• 3 Gadgets You Should Take with You the Next Time You Go Camping

    0 comments / Posted by TravDevil Contributor

    If you enjoy camping, then you're likely interested in the latest in camping gear and technology. Most of these devices are small and easy to pack with your other camping essentials. Many of the newest camping gadgets even use solar energy, so you don't have to worry about packing batteries to power your gear. The following are three gadgets you should take on your next camping trip to make the entire adventure more enjoyable.

    Mosquito Repeller

    Mosquitoes are not only very annoying, but they also can actually carry potentially dangerous diseases. Many people choose to use mosquito repellent, but a repeller can often be the better choice, especially if you don't like spraying yourself with chemicals. A mosquito repeller uses ultrasonic sound waves or some other type of deterrent to keep mosquitoes and many other flying bugs away from your campsite. Most run on batteries, but some are also solar-charged.

    Solar Charger

    Solar chargers are becoming impressively powerful, smaller, lighter, and have the added benefit of being more environmentally friendly. A solar charger is an essential item if you want to use any type of electronic device while you're camping. Depending on the solar charger you choose, you can charge everything from phones and tablets to your laptop. Most solar chargers are lightweight and compact, so they don't require much space in your backpack or bag.

    Solar Camp Shower

    If you still want the option to take a warm shower while camping, this gadget is ideal. Once filled with water, it uses power from the sun to heat the water inside. The shower can be hung from a tree or other sturdy place that gives you enough clearance to stand under the shower unit. Plus, once filled, each shower can hold enough water for more than one person to take a quick shower. It also includes the showerhead, which makes it even easier to stay clean while camping for extended periods of time.

    Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, whether you're staying in a tent or a camper. Your time spent camping can be even more enjoyable if you take some of the latest camping gadgets with you. These gadgets can help you stay in touch with the world, keep away potentially harmful insects, and allow you to better relax during your camping adventure.

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  • 3 Questions to Ask Before Setting Up Your Campsite to Avoid Problems Later

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    Ahh, the great outdoors! Camping can be a wonderful experience when you want a weekend away with friends or a fun trip with family. However, camping requires a bit of planning to make sure you have a great time free of accidents and emergencies. It's important to make a plan before setting out on your camping trip.

    How Close is Water?

    Water is a key element of every day and while camping, especially for a multi-day trip. You can bring water from home or enjoy fresh spring water by your campsite. Local watering holes are important for cooking, filtering to drink, and basic hygiene. They’re also good for swimming fun!

    You'll want to be close to a water source but not too close in case of rainfall that would cause a sudden flood, or visits from local wildlife that may be bothersome to your campsite. Your site should be a least 200 feet away from water and off the path of fellow hikers and wild animals.

    Could Anything Else Be Living There?

    You've found what seems like your perfect campsite with fresh water nearby. However, someone or something may be there already. A water source may be inhabited by skunks, bears, and even pesky bugs.

    Look to signs such as fresh footprints, droppings, and nests. Wasps make paper nests and can travel 300 to 1000 yards in search of food. You don't want to be stung or put your loved ones in danger. Perhaps it's time to move to a safer place.

    Survey the Area

    It's necessary to find a flat area of your campsite to pitch your tent and give you room to move around. You'll want a good terrain for your family to cook and play. Another tip is to consider the location of your campsite. When you're carrying a lot of gear, you'll want to be in good physical shape if there's a trek to your site.

    A contour map is a traditional way to find smooth and rugged terrain. Another option is to consult online forums or ask friends for campsite suggestions. Make a list of places you want to see and narrow them down to what looks best for your needs and outdoor skills.

    Whether you're camping in the wilderness or at a national park, it's a great idea to plan ahead. Water, food, and safety are the most important elements to think about to ensure a perfect camping trip.

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  • Have Indoor Friends? 5 Ways You Can Make The Camping Trip Easier On Them

    0 comments / Posted by TravDevil Contributor

    We all have them. Camping-challenged friends who are wary of the outdoors, who shy away from anything with too much wilderness. As much as we love them, sometimes we just want to get them out into the great outdoors—and sometimes they agree. Here are five ways you can make the trip easier on your indoor friends, whether they've just promised to go, or you're still working on them.

