CAMP THE GREAT OUTDOORS
When this kind of cooler weather comes to the desert as fall begins to surface, some of my friends and I like to go camping on the weekends. I was just reading in an outdoors magazine that The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association estimates 34 million Americans go camping annually. It's fairly inexpensive, and the whole family can enjoy time together. We all leave any games etc. at home. We play cards, checkers and word games. With a little planning, some gear, and a sense of adventure, camping can be a great way to spend any weekend.
Before heading out be sure to familiarize every camper with the campground rules, such as those regarding fires, pets, and vehicles. And don't forget the First Aid kit.
Remember to tell someone at home where you'll be camping and when you will return, even if not far from city limits.
Necessities, of which water seems obvious, but take into account the number of campers, weather, and activity levels. Note whether portable water will be availabe and decide how you'll clean cooking utensils. You should NEVER clean items in the river or a stream. Next is to make sure you pack for each camper a multi-tool knife, a lantern or flashlight, bugspray, sunscreen, a map of the area and well charged cell phones. You can go to http://www.koa.com/ a nationwide campground operator for a list of other must-haves, including the all important tent and sleeping bags. Be careful how much stuff you pack as some campgrounds do not allow you to drive onto the campgrounds, you have to park the vehicle and walk the rest of the way which can be quite a far distance when loaded down with gear.
Expect to see wildlife, and enjoy it. They usually won't bother you if you leave them alone. In fact bring along binoculars and a camera. Always follow the essential rule for the out of doors and never feed wild animals. Ans make sure everything you brought in, leaves with you.
This is the part I hate but it must be done or you'll be sorry next year. . .
Dry out tents, tarps or anything else that may have gotten wet. Record your trip, note wildlide delicious wild type meals, and funny moments. (optional)
This is also optional but a couple of us who can shot well carry a pistol with us just in case. One year we encountered a starving, wounded racoon who was viciously trying to attack anyone of us that moved. He was shot, it was him or one of us. We saved the body and reported to the Game Warden as we were leaving. You never know, and it is always; "better to be safe than sorry."
I am all packed and ready to go. This will be Sassy, my Chihuahua's first camping trip. It should prove very interesting, her being the size of a squirrel with the temperment of a mountain lion!
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