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By: JenFletcher      

Brrr! The Secrets of Layering Part of planning for a camping or hiking trip is making sure to pack the right clothing for comfort and protection against the elements that may come your way. This is especially true during cold-weather adventures. Outdoor gear has made leaps and bounds in the last two decades; strength, quality, and even fabrics are better and offer more choices than ever before. Hopefully the following information will help you prepare for your next cold-weather trip. The Three-Layer Plan Layering outdoor clothing is a strategy well-known...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

I’m sure you’re already well aware of the (legally I have to use the term “alleged” but it sickens me to do so) abuse cases surrounding the assistant coach at Penn State. If not, my apologies but you’ll have to look it up; I’m not going to detail it here. The more I learn about this case the more nauseated I become and the more determined I am to keep my kids and all the other kids safe from predators.The children in the afore-mentioned situation all had one major thing...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

I hadn’t heard the following story until recently, but it’s really an inspiration. If I find myself in a situation that seems completely dark and hopeless (believe me, it’s been happening quite a bit lately), I think about this story and the lessons within it; I always seem to feel a little brighter and more positive after reading it. I hope you will get something from it too. An eight-year old boy walked up to an old man in front of a wishing well, looked up into his eyes, and...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

21st Century humans are evolving into a people who take life for granted. Go to your local supercenter at any given time and watch the kids throwing fits because they don’t get the latest and greatest “whats-it” if you need proof. Most of us have grown so accustomed to the homeless people on the corner that we don’t even see them anymore – not even the kids. I would like to share the following letter with you, with the hope you will share it with others. Maybe we can all...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

The First Lady is asking military children from around the globe for some personal contributions to the finishing touches on the White House decorations this holiday season. The request is for military children to submit 5x8" handmade holiday cards with words of appreciation for their military parents, as well as pictures and drawings. The White House will display as many of the cards as possible.Participants are asked to send holiday cards to the following address along with information from where they are sending it by November 16, 2011:Reservation 1Attn: Social...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

I love Halloween. What other day of the year can we transform into a wholly different persona and be accepted for doing so? As a parent, Halloween has taken on a new kind of joy for me: picking out costumes with my kids, carving spooky and fun jack-o-lanterns, the anticipation of the loot to be gained from trick-or-treating. The parent I have become is also a little concerned every year at this time. I worry about my kids’ safety when they’re out going from house to house, I worry about...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

I am supposed to write today’s post about how to stay pretty on the road. I am having a really hard time doing that, mostly because no one ever “stays” pretty on road trips – unless (a) they are traveling in an RV or (b) they are one of those people who is always beautiful no matter what they do or where they are. Now, for the rest of us….Keeping clean on the road is relatively simple. Make full use of rest stops when you get to one. Freshen up...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

Let’s face it – kids have a very short attention span. In the age of electronics, kids’ attention spans are even shorter. So how do keep your kids’ attention on a camping trip without bringing along the Xbox and DSi? Yes, there will always be card games, Frisbees and the like, but after a while those things get a little boring. With a little imagination and a few inexpensive – or even free – tools, every camping trip can be fun for kids of all ages. Do you have digi-kids?...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

My blogs posts almost always reference first aid kits in some way, shape or form. As a mom of three kids I sometimes feel like I went to sleep one night as a pregnant lady and awoke the next morning as a nurse! As much as kids (and adults) tend to get bruised, burnt, scraped up or even broken, a first aid kit should be priority number 1 on the packing list. If you have a group of people to look after, your kit is likely going to consist of...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

We have been camping as a family for a few years now; my husband and I both camped as kids too. I think that qualifies us as being a little more than a camping “newbie”. Despite our experience we make mistakes on just about every camping trip we take. Now, I always tell my kids “you can’t learn if you don’t make a mistake”, and I absolutely believe that. Sometimes we’re able to laugh right away at our mistakes and sometimes it’s a few days/weeks/months…even years (no dear, I haven’t...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

Camping, whether it’s one person on an overnight trip or five people staying two weeks, requires gear. Gear requires some form of storage during travel and when it’s not being used. Hikers use large backpacks and bring only what they can carry on their backs. Most families pack Rubbermaid totes. RV folks put their homes on wheels. Everyone has a different way to keep their gear organized (we won’t talk about the poor souls who don’t organize) and they will all swear by their methods. Today I will explore a...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

My family is a group of avid campers, hikers and general outdoor people. We love to be outside as much as possible, in all seasons, to enjoy the gifts and beauty nature has to offer. Kids are naturally active and three of them will keep any parent on a constant “go” cycle.My son was diagnosed 10 years ago with critical asthma. He takes a daily pill and 2 daily doses from an inhaler; he also has an emergency inhaler, extra steroids and an Epi pen that goes with us...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

It never ceases to amaze me how many of my women friends refuse to go camping unless the campsite is a room in a hotel with fluffy towels, a big, soft bed and a restaurant in the parking lot. The thought of going without makeup, a hair dryer and air conditioning makes them shudder. And you should see the looks I get when they learn I actually enjoy cooking outdoors! I might as well have told them I like diving into volcanos with my arms tied behind my back. The...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

Ok, I’ll admit it – one of the drawbacks to camping is the dirt. No matter where you camp, there’s going to be dirt in some form – dust, debris, sand, soil…something – and if you get a windy area, you’re practically doomed. I have never met anyone who enjoyed the thought of cooking a meal amid flying grime and tree castoffs. Fear not! I am going to give you some tips on keeping yourself and everything else clean in your outdoor kitchen. While there is always going to be...[More]

By: JenFletcher      

8 glasses a day. Boiling point. Cleaning up. Water. Let’s face it – no matter what activity you’re enjoying, you’ll need water at some point. Camping is no exception. When we go camping we keep two containers for water: one for drinking and cooking and one for cleaning. We always camp at sites which provide running water, but I prefer to store our water in containers, mostly because it prevents water waste but also because I don’t like the silt that comes out of the tap. But I digress…. Our...[More]

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