Have you ever considered how you would react if you were unexpectedly stranded in a remote location? You may believe that it will never happen to you, but you never know what will happen in the future, so it is best to be prepared for such an occurrence. Our guide on what to do if you find yourself stranded has been put together for those who don’t know what to do when they find themselves in an unfamiliar environment.
When you’re out in the wilderness, the last thing you want to do is spend all of your time staring at your phone. It’s also likely that you don’t want to take the phone that cost you a lot of money on a trip where it might get damaged. Why not invest in a low-cost mobile phone for emergencies? Even if you can’t get a signal to call a family member or friend, you can always call emergency services regardless of whether you have a signal with your network.
Keep yourself warm and dry
If it seems that you will be stranded for an extended period of time, it is essential that you continue to stay warm and dry for the duration of your wait. Being wet and then cold can result in illness or even hypothermia. Start a fire to keep warm and dry if necessary. Where possible, stay close to your Ute Van Hire for shelter and warmth. If you’ve found yourself completely lost, find trees, caves, or anything else you can use to hide beneath until you can be rescued.
Drink little and often
If you’re stranded and only have a limited supply of clean water, it’s critical that you use it wisely. Drinking a lot in one sitting causes water to pass through your body faster, causing you to dehydrate faster. Drinking a small amount on a regular basis will keep you hydrated long enough to be rescued. It might be worthwhile to research how to filter rainwater to make it safe to drink.
Keep a flare or two on you at all times
Those who know their way around will always have flares in their pockets. Flares take up little space in your backpack and can completely save your life. Flares look a lot like fireworks to those who don’t know what they are. You fire them into the air, and they are visible for miles around, alerting people nearby that someone is in danger. Carry flares; you’ll be glad you did.
Some essentials to stock up on
Finally, while you didn’t arrange towards becoming stranded, being prepared with what’s in your backpack will make the situation much easier. Here is a list of the necessities:
A comprehensive first-aid kit. Getting stranded frequently indicates that you’ve been in an accident. To avoid infection, you should be able to patch yourself up and cover any open wounds.
To keep your energy levels up, eat dry and canned foods.
When the temperature drops, a blanket or cover will come in handy to keep you warm.
A weapon of defence, such as a knife, in case a wild animal attacks you.
Remember that the best way to ensure your safety is to always travel with someone so that you can assist one another along the way.
It’s been awhile since I last posted a personal blog update… Nearly a year! Yet despite a global pandemic, that didn’t crush my adventurous spirit. It just changed some things about my life… a lot!
I wanted to update everyone who lands here on what I’ve gotten to do over the past year. At the end, YOU will get to decide which of my adventures I’ll blog about next!
About one year and one week ago, I moved to the Kansas City area after a short stint in Colorado Springs. I ended up spending four months working at a camp on the Missouri side, using my days off to explore downtown KC and take day trips to the Ozarks, Silver Dollar City, and Marceline (the boyhood home of Walt Disney).
South Road Trip
Exactly one year ago, I was planning a work-sponsored trip that was completely unrelated to work, other than the fact that I would be road tripping with two of my coworkers. But since we were going on our workplace’s dime, we drove down to Joplin to see a waterfall, and then saw some real waterfalls crossing into Arkansas. From there, we saw the original Walmart, camped at Beaver Lake, drove by the Duggar’s big house (and they drove by us in their van!), visited Cathedral of the Ozarks, then drove into Oklahoma where we stayed at an amusement-park-turned-summer-camp and visited The Gathering Place in Tulsa.
More Road Trips
I left Kansas City due to a job offer in San Diego. I split that move into two road trips: First a Christmas road trip along Route 66, into Texas and New Mexico for the first time, where I spray painted in freezing weather at Cadillac Ranch, saw the Grand Canyon, and experienced all that Vegas had to offer even in a pandemic. I spent a few weeks for Christmas with my parents in Oregon, then drove down the coast to the great San Diego area.
Surrounding San Diego
Since then, I’ve been exploring America’s finest city… and beyond. Besides hiking trips outside the urban area and day trips to places like the Padres game, Old Town, Seaworld, and the beaches, I’ve gone further with an overnight trip to California Adventure, hiking in San Clemente, camping in the desert, and even solo tripping to Mexico a few times!
