Top 5 rainy day activities in the New Forest

Waking up to the pitter patter of rain doesn’t mean you’re in for a day of doom and gloom. Especially not in the New Forest!

Whilst British weather may be changeable, the abundance of indoor activities in the New Forest means you’ll always have something fun to do whenever it’s too wet to head out on a walk or fire up the BBQ.

Here’s our list of rainy day activities in the New Forest – the top places to take shelter whenever the weather starts to get a little damp.

1. Buckler’s Hard

The New Forest has more visitors per square kilometre than any other national park. Buckler’s Hard is just one of the many attractions available to visitors on rainy days. Along the banks of the beautiful Beaulieu River is Buckler’s

Hard – an unspoilt shipbuilding settlement that has stood since the 18thCentury.

When the rain starts splattering down, you can duck into the village’s maritime museum. In here you’ll learn all about the history of Buckler’s Hard and its role in Britain’s shipbuilding history. Buckler’s Hard played a significant

role in Nelson’s Navy.

When the rain eases off, head over to Shipwright’s Cottage for a look back in time. The cottage gives an insight into what a family home would have looked like hundreds of years ago. St Mary’s Chapel is also worth a visit, once the

village school; the building may have been used by 17th century smugglers. See if kids can find the treasure…

With good facilities and a number of places to eat, the village makes for a great family day trip.

Liberty’s Owl Raptor Reptile Centre

2. Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre

Unsurprisingly, it’s not just us humans that don’t like the rain. Luckily the animals at Liberty’s Centre near Ringwood, including reptiles, hawks, vultures, lizards, snakes, spiders and owls can all be found indoorsLiberty’s offers a

memorable day out for the whole family, allowing you and the kids to get up close and personal with all kinds of colourful creatures. The reptile house is home to a great selection of scaly lizards and raptors. As well as having

animals on view to the public, the centre also partakes in animal rescue, rehabilitation and release into the wild whenever possible. You’ll learn about this as you move around the centre.

If the sun does happen to appear above the rain clouds, you may be able to watch one of the stunning bird of prey demonstrations. There’s also a café on site to grab a cup of tea, and a cracking gift shop to pick up some souvenirs!

New Forest Cider

3. New Forest Cider

If you’re a cider fanatic, you’ll find yourself utterly besotted with the New Forest Cider house. Situated in the blissful village of Burley, it’s a perfect place to spend the day when the drizzle is descending, allowing you to forget all

about the bad weather outdoors with a free sample of lip-smacking cider straight from the barrel.

Just a 20 minute drive from our Aldridge Hill site, you’ll find one of the prettiest villages in the New Forest: Burley. Look out for the barrel near the post office and follow the directions to find the home of New Forest Cider.

The cider here is brewed using traditional methods and English Apples from local gardens. There is an enormous selection of ciders, country wines and perry available to buy, as well as some refreshing apple juice for the kids (and

your designated driver).

new forest centre

4. New Forest Centre

The New Forest Centre is the talk of the woodland – and for good reason. From museums, to exhibition galleries and libraries, it’s bristling with excitement from top to bottom. The centre offers a terrific selection of activities and

entertainment for adults and kids alike.

The gallery is home to a rotation of wonderful exhibits, and there are play areas and interactive attractions that will keep the kids busy for hours.

To learn more about the best spots to visit in the New Forest, head to the library or chat to one of the friendly, well versed staff in the information centre.

new forest wildlife park

5. The New Forest Wildlife Park

The New Forest Wildlife Park boasts twenty-five acres of woodland and a variety of charming indoor enclosures that can be explored when the rain is tumbling down. These include The Glass House (which is home to otters,

hedgehogs, mice and foxes), The Owlery, The Pine Martens Enclosure, and The Scottish Wildcat Houses.

When the weather does brighten up, you can venture outdoors to watch wolves prowl, deer dance and frogs hop between lily pads on ponds. You might be able to spot a Eurasian Lynx, Wild Boar or Red-Necked Wallaby enjoying a

break in the rain.

The park has a feeding schedule which enables you to watch the animals enjoy their meals whilst asking any questions you may have for the keepers. There are a number of adventure playgrounds for all ages to enjoy and a

restaurant and coffee shop to help you refuel.

