Tents come in dozens of shapes and sizes, designs and intentions. So do campers. I recently observed a perfect example of this at a state park campground, at neighboring campsites.     On one site, a 10-person tent with attached screened room, housed one person — big tent, small occupancy. But, the guy had a pile of kayaking gear stacked inside the screen room so space was necessary for him. Next site over, a family of two adults and three kids spent the weekend using a four-person tent as home. Tight sleeping quarters it must have been, but they enjoyed the…
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How many times have you tried something, which afterwards, you wished you could have only sampled it before jumping in? I have plenty of times. Negative results leave a bad taste that is tough to erase. When a new endeavor involves investing not only time, but money as well, thorough research sure helps in weeding out a majority of the bad stuff. For those folks that are considering camping for the first time, or want a night or two of sleeping under the stars, but have no camping gear on hand, "test driving" camping is available. Most state parks and…
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Even though the weatherman may be right more often than not, weather patterns can be unpredictable. So that camping trip that was supposed to be dry and beautiful can turn into a soaked mudfest in the snap of a finger. Properly setting up your tent is key to staying dry in the rain. Can you stay dry when you’re camping in the rain? Here are seven easy tips to help you stay as safe and dry as possible. Know Where to Set Up Your Tent Pitching your tent at a low spot in the middle of a rainstorm is a…
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For some campers, a good night sleep is easily achieved after a day of adventure taxes the body. But for others, even a day of trail trekking or kayak paddling can't bring a comfortable slumber experience. Laying your head down in a strange place can disturb the sleep routine, but if a few adjustments in bedding and sleep preparation at camp are made, a good night's sleep is possible. The foundation of a comfortable camp bed is the padding and/or bed apparatus. Most tent campers use sleeping pads of various styles, some of which may not be the best choice…
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Trash Management on the Trail

Friday, May 02 2014 6:00 am - for Hiking
Maneuvering along a hiking trail and "in the zone" with the natural surroundings can be quickly interrupted by a small piece of trash left by humans. Such a little piece of evidence of irresponsibility has a big impact, not only for the next person to pass by on the trail but also a long lasting effect on the wild and wildlife that dwell there. When I spot an empty power bar wrapper or sports drink bottle lying trailside, I hope that the drop was an accident and occurred while attempting to slide the item back into the backpack while walking —…
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Wildlife observation continues to be a highlight of camping trips. From birds to rabbits, reptiles to white-tailed deer, various wildlife species offer an abundant supply of natural entertainment. Observing wildlife in its natural environment can be pleasing in many ways, which normally becomes a highlight of a springtime camping or hiking excursion. Wildlife and human interactions can be a positive experience for both — if common sense, respect and space are kept between animal and observer. If the goal of the outing is to observe wildlife as close as possible, then being aware of a few facts will create less stress…
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A well-stocked first aid kit is a handy thing to have on a fishing, hunting or camping trip. Have you ever been in the middle of a great fishing or hunting trip and start to suffer a headache, sour stomach, or any annoying illness? It’s not enough to make you want to go home, but enough to make you uncomfortable. And, neither you nor your fishing or hunting buddy has anything for it. To be more prepared, pack a resealable sandwich bag with aspirins, antacid tablets, bandages, and other first-aid items. Store the items in a tackle box, turkey vest,…
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 The thrill of the hunt. The peace and quiet of a mountain hike. The priceless feeling when you take kids to fishing for the first time. None of the above can exist in the future without conservation. To care for the land, it’s essential that we adhere to the following principles, as outlined by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: Plan Ahead and Prepare What you do before you leave home can greatly influence the impact your trip leaves on the outdoors. Plan ahead so you can avoid your destination’s most crowded times, and when you arrive, properly store…
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Having a bad camping experience, especially if it's your first, leaves a negative impression on one of the best ways to enjoy the natural world. That is unfortunate because it is so simple to have a great time. To assist with making your camping trip a fun one, follow these guidelines. Reserve your site ahead of time, especially if it's a weekend, a holiday or extremely popular campground. Most prime campgrounds require at least a six-month advance reservation. Check with the campground office before you make the trip. Don't duplicate equipment, such as cooking utensils and lanterns. Be sure to…
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If you’re planning on camping in a national or state park, consider any of the five great camping locales below: Bryce Canyon National Park | Utah Bryce Canyon National Park is home to a collection of giant natural amphitheaters and “hoodoos” – tall, thin spires of rock – that are truly something wonderful to behold. And with park activities including full-moon hikes and geology talks, there’s certainly no shortage of things for campers to do here. Spring Breakers visiting this national park have access to camping options that include RV camping, tent sites and backcountry camping. Palmetto Island State Park…
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