The Why and How Behind this Travel
Although I’ve been working at the same place since January, my job has changed since then. I’m working at a conference center and am now long-term instead of my original temporary plans. As program manager, summer camps were extra hectic, and now I’m looking forward to a season of administering the outdoor science school, among other responsibilities.
Now that you’ve read all this, what do you want to hear more about? Do you want to learn how a single woman can feel safe crossing the southern border alone? Or how Disney’s home in Missouri relates to his legacy resort in California? You could be wondering why a non-fangirl visits so many celebrity homes. Maybe you need a bucket list for a city you’re visiting… would that be for Colorado Springs, Kansas City, or San Diego?
What will my next post be? Tell me in the comments!
Located between Florida and Cuba, the Bahamas is undoubtedly one of the best island places to visit. The beautiful island nation offers everything from pristine beaches and interesting wildlife to delicious local cuisine and a strong history. When you’re thinking of where to go on your next trip, the Bahamas could definitely be a contender. The archipelago has around 700 islands with some incredible coral reefs, and its locals are known to be friendly and welcoming. There are so many options if you’re looking for things to do, and with tourism season running from around December to April, it’s also perfect if you want to escape the cold further north.
See the Marine Life
If you’re visiting a country made up of hundreds of islands, you can’t leave without checking out what the ocean has to offer. Like any island nation, the sea plays an important part in life in the Bahamas. If you want to enjoy the beautiful waters, going swimming or snorkeling is the perfect way to do it. You can even take a trip with a miniature submarine that allows you to see all of the marine wildlife and keep breathing underwater.
Even if you don’t get into the water, sitting by the shore can be a worthwhile way to spend your time in the Bahamas too. The pristine beaches are fantastic if you’re looking for somewhere to relax. You might even love it so much that you’ll be looking into buying an Ocean Club Estates property so you can come back as often as you like. You can find plenty of beaches to try out, some of which are more popular than others. Consider some beach-adjacent activities too, from sports to eating.
Explore Some Fascinating History
You’re sure to find some interesting history during your time in the Bahamas. You can head straight for a museum to start taking it all in, or you can explore different locations on the islands that are full of rich history. From the forts at Nassau to Clifton Heritage Park, you can learn about everything from Bahamian people to the country’s colonial history. There are lots of ways to explore the history of the Bahamas and learn some fascinating things.
Shop in Vibrant Markets
For anyone who loves shopping, the Bahamas offers some colorful, exciting marketplaces. There’s the Nassau Straw Market, which is a great place to pick up some souvenirs from your trip. Or you might take a trip to the Port Lucaya Marketplace on Grand Bahama, where you can find not just more than 40 stores but also live entertainment, bars, and straw and craft markets.
Enjoy the Local Food
You can’t go to the Bahamas without trying the local cuisine. There are some great places to find authentic Bahamian food, including Arawak Cay in Nassau. A food tour is an excellent way of exploring what the country has to offer.
Make your trip to the Bahamas one that you’ll never forget by planning a varied stay with lots of activities.
Group travel is the idea of traveling somewhere with a group of people. You all set off together, you plan an itinerary together, and you return home as a group. Typically, you classify something as group travel when three or more people are going somewhere together. If you travel alone, this is solo travel, while traveling with someone else is more couples traveling or traveling as a pair.
Having read all of that, why would you consider traveling somewhere as a group? Is it beneficial when compared to other travel models? A lot of friends and groups go away together all the time, and they say it’s the best thing ever. But, you also get people that say group travel is not worth it. So, what are the main advantages and disadvantages of going away in a group?
Advantage: Safety in numbers
Travel safety is always at the forefront of your mind when going to a different country. Your family will be worried about you, as will everyone else that cares for you. Traveling alone or in a pair can be more dangerous than traveling in a group. When you have lots of people with you at all times, there’s less chance of something bad happening. In most stories where something awful happens, the traveler is on their own. To put it simply; you have safety in numbers when traveling as a group!
Advantage: More laughs
The more people you have around you, the more laughs you can have together. Life is always more enjoyable when you’re in a group. You can make yourself laugh, and traveling with someone else will be a barrel of laughs, but having a group around you just amplifies things. There’s always a possibility of someone doing something embarrassing or having a funny story to tell. It’s simply impossible to go on holiday with a group and not spend most of your time wheezing with laughter.