Come rain, wind or shine, there’s a staggering amount of things to see and do in The New Forest. Check out our 10 New Forest campsites to book a holiday spot in one of the most fun-filled areas of England.

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More green time less screen time

More green time, less screen time

Our recent survey revealed more than half of children under 10 (54%) admit their favourite activity is playing on a smartphone or tablet and watching TV. In fact, children aged five to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a

day in front of a screen compared with around three hours in 1995, according to researchers.

With this in mind, we’re championing parents to give their kids more green time and less screen time this summer.

More than a third (37%) of parents questioned, say their children are far too wrapped up in technology. Less than one in ten (7%) reveal their children regularly play outside and only 13% parents admit they actually encourage their

kids to get outdoors.

And it’s not just antisocial, detrimental health effects of too much exposure to screens for children include sleep deprivation, obesity, lack of imagination, vision problems, aches and pains, loss of social skills and aggression.

Camping in the Forest’s survey also revealed that less than a quarter (24%) of today’s children know how to play conkers, while a staggering 70% have no idea how to play the traditional outdoor game of Tig.

outdoor tip camping

Leading psychotherapist Hilda Burke comments: “From a very early age children emulate their parents, so it comes as no surprise that very high digital usage in adults is also now being reflected in children. If parents adopt clear

boundaries for digital devices around their kids, e.g. phones are switched off during play time and meal times, they will learn valuable lessons about how there is a time and a place to use these devices and that it’s up to us to

regulate our usage.

With the summer holidays in full swing we are urging parents to curb their kids’ screen time and ensure they enjoy more green time in a bid to re-ignite their imagination, encourage physical exercise and stimulate creativity. Green

time is free, on your doorstep and is the most fun kids can have!

To get you started, we’ve come up with our top ten outdoor activities for all the family to enjoy this summer:

Play rounders-go on a nature trail fly a kite

1. Play rounders 

Rounders is the perfect game for both adults and children to play. Whether it’s in the garden, on your camping holiday, or at the local park, it’s great fun and will even burn that ice cream off.

2. Go on a nature trail 

A nature trail is a brilliant way to keep your kids entertained on a country walk. From exploring your local woodland to walking in your local park, you’ll be amazed at what you see when you really take a

good look around you. Grab a nature-spotting guide, and get exploring.

3. Fly a kite 

Highly satisfying, therapeutic and massively underrated, there is nothing like flying a kite. The more colourful the better, watch its tails soar on the wind and challenge each other to see who can keep it flying the

longest.

tig sports be conservation conscious

4. Be conservation conscious 

Have your kids plant and look after their own flower or herb garden; or better, create wildlife conservation areas and learn about the nature on your doorstep. Why not build a bumblebee hotel, or

create a hog house for our prickly friends and watch your visitors arrive for the summer.

5. Host an outdoor sports day 

Build a backyard obstacle course with hula hoops, jump ropes, egg and spoon and even a hose. Winner takes all…

6. Tig 

Introduce your kids to one of our childhood faves – tig. They’ll soon get the hang of the rules and love chasing you around the garden!

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camping top tips paths good neighbour

No trace camping? Our top tips

It’s a magical prospect, escaping to the forest, finding a nice hidden spot and pitching your tent for a night or two. At Camping in the Forest we talk about the conservation of our forests, wildlife and fauna that call the forests home

all of the time. Why? Because we, just like the animals and plants that visit the forest, enjoy every aspect of our green land and we want to preserve it so we can carry on enjoying it for years to come. It’s important to us that we don’t

see any negative changes in the forest ecosystem so we’ll do everything we can to prevent any.

One way of making sure we’re not damaging the environment when we camp under the trees is by leaving it in exactly the same state it was when we arrived. Being eco-friendly isn’t rocket science, but it is infinitely easier with a few

insider tips. What might they be? We’ve shared our secrets to no trace camping down below.

Keep your feet on the paths

feet paths camping outside

During the normal working week we usually don’t have time to take the scenic route to our workplaces. We’re used to taking the shortest route possible to get to our destination in the shortest time possible. As we do this day in, day

out we’re rarely aware of the environment around us.

This is all well and good in a concrete jungle of a city or town but it can have damaging effects in rural areas. Taking a shortcut means straying off the paths and in a woodland setting this damages wild flowers and leads to the

erosion of natural habitats.

