Archive for category Camping
One of the best parts of camping on a float trip in the spring is snacking on hot food on those cooler nights. While s’mores and marshmallows are the old standby, a far less sticky option is campfire popcorn. You may remember the old-fashioned popcorn poppers your parents used to have on campouts when you were a kid. But if you suspect that old-fashioned popper was sold in a garage sale or tossed in the garbage many moons ago, there’s still hope for campfire popcorn since you can produce a popper of your own with a roll of heavy-duty cooking foil and campfire forks. Just follow these simple steps and remember, you’re not responsible for burning anyone’s popcorn except your own. But if you cook the campfire popcorn just right, you’ll receive rave reviews with demands for an encore before the next float trip!
Read the rest of this entry »
While it may be tempting to bring your own firewood on your next float trip, transporting firewood could spread harmful tree insects like the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and emerald ash borer (EAB) into new areas of the country. Both insects have been detected in 13 states and could spread if more of the public aren’t aware of the threat to the Nation’s forests and don’t take the steps necessary to prevent the spread of these harmful insects. There are several ways you and your family can make a difference. Read the rest of this entry »
If you don’t want to purchase (not haul) large amounts of firewood for cook fires on your next float trip, cooking on a gas camp stove is a great option. Available in white gas or propane-fueled varieties, lighting and cooking methods on Coleman gas stoves are as easy as cooking at home. Here are some tips and recipes for cooking with a Coleman Stove. Read the rest of this entry »
For many mid-westerners there’s something about the fall’s cooler weather that has us hankering for a bowl of chili, and the heartier and meatier the better. Add family, friends and a campfire to the mix and you have the perfect combination for dinner on your next float trip. Maybe we aren’t so different than black bears and other animals that feel the need to eat and sleep more once the cold weather hits. But one thing’s for sure, a hot bowl of chili on your next fall float trip is sure to satisfy hunger and warm the heart.
Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s face it, fall float trips call for hot chocolate. And when we say hot chocolate we don’t mean merely boiling some water and pouring the contents from a packet you get at the store. Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you can’t have a decadent cup of hot chocolate with a twist. In fact, it’s time you prove the sophisticated camper that you are by making the ordinary cup of hot chocolate extraordinary with a bit of preparation before you leave the house. Here are some suggestions for some variations on the typical cup of hot chocolate and great pairing options. Read the rest of this entry »
No One Wants Ordinary Smores
One of the best times to make a bonfire on a Missouri float trip is when the weather cools in late August and early September. With hints of the autumn to come there’s something about the crisp air that makes s’mores taste even better. So don’t limit this campfire delicacy to graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey bars. Kick ordinary s’mores up a notch with some of these tantalizing variations. Read the rest of this entry »
Most of us spend our days connected to the Internet in one way or another, whether through our home or office computer, an iPad or other tablet, our cell phone, or other devices. We have become accustomed to quick communication through email, Facebook or Twitter. We immediately search for answers to questions that arise or keep up on the latest news. Internet has become an integral part of our lives. It is no surprise, then, that even when we “get away” to the out-of-doors when camping we are reluctant to be cut off from Internet access. Read the rest of this entry »
While black bear encounters are rare in Missouri, it’s better to err on the side of caution, taking the necessary steps to keep them away from your campsite. Here are some safety tips.
Keep your campsite clean. Your pots and pans, utensils and any other items that come into contact with food will attract bears if you keep them out in the open. Keep food and any items that come into contact with food in your car.
As soon as everyone is done eating clean all your utensils and cooking items and never pitch cooking grease or any other food residues into the campfire. The smell of cooked foods will only attract bears.
State parks have bear-proof containers or dumpsters that prevent bears from smelling or gaining access to food. Place your garbage in these designated containers or dumpsters. Never burn or bury your garbage either because bears will dig it up.
Avoid eating or cooking in your tent. The last place you want to encounter a bear is in your tent which is why storing food or other attractants in tents or in your sleeping bags is a bad idea. If you’re backpacking, store these items in your backpack, suspending the backpacks from trees.
Bears have an acute sense of smell and though it’s hard to believe, bears are also attracted to non-food items like deodorant, soap and even gum. So treat these items as food when you’re on your next float trip.
If your pet is camping with you, keep your dog on a leash. Store their food in an airtight container in your car, keeping the container sealed after every use. Be sure to clean up any leftovers or scraps of food after your dog has finished eating. This too can attract bears. Your cooler should be kept in your car’s trunk or truck cab, concealed from view since bears associate coolers with food.
When planning your float trip menu prepare meals that will generate as little garbage as possible. The less garbage you have, the fewer smells you’ll create that could attract bears to your campsite.
If you do see any wild animals at or near your campsite, you should avoid contact with them and never attempt to feed them. This will only make them more attracted to this campsite in the future, causing them to bother future guests and even be considered a nuisance to the point that rangers may be forced to euthanize them. So by avoiding contact with them in the first place, you may be saving the animal’s life. And you should never approach black bears. They are extremely dangerous.
If you plan to do some hiking, bears are usually prompted to leave by normal trail noise before humans can actually see them. When you’re in a berry patch, keep a look out for bears as they are likely to venture into these areas. If you see a bear, don’t approach it and only observe it from a distance. Clap, talk, sing or make other noises so the bear is aware of your presence. If you ever encounter a bear at close range, remain calm and stay standing upright. Don’t look the bear directly in the eye. Speak in a calm, assertive and assured voice as you back up slowly to leave the area.
If a bear comes into your campsite, remain calm and make the bear aware of your presence. Some campers have thrown rocks, banged pots and pans, waved their arms and used airhorns to scare bears away. Don’t feed bears and be sure they have an escape route. If the bear swats at the ground, snaps or pops its jaws or utters a series of huffs you are too close and need to slowly back away. Move to a car or building as soon as possible if the bear won’t go away. Notify park rangers and authorities if the bear is aggressive. While black bears rarely attack people, you should be prepared in the event that one does. Black bears are intimidated by counter attacks so fighting the bear aggressively with anything close by like pots and pans or sticks or your fists can help you to get out of a dangerous situation.
Surrounding Missouri’s rivers, ponds and streams are beautiful landscapes and wooded areas, perfect for families to hike and explore. Unfortunately, heavily wooded areas also attract ticks. Here are some tips for removing ticks and treating tick bites should they occur on your next float trip. Read the rest of this entry »