Advantage: Lots of themed vacations available
Group travel can be planned by one or two people, deciding what you all do together as a group. You can go off-piste and plan a trip around an area or to a specific city. However, a big advantage of group travel is that there are lots of themed vacations available. Companies like MTI Events will have offerings for things like golf vacations, theme park trips, and so on. Essentially, you and your group of friends/family can all go on a trip to do something specific. Again, you could do this alone or with another person, but most themed vacations make more sense when done in groups.
Advantage: Great for weddings
Another item in the pros column is that group travel is perfect for weddings. If you’re planning a destination wedding, you can go abroad with a group of people to enjoy your special day with them. It means everyone is on the plane together, you stay in the same place, and it creates a unique and lively atmosphere.
Disadvantage: Hard to plan
Planning your group travel can be significantly harder than planning one alone. Granted, you can find companies that will plan it for you, but this means paying extra for a service you don’t technically need. The problem with group travel planning is that you have to account for so many different people. Imagine you’re going away in a group of 10 people, you now need to find somewhere for 10 people to stay, a flight with 10 spare seats, transport for 10 people, and so on. When you go out, you have to find somewhere to eat and drink that all 10 people will like. You also need to rely on the 9 other people to be responsible and get everything in order for the trip. Will everyone remember passports and travel documents?! As a solo traveler, you only have yourself to worry about. Traveler in a pair means one other person, which isn’t nearly as challenging to plan.
Disadvantage: More arguments
While you do have more fun with a group, there’s also the possibility of more arguments. This is more likely to happen when you travel with your family, but it can happen with friends as well. It was mentioned above that you have a whole group of people to organize things with. Therefore, it stands to reason that some members of the group will prefer doing some things than others. You can get in situations where minor squabbles occur between people in the group as you can’t decide on what to do. Also, being around the same people for an extended period can be challenging, so arguments are only likely to occur!
Disadvantage: Sometimes more expensive
In some cases, group travel can be more expensive than traveling alone. This doesn’t seem like it makes sense as you could theoretically split the cost of things between a group of people. However, the fact you have to travel with numerous people means that you are restricted in your options. For instance, imagine you’re traveling with over 10 people, you need to find a flight with at least 10 seats free. The cheapest options might not have that many seats available, so you end up paying more to accommodate everyone. The same goes for staying in places; will the most affordable options cater to your group’s needs? A lot of the time you are forced to pay more to find places that will suit everyone’s requirements and accommodate the entire group.
After weighing everything up, you can see that group travel isn’t for everyone. Some of you might not like the disadvantages, while others may think the pros greatly outweigh the cons. One key thing to note is that a lot depends on the group you’re traveling with and the size of your group. For instance, a group of 3 probably won’t see some of the disadvantages we’ve mentioned, or they won’t be as substantial as a group of 15 or more. Still, if you’re interested in a different way of traveling – rather than going at it alone – this could be something to think about trying.
Are you thinking about planning a road trip for you and your family this year? It can be great fun to get out on the open road with the kids in tow. But you do need to make sure that you are planning a trip like this the right way. There are a lot of speed bumps you can hit on a journey like this. Let’s explore some of the best ways to dodge them completely.
It can be more difficult than people realize to stick to the laws of the road. This is particularly true if you have kids in the car. They can distract you from spotting a key change to the speed limit and before you know it, you’ll see red white and blue lights flashing in your mirror. Now, you can fight traffic tickets with the right solution, but you probably want to avoid them altogether on your road trip. The best way to do this is to take full advantage of the cruise control if your car has it. If it doesn’t then set up your Sat Nav so you can clearly see the speed limits of the roads that you are traveling on.
Crucial Car Checks
One of the easiest ways to ruin a great road trip is to end up needing a tow truck. To avoid this, you need to make sure that you do complete the right car checks before you set off. The first is the tyres. You should look at the tread and make sure that they have the right pressure. You’ll find the right pressure printed on the inside of the door of the vehicle. You can check if a tire has good pressure simply by kicking it but you might want to invest in a pressure gauge for a more accurate reading.
After the tyres, it’s important to look at the brakes. There are a few key signs that your brakes have seen better days. If they are squeaking, then it’s worth arranging a trip to the mechanic before you commence your road trip.