So, when weaving your way through the woods or fields, stick to the established paths as much as you can. Bring a map if you’re planning to explore the area quite extensively. Remember: you have all the time in the world!

Campfires are best left in the movies

Campfires outside camping

When picturing your trip, you might imagine hunkering around a campfire, browning marshmallows long into the night as you share stories or play that well-intentioned guitar. But while this might be a heart-warming scene

depicted in some of our most loved, camping themed films, our campsites don’t allow it, and for good reason.

Lighting a fire is a no-no where no trace camping is concerned – as well as presenting a fire hazard to your family and other campers, it scorches the earth beneath. Bring an appropriate camping stove or raised BBQ to protect those

around you and the forests.

Banish litter bugs

banish litter bugs camping outside

There’s nothing worse than arriving to a littered campsite only to have to pitch your tent or position your awning around a littered camp ground.

Respect your fellow campers by cleaning up as you go along; repackage any leftover food, and bring a stash of bin bags that can be tied to the entrance of your tent for rubbish. Make sure you put your rubbish bag in the bin on site at

the end of each day; this will prevent the weather and wild animals from making a mess.

When packing away at the end of your trip, put someone in charge of a final litter sweep. Most campsites have waste disposal facilities on site; for wilder spots, be considerate and take your mess home!

Be a good neighbour

good neighbour camping tent

Finally, remember that no trace camping also means keeping a low profile around fellow campers. Sounds travel far when all that lies between you and your neighbour is a stretch of grass and some tarpaulin, so be aware of the

noise levels – especially when it’s time for lights out.

Committing to no trace camping takes a little more foresight, but it’s what makes being a part of the outdoor community so special. Take these tips on board when planning your next venture to the forest, and share our secrets to

help others minimise their impact too!

Activities in camping Camping Equipment Wild Camping Wild Camping Tips

Best Schedules for Wild Camping

How many times did you want to go camping but fear you’ll get bored or have a bad experience? All this can be fixed if you have a great schedule that makes your camping experience fun and enjoyable. Before

going out to camp, you can be well equipped, full of gear and utilities but without a camping schedule, there is a high chance you may not enjoy the camping exercise.

If you are that type of person who must plan before undertaking any activity, then a camping schedule will be a treasure for you, and if you like to go camping for the thrill of improvising your camping adventure,

then you can adjust your camping schedule for you to have quite an experience. The schedules mainly depend on the camping location, duration and the camping party involved.

Every day you spend at camp should be full of great and fun activities. To have a great camping styles experience we provide you with some of the best camping schedules to consider.

Camp Arrival

At camp arrival, you get the chance to get a view of the area you will stay, where you will set up your tent and place your equipment in wild campingarea. You also have the opportunity to learn more about your

camping compatriots.

Tent Set up

This can involve the whole camping crew. The experienced campers can show the first time campers on how to set up their tents. This event can be fun when you try to compete on who will be the fastest to

complete their tent. After completing the setup, you can check one others tent to confirm it is firmly built. If you are camping alone then it will be better since you will get the chance to improve your tent building

skills.

Task division

At this point, you get the point to mark out the tasks to undertake to improve your stay for example resource collection and familiarization of the camping site. While camping as a group, you can equally divide the

tasks. Utility or resource collection, for example, water and fuel give you the chance to learn about the wild and experience the provisions of nature though it is necessary to do it as a group for safety purposes.

Evening activities

There are numerous activities you can carry out ranging from roasting marshmallows or maize, singing, storytelling and enjoying the warmth of the campfire. If you are alone, you could read a novel to pass the

time or listen to the thrilling wild nature sounds.

Morning activities

The morning activities will depend on your source of morning alarm whether it is the birds chirping happily outside or the blazing rays of the morning sunshine. Take your breakfast, clean the tents then decide

your activities of the day. You can categorize your events to include everything you will be able to cover on that day.

Among the activities to consider include:

1.Explore the wild. Whether it is the forest, a plain or a grassland, it is an excellent opportunity for adventure, to learn more about your environment and the nature it provides. Get to see if you can get a souvenir

for memories and enjoy taking photos.

