5 Things To Make Your Camping Trip Better

kitchenmonster article on campingSummer is almost here, and with it brings much to look forward to: sunshine, friends, barbecues, swimming, and of course everyone’s favorite: camping. With the warm weather, hiking to your favorite spot, building a fire, looking up at the stars, and sleeping in the great outdoors can become a reality that the winter weather just won’t allow.


Even though the basic point of camping is to get away from modern amenities, there are a few modern things you may want to consider taking along to make your trip camping trip more enjoyable.



One thing everyone must keep in mind when camping is food. A lot of folks bring boxed food, or already prepared food that can be put in a cooler and eaten later. But, sometimes you just want a warm meal. Remembering to bring cookware may be the single most forgotten tool when people go camping. Having a few pots and pans can go a long way, and believe it or not Teflon is very useful in the woods. Having things like cooking oil or no-stick spray is usually not high on the priotity list, and clean up is a breeze. If you don’t already have any Teflon cookware, or you’d like some exclusively for your camping trip, check out kitchenmonster.com for some great deals and selection. It really does make a difference.


Double Sleeping Bag

This isn’t necessarily a modern technology, but it is something that’s very useful when camping with a spouse or your significant other. Just because it’s blazing hot during the day doesn’t mean it won’t get cold at night. A double person sleeping bag is good because it can encompass body heat from more than one person, and it takes up less of the precious space you have in your vehicle. Plus, it’s usually cheaper to buy one of those rather than two one person bags.


Propane Coffee Maker

If you’re like most people, when you wake up in the morning one of the first things that comes to mind is caffeine. If you’ve ever stayed at someone’s house who doesn’t drink coffee, you know the feeling of waking up and not getting your morning cup of Jo. The propane coffee maker is exactly what it sounds like: a coffee maker that uses propane to do the work. No percolator, cords, wires, or electricity needed. It gives you a steaming cup of coffee no matter where you are.


Portable Sink

This contraption seems to be of best use to guys who like to have a fresh shave every morning. You won’t be tapping into your inner outdoors man with this thing, but it does make life a lot less complicated. It’s a plastic box that opens up with containers and pockets for the storage of razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc, and instead of being hollow on the inside, it holds water with a plug to use for dispensing. It can be also be a selling point for guys who are trying to convince their ladies that clean up will be easy.


Pet Tent

If you’re anything like me, your pets are a part of the family. When you go away for a few days at a time, finding someone to watch over them can be a pain, not to mention unfair to the pet. A lot of people like to bring their dogs on trips with them. They can warn you if a wild animal is near, and keep provide some funny moments on the trip. With cats things might be a little more complicated because they’re sneaky and get lost east. With a pet tent you wouldn’t have to bring the pet in the tent to take up what little space there is, and you wouldn’t have to worry about them running loose or sleeping in the dirt at night. It’s a great bonus when you can have your pet tag along for the fun.

Enjoy The Outdoors? Enjoy Baseball!

There is a reason that baseball is America’s favorite pastime. Not only are their local teams to watch live in pretty much every city in America, MLB is also broadcasted nationwide. Too be honest, it’s pretty tough to avoid even if you try. However, and perhaps most importantly, baseball is America’s favorite pastime because virtually anybody can play it.

BaseballWhether you are young or old, a man or a woman, the sport of baseball is accessible and constant at every single level. As the spring season begins, so does the sport of baseball and finding a team or a local pick-up game is as simple as a Google search. If you are new to the game, it is great to visit the Amateur Softball Association website to get a better idea of the game and perhaps even find a league which is nearby.

Get the Equipment

The equipment you need to play a game of softball is pretty basic. Obviously everybody participating needs a glove, however even that isn’t necessarily a requirement. If you have a group of people playing, the team which is batting can give their gloves to the defensive team and vice versa. The same goes for a bat which can be shared by everybody! If you need to purchase any equipment, including a bat take a look at the top baseball bat reviews to find something that fits within your budget. The only other equipment you need is a ball and maybe some bases although you can mark a field with pretty much anything. As a kid, we used to use old sweatshirts to makes bases as nobody owned any bases. No problem!

There are of course some basic skills you need in order to have a good time. Baseball has three major components: throwing, catching and hitting. As a defensive player you need to be able to throw and catch to some degree or the game will be too challenging and might not seem like very much fun. As a batter, it’s easy to practice a local batting cage on your own time and is really more about practice than anything. Perhaps the simplest piece of advice I can give to always keep your eye on the ball.

Play Anytime; Make New Friends!

