Archive for August, 2011
I really like camping out in the sticks — dispersed, dry camping where I have to haul in all my own stuff (including water), use my porta-potty, and haul out all my trash. But, on holiday weekends, all the traffic from ATVs and trucks can make me nutsy, so I head to a campground. There’s nothing worse than camping in a developed campground than inconsiderate neighbors!
1. Respect other’s rights.
2. Be noise aware.
I have no problem with shouting children having fun during the day — I love to see families out camping! However, noise like radios, generators, yelling for no reason, and fighting is really rude. You should also obey the campground’s quiet hours. Voices, radios and other noises carry further than you might think on a quiet evening. (A good rule is to tone down the noise as the sun sets.) Most of the time, when you’re camping you get up with the sun, which means getting up early. Respect the wishes of those rare people who want to sleep in and keep morning noise to a minimum as well.
A few summers ago, my folks went camping in Arizona’s White Mountains. For the last three days of their trip, a HUGE RV pulled in beside them and ran the generator non-stop! My folks ended up leaving a day early because of the noise and smell.
If you’re going camping, CAMP! Get out of the RV and enjoy nature. If you’re going to use your generator (we’ve got one, so you know I approve of them) be sure to be considerate of others.
3. Pack out what you pack in.
You should leave your campsite cleaner than you found it. If the campground has campground hosts, they are responsible to keep the campground tidy — NOT to clean up after wild parties! Many campgrounds have trash service that you should use, making sure to close the lids tightly to keep animals out. Recycle when possible — many campgrounds have recycling programs.
4. Keep your pets under control.
If you camp with your dog (or cat!), keep Fido contained and clean up after him, just like you do in a city park. Before tying him to a tree, make sure it’s permitted. (I prefer collapsible pens.) If your dog likes to bark, like Lily does, then make sure you keep it under control. Lily barks when somebody walks by and then stops — if she continues, I put her in the trailer.
5. Don’t cut living trees for firewood.
In Arizona, most of the time, any downed (dead) wood is good to use, but not necessarily the dead wood on a living tree. California has completely different rules so know the campground’s rule on finding your own wood or buying it.
6. Clean up after yourself.
Campground facilities exist for the benefit of all campers. Help keep them clean!
7. Be water respectful.
Do not clean fish or wash dishes in lakes or streams. Waste water (grey or black) should not be dumped in a lake, stream, or on the ground. If the campground offers potable water (drinking water from a faucet), know the rules of what you can and can’t do at the spigot. Most of the time, this means no washing ANYTHING at the spigot, including hands.
8. Know and respect the campground’s rules, even if you don’t understand the reasons for them.
The rules have been established to protect and respect the rights of campers, the campground, and the environment.
Readers Weigh In
- If you know of any campground etiquette issues I’ve missed or that particularly make you mad, post it in the comments.
What should I do if my fire gets away?
It could happen. No matter how careful you are, you can start a wildfire. Here’s what you do:
1. Don’t panic! If you can extinguish the fire in less than 5 minutes, do so. If the fire is spreading too quickly, get out of there and call for help. Quick action is important, however, there is no reason to panic.
2. Think about your location. You will need to relay exactly where you are, including the county. If you have a GPS, take coordinates and write them down. If you don’t, use a map and have a description ready. Use landmarks and distances from known points. For example: 5 miles north of Tum Tum Mountain; or on SR-503 about a mile east of Jack’s Store.
3. Get to the nearest phone and Call 9-1-1. If you’re using a cell phone, make sure that you have reached a dispatcher in the county that you’re in or ask them to transfer you to that county. If you can’t find a phone, or don’t have cell signal, find someone with a radio or CB and ask them to call for help.
4. If no one is around, walk or drive to the nearest phone. Remember not to panic. Drive or walk safely. You won’t be able to report the fire if you don’t make it to help in one piece.
5. Tell the dispatcher that you need to report a wildfire and give the description of your location. If you can, tell them how big the fire is (for example: “Its about 20 feet by 20 feet and growing.”) how quickly the fire is spreading, wind direction and speed and what type of fuel the fire is burning (grass, logging slash, forest floor etc.). You may be asked to help lead fire fighters to the fire.
This “extra” and 3 others PLUS 26 recipes are available in the eGuide: “Camp Cooking with Joanne Fitterer”
Every camping trip should include a selection of sizes of Ziplock Bags®. These great plastic inventions are great for storage, make for easy cleanup, and are always useful.
Tip #1: Dry Ingredients
Most of the time, you’ll be able to combine all your dry ingredients into a Ziplock Bag® at home, before the trip. Just measure into the bag like you would a mixing bowl, remove the air when you seal the bag and ta-da! Your dry ingredients are ready – pre-measured, pre-mixed and already contained.
Tip #2: Disposable Mixing Bowl
Ziplock Bags® make great mixing bowls because you can just drop everything in, seal the bag and mix with your hands through the plastic. When you’re done, just throw it away! This isn’t recommended for warm or hot ingredients. But, for things like pancake batter, coating potatoes in oil, or dips, it’s perfect!
Tip #3: Directional Pouring
Okay, you’ve made pancake batter and you need to get the batter onto the griddle. Pour the batter into a large Ziplock Bag®, cut off a corner and squeeze the batter through the hole onto the griddle.
You don’t need to take entire boxes of Ziplock Bags® with you- a handful of each size: sandwich, quart, and gallon should be fine. I don’t find a lot of use for the snack or 2-gallon sizes in the kitchen, so I don’t recommend them.
Readers Weigh In:
- What camp-cooking tips make your life easier?