2.Team building. A great time to connect and enjoy having fun. There isan unlimited number of activities that can be done during the team exercise. Each can come up with a task that will involve the whole team

3.Game watching. You can also try and observe the game available in the wild although from a safe distance if the animal involved is dangerous or in the presence of a game warden.

4.This greatly works when you are camping alone or as an individual. You get the chance to have time to yourself and search for inner peace.

5.Game hunting. Before the exercise, it is essential to make sure hunting is legal in the area. This is also a significant activity if you are into hunting.

Evening Activities

After the day events, you will likely be tired hence you are limited to a few range of undertakings.

By using this schedule, you will have a pleasant camping experience. Though you can adjust the schedule to fit your camping system and get a wonderful time.The schedule can be used as a guideline, and for first

time campers, you will fit right in into camping. In other campsites, you can be provided with a camping schedule to use which you can consider. Before going out to camp try getting your hands on a schedule to

have a memorable camping experience.

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backcountry camping car camping dispersed camping

Backcountry Camping, Car Camping and Dispersed Camping: What’s the difference?

If you’re just starting to get into the great-outdoor hobby of camping, you might be getting a little overwhelmed by the gear lists, location options and safety precautions. Don’t let all of the unknowns scare you —

we have all the info you need to tackle those concerns. But what about the different types of camping? You may have heard people talking about backcountry camping, car camping and dispersed camping; what’s

the difference? And which type of camping is best for you? I’ll cover the three most common types of camping here.

What is backcountry camping?

Anytime you spend the day hiking and then spend at least one night in the wilderness far away from a road or any kind of development, you’re backcountry camping. Backcountry camping requires carrying all of

your camping gear, food, water and safety gear in your backpack. It also entails setting up camp either at a designated backcountry camping site or in an area where backcountry camping is allowed.

Backcountry camping is a great choice for people who have the proper gear and have a good understanding of wilderness safety and navigation. If you’re prepping for a backcountry camping trip, check out some of

these helpful articles:

A Weekend Backpacking Checklist for First-Timers

Backcountry First Aid Basics

How to Fit More Gear in Your Backpack

What is car camping?

When someone refers to the type of camping they do as “car camping,” they mean that they load up their car with all of the gear they need for at least one night of camping and drive to the campsite where they will

be staying. Car camping does not mean that you’re sleeping in a car, just that you carry all of your gear in the car. Car camping gear is heavier, bulkier, and typically less expensive than backpacking and

backcountry camping gear. Car camping is generally done in campgrounds, as well.

The affordable gear and easy access to campgrounds makes car camping a great choice for campers who are just starting out. Take a look at these articles about camping to prep for your car camping trip:

How to Choose a Campsite

Make the Ultimate Camp Meals with these Campsite Cooking Tools

All About your Camp Light Options

What is dispersed camping?

Dispersed camping is kind of the “in-between” option; it strikes a nice balance between backcountry camping and car camping. Dispersed camping is camping that’s located outside of designated campgrounds and

away from any kind of amenities. National Forests are the most common areas where dispersed camping is allowed (as long as there is no sign saying otherwise). Dispersed camping is a great way to “get away from

it all” without having to backpack in or splurge on ultralight backcountry gear; and it’s free, too! If you have a 4WD vehicle, you can use forest service roads to find previously-used dispersed camping sites. Usually,

you can drive right up to where you’ll be setting up camp.

Choose dispersed camping if you aren’t ready to jump into backcountry camping, but want to get away from the people and amenities of a designated campground. Here are some great articles to check out before

your next dispersed camping trip:

5 Colorado Dispersed Camping Spots You Need to Check Out

Campfire Safety Tips

10 Tent Staking Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you’ve decided on a specific type of camping you think is best for you, or want to try them all, we’ve got tons of information to help you on your camping adventures. Check out our camping guide to get

started.

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food vegetables camping outside

What Food to Eat While Camping in Africa

To keep your campsite safe from the intrusion of hungry bears, form a “triangle of safety” at every campsite you set up in bear country. Find your campsite, then locate a kitchen/food prep area at least 100 yards

downwind from it. Your bear canister or hanging food should then be at least 100 yards from both your campsite and your kitchen area. The triangle of safety has three 100-yard sides. When a bear comes sniffing

around for food, you know he won’t be close enough to cause you and your fellow campers harm.

Be safe and have fun out there!