Keep The Kids Entertained
Road trips can be quite long and you might be planning to be on the road for a few hours. If so, then you need to ensure that you are keeping the kids entertained. You can do this by investing in an accessory so that a tablet or iPad can be attached and secured firmly to the back of your seat. If you do this, make sure that it’s not going to move around, because this can make a child feel car sick and that’s going to lead to a lot of stops. Alternatively, just pack some pillows and ensure they are comfortable enough to have a nap on the long journey.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key ways that you can avoid a few of the common disasters that families can face on their first road trip. If you take the right measures here, then you’ll get to your first destination without any issues and you’ll be able to continue from there.
Those of you who like to get up and get out of the house will know what to do with regard to travel. You will know the plans and the habits like the backs of your hands. Not everyone is so keen to leave the house and experience new things all of the time. The idea of ever travelling around London or visiting the other side of the planet seems very alien to a big chunk of the population.
Road trips are excellent for anyone looking to begin their travelling adventure. It’s a simple way of finding new places and making all kinds of discoveries. You don’t have to commit too much and you’ll have a wonderful time – whether you’re on your own or with friends. You will have to get a few things right if you’re to have a successful trip, however. It’s not too stressful, but you have to make sure you’ve got everyone on point. Here are five tips for a successful trip across the country:
Plan Out The Exact Route(s)
If you know exactly where you’re going, then it makes the entire trip so much easier to deal with. There’s a certain joy in just heading out and following signs/your instinct, but you’ll get there a lot smoother with genuine directions and knowledge. There will be a lot less stress too as one thing often leads to another and it can be very stressful.
Have More Than One Destination
Sure, you’ll have the main place that you’re heading to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have other destinations along the way. During a road trip, you’re going to want to stop off at some pretty cool places and make even more memories. If you like driving then being on the road a lot is probably ideal, but not everyone wants to stay on the highway throughout the entire time.
Ensure The Car’s In A Good Place
If your vehicle is good to go, then it’s going to make the trip a lot simpler for you and any other driver that takes over the role. Any slight hitch and you could find yourselves in a spot of trouble. You won’t want to get halfway there and find out that your car is in ruins. Head online and check out cars that would be suitable – whether it’s Vauxhall Astra Offers or something a little more suited to larger families. Also, be sure to check things out with the mechanic before you move – you can never be too sure.
Keep Yourselves Energized At All Times
It can be quite tedious at times, so make sure that you have a lot of food and water to consume. When you’re cranky, it’s not ideal whatsoever. As a driver, you’ll need to concentrate, too, as a slight mistake could obviously be an issue.
Pack Absolutely All Essentials
Before you even think about luxury items, make sure that your packing list contains everything you absolutely need before anything else. A lot of people ignore this and then regret it later on down the line.
Do you think you are ready for that once-in-a-lifetime trip? Whether it is for studying abroad, a foreign internship, job experience abroad, or just a well-deserved beach vacation on an exotic island, the amount of planning you do before boarding the plane would make a significant difference in your trip. Take the time now to prepare and organize so that you can get the most out of your time overseas.
Meandering through the local streets, enjoying delicious food and making new friends and amazing memories sounds much more like the experience that you want – not worrying about little things like your phone connecting to the local network.
Here, we look at some of the things that you must do before heading abroad.
To leave the country and visit any other country in the world, whether by road, plane or sea, you must have a valid passport. Many countries require you to have six months left on your passport after the date you are due to arrive back. Some countries may also require you to have visas, or if you are planning on going to the United States, an ESTA – electronic system for travel authorization. You can find out more about this on their homepage. The last thing you want is to book everything, get hyped up, turn up and be refused entry because of a problem with your documentation. Do it in plenty of time so that should any issues arrive, you can get it sorted in time.
Pay a visit to your doctor
This is not necessary for every destination but plenty of places around the world require you, or at the very least advise you to have certain vaccinations before entering the country. These include things like malaria, yellow fever, zika, dengue and typhoid fever. Some of these require being done well in advance, others can be done close to your departure, but be aware that you could feel a little under the weather after some of them. As the world starts to move on from the COVID-19 pandemic, it may also become a rule to have tests or period of quarantine or vaccination prior to travel, so again, check online regularly for the most up to date news.