Another great aspect about baseball is that it can be played at any park. Unlike ice hockey, which requires you have an ice rink, to play a nice game of ball, all you need is an open field to make a game happen. On top of that, because games are generally quite casual, bringing a couple of cold beverage to the ballpark is encouraged as it is an extremely social game. Often times, after an organized game, both teams will get together to go to a local pub to have some drinks which makes it a great activity to meet new people.

Baseball is one of the games we love for a variety of reason. If you have never tried it before, don’t be afraid to call up some friends head to the local park. You might be surprised at how much fun you can have.

Watches For The Great Outdoors

A little thought of, but very helpful accessory to have when doing outdoor activities is a watch that is multifunctional and suits your needs whether that is in durability, functionality or both. Having a watch with a few extra bells and whistles is really helpful for many outdoor adventures and can help you make the most of your excursion. There are different features that you will want to look for depending on what activity you are doing.

Technology has improved tremendously when it comes to cool new tools built into watches. For campers there are awesome new wrist watches that include GPS, temperature readers and flashlights. Each of those features is incredibly helpful to adventurers that set off on their own in the wilderness. There will be a bit more peace of mind knowing that you will be able to use GPS to find your way back to your campsite. Not to mention how handy having a flashlight built into your watch should the batteries die on your hand held one or if you forget it. The temperature reader is pretty cool as well and will a give you a heads up on what to wear or pack if you go on a hike.

Dive watches have been a hit with everyone from divers, to James Bond to Navy SEALS. There are many great ones on the market and in most cases you are certainly getting what you pay for. Some of the lower end dive watches aren’t much more than water resistant up to 100 meters. When you go up in price and brand you do tend to get a bit more for your money. The more expensive, but definitely better dive watches are submersible up to 300 meters, have faces that are clearly visible at great depths and illuminated faces that allow you to see your watch if you are on a night dive.

There are also many great watches out there for those avid mountain climbers and mountain bikers. These watches are made out of the rough and toughest watch materials that money can buy. They usually have durable bands that are made out of woven nylon, similar to the material used for parachutes and have break and scratch resistant faces. These are key elements for hikers and mountain bikers since these are pretty rugged activities that can result in a few tumbles. Many of these watches come with a built in digital compass, a weather predictor, temperature reader, GPS and are solar powered. I am particularly fond of the digital compass and solar powered ability. If you get a bit off course or need assistance finding a planned location, no worries with a built in compass to guide your way. The solar power charge is a really cool feature as well since most hikers and bikers are out during the day in the sun anyhow. You won’t have to worry about your watch batteries dying on you suddenly when you most need them to work. You will always have a backup source of power for your watch should you need any of the handy features.

Should I Take Outdoor Or Survival Training?

Survival training is a big thing these days. You have probably heard of the people who are preparing for disaster by becoming skilled in various things that will help if ever there was a nuclear blast, a massive outbreak of illness, a war, or, of course, a zombie outbreak. These people are very much into survival skills and have things like bug-out bags ready.

You don’t have to go to this much trouble, surely, but let me tell you, they’ve got a point. The basic premise is that the more raw skills you possess, the better you will be able to adapt to various situations that you might not have been able to prepare for, particularly in dangerous or hazardous situations. Those with skills will fare much better than those without, no matter how brave or resourceful those people without skills are.

Even if all you do is check out this site, get your gear, and head up the trail a couple time a year, you should definitely consider getting some good training. The best course of action is to get continuous training. Take different courses throughout the year, then make sure you take refresher courses as needed, and be in a constant state of learning.

There are various courses and classes you can take, such as avalanche training, general survival training, hunting training, shelter-building training, you could go to a course on how to safely navigate on ice. There are a lot of courses for both niche issues and for the broader “survival” issue.

Ask yourself this: If you use the same tools as a famous celebrity or expert, does that make you as good as that expert? A lot of people make buying decisions with the belief that this is true, but obviously we can see that it does not make you so. What makes those people experts is that no matter what tools they were using, they would find a way to get the job done and they could make difficult decisions on the fly and adapt to their circumstances.

That is what we want you to think about when it comes to taking training. Your raw skills and abilities are much more important than the type of gear you’re wearing or where you bought the latest gadget.

Of course, these things are important when you are really looking to ramp up your game and get serious about things, but the very first steps should always be to ensure full control in the most basic and fundamental setting.

It’s like getting your body weight exercises under control before venturing into adding weights. If the base is mastered, all else comes naturally afterwards.

So, before you get new boots, a high tech ax, or 3D holographic maps from who knows where, make sure you take care of your body and your mind. Add all the fuel to your brain’s fire you can before putting yourself in a situation where you could get hurt, either up on a mountain, or on a trail, or along the rapids of a river.

There is value in taking training, and we hope you take advantage of this. We’ll continue to provide you with great ideas of things to do outside, plus reviews of the top equipment and gear you can use in the great outdoors, but from us to you, you owe it to yourself to improve your skills!

Here’s an example of what’s being offered out there:

Camping Essentials

Camping is one of the best recreational activities because by camping, you can live in the plain forest and enjoy the fresh and cool environment. By camping, you can enjoy all the leisure that the nature has to offer. When it comes to camping, you need to pack all the camp pillowessential things because you will not be able to find anything in the forest.

You might pack a tent, a sleeping bag,  the essential food items and things like a flashlight and something to start a fire such as matches. When it comes to camping, you might also want to pack the best pillow because you will want a good night sleep.  You can stuff a lot of clothes under your head for support but this will not be very comfortable.  There are many different types of camping pillows and you should choose the pillow that fits your needs and wants.

Classic Goose Down Pillow

If you do not want to compromise your comfort level and want the best camping pillow in town, then you should purchase the classic goose down pillow or bring your own from home. Filled with light weight down, you can easily carry this pillow to the camping site. If you’re just taking a pillow from home, think about putting a different pillow case on just for camping.

Inflatable Pillows

The pillow is very easy to carry and can be inflated and deflated in just seconds. This is the best choice for backpackers because they literally take no space in the bag.  Purchase this campingtype especially if you are looking to save space and feel a little guilty about taking a pillow.

If you are worried about saving space, then an inflatable pillow is just right for you. Inflatable may be the way to go too especially if you’re trying to also inflate a mattress and not just sleep directly on the ground.   Before pillows, make sure you have other necessities in case of an emergency like your flashlight, food, fire starter and a knife.


The Indoor Outdoor Cat

Cats are one of the most favorite pets in United States of America and there are more than 70 million pet cats in this country.  There are some health issues that you need to address before keeping a cat and deciding whether or not your cat stays inside or outside or becomes the classic indoor outdoor cat.

Shelter and Litter Box

Cats who stay inside most of the time may also have a preference to use their favorite litter box outside too (as well as anywhere else outside).  The best litter box for your cat outside orange cat outsidemay be one that is disposable and just temporary. You can place it inside a shelter if you build one for your cat.  Sometimes keeping a litter box outside sounds silly but it may also remind kitty what they are to use when you let them back in your house.

Hot and Cold

If your cat goes in and out all year long and in a climate where temperatures can drop significantly,  make sure you have a shelter for your cat with heat or a minimum heated pet bed. If the temperatures can drop too low, be prepared to bring your cat inside.  If you know that it will be too hot outside, keep your cat in for the day as they can dehydrate very quickly and the water bowl dries up easily.

Protect From Fleas and Add an Id

cat with id collarWith an indoor outdoor cat, you should make sure it is up to date with all of the recommended veterinary shots as well as treated for fleas and ticks. A flea collar along with an Id tag and a memory chip added are extra protection for you and your cat or cats.  Most flea and tick treatments are only once a month and protect your cat from heartworm too.  Protecting your cat against critters also helps to protect your home from being infested. It’s not 100% guaranteed but you and your cat are better off in the long run for many reasons.

Do not forget to put food and water out for your cat. You may also want to keep this in a shelter so that the food isn’t scarfed up by other unwanted critters.

Canoeing Can Be Fun

Canoes are a type of narrow boat that can be used for racing and recreation. A canoe has a thin shape. Canoes are usually built from wood and aluminum. Canoe racing is very famous in many parts of the world and canoeing has been the part of Olympics for a long time. Two countries where canoes are very famous are Canada and New Zealand.

canoeThe shape of the boat also plays an important role in its speed and stability. The hull design of the canoe has numerous advantages and it provides extra stability to the boat. The length and width of the boat affects the speed of the canoe. If you increase the width of the canoe, it will give you extra stability on the cost of speed. Design of the canoe is very important.

Many Options To Choose

When purchasing a canoe, you should make sure that you purchase the right canoe  for sale because there are many different types of canoes in the market. If you want a canoe for racing then you should purchase the flat water canoe. The flat water canoe is small in size and has a very narrow beam, which makes the canoe very unstable.

The sprint canoes are available in different sizes which can host 2-4 people. Apart from sprint canoe, wild-water canoes are also loved. The wild-water canoe also has a small size and is highly stable.  It is easily available in the market at a small price.