We often say, you are what you eat; this holds true for camping. When camping on a site away from home in a new area, you should not only experience the nature or the environment of the site but also experience

the food offered by that area. Instead of carrying canned food with you try and experience the local delicacy, this will likely improve your camping mood.

If you camp in the American jungle get at the available food and while camping in the African wild also get a taste the wild offers and let your tongue enjoy the new sensation likely to be experienced. There are

numerous types of food available while camping in Africa. We take a look at some of the available foods offered in the continent suitable while camping.

Vegetables

Although most camping meals tend to contain meat mostly, plants are the kind of food you can rarely miss on any part of the globe. There is a wide variety of vegetables you can choose from while camping in

Africa.

Bananas

Both the sweet banana and the green banana can be a source of a great meal. If you’re using firewood or a small gas stove, the bananas are suitable. The sweet banana can be consumed just the way it is, or you can

add some flavor by slicing the banana and placing chocolate bars between it then using the heat from the firewood to melt the bars. When all the bars are melted then the delicious meal will be ready to be served.

For the green bananas, you could either boil or roast to have a great meal.

Potato

In Africa, there is plenty of sweet and Irish potatoes which when boiled or roasted provides a sumptuous meal for a great camping experience. Another significant advantage of potatoes is that they take a short

period to get cooked.

Beans

Beans can be cooked and served with either bananas or potatoes. Having a meal containing beans may be just what you need to jumpstart your camping experience.

Snacks

Carrying snacks during camping is almost like a necessity. While in an African campsite some of the snacks available include:

Groundnuts

You can never lack ground nuts at any African campsite. Whether boiled, roasted or spiced groundnuts, they are always available to fit your taste.

Simsim

Simsimis also a great camping snack, and you are urged to have a taste of Simsim balls sometimes fused with roasted groundnuts that make it quite a delicacy.

Cashew nuts

Just like ground nuts, cashew nuts are a great snack while out camping in Africa.

Guacamole

If you are at a campsite with plenty of avocadoes present, you can mix up all the available ingredients and serve with chips.

Animal Protein

At any campsite, animal protein always tends to be the main dish, and in Africa, it is in plenty.

Eggs

Whether chicken eggs, quail eggs and if you are lucky ostrich eggs, they all form part of a delicious breakfast. The ease with which they are prepared make them the preferred breakfast during African camping.

Chicken

Unless you are a vegetarian, roasted chicken is always a great option. Also, you can have chicken stew for your lunch.

Termites

In Africa, roasted termites are quite a delicacy, and you can take them as snacks while carrying out your camp activities or take them with rice. For the first time campers, this can be an excellent opportunity to try

out a different kind of food.

Small game

Small game like wild rabbits also provides a great meal while camping in Africa. Hunting them can also be a thrill and an adventure.

Drinks

While out camping in Africa it is always advised that you carry a drink (mostly water) with you since you may set out for a campsite located far away from the nearest water source. Apart from water, there are other

drinks that you can enjoy.

Local coffee

You can usually enjoy the locally prepared coffee or green tea like the Rooibos (redbush) tea which is perfect for chilly mornings.

Amarula

It is a sweet, creamy liquor made from the Amarula fruits which are also enjoyed by the African wild.

There is plenty of other types of food to enjoy while you are camping in Africa, but it is important to note that what you will be served greatly depends on the part of Africa you are camping. You also need to take

precautions when taking new types of food you are not accustomed to so as not to have upsets.

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camping lose heat guide

How Do We Lose Heat? A Camper’s Guide Camping: To Heat Loss

We all know how unpredictable the British weather can be. No matter what season you select for acamping trip, it’s always good to be prepared for a chilly night or two. Sure, grabbing a superb sleeping bag and a

top-quality tent is a great place to start. But in order to stay as toasty as possible during a camping holiday, it’s important to develop an understanding of how your body gains and loses heat.

We’ve put together a little guide here outlining everything you need to know about heat loss – along with some invaluable tips on how to battle it…

Body heat: the basics

body heat the basics

The human body needs to be in tune with its surroundings so the organs can fire on all cylinders. That’s why, when we are exposed to chilly outdoor weather, the body’s heat levels will automatically plummet to

match the surrounding temperature. Balance is the human body’s best friend, and whenever it’s subjected to colder conditions, heat will vanish until a sort of equilibrium is reached.

