parks of United States with no entry charge. Thus, Smoky Mountains are one of the most popular year-round RV destinations. And the autumn makes this place bright with beautiful, majestic colors. The best time to visit Smoky Mountains is between mid-October and early November, when the autumn colors reach their peak. You can select the lower elevations as your RV camping destination where the scarlet oaks and sugar mapples will spark brilliant colors of red, yellow and orange. In fact, a large number of crow visit this area during the last weeks of October. Thus, be ready for traffic delays or opt for the less traveled roads. Alternately, you can start early and do not forget to get your early reservations.

There are several full-service RV camping facilities close to Smoky Mountains, allowing campers to stay close to nature. Some of the campground offer primitive tenting sites to allow RVers to enjoy star gazed nights in a peaceful and quite atmosphere. Some of the nearby RV campgrounds include Balsam Mountain Campground, Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Creekside RV Park, Holly Haven RV Park, Camp Smokies, Pine Mountain RV Park, Ripplin Waters Campground, and Cove Mountain Resort RV Park.

This area will be chilly during autumn so do not forget your warm outdoor gear, especially if planning for hiking.

Amish Country: Pennsylvania Amish Country features an old-fashioned charm and homespun warmth that stems from the Amish community. It picturesque landscape, rolling hills with lush greens, horse and buggies, and windmills dotting the horizon interviews RV camping enthusiasts from all across the country every year. With more than 40 percent of the farmland, this area allows the visitors to take a trip back in time. Amish Country, with its traditions and lifestyle, is a popular RV camping destination of United States. To enjoy the autumn trip, the best time to visit the Amish Country is late-October. You can drive your recreational vehicle through Pennsylvania Dutch country while enjoying the rich and colorful leaves. The area offers a perfect fall-chill during this time of the year.

There is no shortage of quality RV camping facilities in and around Amish Country. In addition, this area is ideal for boon docking during the autumn. RV campgrounds that are close to Amish Country include Shipshewana RV Park, Middlebury KOA, Amish Log Cabin Lodging & Shipshewana Campgrounds, Eby's Pines Campground & RV Park, Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, Elkhart Campground, and Eby's Pines Campground & RV Park.

Lake Michigan: One of the major attractions in Southern Michigan during the autumn is its farmer markets. During this time of the year, the farmer markets overflow with autumn harvests and you-pick crops. Apart from these markets and the majestic beauty of Lake Michigan, Southern Michigan offers facilities for golfing, canoeing, corn mazes, and haunted house tours. Thus, RVers flock to this part of the country every year. And to make your trips memorable, the RV camping facilities of the area organize numerous planned activities and events. The best time to camp in the Lake Michigan area is early October, as the coast is full of festivals, and events designed for the whole family.

This area offers numerous RV campgrounds. For example, Singing Sands RV Park is a stone's throw away from Lake Michigan. Other close by RV camping facilities include Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Silver Creek RV Resort, Shady Creek RV Park and Campground, Harbortown RV Resort, Spring Lake Campground, and Decatur's Oak Shores Campground.

Enjoy The Splendor of National Parks, Forests and Monuments Through Camping

As I always tell people, or anyone who is interested, that camping is the way to go. There are so many advantages to this unique activity and so many different styles and variety of ways to do it that you can never get bored or tired of it. Just remembering and reminiscence about these camping…

As I always tell people, or anyone who is interested, that camping is the way to go. There are so many advantages to this unique activity and so many different styles and variety of ways to do it that you can never get bored or tired of it. Just remembering and reminiscence about these camping experiences can be a great bonding exercise for family and friends.

National Parks, Forests and Monuments are the most precious jewels our government provided for us to enjoy since 1916, for the well being of ones body and soul. The best and most thorough way to enjoy them is through camping. How could you otherwise relish the cool fresh air and night sky whether studded with shinning stars, with a bright moon or in darkness? How else could you feel the abundance of nature and the insignificance of oneself?

In these public campgrounds, you are given the opportunity to make conversation and friends with anyone, whether very old or very young, whether they speak your language nor not. Everyone is there for the purpose of enjoying nature, which majesty and beauty can never be surpassed. Therefore all these campgrounds have a happy atmosphere and all you have to do is go there and enjoy! Even though there are not the many amenities as some private campgrounds, they compensate with the wonderful fresh air, night sounds of animals, owls and winds which contribute to an exciting camping experience.

Another plus in camping is that you see excited and happy faces every where, whether tired from sightseeing or ready to go. During our first westward camping trip at a national park, we went up on a tower to enjoy the scenic view, as I looked down I saw our car with our pop-up hitched to it. Then I looked again as it was hard to believe that there was an identical station wagon, same model, color and year with the same brand and size of pop-up hitched on its back. These campers must have noticed ours so they parked their car & trailer back to back with ours. We wished that we had time to wait for them but there were too many sites to see to waste time waiting. We did look and saw that they were from California. What a coincidence! We never had another such “look alike” experience again.

There are so many beautifully written articles and films about these national parks, forests and monuments, though not particularly about camping in them. You'll never know the excitement and the wonder of actually being there, camping there. So, gear up, go camping!