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By: JenFletcher      

I love road trips. There is no experience better than seeing fog roll over a mountain side from a few feet away or stopping on the side of a road to have a picnic lunch with my kids in some random field under a big willow tree. Although I do enjoy flying, the kids can’t watch salmon jump from 40,000 feet in the air.One of my favorite parts of road trips is packing the car. Something about this act really heightens my anticipation for the trip to begin. We drive...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

If your family is anything like mine you have at least one furkid – a dog that is so much a part of your family it might as well be your child. However close your relationship is with your dog, you may still be wary of bringing him along on your camping trip. Fear not! Dogs love camping! They love running through in the woods, sleeping outdoors and spending time with their family. The following tips may help you feel more at ease with bringing your pooch along for the...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

Most camping excursions – unless there’s some major upset and you have to hit a restaurant – include eating at the campsite. Hopefully you have a camp kitchen already set up (if not, see my Camp Kitchen post), so you’re able to cook…but what will hold your food and what will you use to eat the food? Let’s discuss dishes and cutlery a little today, shall we?There are two schools of thought when it comes to campsite dishes and cutlery. {Ok, there are probably more than two schools but I’m...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

September 23rd marks the first day of Autumn in the United States. If you’re like my family, you might have one more camping trip in the month of October and then you’re done for the season (much to my husband’s disappointment I am not a cold weather camper. Well, not unless I’m camping in a hot springs spa anyway.).What will you do with all your camping gear over the winter? I hope you’re not planning to just toss it into a corner of your basement, ignoring it until next...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

If you’ve been reading my blogs you know by now that I have three kids, aged 6 to 10. You likely also know we are a family of avid campers. One of the most common questions I get from fellow (no kid) campers is “How do you manage to camp with your kids and still manage to say sane?!?”. In the interest of honesty it wasn’t always easy – and sometimes we do have hiccups – but it goes a bit more smoothly with each season because we learn...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

Have you ever cut yourself while chopping veggies or burned your finger on the stove? What did you do? Most people reach for their first aid kit, right? (If you don’t have a first aid kit in your house you really should get one.) The same is true for camping, hiking…any outdoor activity, really. My family has 6 outdoor kits; one large kit which encompasses everything, and five personal kits, which can either hang around our necks or tuck into our hiking packs. Today I will try to detail...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

I remember, as a child, hearing my parents say they would never forget where they were and what they were doing the day "they killed Kennedy". I also remember wondering how one little thing could stand out in their memories so strongly that they would always remember such mundane things as sweeping the floor or buying a pack of gum. I understand now.Ten years ago, at 9:45am CST, I was playing a game of Yahoo! Literati, after having just put my 3-month-old son down for a nap. I...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

According to the official Geocaching website, “geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices, and then share their experience online”. Basically, it’s a hike and a treasure hunt combined. Today was my family’s first geochaching experience. We have small(ish) kids and we had never done a geocache hike, so we went to the website and picked out a short trail local to us. For this hike we chose a trail in the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship,...[More]

By: Parradox      

""You have 4 hours to evacuate for any number of reasons ranging from the “Willow Fire” to “Hurricane Irene”. The reasons for mandatory evacuation can make a long very long list. What should be considered is not the reasons, but how would you make the best of the time to ensure you have everything? Remember there is no going back. When it comes to your well being, and the well being of your family, you can not assume your residence will still...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

Today’s blog post, if you haven’t already guessed, is all about knives and cutting safety in general. A lot of what will be covered may seem like common sense stuff but a refresher course is never a bad thing, right?Knives should always be kept clean and sharp. Keeping clean knives is imperative to preventing food-borne and other illnesses. On the topic of preventative care, it’s also a good idea to keep a set of cutting boards for cutting different foods. I picked up a set of thin plexiglass sheets...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

Different campers like to cook their meals in different ways. Some folks like to bring small charcoal grills while others swear nothing beats the taste of food cooked over an open campfire. I don’t have a problem with either of these methods, but there are a lot of campsites that no longer allow open flames, except for fire rings, and many of those sites don’t allow grill grates to be placed on those rings.My personal preference is – and probably always will be – my Coleman 2-burner propane stove....[More]

By: JenFletcher      

When someone mentions a camping trip do you immediately start imagining sleeping outside on the ground and eating bland food with bits of rocks and dirt in every bite? You’re not alone! I remember my husband practically dragging me into our first camping trip (many, many moons ago) and me dreading the whole thing.I learned a valuable point that first trip: I can bring any spices and seasonings to the campsite that I want to! There are several schools of thought on the best way to transport; today I...[More]

By: webmaster      

There are many instances in history showing famous works being produced in unexpected places. Book One of the Harry Potter series was written in a coffee shop; Hemingway enjoyed writing in Paris, Africa and Spain. Although I am by no means famous, I too have a special place I like to go for a bit of calm and peace.I like to go to the garden at Sam’s Town Casino in my hometown of Las Vegas. It is a small, indoor garden complete with waterfalls, plants…all the sounds of nature. It...[More]

By: webmaster      

I recently stumbled across this recipe while web surfing and I just had to share it. It never occurred to me to make my own powdered cocoa mix and now I can. This would also make a nice holiday gift, placed in a Mason jar and decorated with a nice ribbon and a homemade gift tag.3/4 C. cocoa 1/2 t salt 1 quart powdered milk dry sugar substitute equal to 1 1/2 C. sugar Optional:Mexican Cocoa: add 2 to 3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon Mocha Hot Cocoa: add 1/3 C. instant...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

With the earthquake we on the East coast had the other day and the tremors we continue to experience, plus hurricane Irene bearing down on us, I think maybe a post on basic survival kits might be prudent. The following article comes from the great Weather Channel and lists things that should be included in a hurricane survival kit. If you live in an area that will be affected by these storms please take heed and and prepare before a storm hits your area. It's not a good...[More]

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