There are three main ways in which the body loses heat: through convection, conduction, and radiation.

Convection refers to the displacement of warm air around the body with cooler air, whilst conduction involves losing heat by coming into contact with an object that has a lower temperature. Radiation is the main

source of body heat reduction, as our warmth is lost through heat waves to the air.

The camping conundrum

camping conundrum

Body heat is a much bigger problem in the great outdoors. There are fewer covered spots to take shelter, and no household appliances to generate the much-needed warmth required to bring our body temperatures

back up to comfortable levels.

That’s why you need the right camping gear – and an awesome sleeping bag ought to be top of your shopping list. These essential pieces of camping equipment are built with insulating fabrics, which trap the air

inside and prevent it from escaping your body. With nowhere to go, the heat waves remain contained inside the bag and ensure your body remains at a toasty temperature.

The same goes for your tent. If the fabric has top-notch insulation qualities and the zips can be fastened tightly, there’s simply nowhere for the hot air to seep out, or for the cold air to creep in, at night.

Smart moves to stay warm

Smart moves stay warm

Whilst a great tent and sleeping bag offer a fine defence against body heat loss, there are a couple of things you can do to minimise the risk even further.

Wearing the right type of clothing is important, for example. Multiple layers and thermal garments can help to keep body heat locked inside. Several pairs of socks and waterproof shoes can also prevent your feet

from succumbing to cold temperatures when they come into contact with frost and puddles on the ground.

Wedging a sleeping mat between you and the floor offers a much-needed layer of protection from the cold ground below. It allows the insulating fabrics of your sleeping bag to do their thing without interference

from competing factors.

Snuggling up with a hot water bottle can also work wonders, but the last piece of advice we’d like to leave you with is this: avoid going to bed cold, if you can. Try your very best to warm yourself up inside your tent

by throwing on multiple layers and increasing your body temperature. The hotter you are when you slide into your sleeping bag, the more heat will be trapped inside the material for the duration of the night.

Knowing how to retain body heat can help you to stay happy, healthy and comfortable during your camping trip.

Yet to book your getaway? We have a terrific selection of camp sites scattered across the country with a wide range of facilities.

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keeping Bears campsite camping

Hanging Food vs Bear Canister: Which is best for your trip?

The light source of this luminaire is not replaceable;when the light source

reaches its end of life the whole luminaire shall be replaced.

When it comes to keeping bears out of your campsite, you have a few options. Many established campsites in state or national parks offer bear boxes or food lockers for campers to store anything scented or edible.

Car campers will often store their food in a locked car trunk away from their campsite.  However, if you’re camping in the backcountry or on dispersed campsites, more precautions need to be taken. You’ll need to

either hang your food in a tree or use a bear canister to stay safe in bear country. Which is best for your trip? Find out as we pit hanging food vs bear canister and help you declare your winner.

Pros and Cons of Hanging Food

Hanging food is a go-to option for backpakers and backcountry campers because the gear you need to hang food doesn’t take up much space or weight in your pack. In order to hang food, you need two bags, a long

stick or trekking pole, a rope that’s at least 40′ long and a tall tree. To learn how to hang food in the backcountry, read this post.

While many backpackers like this option because it’s lightweight and compact, it’s not all roses when it comes to hanging bear bags. Check out the pros and cons below to get a well-rounded look at the costs and

benefits.

Pros: Rope and bag take up minimal weight and space, no special equipment needed

Cons: Not an option when tall trees aren’t available, can be time consuming, takes practice, some bears can figure out how to get into your hanging food bag, food gets wet if not stored in dry bag, food not easily

accessible if you want a snack

Pros and Cons of Using a Bear Canister

Bear canisters are hard-shell containers that are designed to be nearly impossible for bears to open. Some parks require all campers to have one, so there are instances where you don’t have the choice between

hanging your food and packing a bear canister. If you do have the choice, consider the pros and cons below before buying and packing one.

Pros: Easy to use, large canisters can double as camp stool, required in some parks, considered more bear-resistant than hanging

Cons: Large and heavy

Hanging Food vs Bear Bear Canister: Who wins?

