kneeling camper

15 Nifty Camping Tips and Tricks

While you might be tempted to just wing it when you go on a camping trip, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. If you are a first time camper, you may struggle a little to pitch your tent, but doing that, building a fire, and tying simple knots are just the basics and you’ll master these pretty quickly. While you’ll likely have a great time, some moments in the great outdoors—away from modern comforts—can throw you for a […]

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A Cost Analysis: Choosing Food the Wise Way Can Save Money

Feeding your family while camping can cost quite a bit if you figure in the cost of grilling equipment, camping stoves, coolers, and food. If you are camping with a family of five, it may be helpful to figure out tactics ahead of time to stretch your budget. Unless you actually sit down and calculate all the costs involved, you may spend more than you anticipated and perhaps more than you can afford. Some people don’t mind the challenge […]

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Curtailing the Costs of Camping Food Waste

The 2014 American Camper Report indicates that 40.1 million Americans, or 14 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and older camped in 2013. The same report shows that 27 percent of campers like outdoor cooking, and 35 percent cook at night. It is estimated that 70 billion pounds of food are wasted in America every year. While there are no specific studies on the amount of food wasted during camping trips, it stands to reason that since Americans […]

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fishing

Camping Water Safety: Fishing, Boating and More

The most popular activity people participate in during camping trips is hiking, but polls indicate that many campers enjoy recreational activities involving water such as boating and fishing. Here are a few insightful stats from a 2015 outdoor recreation trends report.

About 87 percent of campers participate in other outdoor activities while camping.
Number of campers participating in water-related activities: Fishing: 18 percent, Kayaking: 14 percent, Canoeing: 11 percent, Boating: 6 percent, Rafting: 5 percent, Wakeboarding: 3 percent.
Boating participation has increased, […]

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Edible Plants in the Wilderness

Perhaps you embarked on a solo backpacking trip and only have a few granola bars and water with you. Somehow you’ve veered off your planned route and now you are hopelessly lost. You are hungry and scared, but you did your homework and know that the wilderness has a potentially abundant supply of food that doesn’t require hunting animals. Here is a short guide to edible wild plants, including tips for finding them. It is paramount to know how […]

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How to Use and Make Natural Antiseptics

If you are a Baby Boomer or older, you may fondly remember having bright red liquid lovingly applied to your skinned knees by your mom or the school nurse. Mercurochrome, generically called merbromin, was used frequently back then to clean superficial wounds. In 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared that it was “not generally recognized as safe and effective” as an over-the-counter antiseptic and banned its sale across state lines. While this bright red medicine is still […]

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Prairie Home Companion: Making Tonics and Tinctures

The words tonic and tincture may conjure up images of life on the prairie, circa 1800s. Indeed, both Native Americans and early settlers made their share of medicinal products to help cure a wide range of maladies. The holistic medicine and back-to-nature movements have created new generations of consumers who swear by DYI remedies. Let’s start by looking at the difference between a tonic and tincture, by definition.
Tonic: A preparation of herbs that increases and supports health and well-being. […]

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The Versatile Orange: Starting a Campfire and Other Uses

Oranges as we know them today harken back to about 314 BC in Southeast Asia. In Western countries, oranges were considered primarily a dessert fruit prior to 1920. These fruits not only pack a healthy dose of vitamin C, but have other uses that don’t involve eating the tasty flesh or drinking the juice. Here are five intriguing non-dietary uses for oranges.
Starting campfires: Orange peels make good kindling, so after your family eats the oranges as a snack, keep […]

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bee

12 Campfire Critters: Harmless or Harmful?

If you are going camping or having a picnic in your local forest preserve, chances are you will encounter some pesky critters who call these environments home. In some cases, getting stung by an insect puts you at risk of insect-borne diseases or simply an itchy, painful bite, but for 1-3 percent of the population, a sting or bite from several little bugs can prove deadly due to allergies.
Common Outdoor Bugs

Mosquitoes: These nasty bugs can not only make you […]

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earthquakes

U.S. Earthquake Facts – What You Need to Know

The 7.8 magnitude quake that ravaged part of Ecuador’s Pacific coast on April 16 injured about 12,500 people and more than 650 people lost their lives. The power of that earthquake is a stark reminder of the dangers in the U.S. posed by the San Andreas Fault and others … in fact, scientists are continually predicting when the “Big One” will hit.
A fault is a fracture or zone of fractures between two blocks of rock, which enables the blocks […]

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