Make sure you have a way to communicate with your loved ones back home
Even if the purpose of your trips is to escape everything and everyone, you still need to make sure that you have a way to get in touch with family and friends back at home should there be a problem, or you begin to feel a little homesick. Your family would probably appreciate knowing that you are safe and sound wherever you are, too.
This is now simpler than ever before thanks to new technology. Try out free services that you can use from anywhere in the world if you have an internet connection, such as Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp. Check your mobile phone plan; some can be used in other countries, but many will not.
Make sure you have travel and health insurance
Hopefully, you will not need to call on this, but you can guarantee if you try skimping and not bothering, it is something that you will need and seriously regret not paying for. Find one that covers any problems with flights or having to miss the trip altogether and the most comprehensive health cover that you can afford. Always make sure that you read the small print to ensure any activities that you are planning on doing are covered. Many, for example, will not cover you for using a jet ski or going scuba diving.
Set a budget
This is especially useful if you will be spending a significant amount of time abroad as part of a study or volunteer programme. Investigate the cost of living in that country and determine where your monthly expenses will be spent: lodging, food, transportation, and entertainment. If you are only going on a personal vacation, estimate how much you will spend on hotels, jaunts, meals, and other expenses.
In any case, be reasonable about your expenses and bring more money than you think you will need. Not just because popping out for one drink and easily become an all nighter but also because emergencies and unforeseen opportunities are often happen. Make sure that you are fully prepared.
For bigger purchases, using a credit card is usually the most-cost effective option but make sure you have local cash on you as well.
Do your research into the location
You will probably experience some degree of culture shock no matter how trendy and open-minded you are. That is something that no amount of research will be able to alter. However, itis always a good idea to plan ahead so that you can spend your time abroad travelling and enjoying rather than scrolling through new guidebooks. Find out about the places you want to go and any events that are taking place during the period you wll be there.
It is also important to red up on particular cultural norms and traditions – are you expected to cover certain parts of your body or greet people in a certain way? Knowing this sort of thing before you get there can decrease your chances of embarrassing yourself and/or causing offence to the locals.
It is also a good idea to try and learn just a few basic words or phrases in the language, if it is different. Even if you do not pronounce it quite right, the fact you have made the effort will not go unnoticed.
If you are going to the middle of the Nevada desert, you probably won’t need that big padded jacket. Conversely, you might want to pack a wooly hat if you are going to New York in December. Look at things that you can easily pick up there and things that you need to take such as prescribed medication (with a note from your doctor) and other essentials.
My website’s been on hiatus for several months. No worries, I didn’t die from an attack of bubonic plague squirrels leading an army of murder hornets with coronavirus. It’s just that when travel became discouraged for health reasons, I saw a drop in readers after sharing my story of almost getting trapped in Europe after the pandemic was announced. With no one reading here, it was best to divert my writing to other projects.
That doesn’t mean I wasn’t busy. Since arriving back in the United States, I’ve…
Observed how travel-focused businesses are adapting in our changing world
Those last two things go hand-in-hand and I’m especially excited to share more about those topics with you. (Yes, I’m excited about the book news too. In August, I celebrated my first author anniversary.) As you can imagine, both moving and working in the travel industry have become more complicated recently. But neither are impossible, and they’ve become a lot more creative!
As you may have guessed, the motivation behind my moves were to get boots-on-the-ground experience observing what is going on with those whose livelihoods depend on other people going out-of-town. Armed with hand sanitizer and an arsenal of washable face masks, I even discovered ways to explore right now that are both safe and fun.
I just finished spending five weeks in Colorado, working at the only hostel in Colorado Springs. ColoRADo Adventure Hostel quickly made some adaptations to their hostel model, like turning some of their dorm rooms into private rooms and only allowing people to reserve bottom bunks in the dorm rooms to leave them at a roomier 50% capacity. I really appreciate those changes; I know I personally have not shared a bedroom with anyone since my time in Europe. (Okay, there were two nights in Oklahoma where I shared a room. But I was on the opposite side of a very large bedroom, and it was with people I’m living with anyway.) The hostel closed the big kitchen and living room to guests since there was too much that they would have to keep clean, and instead opened up a lounge with a kitchenette and small breakfast of individually-wrapped items.
