The leaves are changing to brilliant hues of orange and red, the weather is wonderfully crisp and cool, and do you know what that means my Eco-Beauties? It means it's time to go camping! What better way to enjoy the wonders of fall then by staying in the “hotel” we call nature?! There are so many things that you can do, including building toasty campfires (and subsequently making s'mores by that fire), gazing up at the billions of stars in the night sky, and hiking through the mysterious yet alluring woods. All that adventure packed into one killer weekend is exactly what my little family and I plan to do! Hopefully, this post helps to encourage you Eco-Beauties to go out and take advantage of the beauty that the changing seasons is bound to offer. With that, I have a couple of tips and tricks to help you plan out your very own camping adventure.
First, before anything else, you're going to need a place to camp! Whether you decide to Travel far or stay close to home the possibilities are endless. Heck, your backyard might just be the perfect spot to plan your “escape” for the weekend ahead. We personally prefer to camp at our local state parks. State parks are pretty awesome for beginning or experienced campers. They are state funded nature preserves with part of the money they earn going back into keeping them beautiful and well preserved. Most state parks have areas for all the different breeds of campers out there, whether you identify as a primitive camper (one that prefers camping in tents like a real outdoors man/woman), a cozy cabin goer, or an RV/Camper gal. Generally, you can even view the spots online, and if you like what you see, you can book your spot right then and there (thanks to that good ole internet)! Most campsites have small amenities, like bathrooms with showers and special garbage sites,and during some holidays, like the 4th of July, they are known to have little events to get all the campers together for a good time. This was our campsite the last trip we took. At one point, we had a little alligator come and swim past to say hello from the lake behind our RV. Remember to NEVER interfere with any dangerous wildlife in the area. We just watched the little gator do his thing and *hoped* that he wasn't craving husky!
Now that you have booked your perfect campsite, it's time to make a nifty checklist of supplies! Yes, I know, “Boo, how boring,” but it is very important to make a checklist of everything you need. You don't want to get to your campsite and realize you forgot the sleeping bags! I usually start off by making a list of what to bring for each person; I always start off with my pup, Jax because he is the only family member who can;t pack for himself. If you do plan to bring your four legged family member, please make sure that they are up to date on all of their shots, and that they are on flea/tick preventative. It's the worst to have an amazing weekend trip out only to come back with a sick pup or a flea problem. If you don't plan to bring your four legged pal, then start off with a list for the kids because kids generally need to pack the most stuff. Once you have everyone's individual packing list, you need to make a camper/cabin/tent list along with other miscellaneous items. Check out my general checklist of some common things I always bring with me on my trips. And I can't stress this enough, but PLEASE bring plenty of water to drink and cook with. I usually bring 2-3 gallons for us. State parks run on well water and it is not desirable to consume , however, it is safe to use when showering or for external needs.
So, we have our campsite and our checklists all booked and packed up and ready to go! How about we now add a couple of eco-friendly camping hacks to the mix?
Camping Like a Pro HACK #1
Bundling up some fresh sage is perfect for putting in your campfire to help naturally repel those pesky mosquito's, but before we can repel those vampire insects, we need to actually build a fire. Fires can be incredibly tricky to light and keep lit. It once took us 1.5 hrs to light a fire on a primitive trip we took, and that was no fun! State parks usually provide little fire pits to build your campfire in at each campsite, so how can we make building a fire a little bit easier? How about with some recycled fire starters made with 3 everyday items you probably already have lying around the house? All you need are those old empty toilet paper rolls (come on, we all have them piling up somewhere), that *almost* useless dryer lint, and some newspaper!
Camping Like a Pro HACK #2
Our next DIY can be helpful if you are planning on camping in a spot that has some water adventures you are planning to embark on. The park we stay at has a river you can easily hike to and take a nice dip in when it gets overbearingly hot. During summer, we have even been able to rent canoes and inner tubes for tubing. But, if you do decide to partake in some water activities, what will you do with your cabin/camper key? Well, if you decide to keep it on you, adding it to a little wine cork key chain will keep your key afloat if you drop it in the water or it falls from your pocket! (This is obviously not meant to hold loads of keys, just one or two at a time.) So, it's time to dig out those old wine corks from ladies night and get started on those key rings! All you really need are two things:
1) A wine cork (of course)
2) A key ring with a little screw at the end ( I reclaimed one from an old key chain I no longer used)
There is literally one step to this process and that is to, well, screw the key chain to the cork! Give it a gentle tug to make sure that it is secure, and there you go!
Camping Like a Pro HACK #3-6
Here are a couple of links to some more recycled DIYs that could be used for your camping adventure as well. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough recyclables handy to be able to do all of these for you beauts, but someday soon I will!
I hope that this has helped you plan and prepare for your camping adventure my Eco-Beauties! I am super stoked to see what your next trip has in store for you and what awesome DIYs you decide to partake in to help lessen your eco-footprint while on your trip. So, feel free to tag us in your upcoming adventure at #ecothoughtsblog for us to see and follow us on @ecothoughtsblog so you can follow more of our journey as well!