    Pick the Right Campsite

    Some campsites offer more amenities than others, and if you're dealing with someone who's a little unsure about the great outdoors, you might want to learn more into the amenities that some will offer. Try looking for a campsite that offers private showers and clean toilets. Hot water is always a plus, and some sites might even have the option of kitchen access, a boon that your indoor pal will probably greatly appreciate. Pick a campsite that offers room for RVs or campers, in case your friends decide that they don't want to sleep in a tent.

    Depending on the time of year you're going, it's a good idea to include the option for them to go inside—if it's too hot, the air conditioning might be just the thing they need. If it's too cold, they're not going to say no to a few minutes (or hours!) inside, where it's warm.

    Keep Dinner Simple

    Okay, first things first: food. Campfire cookouts are all well and good, but there's a good chance your buddy's going to shy away from cleaning a fish. Unless you're planning on doing all of the work yourself, possibly when they're not looking to be on the safe side of things, it's a lot safer to get something already cooked, or pick up something from the store that's not going to require much prep.

    If they do decide that they're willing to give the "fresh caught thing" a go, make sure you know exactly how to cook and clean whatever you bring in. Check on whatever permits you and your friend might need, and make sure they're all up to date ahead of time. A little hassle before the trip can save you a lot of hassle later on.

    Bring a Generator

    This is probably going to be their biggest concern. Going off the grid can be a little scary for some people, even if it's exactly what the doctor ordered for others. If your camping friend is worried about a lack of amenities, ease their fears by bringing along a portable generator, to keep everything powered up, just in case. An RV can also serve as a generator if one of those is available.

    Having the option of electricity, that doesn't rely on the campsite you pick or the current state of the wilderness all around you, will help them sleep a little easier. It's also a good option to have, in case they do have cell service, and want to take advantage of that during the trip.

    Bring Inflatable Camping Mattresses

    Sure, sleeping bags are fun, traditional, and if well-purchased, even pretty comfortable—but there's a good chance your indoor friend won't agree on that. Even if they do, they might not want to spring the big bucks it takes to maximize comfort, especially not if they're not sure about camping again.

    Instead of letting them stress about their back problems, bring along an inflatable mattress. Because you're bringing along a generator, inflating it should be a breeze, and you'll keep them happier and more comfortable than if you'd let them "rough it."

    Respect Their Limits

    If you're the type of person who likes to have activities for every day of the trip, then involve them in the planning. Find out what they enjoy doing and include some of that! It's also a very good idea to ask them how much exercise they've done recently, and how much they'd be willing to do—if they're out of shape, a longer hike might not be a good idea, even if they're raring to go.

    Pick shorter trails, easier days and activities, and let them be the one to call a halt, or continue on. Keeping what they can and can't do in mind will make it easier for them to keep going over the duration of the trip, instead of feeling like they're constantly playing catch up, or holding you back. If you get them to help with the planning, it might make them feel more involved, and therefore, more invested in the trip! It could be beneficial to hold onto the camping gear for them. If camping gear is improperly stored it may make the entire time feel like a waste of money as the items become ruined.

    Wherever or whenever you decide to go, if you follow these five steps, you can feel much more confident that your indoor friend might actually enjoy their time outdoors, and even come back for more. Good luck!


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  • How to Actually Get a Comfortable Night's Sleep While Camping

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    Camping is a wonderful opportunity to spend some time away from technology and relaxing in the embrace of nature. But if you choose to sleep the old-fashioned way in a tent, you might find yourself experiencing some trouble sleeping away from the comforts of home. When you can’t sleep, a “relaxing getaway” can quickly go downhill. With that in mind, here are some tips for success:

    Get comfortable

    There are three main components of sleeping gear for camping: your sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and pillow. You need all three for a restful experience. Most importantly, find a flat area for your tent that is free of rocks and on soft grass.