I then went to work at a camp in Missouri, where I’m still at today. But during this time, I’ve also visited other camps in other states to see how they’re operating… and simply because it’s fun to visit camps. In all places, camper numbers have definitely dropped, but it’s been interesting to see how camps adapted for the valued guests they did get to serve. From temperature checks, to installing plastic barriers in rooms, to doing fewer activities indoors and instead using those spaces as more spread-out eating areas, to altering to day camps, weekend events, and other non-residential programs, these camps have set a great example for how to be flexible during trying times.
Besides working in Colorado and then Missouri, I’ve been to a total of twelve states in 2020, including my very first visits to Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. So although I don’t think I will be able to make it to my 30-before-30 goal of visiting 30 countries before my 30th birthday, I did reach another 30-before-30 goal of visiting 30 states! In all states, I’ve been practicing social distancing, mask-wearing, hand washing, and other safety measures.
I’m excited to report more on the travel industry as it restarts in a new way. Whether you’re excited to be a part of funding the travel industry or are keeping everyone safe by remaining at home, I hope you’ll follow along on my adventures.
Located on the Pacific Ocean side of Costa Rica, there is an awful lot to like about Quepos as not only a vacation venue, but also as the venue for the fishing trip of a lifetime. It is one of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destinations, with plenty of bars and restaurants – along with great nightlife – making it a well-liked spot, as well as being the “gateway” to the Manuel Antonio National Park. It’s the perfect spot for your next vacation after lockdown.
Most people who go to Quepos describe it as paradise. Even if you’re not a keen angler, booking a fishing trip should be part of your vacation. Of course, checking out the wildlife and relaxing on the beach should be included too. Head to https://www.eyeglasses.com to get quality sunglasses before your travels so that your eyes are protected.
When it comes to Quepos fishing, it is a destination that really does stand out head and shoulders above all of the other surrounding areas. Quepos fishing charters organise daily trips for tourists and visitors. Quepos charters can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual group, meaning that all can have a great experience, whether they are experienced fishermen or novice anglers.
There is also a great range of different species of fish that can be found off Quepos boats. From the more commonly found Sailfish or Marlin, to Yellowfin Tuna and Dorado, and even the much less commonly found Roosterfish. If someone gets their hands on one of these, they know that their trip has been a success.
So, for a destination that offers great tourist spots, a favourable climate and top-class fishing activity, there is nowhere better for people to go than Quepos.
What factors should be taken into account for a great Quepos fishing trip?
As a country, Costa Rica is able to boast a wealth of world-class fishing locations. The country’s forte, as it were, is deep sea fishing, but there is something for absolutely everyone when it comes to trying to land a great catch and nowhere better to do it than with Quepos fishing charters.
For someone looking to book their fishing trip, however, there are certain factors that they should consider. Things like how reputable the company is and how much experience with fishing boats the crew have can be big factors in whether or not the trip is a success – it is wise to make use of people who know Quepos and its waters well and can offer their customers the best trip possible.
For some groups, it is also worth looking into what sort of Quepos fishing trips the company is able to provide. Many companies offering these charters now also cater to children, too, giving the youngsters a fantastic opportunity to enjoy their first sportfishing expedition in just about the best location possible, anywhere in the world.
Researching the available companies beforehand can be a massive part of making a Quepos fishing trip a great success, and looking for experience, helpfulness and a wide range of options is a good marker for how good a service they can provide.
What do you do when you want to travel, but can’t? A staycation, of course! But without a theme or a plan, a “staycation” can devolve into little more than a Netflix binge. With the government shutdown and no tourist places open right now, I had to take travel matters into my own hands. I ended up having a pretty fun camping trip in my yard. You can try these ideas while you’re quarantined, or come back to this post anytime for staycation ideas that won’t break the bank.
Pitch a Tent
What’s camping without a tent? Okay, you may choose to use an RV or camper instead, but choose something that will get you in a different element, at least for the night.
If you don’t have any camping equipment, you can post online and perhaps one of your local friends will let you borrow theirs. If not, get creative! If it’s warm enough, you could sleep in a hammock or on an air mattress on the lawn. If the back seat of your car folds down or you have a truck bed, that can make a great sleeping area- make it cozy by filling it with pillows and blankets. Even a living room camp out can be a fun experience for families.I remember years ago, some coworkers and I got really creative and saved a bunch of cardboard boxes that were destined for the recycling bin. We turned that into a makeshift outdoor village, and a couple of us were brave enough to spend the night in it! (You can read that whole story in my first book, Uncommon Adventures.)
