Camping in Autumn

Fall always strikes me as a reflective time in the year. Often people get together for one last big camping trip, hiking trek, weekend jeep expedition, or mountain bike ride. Stories are passed around the camp fire. Memories of summer are recalled. Lots of laughter and reminiscing happens as the sun sets in the west and the marshmallows catch fire over the flames. I always remember fall trips with the family to see fall color in the mountains, riding in the back of the pickup truck, or camping in a canyon in the mountains of Utah. Or memories of deer season, hunting with dad, blaze orange vests contrasting with yellow and crimson leaves in North Canyon, and slices of spam sizzling in the pan over the Coleman stove. Good times indeed.

Taken from Cibola Beacon

Fall Family Events at Lake D’Arbonne State Park

Lake D’Arbonne State Park is offering special events for a month to encourage families to come and enjoy the park.

Here’s the schedule of events:

Oct. 9 — Take-A-Kid Mountain Biking. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Kids should bring their own bike to ride. Special trails and games will be set-up and four new bikes will be given away. Also, the first 20 kids will receive a free helmet.

Oct. 15 — Square Dancing Party. The local square dance club will teach visitors how to dance. Starts at 7 p.m. at the pavilion located in the campground area.

Oct. 16 — Regional Dutch Oven Gathering. Come early and stay late. Learn to cook “dutch oven style.” Local bluegrass musicians will be entertaining. All bluegrass bands are welcome to come for a day of outdoor relaxation.

Oct. 16 — XMA Adventure Trail Run. Extreme Missionary Adventures support missions all over the world. A donation to this cause is the entry fee. A 5K and 10K Trail Run starts at 7 a.m. For more information, go to

Oct. 16th — Union Parish Humane Society Poker Run. This fundraiser poker run being held for the benefit of our four-legged friends, will conclude in the park at Pavilion IV. Refreshments will be available. For more information, or to make a donation to the humane society, contact Terri Pratt, 292-2705.

Oct. 23 — Costumes, Camping, Canoe-Kayaking. Set up tents on Saturday for overnight camp-out. Begins at 6 p.m. for a campfire meal. Afterwards put on costumes for a spooky moonlight kayak ride. For more information, go to

Oct. 30 — Archaeology Day in the Park. Special guest Dennis Jones from the Division of Archaeology and local “archaeological gurus”‘ Fred Stewart and James Harty, will help identify any archaeological objects belonging to visitors. Bring items to have identified. A special excavation site will be set up for the kids so that they may benefit from some ‘hands on’ archaeological experience.

Oct. 30 — Halloween Hayride. The park will holds its annual Trick or Treat Hayride in the Park starting at 6 p.m. Departs from the visitor center and circles through the campground and cabin area for trick or treating and returns to Pavilion III for spooky story telling. Dress in Halloween costume.

More information at The New Star

Oprah Winfrey Camping?

What Oprah does, people usually follow. At least most of her fans does, but what if Oprah goes camping? If Oprah is doing it, it must be a good thing right? Do I believe that a lot of people will start camping after Oprah? Not really, but I’m willing to bet that whatever camping gear she uses will be selling like hot cakes. She probably doesn’t even need to buy them. Outdoor companies would probably rush out to sponsor her. Rich people usually get stuff for free. It’s the poor ones that have to pay.


South African Glamping

Below is your typical camping experience:

As novices to camping holidays our gear was pretty basic. We had a borrowed tent, two air mattresses, decent sleeping bags and a fold-out table and chairs. Our travel stove and gas lantern were about as luxurious as we got, and even then the gas ran out on our lantern about three bites into dinner the first evening.

Here’s glamping, South African Style:

Within hours the campsite filled with Landrover Defenders dangling jerry cans, seven-man tents the size of small houses and children so accustomed to camping that they have no problem hooking up the Cadac gas canister to the three plate stove while Mum peels the potatoes for dinner. One couple told us tales of camping across Zimbabwe where they peered from their rooftop tents as wild game walked beneath them. Their entire family is hooked on camping and all sixteen of them were pitched in the same area with a large circle of camping chairs in the middle for the evening bonfires.

It’s not the glamping I expected when I first saw the title of the article, one that involves a huge luxurious tent with comfy beds, expensive furniture and high tech camping kitchen but it’s glamping all the same. It’s probably the reason why camping is so popular in South Africa especially with so many wild and wonderful places to explore.