    If you are camping, you are likely to be able to pack everything you need in your car or truck, and so you’ll have more room for luxuries like therapeutic pillows and air mattresses to support your sleeping bag.

    If you are backpacking, your comfort options become limited by how much you can carry. Closed-cell foam pads are generally the easiest to transport, as well as inflatable camp pillows if your compressible sleeping bag doesn’t include some kind of pillow pad.

    Take care to bring the right kind of sleeping bag for the climate. If you are camping in a region that stays warm at night, keep the sleeping bag light and the insulation minimal. If you are camping in a region that cools down substantially and/or you get cold easily, you’ll need something with more impressive insulation.

    Warm up your sleeping bag

    Here’s an old trick for comfort: warm up your bedding! This can be accomplished by warming some water before going to bed. Then, let it cool so it’s not going to burn you, and then pour it into a hot water bottle. Seal it tight and then place it in your sleeping bag.

    The wilderness can be noisy

    Nature is full of sounds — rushing water, whooshing wind, rustling leaves and grass, bird calls, etc. Some people find these noises relaxing. Other people find them noisy and difficult to sleep through. If this is you, be sure to take along some earplugs. Or you can download a white noise machine app for your iPod or phone if you don’t plan to take a complete hiatus from technology. You can also take a sleep aid like melatonin or CBD oral spray if you need help getting drowsy.

    Mosquitoes and pests, oh my!

    Don’t let mosquitoes and other pests ruin your sleep. Look at your tent carefully and make sure that there are no holes in it, even small ones. If you are sleeping without a tent, make sure to at least cover your sleeping area in some mosquito netting.

    Camping is a great way to get away from the chaos of daily life and reconnect with yourself and/or your loved ones. Use these tips to make sure your vacation doesn’t get ruined by a bad night’s sleep.


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  • 4 Tips for Camping with Young Children

    0 comments / Posted by TravDevil Contributor

    If you have small children, camping can be a fun and rewarding way to introduce them to the great outdoors and instill a lifelong appreciation for nature in them. However, camping with young children may require a few precautions. Make the most of your family outing with the following tips.

    Don't Rough It

    No matter how minimal you want to go with your camping, you can’t completely rough it with young children. Children need a little more help than adults do, and staying safe and comfortable requires a little more care. Instead of choosing somewhere random to go camping, find an established camping spot that has easy access to bathrooms and clean water. You should also make sure that the site is a safe distance from the road and not too close to a river. 

    Buying, renting, or borrowing an RV or camper for introducing younger ones into camping is a great idea. They can have the joys of outdoor experiences while having the safety and feelings of familiarity that campers and RVs can bring. As they get older you can introduce more real camping experiences to them. You could make a habit of it so that each time you go, your children associate frequent happy times in the outdoors.

    Avoid Slopes and Difficult Trails

    Most camping sites will state the difficulty level and length of any nearby hiking trails if they have them. This is something you will need to take into account if you plan on going exploring. While a mountainous area could be a lot of fun, you need to make sure you find an area with some age-appropriate trails or be willing to carry your child at least most of the way. Small children should stick with easy and short trails to avoid accidents.

    Focus on Good Habits

    Camping is a great way to introduce your child to healthy habits. For starters, maintaining good hygiene while away from home can be challenging, but having sanitary wipes on hand and hand sanitizer is a good starting point. You should also maintain your same hygiene routine from home while on a camping trip. This means brushing your teeth, washing your hands, and cleaning up after yourself. You can also teach your child about good nutrition by teaching them to cook basic meals with whatever means you brought.

    Teach Basic Safety

    The outdoors is a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous. A camping trip is a great time to give your kids some hands-on lessons in safety. Show them how to identify plants like stinging nettle and poison ivy, how to stay safe around water and wildlife, and how to store food safely. You can also teach them some basic first aid, so they know what to do if they skin their knee or get a blister.

    Camping with young children can be fun and exciting with the right know-how. Be prepared for the worst and choose the right site for your family by following these strategies. You will be glad you prepared in advance!

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