I hate getting cold when I’m camping. Hate it, hate it, hate it! That’s why I always use a fleece liner inside (and sometimes on top of) my sleeping bag. Of course, picking the right sleeping bag helps too!
So when I ran across this fleece blanket I knew I had to add it to my camping collection. This is a basic, no sew fleece blanket that’s warm and simple to make.
The best part about fleece? It won’t unravel! Ever. And some fleece is made from recycled plastic. How cool is that!
1. You start with two pieces of fleece. Each should be two or two and half yards (72 inches) and 60 inches wide. Now, do yourself a favor and get thick, heavy fleece! Yes, you can buy it at a discount store but it isn’t as nice. And if you go to one of the better fabric stores you can get it in all different colors and patterns.
Or you can buy a no sew blanket kit. (Amazon affiliate link)
2. Make your bed. No seriously, a queen size bed is the PERFECT place to lay out this blanket since it is a large and elevated surface. I think it would slip around too much on a table.
3. Place the fleece layers wrong sides together. That’s the side that is less fuzzy OR the side where the pattern isn’t as pretty. The fleece will “stick” to itself so make sure that it’s nice and flat.
4. Line up the edges as best you can. I can guarantee one piece will be wider than the other AND one piece will be longer. Trim the excess so both pieces are about the same size. Don’t worry about cutting straight or if the pieces aren’t exactly square. You’ll never see it on the finished project!
5. Make a line of pins around each side 7 inches in from the edge. Don’t worry if you drift a bit! I use a regular school ruler to help me measure in 7 inches.
6. Cut 7″ squares out of each corner. The blanket will now look like this:
7. Cut 7 inches into fleece at one-inch intervals around all four sides. Be sure to cut through BOTH layers. And you want to make your strips about and inch. Again, don’t worry if they’re not perfectly straight or perfectly seven inches long. However, if you go much wider than and 1.5 inches it WILL make it hard to tie!
8. Using a double knot, tie the fringe pieces together. Make sure you get one from the top and one from the bottom AND that you don’t jump ahead on one layer. You want the knots to be firm but not too tight or it will pull the fabric.
You can use a shorter length of material for a child’s blanket. Launder according to fleece directions. I just throw mine in the washing machine on cold, regular cycle and then into the drier. I DO try to empty the lint trap halfway through the drying cycle.
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?
Back when the EatStayPlay.com “Royal” family got re-started with RVing, we attended a TON of big RV shows. Why? Because RV shows gave us the chance to see many makes and models of RVs – at one time and at one place.
(Not familiar with types of RVs? Check out the article from 2 weeks ago!)
For that reason, I think that everybody who’s even remotely considering getting an RV should find a show near them and check it out! Plus, there’s an RV show every year, in every region of the country!
What do you want to look for at the show?
If you’re just beginning, take a look at ALL the types of RVs and imagine your family using them. If you know what type of RV you want, then look at all the different sizes and models. You need to actually THINK about what camping in them would be like.
For example, in our first hybrid, we knew that we didn’t want to climb over the table to get to a bed. It ruins the seat cushions of the table and who ever was sitting at the table would need to get up. We also knew, from experience, that an external shower was a must. We also wanted an internal bathroom with a shower, an oven for orange rolls, and a good freezer. Our unit came with a microwave that we took out for extra storage.
But, if he hadn’t spent all that time exploring our options we wouldn’t have known exactly what we were looking for.
RV salesmen, like all salesmen, will make you big deals at the show. But, it’s only a deal if you get a rig that fits your needs!
Oh, and be sure to check out the million dollar rigs — just to look at all the crazy things that are possible! A hot tub in a trailer, anybody?