Read more at the Telegraph

Learn to Leave No-Trace

Sadly, there are still people in the world who want to see every acre of land, every plant, mineral, wildlife and water resource exploited for its maximum short-term economic reward. And there are others who would like to see our remaining wild areas preserved as museums where no human is allowed except, perhaps, for scientific study.

Then there are the rest of us, who just want to be able to get out in the outdoors and have fun. We want to visit beautiful, wild places and enjoy them. I think most of us hope in our hearts that they will still be there for generations to come.

Do these things when you’re in the outdoors so that others can enjoy nature as you just did:

  • When hiking, stay in the middle of the trail to minimize erosion of new soil and widening of trail
  • Carry your litter and others if you find any lying around
  • Use only downed, dead wood on established firepits or better yet, use a camp stove for cooking
  • Camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose your own waste properly

If each of us takes the maximum amount of enjoyment that we can from our time outdoors, while consciously having as little overall impact as we possibly can, that leaves more for our kids and our kid’s kids?

via Nashua Telegraph

200 Euros for Not-So-Posh Camping

Conor Pope of The Irish Times was expecting to stay at a nearby hotel, with beds, hot water and the like, when he was sent down to the Electric Picnic to “produce a daily, bite-sized edition of our Friday entertainment supplement The Ticket for festival-goers.”

Then everything changed:

“At the last minute, the Ticket editor decided it would be a wheeze if I camped, in order to, you know, savour the real festival experience. It is more than 20 years since I slept in a tent, so I wasn’t thrilled, but I was so desperate to go to the Picnic – it was my very first time – that I agreed.

She allowed me to spend more than €200 on a pitch in what is known as the Tangerine Fields. For this hefty sum, I got my tent put up by magic elves, an air bed and a sleeping bag. And I was promised a better class of showers and toilet facilities.

Now, while these might well have been better than what was on offer in regular campsites, that does not make them good. The toilets were hazardous from the start, the showers were not much better, and the queues to get into them were massive.”

Finish the story at the Irish Times.

How to Use a Camping Coffee Percolator

I’m not a fan of coffee percolators but sometimes it’s hard to resist the bubbling sound that comes from the coffee in a percolator. The reason I prefer the french press is because not only does it make a perfect cup of coffee, it’s also much less of a hassle and cheaper too.

In case you didn’t know what a coffee percolator is, it’s a type of pot used to brew coffee as pictured above. The bottom section (A) is where you fill in with hot water. The water level should at least be above the bottom tube but not more than usually indicated on the pot, depending on how many cups of coffee you want to make. The middle section (B) is where all the ground coffee goes. The top section (C) is should be empty initially and that’s where the final product goes.

To use the percolator once you have filled the water up to the required level and put in some quality ground in the middle chamber (2 spoons per cup of coffee or however you like it), first boil the water by heating up the pot on the campfire or camp stove. Once the water has boiled, put the pot on the edge of the fire or turn the camp stove on low. Pressure will build up in the lower chamber (A) until there is enough to push the hot water through the spout and through the coffee grounds.

Allow to percolate slowly for 5 to 10 minutes. The resulting coffee is collected in the upper section (C). You can then remove the middle chamber and discard the grounds.

It’s now time to pour the coffee into your favorite camping mug and enjoy.


Definition of per·co·late: (of a liquid or gas) Filter gradually through a porous surface or substance

You might also be interested in other camping coffee gear.

5 Reasons For Choosing Single- or Double-Wall Tents

A Double Wall Tent

Single-wall tens, as the name suggests, are tents that only have a single wall that acts as a barrier against the weather. Double-wall tents are tents with an inner mesh wall covered by a waterproof rainfly. Both can be used for backpacking. But which one is right for you?

There are 5 reasons why  you’d want to choose Single-Wall Tents:

  1. You don’t mind getting wet in the middle of the night when it starts to rain on you from the inside soaking your sleeping bag and pad
  2. You’re camping in a dry environment where condensation is not very likely.
  3. You love to keep your backpack light so you can hike further, faster and with less effort.
  4. They’re cheaper than double-wall tents
  5. They’re much easier to set-up than double-wall tents

And there are 5 reasons why you should choose Double-Wall Tents:

  1. You’re only happy when you sleep dry
  2. The extra weight is worth having a good night’s sleep
  3. You’re going to camp in a humid environment
  4. There’s no backpacking involved
  5. You can afford a double-wall tent that’s lighter than some single-wall tents

For more information, read Single Wall Tents and Double Wall Tents.

You can mimic a double-wall tent with a bivvy and a tarp tent.

Learn Camping for Non-Campers

Good news for those who want to camp but have no idea where to start. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a new program geared towards parents and kids who have little or no experience camping in the outdoors.

The “I Can Camp!” workshop teaches everything from setting up a tent to using a camp stove so that first time campers have the basic skills to spend the night at camp with some guidance.

The program had some success in 2009 and is offering 38 workshops in 35 locations this summer at a fairly reasonable price.

Learn more about the I Can Camp! program.

Backyard Camping, Kids and Preserving the Outdoors

Backyard camping is not only good for trying out new equipment before venturing out in the wilderness. It also encourages kids to spend more time outdoors and believe it or not, it helps preserve the outdoors because theoretically as more people go camping, more will value and care enough to protect the backcountry.

Read more of this at Trailspace.

What to Pack for Base Camping?

The guys at CampingGearTV did a video entitled “What to Pack in Your Camping Chest”. It’s a bit long at 8 minutes 43 seconds and you might not like going through the video and finding out that there’s a part 2 to it so here’s a list of what’s inside their camping chest:

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Propane Canister
  3. Propane Stove
  4. Portable Spotlight
  5. Big Plastic Water Jug
  6. First Aid Kit
  7. Paper Plate Holders
  8. Disposable Utensils
  9. Spatula
  10. Beer Bong
  11. Plastic Cups
  12. Beer Cozy with Neck Strap

Homeless Arrested for “Camping in the Park”

Nicholas Justin Nowers, 20, no address, was arrested on charges of criminal trespass of a non-dwelling and camping in the park. nicholas

Brenda Sue Martin, 48, no address, was arrested on charges of criminal trespass of a non-dwelling, camping in the park, failing to stop for an officer, two counts of interfering with an arrest and assaulting a police officer. brenda

Both were booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility. According to Public Information Officer James Schafer their main concern was that these guys are a nuisance for families trying to enjoy the park. But the couple was found sleeping in separate restrooms shortly after midnight. The only family that might enjoy the park is the Adams family.

There must be a better solution than putting them in jail.

Uniting Kids: Celebrating Diverse Abilities

Essex – Partners in Adventure is a unique camping experience that includes disabled and nondisabled youths. In this environment, children of different abilities learn to play with one another, accept one another and acquire knowledge that they can use later in life, Executive Director Deborah Lamden said.


Guess Who’ll be Camping During the Admission Free Weekend

President Obama and family will be going to Yellowstone on Friday August, 14 then the Grand Canyon on August 16.  The Obamas will also be rolling through Grand Junction and Phoenix.

Like everyone else, they won’t be charged the admission fee.

Read more about it at Backpacker.

Knights Went Camping

I’m not talking about knights in shining armor. These are the members of the Knightdale High School wrestling team. They spent some quality time together from July 9-14 during their trip to the Appalachian State University wrestling camp.

It was a good team building excercise and the knights were forced to move out of their comfort zone and into a situation where they need to depend on their teammates to be successful.

Several on the team had no camping experience.

The Knights ended up with a dual meet record of 8-3, individually stacking a record of 84-56 on a head-to-head with teams from all over North Carolina and the southeastern United States.

Rainbow Family Arrested for Illegal Camping

Seven members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light, also known as simply the Raninbow Family have been arrested for camping on the roof of a Public Library in Boulder. They were charged with illegal camping and trespassing.

They were identified as Christine Hodge, 22, Joshua Cole, 21, Aaron Waldeck, 19, Kirstin Humason, 21, Eli Dworkin, 19, Thaddeus O’Hail, 18, and Salvatore Gelosos, 22. The two dogs they have with them were sent to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.

This group is a loose-knit -knit group that promotes love and world peace.

Outdoor Research’s Advanced Bivy Setup

Outdoor Research: How to Setup A Bivy Sack from Outdoor Research on Vimeo.

Bivy sacks are great solo lightweight shelters which can also be carried as a backup emergency shelter. Today we are going to talk about Outdoor Research’s Advanced bivy, which includes 2 poles. It’s a two pole system designed to keep the bivy material off your face.

As you’re thinking about setting up your bivy, first off, you would want to choose an appropriate site. Make sure the area is clear of sharp rocks or other debris that might puncture the fabric of the bivy sack.

Once you’ve done so, go ahead the pull the sack out of its pack and set up its poles. So you’ve got two different poles, one longer than the other. The longer pole is going to go on the inside of the white sleeve. Connect the end pieces at both ends and connect them to the corresponding snaps.

The shorter pole goes into the grey sleeve on the outside. Connect the end pieces at both ends and snap them into place. The sack is now ready.”

There are two straps inside the sack that you can use to strap in your camping mattress. The one used in the video is probably an Exped DownMat 9 by Outdoor Research.

There a variety of configurations you can choose from. The video shows all the possible combinations.

Camping in Your Backyard

Kids love camping in the backyard at least as much as parents do. You can camp in your backyard anytime you want to but the official date for the Great American Backyard Campout is June 27, 2009.

Anyone who wants to go camping in their backyard can register at  (National Wildlife Federation) even though it’s not exactly at that date.

The reason for the existence of the Great American Backyard Campout is to connect with nature in the hopes that as kids and adults spend more time outside, they’ll want to protect nature and wildlife. Now that’s a noble cause.

While I like to go hiking, not having to carry a backpack and just focus on enjoying the night of camping can sometimes feel like a blessing.

There are no restrictions on how you camp, whether you want to sleep unders the stars in your sleeping bag or with a bivvy or dome tent or whatever. It doesn’t really matter. The important thing is for you and your kids to get outside.

Use Meetup to Find Hiking Partners

How do you find a partner when you don’t have anyone to go hiking with? You can try the cool site I just found. is about finding people on the internet to spend time with offline. You can find a lot of groups with a huge range interests from absailing to camping to soccer.


Go to and click sign up. All they ask for is your first name, an email address, password and location. Birth date, address and last name not required.

When you’re signed up, click on “find a meetup group.”

Under topics of internet, type in hiking (or something else) and your zip code. Now not all of these groups are going to be for you but can at least filter most by selecting the mile radius option.

To join, you click on the name of the group. On the group’s page, look for the button that says “join us.” Once you click it, some groups ask you to introduce yourself. You can, or you can skip it, your call.

Camping: A Rising Trend Despite Recession

Since the recession, a lot of people claim that camping is becoming more popular than ever. It turns out that even CNN is saying the same thing.

One 22-year old Susan Lanier says, “I’m in school and usually I’ll do some sort of trip, but usually I’ll go to a beach or something or I’ll fly to New York, but [finances have] just been tight, and this is a cheap way to get out of the city and do something fun.”

You may need to spend some cash on camping gear but most you would only have to buy once for at least a few years (like a tent, for example.)

I’ve seen reports coming from the United Kingdom saying that they have been seeing a rising trend in camping as well. This trend is true for hiking too. According to reports from the Sporting Goods Manufacturer’s Association, outdoor camping’s popularity rose by 7.4% from 2007 to 2008. Overnight backpacking rose by 18.5%! These are significant stats and it continues to increase in 2009.

It is also reported that sales of tents and sleeping bags are up 14% over 2008 and up 28% for sales in March compared to 2008 respectively.

State parks are also seeing an increase in the number of visitors even when the parks are having a hard time managing their park systems due to the recession.

Classes that teach basic camping skills are also seeing increased interest. Other parts of the industry are seeing increasing numbers as well.

Sleeping outside in a tent is no longer an activity favored by mostly “nerdy families, nature geeks and Boy Scouts.” With the economy now and the need for people to reconnect with nature it’s no wonder camping has become more popular. It’s good to get away from the city sometimes and get back to basics.

Camping Lantern/Flashlight on renewable energy

This is something I’ve stumbled upon that I think is really cool. It’s both a camping lantern and a flashlight that uses batteries that are charged by solar energy.

It uses LED so it’s energy efficient as well. There are 2 light settings; high and low.

I don’t know how bright these settings are but at a low setting, the batteries last for an hour for an hour of solar charging. I think that’ s pretty good.

For the high setting, the batteries last for half an hour for an hour in the sun. At full charge the batteries can last up to 20 hours.

It only weighs 22 ounces and that’s pretty cool. I’d love to get my hands on one of these.

Here’s where I first found it:

  • Pisat Solar K-Light – Here’sa rocking new product that every camper and environment enthusiast should own! The K-Light is an innovative, eco-friendly solar-powered lantern, designed to stand up to the harshest environments. Approximately the size and weight …