The freestyle canoes are also very stable and in the freestyle canoe competition, the athlete does a lot of tricks in the canoe. This canoe is specially designed for the tricks in the water. Freestyle canoeing is also known as play-boating and these specialized canoes are known as play-boats. In this sport, the athlete has to travel in the river and perform certain tricks in the canoe.

canoeingApart from the modern canoeing design, the traditional canoes are slow and are mostly used to recreational purposes. If you want to purchase a boat for fishing, then a traditional canoe with a motor will be best for you. It is made up of sturdy material and has a hull design that gives extra stability to the people. The canoe that is used to travel is known as tripping canoe and more than four people can travel in this canoe. Tourist canoes are larger in size and are used in different recreational sites. With the help of these canoes, a larger number of people can travel and explore the different lakes and beautiful parks.

Canoes have a huge impact on the history of many countries and it is also considered as one of the most adventurous sports of modern age. When purchasing a canoe, you should make sure that you purchase the canoe with excellent hull design. The correct hull design will give the canoe extra stability. Always remember that when you are going for sprint canoeing, you should wear proper gear to avoid any accidents.

Get A National Parks Passport

America is a country that is full of national parks and recreational spots. Every year, millions of people visit to have a look at these beautiful natural places. With the help of a Grand Canyonnational parks passport, you can visit more than 2000 federal recreational spots in United States of America. The annual pass covers the entrance fee of the park and the national wildlife refuge. Children below 15 years are allowed to enter the parks without any pass.

The annual pass will help to see the national parks and the history of this beautiful country for many visits. You can get this pass from the federal recreation site and you can also apply for this card by phone and the card will be delivered at your doorstep. There are four main types of annual passes.

Annual Pass

The annual pass will help you to cover the entrance fees of more than 2000 wildlife and national parks in the country. The annual fees of this pass are just $80 and this can be renewed easily. The pass can be issued to any person who is above the age of 16. The kids under age 16 have free-admittance in the parks. The pass can be easily obtained by the federal recreational sites and you can also order these passes via telephone. The pass is non-transferable and will only be useful if the person is with you whose name is on the pass. The pass is very beneficial to those people who love to travel and love to see the national parks of this country. With a small price tag of eighty dollars, you can see the natural beauty of America.

Olympic NationalSenior Pass

The senior pass is available for those people who are more than 62 years old and are a  permanent citizen. This card is available for a small price tag of ten dollars. The best thing about this pass is that it is issued for the lifetime. This means that you do not have to pay any annual charges on this card and can visit all the national parks of the country. With the help of this card, you will also be entitled to special discount in different parks. The card can be obtained by federal recreation sites and it can also be ordered via internet by filling a simple form.

Access Pass

The access pass is issued for free and gives you access to all the national parks of the country. The card is issued to the permanent residents with disability. With the help of this card, you can enjoy some discounts in the parks. The card can be easily obtained at different federal recreation sites. The applicants have to provide the document of permanent residency and a certificate of permanent disability.

Volunteer pass

The last type of pass is known as the volunteer pass and it is issued to the people for free. To qualify for a volunteer pass, you need to have served 250 hours with the federal agencies.

Backpack Trip Tips

Backpacking is the journey with a backpack. Backpacking can be done for a day or even for weeks so you need to pack your backpack in such a way that it is not so heavy. You have to carry your backpack at all times so weight is one the most important factors when making such a trip. You should pack your bag in such a way that it is light weight and can be carried easily. You have to carry all the essential items including water, food and a flashlight so a backpack checklist is very important in this regard.

backpack and checklistClothes and Footwear:

Clothes and footwear are important things that you are going to need. Don’t over pack clothing  and include long sleeve shirts based on the weather in the location you will go. You should have protection against climate either for shade or to maintain heat in a colder area.

Pack a pair of  hiking shoes because it will help you in walking and carrying your pack.  It will save room if you can just wear them but make sure you have extra laces. When backpacking, you may have to walk for a long time so make sure that you have the right footwear with you. If you choose boots, they will take a lot of space in the backpack so you can wrap them around it if you are not going to wear them. This will save a lot of space.

First Aid Kit and Other Essentials:

You should always carry the essential medicines when packing your backpack. This will help you to tackle any minor headache, allergy or injury. A first aid kit will also be very helpful in case of any accident. Other essential items to include are water, food, a knife and something that will assist with making fire in the event of an emergency and especially if you are not an expert making it on your own.First Aid

Very small metal cups or bowls made for camping can help if you need to plan to boil water for drinking instead of bringing it with you. Some of this is a judgement call based on your length of time planned but also plan for emergencies. Add some sun block to your check list especially if you are going anywhere you’ll have exposure to the sun.  Always bring a flashlight and make sure it is in proper working order before embarking on your trip.

All the essential items should be checked again and a backpack checklist can be very helpful when flashlightpacking your bag.  Collect everything you need and conduct a pre-trip load of your backpack so that you know everything fits in it and you don’t leave something important out.  Don’t rely on other people you are traveling with to remember everything.