If you have a large yard or property area, then you probably have several choices for a flat surface area that would make a decent tent space. Pick an area that will give you a scenic view. But if you live in an apartment, don’t despair. You can still pitch a tent on your porch or balcony if you have one of those, or perhaps a shared communal yard. Going back to camping in your living room, you could do that with just sleeping bags on the floor, but popping up a tent inside can add some extra fun.
Build a Fire
I’m lucky enough to be staying at a place with an outdoor fire pit and pre-chopped wood. But even if you don’t think you can build a fire where you are, you may be surprised! You can collect kindling from moss, leaves, pine needles, twigs, and other things that fall off trees. You can even order firewood online to be shipped right to you. While you’re ordering firewood, consider adding an outdoor fire pit to your basket. That makes for a safe and easy place to start a fire. Check your local burn laws if you’d prefer to build a fire ring, or make use of the charcoal barbecue you already have.
Indoors, you can use a fireplace, or make an imaginary fire. Back in first grade, my class had an end-of-year “camping party” where we decorated the classroom ourselves, and then sat around a “campfire” that one kid made out of paper to tell stories. If you’re lacking kids or creativity, just look up “yule log” on YouTube or a streaming service.
There are several ways you can build a fire. My two preferred ways are tepee and log cabin, both of which are built to look exactly as the name implies. If you build a tepee, put kindling in the center of the area that you plan to set up your logs around. If you build a log cabin, you can put kindling in the center after you’ve built the walls. (Note on kindling: this is a good opportunity to make use of that junk mail and other paper waste.) Once you light the fire, keep an eye on it. Feel free to tell stories and sing songs around the campfire!
Cooking outside can be as easy as roasting sausages and s’mores over a campfire, or you can turn it into a complicated craft. But before we get into food, let’s start with what to cook on.
If you can start a fire as aforementioned, that can be both a fun and challenging way to cook. Of course, if you have some sort of barbecue, that makes for an easier way to cook out. Also consider building a solar oven, which could be constructed using materials found around the house. (I made my last solar oven out of a shoe box, black paint, a thick piece of clear plastic, and some reflective shipping insulation.) Most camp recipes that you make outdoors can be modified for a standard kitchen, but if you’re camping indoors, it’s a fun novelty to roast a mini marshmallow on a toothpick over an unscented candle or a lighter.
My family has been celebrating with a “Fire Friday” every week of quarantining together. Since I don’t eat hot dogs, when they roast those, I’ve put chicken sausage on a roasting stick. We’ve also made “hobo meals” by putting meat, veggies, and seasonings into a foil packet and sticking that on top of the coals. If you get really creative, you can make almost anything. I remember some of my camp coworkers once stuck leftover personal-size pizzas on their roasting stick and cooked them over a campfire. I’m looking forward to a pizza cooked in cast iron. And don’t forget dessert! Last week I made an easy dump cake in a dutch oven over the campfire coals.
Get Immersed in Nature
A camping staycation may be just for one night, but you can include camping activities during the daytime too. Go for a hike, or at least a walk around the neighborhood. Look for wildlife around your home. (I’ve been seeing lots of lizards lately.) Just one look on Pinterest can give you lots of camp-themed ideas, such as:
Play board games (Doing this with my family recently led to a very interesting story that I’ll share someday!)
Read books or magazines
Create and compete in a scavenger hunt
Send out postcards (bonus if you make them yourself)
Play with glow sticks
Tie-dye shirts, pillowcases, or bandannas (especially fun if you use squirt guns)
Play yard games
Plant potted seeds or bulbs
Race in an obstacle course
Journal or write
Just take a look around your house and see what supplies you can creatively use for a fun and memorable camping experience. The other day, I got a delivery that was kept cool with dry ice. I decided to use the blocks of dry ice to make smoke, to make metal scream, and to flash-freeze a variety of foods. The point of a camping staycation is to have fun and take a break from the normal.
What is your favorite camp-themed activity? Share in the comments below!
Want more camping and staycation ideas? I’ve written a couple books on the subject that I think you’ll find useful: