Tag Archives: Recreation

Amazing Camping Tips & Tricks

 

From Famly Tent Camping.com

Want to make the next camping trip really enjoyable and impress your camp mates with your incredible knowledge of outdoor tricks? Here are some amazing snippets of useful tips that will make them wonder how you acquired such information. Everything from starting a fire easily to cleaning a sooty pot. A warning though;.you have to swear to keep these things secret. Like a magician, you never reveal your sources.

  • Get a campfire started easily by preparing at home. An old egg carton and dryer lint is all you need. Stuff the egg carton full of dryer lint and carry it with you to your campsite. Place it under some dry boughs,light it and presto.
  • Rub liquid soap on the outside of pots and pans. The black soot will come right off after cooking over an open fire.
  • Keep the bottom of your pots that you use over the open fire clean by wrapping them in tinfoil.
  • Spray flies, wasps or bees with hairspray and watch them head for cover
  • Spray your garbage and trash with ammonia to keep animals away.
  • Sleep naked in your sleeping bag. It will reflect your body heat back to you.
  • Use baking soda to rid your clothes and hands of cooking odors so the bears won’t smell food on you.
  •  Take some warmth from the campfire or stove to bed. Keep a pot of hot water simmering on the campfire and when you turn in fill up water bottles and place them in your sleeping bag.
  • Buy orange juice in plastic bags and freeze it so it can be used instead of ice in the cooler. Then,when it thaws out you have refreshing cold juice for later.
  • Take a headlamp, instead of a flashlight,so your hands are free.
  •  When finished eating an orange, wipe exposed skin with the inside of the peel. Insects will stay far away from you.
  • To cut down on cooking time of baked potatoes, start the potatoes in your microwave and bake till half done before you leave. Wrap them in aluminum foil and toss in the cooler until you need them.
  • Old shower curtains make great ground tarps to pitch your tent on.
  • Waterproof matches by dipping them in nail polish.
  • Waterproof matches by dipping in melted paraffin.
  • Keep your waterproof matches in old prescription bottles.
  • To Dry wet socks, sleep with them around your middle. Your body heat during the night and your warm sleeping bag will dry them by morning.
  • Whenever you go hiking always have a watch, a whistle, a cell phone, a flashlight and a knife with you in case of emergency.
  • Bottles with sticky contents (corn syrup, honey, maple syrup) can get harder to open so before using the bottle for the first time, wipe the threads with a light coating of cooking oil. The lid will never stick and won’t be difficult to open or you can wrap a small bit of plastic over the bottle opening after you open it.
  • To keep warmer at night wear a hat to sleep in. You lose 80% of your heat heat through your head.
  • Use glow sticks for a bit of soft light at night.
  • To hang a lantern, get those lightweight metal rods that are used for hanging plants and stick them in the ground.
  • Boil water in a plastic drink bottle-yes plastic Make sure its completely filled and the stopper is off and place it on the grill over the fire. It won’t melt.
  • Make toast with a stick. Find a branch with a Y-fork in it,cut it to a length that is safe to use from the fire, and place your slice of bread on it. Hold it over the fire but not directly in the fire and make golden brown toast.

By now you have really impressed everyone and they’ll surely invite you next time.

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Camping with ZENERGO

Zenergo is a free activities-focused social manager for active adults networking through their real-life interests. On Zenergo you can create activities, groups and events around such outdoor activities as Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, and Skiing — as well as health, social, group, family, civic, and hobbyist activities. Please visit the site at http://www.zenergo.com to learn how more about how Zenergo can Activate Your Life.

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Tips for Boating With Rover (or Kitty)

From CaptainWiki.com  Doggie

Two-legged sailors are definitely in the majority, but the four-legged (or more) variety shouldn’t be forgotten.

I’m talking about boating with pets of course. For those that share a passion for both boating and being a pet owner, it would be unthinkable to try to separate the two. So here are a few thoughts on how to make both Rover and Rover’s owner happy boaters.

* Pets aren’t totally different from owners, in that we both like being surrounded by familiar and favorite items. So, bring a few of your pet’s favorite toys, sleeping gear, and food to the boat. Be sure to establish a special place on the boat that belongs to your pet, to help them feel as if they belong.

* Set up a safe area outside of the boat where your pet can go when they don’t need to be on the boat, or if the water is a bit rough and they would feel more comfortable being off the boat.

* A small shelf for your pet’s food dish is a good idea. Elevate it a little off the cabin floor to avoid stubbed toes, and place a lid around the edge to keep the food where it belongs.

* If your cat’s a little clumsy, and there’s a chance she could go overboard, she’ll need a way to help her get back into the boat. Hanging a piece of carpet over the side should give them something to claw into and climb back on board.

* If your puppy is getting a little odorous on that extended cruise, there are a couple of ways to clean him up. A dingy full of rain water makes a great impromptu bathing tub. Waterless shampoo, grooming powder, or even baking soda sprinkled over their fur and brushed in, will make do when the rainy season has passed you by.

* Pet toileting while boating provides some interesting challenges. Cats with a litter box have a definite advantage over dogs in this category. Just make sure the litter box gets a very frequent cleaning. Apparently some smaller dogs can be trained to use a litter box. That’s got to be kinda funny to see. One rather creative boater suggested using a doormat sized piece of that fake plastic grass for your dog. Simply rinse overboard after use. If all this fails, of course there’s always the “pee dingy express” for a quick ride to shore.

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Bring Your Boat and Your Pets On Board Zenergo!

One great thing about Zenergo.com, the Web site that acts as your social activities manager, is that you can do so many things with it, all in one place.

Boat lovers and pet partners alike can track their activities on the Zenergo Calendar, post pictures and documents, and chat with fellow enthusiasts. You can find others who share your passion for the water — and find those specifically who want to bring their pets on board. Find groups for sailors, or for pet owners, or for the combination — or start your own group — it’s easy. Use the Events feature to invite people over, or to join others. Everything is in one spot on Zenergo — and everything can be specified in as much detail as you need. Here’s an example of the Boating interests checklist on Zenergo:

You can be really specific, or keep it wide open, it’s your choice.

Likewise, here is the interests checklist for the Pets Activity:

Zgo Blog-Pets Interest page

We have 300+ such activities covering everything from hobbies to crafts, sports of every kind to social activities from poker to winetasting and beer appreciation — from travel to community service, parenting and painting. Find activity partners, groups, and events, or just keep your own social activity life under control, with Zenergo.

Go to Zenergo and give it a try! It’s free and easy to sign up — look around, try a few activities, enjoy!

Have you taken your pet on board? How has it worked out? share in ‘comments’.

Roadtrip Planning: How Much Is Enough? Too Much?

Plan too much and you’ll miss out on the spontaneity that says Road Trip. Plan too little, and you could end up sleeping in your car. What’s the right amount?

By Mac McCarthy
Zenergo.com

Planning a road trip? Just how much planning are you doing? Should you book your hotels in advance, line up the restaurants and pit stops beforehand, book the sightseeing tickets before you leave, to make sure everything goes smoothly on your trip?

Yep, that’s how a lot of people do it. But there’s a down side to overplanning your road trip: If you have to be somewhere at a particular an hour (or lose your reservation), you won’t be exploring many side roads, heading off on the Blue Roads (smaller roads on the maps that are shown in blue), stopping at a quirky roadside attraction. And without being able to take advantage of those unexpected opportunities, well: It’s not a real Road Trip. It’s just a trip in a  car.

The Highway Thousand-Mile Stare

In my youth, I had a wonderful weird opportunity — An LA producer I knew offered to send me to New Orleans to pick up a Mercedes sports car belonging to his about-to-be in-laws and drive it back to LA. He’d fly me out, put me up overnight in the French Quarter, and I’d get to drive halfway across the country in a hot sports car I couldn’t dream of affording.

I was an unemployed wanna-be screenwriter, so I jumped at this chance. I learned several lessons from this trip, the relevant one in this case being the opportunities I wasted because I didn’t take my time driving back, but shot along the wide-open highways of the Southwest like a bolt, stopping to see nothing.

I remember there was a sign on the highway pointing to cliff dwellings I could visit if I headed off in this direction. But I was totally focused on my destination, so I sped on by. I had then what I recognize now as the Highway Thousand-Mile Stare — the inability to turn off the highway, to diverge even slightly from my obsession with reaching my goal.

I still haven’t seen those cliff dwellings. I regret that.

Don’t let this happen on your next road trip — by definition, a road trip should not be planned in every detail.

Yet some of us do. Anxious that we not be stranded or lost, we have every day’s distance, destination, pit stops, and side trips mapped out to the mile and quarter-hour.

But will you do if you see a sign pointing to something interesting — but it’s not on your itinerary? If you’ve planned in too much detail, you won’t be able to stop — it’s not on your schedule! You will feel compelled to drive on by!

The Right Balance

On the other hand, if you just drive off in the car with little more than some vague intention to end up somewhere — you might find yourself sleeping in your car some nights for lack of planning. Or at least, that’s what you fear.

So what’s the right balance? How planned-out must you be for your big road trip?

The good news is that you can do a certain amount of — not planning as such, but preparation and goalsetting – enough that you can relax and enjoy your trip while minimizing your worries of being stranded.

Let’s take an example: A road trip that might consist of an intent to drive from San Francisco to Chicago, via Denver, then back to San Francisco either by the northern route through Montana, or the southern route through the Southwest, depending on your mood when you turn around. How’s that for vague? You’ve got three weeks, let’s say, which is plenty of time to wander.

Worries About Road Trips With Too Little Planning (And How To Deal With Them)

–The biggest inconvenience/fear is that you might not be able to find a place to stay in your price range. Are you willing to sleep in your car? If so, have plenty of blankets and pillows, or a vehicle that’s more comfortable than a car.

But in this day of Web access to full information services, you don’t have to run that kind of risk the way you had in the past. You can open your smart phone, or fire up the laptop wireless at a fast-food restaurant in the middle of the afternoon, and see what’s available motel-wise in the area you happen to be. This gives you options even if you are far behind ‘schedule’ or far off your intended route.

–With unplanned travel, you run the risk of driving right past interesting sights without realizing it. Not everything you might want to see will be mentioned on a highway sign, after all. But here’s the thing: Not planning your route or your stopping points in detail does NOT mean not doing any research at all! You can, and should, check travel guides to find out what must-sees are along the way. At least bring some travel guides to the areas you’re likely to wander through, so you can look up the local interests over breakfast or lunch.

Disagreements with travel mates about what your actual unplanned plans are. “But I thought we were going to see this place, or get to that place by this date!” Unstated expectations can mess up a road trip. But not having plans does not mean not having goals.  Decide how much time you’re spending on your road trip portion and how much at the destinations — Even if you’re retired and have all the time in the world, you should all agree on whether you’re leaning towards a two-week trip or a six-month trip. If you’re driving to Chicago and back, are you willing to change destinations partway through and head to Memphis or Minneapolis and skip Chicago? Or is does one of you have his heart set on spending a few days eating Chicago-style?

Oh No! It’s Sold Out! A low-itinerary road trip does make it hard to reserve tickets for popular venues that might be sold out if you don’t buy ahead. This is something you’ll just have to live with. Be flexible: If it’s sold out, have a Plan B. Or, if it’s really important to you, go ahead and buy those tickets in advance, and make arriving at this specific location on the required date one of the anchor points in your otherwise-underplanned trip. If there’s one specific big-deal thing you want to go to/see/participate in, you might plan to head directly there for the outbound part of your trip, and save the underplanned road-trip portion of your journey for the return.

The big win in a lightly planned road trip, versus a rigid preplanned tour, is the opportunity to stop on whim, take divergent paths as they appear, spend more time looking at something, following that interesting sign — or ending the day early and spending a leisurely afternoon, mid-road-trip, lying by the motel pool just because you’re suddenly feeling lazy. You’re not under that pressure to hit your marks and arrive at that hotel you booked. As long as you are all in synch about your major goals.

So agree on the must-see attractions along your route, maybe pick some themes (eating a cheesesteak in every town, visiting a music club in each city, seeing every art museum, every comic-book store, or every Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building). Don’t plan how long you’ll spend at each, or when you’ll arrive.

Have a rough schedule: Pick several key points along the way and plan to arrive at specific if  approximate times at each — with plenty of slack. If you know you’ve got three days to get to someplace 500 miles away, you know how much slack you have and that will encourage you to dawdle – but not too much.

On the other hand, you may be the kind of person who doesn’t like not knowing where you’ll be able to sleep tonight, who feels better having a reservation so you’ll be sure to see your favorite band or ballgame or artwork, who just doesn’t enjoy the notion of “winging it” — well, don’t torture yourself. Plan enough of your trip to make yourself comfortable — and enjoy the trip and the destination.

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Zenergo.com

A Great Place To Plan Your Road Trip — And Share Your Memories

On Zenergo — the social network for activities instead of chatter — you can plan your trip in as much (or little) detail as you need — together with your road trip friends, then share your experience and your pictures on the way or when you get back.  Even find road-trip partners for the journey. Find travel groups and events in your area. It’s free — it’s easy — it’s fun!

Sample Zenergo Activity Profile for Road Trip

A sample Road Trip Activity Profile

What do you think? What is your favorite piece of advice for those considering a road trip? What favorite (or awful!) memory do you have? Add your comment below!

Be sure to subscribe in order to get weekly updates on activities, interests, hobbies, sports, and things to do, from Zenergo!

Hiking: How To Find Water in the Wilderness

By Scott Thompson

Let’s say you are on a hike.

Thirsty? Uh oh, out of water!

You have a method to purify your water — but there doesn’t seem to be any water around. What do do?

This can really suck. I know because I’ve been there a few times. Luckily I’ve never had to go too long without water because I know a few tricks for finding it.

On the east coast of the U.S. we have many creeks, streams, and lakes and finding water is often as easy as going to the lowest ground or continuing on the trail for another mile or two.

If you’re west of the Mississippi River it can be more difficult to find water and even dangerous if you’re far from a source.

Here are a few tips for finding water – no matter where you are.

  • Check your map or GPS map for blue lines (water)
  • Go to low ground where water drains
  • Look for clumps of bushes and/or trees
  • Follow dry creek beds. They may not be dry farther down
  • Check rock piles. Water sometimes pools in shaded areas
  • Look for old human habitations. An old farm had to have water, and there may still be water
  • Dig a few feet down in gravel washes and under vegetation, especially if the ground is already damp

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You may have noticed that these ideas seem pretty obvious after reading them. The biggest point is to remain calm and think clearly when in a wilderness survival situation. Often you can find what you need and survive if you remain calm, and use your common sense and the outdoor knowledge you already have.

Scott Thompson

On his hiking website, http://www.hikingtripreports.com, Scott Thompson shares his favorite trails, gear reviews, hiking tips, outdoor news, and adventures, as well as suggestions from his readers.

Adapted from Hiking Trip Reports

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Get Outdoors With Zenergo

Zenergo is about getting out and doing things — and finding people to do things with.

Our  activities social network Zenergo.com has more than 300 specific activities ihn a dozen categories — you’re sure to find a match.

In this screen snapshot, we’ve opened the “Sports and Outdoors” Activity Category to give you an idea — see any favorites?

Join Zenergo.com (it’s free), select one or more of your favorite activities — or activities you’d like to explore — and fill in your specifics and experience.

Now you can search for others in your area with similar interests — or groups and events on the same theme.

You can also easily bring together your active group in Zenergo: We have groups, subgroups, events both private and public (for recruiting new friends and teammates!), calendars by activity, and a separate chat ‘wall’ for each activity, group, and event — so you’re not mixing everything you do in one jumble!

Post pictures, send messages, save documents — Zenergo is your one-stop shop for organizing and managing your social life. Give us a try!