Posted by: Leon | May 30, 2009

Save Your Feet With a Great Camping Light

Before you go on a camping trip, make sure you have all the necessary equipment that you will need in the campsite and that should definitely include the Camping Lights. Having a well-lit camping site will add advantages for comfort and security, especially if the campers are mostly women and children.

Lights for your campsite may come in different types. A neat kind of light and also one of the newest additions to camping lights is a headlamp that you can strap to your head. This allows your hands to be free for carrying things, or cooking, even in the dark. This particular light has saved my feet on a number of occasions. It is incredibly easy, just strap it on your head, and you are now free to go anywhere, at any time. Even to the nearest tree in the middle of the night. You might even catch some wildlife staring back you.

You can use the traditional kerosene-powered lanterns to light the campsite. Lanterns are great lighters because it takes one year before it runs out of kerosene. Since this lantern is powered by kerosene, secure a stock of kerosene for refill in case your lantern runs out while you are in the campsite.

Aside from the lanterns, there are also some battery-operated camping lights available. Lanterns with batteries are great to use as lights for camping because it can provide the area with much light. For some handy and easy to carry lights, there are different kinds of flashlights that you can use.

You now have LED lights to choose from too. These lights have been the most effective and prevalent lights for camping and for other lighting purposes nowadays because of its low-power consumption, affordability, and brighter lights. They can be in lanterns, flashlights, and even decorative lights, and are the latest in lighting technology. You can even find these in crank version, where you turn the crank to charge up the light, and it doesn’t need any fuel or batteries to shine brightly.

For some campers, they prefer the decorative lights to light their campsites. This is because they want to decorate the campsite with some things that would also light up the area, especially during night when they need to go to the comfort room or get some water to drink.

Actually, you can use some other options for your camping lights. You can even use your Christmas lights and rope lights to light up the camping area. The blinking lights can decorate the campsite with its colorful lights and you can put the strings of light around the area. But you will need electricity for this, so choose a campsite with electric power. Lights come in the shape of fish, coke cans, Japanese lanterns, flowers, colored globes, even a bear holding a fish, frogs, and gnomes just to mention a few. You can probably find something that will become a favorite to you. Maybe something to do with one of your hobbies.

Now people will actually look like they are competing for a prize sometimes, because they hang so many lights up around their campsite. These people are usually very experienced campers. It is usually the people new to camping that do not know to have enough lights up.
Campers who are professionals and have gained more experienced regarding setting the campsites and tents may use as many lights as possible as if there is a ‘best campsite’ contest going on. For some campers who are just beginning to explore camping, they may not use more lights.

So now you can see how important Camping Lights are. Look around and see which light suits you to use and get some today. It will make you safer in your camping area. And make sure to look at the decorative ones to see if you can have some fun with those too.

Posted by: Leon | May 25, 2009

Towing a Camper

Summer travel is something that everyone looks forward to. Those precious days of travel are some of the best days of the entire year. Traveling safely is a must, something that should go without saying. There are many different aspects to summer travel. Towing a camper is one area that not everyone is familiar with. It can be dangerous if it is not done properly. You must know how to do it if you plan to hook up the camper and tow it yourself. It does not take much to learn. Towing a camper makes travel very convenient and can reduce the cost of accommodations.

Never leave any items loose within the camper. This turns them into flying objects once you get moving at high speeds on the freeway. Anything that is breakable will end up a shattered mess and could damage other things. You do not want to start off your trip by having to clean up broken items that you really need. Either tie them all down securely or keep them in boxes until you arrive and have your camper parked for the duration of your stay. Plan to take care of this ahead of time or else you will have to take the time to do so.

Sometimes it is easier to have someone else help you to hook up the camper. You will have to back your vehicle up to just the right spot in front of the camper. Having someone to guide you outside of the vehicle makes this a little simpler. If you have to lift the tow bar up to hitch it to the vehicle, it can be heavy and a second person makes that less of a chore. Take care not to lift more weight than what is physically safe. You could seriously harm yourself.

