What To Consider When Choosing A Campsite
Are you interested in going on a camping adventure? If you are, have you already decide where you would like to go camping? If you have yet to choose a campground park to camp at, you may want to think about doing so soon. In the summer months, camping is a popular activity; therefore, you will want to make sure that you are able to get a camping reservation at the campground park of your choice.
Another one of the many reasons why you may want to think about making your camping reservations in advance is because many campground parks allow their guests to handpick which camping spots they want. Of course, not all campground parks allow you to do this, but you will find that a large number of them do. In terms of getting a good camping spot or a campsite, you will find that the earlier you make your reservations, the more campsites you have to choose from.
Speaking of choosing a camping spot, which is also commonly referred to as a campsite, you may be wondering what you should look for in one. In all honesty, the "perfect," campsite is likely to vary from person to person. It actually depends on your wants and needs, as well as the wants and needs of those in your camping group. Although there may be some variations of what you are looking for, you may want to take some of the factors mentioned below into consideration, when choosing the perfect campsite.
One of the first things that you will want to do is review who you are going camping with. If you are going camping with children, namely small children, you may want to think about making sure that your camping site is a good distance away from any bodies of water or any dangerous hiking trails. You will also find that many campground parks have onsite playgrounds and such. If you are camping with children, it may be a good idea to try and get a camping spot that is located near a playground or other locations that are designed for children.
In addition to the safety of those that you will be camping with, preferences are also something that should be taken into consideration, when choosing a camping spot or a campsite. If you are a water lover and would regularly like to spend your time boating, fishing or swimming, you may want to think about getting a camping spot that is close to the water. On the other hand, if you would prefer to spend your time hiking, you may want to try and get a camping spot that is located near the campground's hiking trail, and so forth.
Size is also another factor that you may want to take into consideration, when choosing a campsite. When reviewing campgrounds, you will find that different campground parks have different sizes campsites. Often times, the larger campsites are designed for those with multiple tents or with motor homes. Before agreeing to rent a particular camping site, you will want to make sure that the site in question is large enough for all of your camping group members. This is important as not having enough space could put a damper on your next camping adventure.
The above mentioned factors are just a few of the many factors that you may want to take into consideration, when choosing a camping spot for your next camping adventure. As a reminder, not all campground parks allow you to choose your owing camping sites, but a large number of them do.
Florida camping can be expensive. My wifa Ana and I paid $23 to camp in our conversion van one night. Of course, it was at a beautiful state park on the beach, and in the morning we saw a dolphin swimming near shore.
Florida camping can be inexpensive too. While at the beach, we heard we could camp for free at the isolated campgrounds which dotted the Apalachicola National Forest. Naturally, our frugality sent us into alligator country.
We camped two nights in the dark woods, next to the dark waters of a slow river. There was was an old guy who seemed to be living there, and a young couple with their two-year-old daughter. Lester was from England, Kari from Texas, and Indya was born in Guatamala. They met in India, of course.
No crowds, and the price was right. March nights can be chilly here, so the six of us circled the fire at night, trading stories, and sometimes sneaking down to the water to look for the eyes of alligators. Unfortunately, we saw nothing, but we did hear splashes in the night.
The old guy told us that camping was also free at Williams Landing, on Lake Talquin, about twenty minutes west of Tallahassee. We moved up there, looking forward to the hot showers. Lester, Kari, and Indya followed the next day in "The Beast," which was an old RV that had carried them there from Texas.
For eight days, we continued trading stories around the fire each night. We saw all kinds of wildlife. Packs of armadillos walked through camp, and giant grey herons fished offshore from the van. There were racoons, owls, squirrels, ducks, and turtles. Then there was the "monster."
I was poking around near a corner of the lake, when I heard the splash. We had already seen two small alligators sunning themselves the day before, but this one had to be a giant. I returned with Ana the next morning, and again heard the splash, but it was under the water before we could see it.
Every morning we visited the monster once the sun was high enough for him to come out and soak up the heat. We caught glimpses, enough to know he was at least ten feet long. Lester and Kari made a "Crocodile Hunter" movie of us stalking it. Soon it no longer panicked, but just slowly lowered itself into the water, as if getting ready to hunt us properly.
After that we stopped trying to get so close to it. The five of us went to view alligators safely after that, from the tour boat at Wakulla Springs. I even got the chance to jump off of the big diving platform there. We eventually said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, but we hope it wasn't our last time in Florida, camping.
Riding The Trains In Italy
The first time I arrived in Italy by train it felt completely different to anywhere I'd travelled already. It was the summer of 2000 and I had been travelling for a nearly 2 weeks. I was more than relieved when the train pulled out of Nice on that bright August morning, what a misnomer, Nice was in my eyes not very nice at all. So when the train wound its way around the rocky hillsides, passing over the coastal rocks below I put it from my mind and concentrated on the electric blue waters of the med and the thought of my first genuine Italian cappuccino.
From my window seat I could see the vibrantly coloured flowers hanging from the trees clinging to the banks above the bays, bright flowers in pots along the platforms of the tiny train stations, and the heart warming sight of an Italian Nonna sweeping her porch out, her house sitting right next to the train tracks. As I was later to travel this track many times she became my 'Italian Nonna' and I looked out for her everytime I passed by.
Arriving in Ventimiglia, the first real stop over the border from France, (Monaco was also along the way) into Italy I was pleased to see a distinct difference between the Italian locals and the French ones I'd left behind. Admittedly there is a real sense of the Mediterranean life all the way along the Cote D'Azur, with fairly laid back individuals, all there to soak up sun and wine, but these locals appeared even more so. The Carabinieri on the platform as we pulled up were looking so relaxed as to almost appear asleep, even the sniffer dog didn't look at all bothered that 15 sweaty backpackers had just arrived. Nobody moved, no passports were checked, just a few cheery 'ciaos' and a 'benvenuti'.
After leaving our bags with the guide to mind we set off to explore for an hour before catching the next train. Having already spent the better half of the previous hour practising how to order a cappuccino in Italian I was eager to try it out. We found a kerbside caf
Making Clothes For Backpacking
Making clothes? If you enjoy backpacking AND sewing, go for it. As for myself, I started buying gear again after the first hundred tedious hours of sewing . Then I discovered that there are some backpacking clothes you can make cheaply and quickly.
Making Hand Warmers
Stick your hands inside a pair of socks and mark where your fingertips and thumb-tip are, using a pen or marker. Then cut holes where the marks are. You now have hand warmers that leave your fingers free. Mine weigh about an ounce, but this depends on the socks that you use. You can use these under other gloves or mittens in colder weather, and when you remove your mittens to tie your shoes, you won't totally expose your hands.
Instant Insulated Vest
Buy 1/2? poly batting at any fabric store. I bought mine at Walmart. This is the stuff that is used to make pillows, stuffed animals and quilts. It comes as a big sheet, rolled up in a bag, usually for less than ten dollars.
Open it up it and cut a piece out, roughly two by four feet. Cut a hole in this for your head, and wear it like a tunic, but under your jacket. Making clothes doesn't get any easier than this, and the vest will be among the lightest backpacking clothes you own. My own weighs just four ounces.
My vest, along with my homemade balaclava, kept me warm as I went over glaciers, to the top of 20,600-foot Chimborazo, in Ecuador. It also went to the top of Mount Shasta in California, and on other trips. Originally, I made it as a disposable vest, but it's held together for years now. Wear two for extra warmth (always under a wind-breaking layer) and you'll have more insulation than a sweater would give you, for half the weight.
Making A Ski Mask From Old Clothes
Use any old thermal underwear top or bottom, preferably made of polypropylene. Just cut off a leg or a sleeve, then pull it over your head. Mark where your eyes and mouth are with a pen or marker, cut the holes and cut off the extra length. You just made a balaclava.
I used a sleeve from a very stretchy polypropylene top for mine. It weighs less than an ounce, lighter than anything I can buy. You can sew the top shut, as I did, or just pin it shut with a safety pin. Making backpacking clothes doesn't get much simpler than this.
I collect ideas for backpacking clothes or equipment that can be made at home, but if it can't be explained in a paragraph, it's probably too complex and time consuming for me. I prefer backpacking to sewing. When it's as easy as the three items here, though, even I will start making clothes.
Montana Moonlight Madness Where S The Moon On Flathead Lake
Don't get me wrong - I'm as cranked for a boat ride on Flathead Lake of Montana as the next guy. There's just nothing quite as relaxing, mellow and laid back as piling onto a party barge pontoon boat and setting out to cruise the lake, especially if there are enough brews and some good eats to fill out the boat trip agenda.
It just didn't occur to me as we set sail that hot summer afternoon in August, departing the Dayton, Montana bay that we were in for an extended journey in search of the moon - of all things! Oh sure, Captain Ron at the helm, had talked about the moon rising over the lake, how awesome the scene would be, especially since it would make it's grand appearance rising over the Mission Mountains to the east of the lake. We thought he was kidding since the moon wasn't even scheduled until 11:30 or so that night.
The party boat rides are always a kick, sitting back in boat seats, beer and a piece of chicken in hand, cruising the nearby bays. As a family gathering on the water, the talk is light, and the sunshine generally splendid, as we enjoy the amazing vistas surrounding us. Ah, the amazing vistas - spectacular views across one of the largest inland lakes of the northwest, stretching to the rugged Mission Mountain Range to the southeast and a wonderful view of the Swan Range to the northeast.
The tour starts with a wildlife watch spin around Wild Horse Island - yes, with actual wild horses, deer with massive racks, and even mountain sheep high on the craggy cliffs of the island. As the afternoon faded, the cruise puttered back up into Big Thumb Bay. We savored more big sky views of the surrounding hill country on the west side of the lake. Then the cruise slowly puttered back out the Polson, Montana side of the Big Thumb.
The sun slowly set and darkness crept crossed lake, a spectacular sunset washing the lake and the Missions in amazing shades of pinks, reds and dark blues. As darkness deepened, the banter
muted, and the urge to settle in and take a nap lulled the crew into quietness. Passing Melita Island we headed out into the vastness of the larger body of the lake, circling back to the east side of Wild Horse Island again.
Out near Wild Horse we cruised, slowed, and stopped. Captain Ron speculated about the location of the moonrise. The outline of the Mission Range was faintly visible to the east, highlighted by a wondrous Montana starry sky, but no hint of a moon anywhere in the neighborhood. It just hadn't occurred to us that Captain Ron seriously intended to be there when it rose.
Huddling in chilly pitch dark, we joked and laughed, told stories, marveled at the amazing ceiling of stars overhead, and speculated regarding the moons rising point over the Mission Range. I read that the moonrise would be around midnight, and we arrived at our vigil around 9:30. So time passed slowly, the air provided a chillier note, the interest in beverages waned, and this 50 something crowd did begin to question the sanity of the entire quest.
Captain Ron persisted for the longest time. The rest of the family crew laughed and joked, saying, "wait, is it getting lighter over the Missions over there?" Finally, even the Captain concluded that moonrise might run late, given it had to rise over the Mission Mountains. It was also getting cooler, he had risen at 5:00 that morning, and the crew, well, the crew had started to grumble a bit. There was no clear indication that the moon was anywhere near rising either.
So, around 11:00 the boat motor was kicked on, and the cruise boat began a slow putter back around Wild Horse Island, heading back to the home port. At that pace, it was a long, long journey the many miles back across the lake. Banter picked up as the family crew knew the journey was drawing to a conclusion...., slowly. And even the Captain with moon performance pressure relieved, took on a lighter perspective - proposing an alternate moon on the water.
Then - less than 20 minutes into the return journey, to the surprise of the moon watch crew - there was the moon - over the Missions! The boat had passed into a shadow side of Wild Horse Island and the view of the Missions was obstructed for a bit. Pulling out of that shadow then, the wonder of a Montana moonrise caught us all by surprise. Truly a moment to treasure as the moonlight sparkled across Flathead Lake. It illuminated the jagged Mission Range and left us all in awestruck silence as the Captain cut the motor and we all sat back to drink in the wonder. In moments like that, all the pieces of the wondrous Cosmic Puzzle do fall into place and some perfect order takes on meaning.
There is no question that the marvel that is Flathead Lake of Montana has a thousand unique and unforgettable vistas, scenes, recreational pleasures for all. The rest of the journey back to the ome port in Dayton was a light and lively jaunt, with the moon shining bright over our shoulder. There is hardly a time that we've explored the wonders of the lake that we don't come home with memories to treasure.
When your own adventure includes a jaunt to or through Montana, plan at least a brief stay in around Flathead Lake. Great places for your base-camp accommodations can be found at either end of the lake - in Kalispell, in Polson or a number of spots in between. Before you go, check for lodging arrangements through www.montanaadventure.com, and be sure to get your reservations plenty in advance as the area does fill up during the summer time.
A Guide To Arizona Rv Rentals
Arizona is one of the most beautiful desert states in America. It is home to the Grand Canyon, the red cliffs of Sedona, mountains, and endless sights in Phoenix. And perhaps the best way to see all these attractions is to travel by RV whenever and wherever you like.
The cost of owning an RV, or the long drive from your home to Arizona may make RV travel seem impossible. It's not. The solution: renting an RV in Arizona.
KOA, or Kampgrounds of America, provides a list on its Web site of its preferred Arizonan RV rental agencies, which are located throughout the state. The larger cities like Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and Mesa all have RV rental agencies.
The class-C motor home is the most popular RV rental for families or couples. The motor home has one double bed, but can comfortably sleep six to nine people. It also has a toilet and shower, microwave and refrigerator in the kitchen, and heating and cooling. Most Arizonan RV Rentals also sell home-keeping kits with dishes and linens for your trip, perfect for when you fly into Arizona.
The summer season in Arizona lasts from the end of May to the start of September. This is the busiest and most expensive time to rent an RV in Arizona. RV rentals in the off-season cost around $20 a day less than during the summer season. You will generally get a cheaper per day rate the longer you rent your RV.
Before you rent, shop around. Pay particular attention to the pricing of each Arizonan RV rental agency and find a scheme that works for you. Many companies charge a day rate on top of an additional mile charge. Also ask about insurance, as your car insurance may not cover the RV rental. Ask about clean-up costs and if a security deposit is needed. A little preparation in the beginning can save you money and frustration in the long run, but don't forget to have fun along the way!
Hiking Trails How You Can Choose The Best One
Are you interested in going hiking? Whether you would like spend one day hiking or five days, you will need to find a hiking park to visit and a hiking trial to hike. Although you can choose to go on any hiking trial that you want, you may want to take the time to find and choose the best one. Those who take the time to examine a number of different hiking trials and handpick their favorite ones are more likely to have an enjoyable time.
Although it is nice to hear that you should take the time to find the perfect hiking trail, you may be wondering exactly how you can go about doing so. In all honesty, there are an unlimited number of different ways that you can go about finding the "perfect," hiking trail. A few of the many approaches that you can take are outlined below.
One of the easiest ways that you can go about finding a great hiking trail to hike is by asking those that you know for recommendations. Asking those that you know for recommendations is nice and easy because it limits the amount of research that you have to do yourself. If you know of anyone, like a friend, family member, neighbor, or coworker, who enjoys hiking, you may want to see if they can recommend any good hiking trails to you. You will want to try and find hiking trails that are well maintained, cheap to hike, as well safe.
Another way that you can go about finding a great hiking trail to hike is by contacting any of your local hiking trails or hiking parks. If you are looking to hike locally, you should be able to find the contact information of local hiking trials or hiking parks by using your local phone book. By contacting some of your local hiking parks or hiking trails, you may be able to get information on the trials in question. In addition to getting information over the phone, you may also be able to request that you have a few brochures, like maps, mailed to your home. If you live close enough to the hiking trail or park that you would like more information on, you may want to think about stopping by to get the same information in person.
If you are interested in not hiking locally, but hiking a distance that is away from your home, you may be wondering how you can go about researching hiking trials or hiking parks. Of course, you can use the internet and other resources, but you may want to think about waiting until you get to your destination. As previously mentioned, asking those that you know for recommendations is a great way to find a good hiking trail. When you arrive at your destination, you may want to think about asking some local residents for hiking trail recommendations.
As previously stated, you can also use the internet to help you research local and non-local hiking trails, as well as hiking parks in general. When it comes to using the internet, one of your best options is performing a standard internet search. When you perform a standard internet search, you will want to search with phrases like "hiking parks," or "hiking trails." If you know where you would like to go hiking, like in what city or in what state, you may want to incorporate your destination into your search. This may help give you more tailored results. Speaking of those results, you will likely be connected to websites that are referred to as hiking websites. These websites often provide you with information on hiking, as well as information on popular hiking trails.
When performing a standard internet search, you may also come across the online websites of local hiking parks or hiking trials. If you find those online websites, you will want to thoroughly examine them. The internet is a great way to research hiking parks and hiking trails to find the one or ones that are best for you, your wants, as well as your needs.
Dubai S Great Desert Safari
Dubai is one of the finest cities not only in the middle eastern region, but also throughout the globe. What makes it more special among the known urban centers of the world however, is the sandy surroundings it has been built upon. It shows on one hand the ability of the city planners to have got such an architectural marvel built in the middle of the desert, and on the other it lends a chance for some major outdoor activities around for the fun seeking enthusiasts. There are several locations around Dubai that one could choose to embark on with their desert safaris and have plenty of leisurely time ahead in the rustic Arabian countryside.
These safaris normally take place at a time the sun just starts lowering down on the western horizon and the sand dunes begin displaying larger shadows. The excitement of traveling straightway down from Dubai into a vast deserted land can be immeasurable in these circumstances. One normally encounters scattered villages and well-bred camels straying across on earth while being on these expeditions. The purple Arabian skies provide a very fitting backdrop for camping out in the desert as the evening finally sets in. Dubai is appreciated not only for its trade and commerce but also for the tourism activities it presents these days, and desert safaris may without doubt be stated as one of the key areas where these activities generally lay around at.
There are several available options for the tourists to get their safaris selected from. Generally all major hotels and resorts will get such trips organized when asked for by their clients. Guides are provided with all traveling parties for the duration beginning from the late afternoon start of any journey to the same night return later. Travelers should keep aware about the kind of topsy-turvy ride they might be about to undertake, as miles of sand dunes will be lying ahead in the path to be taken care of. Any lack of carefulness on part of the driver may cause the jeep to be overturned or get stuck inside the sand. Somehow, the fun and excitement of traveling like a gypsy will make out these stressful parts insignificant.
Once deep inside the desert, one may witness camels ferrying tourists across from one souk to another. It's not only entertaining but challenging as well to be placed at the top of mounting and dismounting camel backs. The long-necked mammals on their part are well bred and nicely taken care of by their masters, and would start acting somewhat like puppies whenever pampered by someone. Just scratch behind any camel's ears and it would start flattening its necks as if asking for more of the same massage.
The late evening outings normally include visiting souks in the desert and having Arabian dinner along with some entertaining folk dance and music shows on. Liquor drinks may cost between $7.00 - 10.00 and beers in the range of $5.00 - 7.00. You will enjoy watching stars at night provided Dubai is not very near the place where you have landed for your outing. The return journey takes place soon after all you camp fire itineraries, including having dinner and spending time around in shops, have ended to the best of your fulfilment. You will be back to your hotel just before the midnight and get on with your usual Dubai holiday making.
Help Finding The Right Camp
From basketball and horseback riding to the performing arts and cheerleading, there are many different types of camp to choose from. Traditional summer camp is still, by far, the most popular choice for youths of all ages and day camp for teenagers is on the rise. But how do you know when your child is ready to go to camp and how do you find the best match?
Camping experts at the YMCA of the USA offer tips to help parents choose the best camping experience for their child this summer:
(*) A good place to start when looking for a camp is with the American Camp Association (ACA) or with the Y. The ACA accredits camps across the country to ensure they meet the highest standards. YMCA camps are accredited by the ACA.
(*) Camp does not have to be expensive. There are camps available in every price range. YMCA camps even offer scholarship assistance.
(*) On average, many 8-year-olds are ready for resident or "sleep-away camp" and age-appropriate day camps are available for preschool-aged children. Remember, however, each child is ready to leave the nest at his or her own pace.
(*) Sleep-away camp shouldn't be a child's first time away from home. A sleepover at a friend's or relative's house is an important first step to a longer stay away.
(*) Decide if you are looking to give your child a vacation from school or if you hope for some real growth in character and self-confidence. Some camps are highly structured, while others offer more time to allow kids to set their own schedules.
(*) Quiz camp staff on the information described in their materials. Find out how the camp encourages positive behavior and teamwork and how problem behavior is handled. Ask how the camp works with children requiring special diets, medications or accommodations.
(*) Get references from other families who have attended the camps you are considering.
(*) Don't forget to include your child in the process, and if possible, plan a visit before making a final decision. Most camps provide tours in the spring as well as once camp is in session. Some even offer family weekends where the family can experience camp together.
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