Once you’ve learned how to hang your food using a rope and a couple bags, you may want to go the bear bag route. It takes up less weight and space in your pack, and that fact alone usually makes it the winner for

backpackers. However, if you’re camping in an area known to have smart, aggressive bears or are unsure about your ability to hang bear bag, a bear canister is a great choice. Bear canisters are easier to use, so

many go that route for shorter trips where pack weight doesn’t matter as much. They are also a great for car campers who don’t need to worry about pack weight at all. Be sure to do a bit of research about the bear

population of your destination. If they have proven to be a nuisance to campers, even when their food is hung,  you may want to opt for a bear canister to be safe.

Keeping Bears out of your Campsite

trip hanging food bear canister

To keep your campsite safe from the intrusion of hungry bears, form a “triangle of safety” at every campsite you set up in bear country. Find your campsite, then locate a kitchen/food prep area at least 100 yards

downwind from it. Your bear canister or hanging food should then be at least 100 yards from both your campsite and your kitchen area. The triangle of safety has three 100-yard sides. When a bear comes sniffing

around for food, you know he won’t be close enough to cause you and your fellow campers harm.

Be safe and have fun out there!

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camping game camping light fun

10 Fun, Easy Camping Games That Everyone Can Enjoy

Every good camping trip needs a game or two. Whether you’re camping with little children, teens or adults, this list of 10 camping games will keep your group entertained. All of them are family-friendly, and many

of them can be adjusted for levels of difficulty. We’ve even included camping games to play when the sun goes down.

Camping games to get you moving

These games are perfect complements to your outdoor experiences. They’ll require you to explore, move, and get a little dirty.

Nature scavenger hunt

Ah, the scavenger hunt — it’s an oldie but goodie. A scavenger hunt is an exciting way to kick off a camping trip for any group. Do it on a walk through the campground or on a nature trail nearby. Before camping,

it’s best to put together a list of outdoor-related things to search for: think heart-shaped rocks, acorns, feathers, 5 different kinds of flowers, and more. Mix easy and challenging items. You can also find pre-made

lists online if you’re short on time and just want to press “print.”

Don’t take items home; leave the trail treasures where they belong for others to enjoy. Instead of removing items, encourage participants to show someone in your group, take a photo, or use the honor system and

then check them off a list.

Pass the water

On a hot day when everyone is craving a cool splash of water, break out the extra water and several lightweight cups (as many cups as participants). Ask players to stand in a line. The first player should have a full

cup of water, and dumps the water over his or her head into the next player’s empty cup. This process moves down the line. Oftentimes, people are not accurate with their pouring, so inevitably you will get wet.

By the end of the line, there may be no more water! If there is, the person at the end of the line should move to the front so the group can see how far the water can go.

Geocaching

Before you head to your campground, check to see if there are any geocaches on the way there or at the campground itself. Geocaching is a treasure hunt using GPS coordinates found online. There are more than 3

million geocaches hidden all around the world, so there’s a good chance you’ll come close to one. If you’re confused about this whole geocaching business or want to learn more, we wrote a guide explaining how to

play!

S-P-U-D

This game is ideal for groups, and all you need is a soft, cushiony ball. Here are the rules:

Choose one player for the center. The rest of the players form a circle and are assigned a number.

The player in the middle shouts out someone’s number and throws the ball straight up.

The camper whose number was called must catch (or recover) the ball. Everyone else starts running away from the center.

Once the camper has retrieved the ball, he or she yells “S-P-U-D” and everyone else freezes.

He or she may take three steps (as big or as small as desired) toward any of the players and throw the ball at him or her.

The player can dodge the ball, but must not move his or her feet.

If hit, the player takes an “S.” If the thrower misses, the thrower takes an “S.”

Once a player reaches “S-P-U-D,” he or she is out.

Fairy house

Little kids with big imaginations will love this activity. Explain to them that there are tiny fairies in the campground and they need a home for the night. Tell the kids that it’s their duty to create small shelters for

the fairies so they can rest. For materials, they can use whatever they find around the campground — but fairies only want to sleep in the comfort of natural materials, so human-made objects are not allowed.

The young ’uns will enjoy gathering materials (things like foliage, sticks, flowers, rocks, feathers, and pinecones) and crafting the magical houses. After they go to sleep, place a small trinket in the house as “thanks”

from the fairies that the kids will discover in the morning. Tell them that the fairies loved their stay, but the houses need to be taken apart and the materials scattered to make it look as if they were never there.