Make sure that the vehicle is hitched up properly so that there is no risk of it coming loose while you are driving. The electrical cords that must be connected are more than vital. Those cords are what ensures the signal lights will work properly while you are traveling. Failure to make sure those lights are all working could result in a traffic ticket or worse, an accident. Play your part to keep the roads a safe place for everyone. A camper trailer could be very dangerous if it were to come loose or become otherwise compromised.

Never tow a load heavier than the camper trailer or your vehicle can handle. To do so could result in serious misfortunes. It is seriously recommended that you double check the weight restrictions on the camper so that you do not load it heavier than what is stated. Towing a camper is something that people do all the time. But all it takes is one error for things to go amiss. Take your time and make sure that everything is done correctly. Always drive safely with your camper and allow faster moving traffic to pass. Getting to your destination safely should be your first concern.

Although canopies, awnings, tents and the likes usually have their own specially designed materials that increase durability and provide protection from the damaging effects of nature, it is often not enough. Some manufacturers have realized this fact and thus offer a canopy tarp to be used for further strengthening and safe keeping of the unit. When that is not the case, you have to take care of acquiring one yourself.

A tarpaulin or tarp is made of flexible, sturdy, waterproof material. Most often that is a specially treated cloth such as polyester, which is commonly coated with plastics to ensure its durability and strength. Latex or PVC are mostly used to achieve that. A canopy tarp often has reinforced elements at its corners and edges to act as attachment points for ropes and cords. The latter are used to fix the tarp firmly in place and push it down to ensure maximum insulation of the canopy. As a cheaper alternative there are tarps made of woven polyethylene, also known as polytarp.

Polytarp is gaining popularity not only because it is inexpensive, but also for its resistance against stretching and continuous exposure to wet conditions. It is important to note that these canopy tarps will quickly become brittle, lose their strength and water proof qualities if they are constantly left out at strong Sun light. Thus it is imperative that such tarps have been processed properly against UV rays, as that literally extends their life by much. With such properties it is no wonder that this is the material of choice for many do-it-yourself builders and constructors, in and outside canopy specific usage.

Canopy tarps have multiple uses, not only as additional protection to regular tents, canopies, awnings, gazebos and alike. They can also act as independent shelter from the weather, for protecting personal garden and sports fields, even for protecting objects of your choice that you have left for keeping on the outside. A special type of tarp, known as perforated PVC tarp, is commonly used for covering medium to large advertisement billboards as well as protecting scaffoldings. The aim of perforation is, as you might have guessed, to prevent wind from affecting the structures due to their larger scale by avoiding the parachute-like effect of the wide spread fabric.

The benefits to canopy tarps and tarpaulin in general are obvious and if you are involved in any outdoor activity, or are in need for fast, efficient and inexpensive protection to your belongings and permanent structures, it is your best option in the long run.

Posted by: Leon | May 13, 2009

Choosing the Right Sleeping Bag

So, you’ve bought a backpack, a tent, some other gear. Now you need a sleeping bag. There are about as many sleeping bags to choose from as there are backpacks or tents, but it’s an essential piece of gear for backpacking in the wilderness or even somewhere locally. Choosing a sleeping bag can be time consuming, much the same as buying a pack or a tent, but here’s some info that may help you in your decision.

When looking at sleeping bags, you’ll find that there are two types of bags, down & synthetic. Down is the lightest & warmest of the two, hands down. Down is considered the best between the two types. Yet it should be noted that over the last several years, synthetic sleeping bags have come a long way. Down is generally more money than synthetic. It’s lighter & compacts smaller than synthetic bags of the same temperature rating. However, down bags do not do well in wet weather. Once down becomes wet, it loses its loft & its thermal characteristics. The time required to dry a down bag can be several hours to over a day. Therefore, many backpackers & campers in New England, as well as other wet climates, do not rely on down sleeping bags. In extreme cold temperatures, down is the choice for most people.

Both types of sleeping bags are beneficial, so which one should you buy? First of all, ask yourself where you’ll be backpacking or camping. This will help determine what type of bag you should be considering. If you’ll be located in a hot & dry climate, but with temps that fall quite low at night, then you may be best to go with a down sleeping bag. If you’ll be sleeping in warm temps, a lightweight synthetic bag will be more beneficial. If the climate is wet & humid, I’d suggest bringing a synthetic sleeping bag. Synthetic bags dry quickly once they’ve become wet.

Many people want to buy one sleeping bag that will work year round. This is possible, provided you camp in temperatures & climates that fall within a similar range. Yet many enjoy backpacking & camping in all 4 seasons, so one bag will not likely fill every application. Everyone is different. Some people sleep colder than others, requiring say, a 15 degree sleeping bag when temps are in the twenties or warmer. Some people, myself included, have used a 30 degree bag on nights that dropped to the low twenties or colder. For a bag that will work for 3-season backpacking & camping, I’d suggest going with a 25-30 degree bag. On cooler nights, you can layer clothes & wear an extra pair of socks for warmth. On warmer nights, wearing less clothes while unzipping the sleeping bag part way can help keep you from overheating.

Weight is something that should be considered when shopping for a sleeping bag. For backpacking, especially long-distance hikes, it’s wise to carry a bag that’s under three pounds. Bags that are over three pounds generally fall in the category of 0 degrees and lower temperatures. Many lightweight bags are 1-1 ½ pounds. This makes a big difference when hauling pack weight over several days of hiking. Keep in mind also, a sleeping bag liner can help add warmth to your sleeping accoutrement. It’ll also help prevent the bag from getting dirty too quickly, and minimize the normal wear & tear over time.

This article hasn’t been a very thorough analysis of the process involved in choosing the right sleeping bag to buy by any means. Yet hopefully, one or two points here can help you in narrowing down the choices you have when walking into an outfitter. Remember, you don’t need a $300 sleeping bag when a $100 or less bag will do just as well. Do a little research, read some reviews, ask lots of questions.

For a really good campfire experience, be sure to plan ahead by choosing fun songs for kids. Children can have a great time; an experience they will always remember, singing around the campfire. Here, I have picked five songs that I have found most kids like to sing around a campfire.

If you are going to sing fun songs for kids, the best advice for you is to have fun and get silly; in fact the sillier, the better! Young children seem to have more energy than anybody I know. They are just bursting at the seams. It takes patience, determination and a love of children to be able to keep kids attention while singing around a campfire. We could make a fortune if there were some way to bottle that energy!

If you can get the kids moving while they are singing, you will have won half the battle. Just because they are singing doesn’t mean they have to sit still with their arms folded without moving a muscle. Here are a few fun songs for kids that should work for you:

McGregor:

This is one of those songs with easy to learn lyrics. However, the tongue tends to get tied as you sing this. I like to sing it faster each time, until it’s just impossible to sing! You may feel like Jerry Lewis, when he said, “My tongue got in front of my eyeteeth, and I couldn’t see what I was saying!”

This is sung to the tune of “The Irish Washerwoman.”

O, McGregor was dead and his brother didn’t know it, and
his brother was dead and McGregor didn’t know it, and
both of ’ems dead and in the same bed,
and neither one knew that the other was dead.

John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt:

Like the previous song, this is fun to sing faster and faster. This is also fun to sing at normal volume, or even softer each time, except for the last line, which should be sung loud.

If You’re Happy and You Know It:

When you’re ready for some movement, this is fun to do. In the Great American Campfire Songbook, I have written three verses for you to sing, but you can come up with more on your own. If you can’t think of any, the kids can probably help you out.

BINGO:

With this one you can have everyone sing the first verse. Then on the next verse, leave out the B, and clap once in it’s place. For the third verse, leave out the B and the I, and clap in each of their places. Continue through all the verses until you are not spelling out the word, but just clapping.

Clementine:

This is one of those old time classic campfire songs that everyone should learn. It’s been around for over 150 years. The forty-niners of the California gold rush sang this song.

Choosing fun songs for kids to sing is the first step toward having a great campfire experience. Good luck and have fun on your next campout.

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