Fairies are secretive creatures, after all!

Camping games to play at night

After sunset, your fun doesn’t have to stop. If you’re looking for an addition to spooky stories or campfire songs, these games will do the trick.

Morse code treasure hunt

Not your typical camp game, this is a great nighttime choice for older kids and teenagers who like puzzles. To play, you need a flashlight or headlamp and printable Morse code charts (if possible, laminate them in

case of inclement weather). Station a “messenger” across the campsite, as far away as possible, with the light source. The messenger uses the light to flash a Morse code clue to the “spies” across the campsite. The

spies can use the clue to figure out where a prize or coveted object is hidden. Whoever finds the prize wins.

Campfire charades

A classic family game, charades can easily be played anytime, anywhere — but it’s made more challenging by the light of a campfire. If you’ve never played charades, it’s simple to learn and can be made fun for

almost any age.

First, fill a jar or hat with slips of paper containing phrases that players can act out. Elect someone to pick a phrase first; whatever phrase is on that paper, the player must act out silently. Add a time limit for extra

pressure. Whoever guesses the phrase first goes next. Play to a certain score or simply stop playing when you’re tired. Make your game camping-themed and prepare phrases that revolve around the outdoors (e.g.,

pitching a tent, building a campfire, making s’mores).

Light painting

See your name in lights with this activity that’s perfect for camping. Light painting can be done with the whole family, but is great for teenagers or adults who can create more intricate designs.

For light painting, you’ll need a DSLR camera, a tripod or stable surface for the camera, a light source (such as a flashlight), and some creativity. With light painting you can write your name, draw an animal, or

add some sparkles to your landscape — as long as you’re quick! If you’re not quite sure what light painting is or how to do it, then check out our guide.

Camping conversation games

Since these camping games require no materials, they are ideal for those times when you’re packing light or want to play something on the fly. They’re most fun when you’re with a close group of people.

Story building

This activity will get your creativity flowing and help you think on your feet. Simply tell a story with a group of friends or family members by alternating sentences. You can choose a theme or go where the wind

takes you. Quite often, stories take hilarious turns and end up drastically different than they began. Kids love the storytelling — but so do adults!

On a rainy camping night, you can do this activity in your tent. On a nice night, try it around a campfire after bellies are full.

Would You Rather

Want to learn something new about your fellow campers? During “Would You Rather,” take turns asking others silly, extreme, or thought-provoking questions. Choose two actions and ask players which one they’d

rather do — and don’t make it easy on them. Here are a couple examples:

Would you rather eat a cockroach or never be able to eat your favorite dessert again?

Would you rather be able to explore another planet and never return, or come in contact with a friendly alien while on Earth?

Questions should be posed with the age group and audience in mind. Little kids will enjoy creating questions, but beware; they will probably hit the “eew, gross!” factor pretty quickly.

camping compsite light for camping

How to Choose a Campsite for a weekend in the wilderness

When you head out with friends or family for a weekend in the wilderness, you want to find a campsite that is safe, fun and perfect for making memories. You want to find the perfect one. To do that, there are

a few things you should consider. Here are the basics on how to choose it for a group of people.

1. Pick a campsite that offers plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy.

Consider a site next to a hiking trail system, next to a lake or river for fishing, or any other activity that the family enjoys.

2. Consider the view.

Most people want a campsite with a beautiful view of mountains, rivers, rock formations or other places of natural beauty. Remember, while a wide open view is nice, you will probably want

some trees for shade.

3. Do you want to camp next to the car or have a walk-in campsite?

Being close to the car is convenient for a lot of families but if you have to walk into your site you may have more privacy.

4. Consider the availability of firewood.

Some campsites have plenty of firewood for gathering, some campgrounds sell firewood and other will require you to bring your own.

5. Make a reservation.

Check ahead for campsite availability and make a reservation for a popular site.

6. Check for fire bans or other rules for a campsite before you arrive.

If fires aren’t allowed you’ll want to plan ahead for other nighttime activities or head to different areas where there may not be a fire ban.

Keep all of these things in mind when planning a camping trip for a group of people — whether family, friends or both. If you follow these suggestions, you’ll find the perfect campsite.

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