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Thursday, August 30, 2012


My idea of a vacation is not having more work than I have when I’m home, but I know many people love camping. If you’re one of them, travel editor Serena Brower has some tips for making your next camping trip as enjoyable as possible. -- AP

1. Know what poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak look like. Too many people don’t and wind up spending their camping trip scratching. Bring pictures with you or download pictures to your smart phone. Know which plants grow in the area where you’ll be camping.

2. If you’re out hiking, drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty. You need to continually replace the fluids from perspiration to avoid dehydration.

3. Don’t pack the world into your backpack. If it weighs more than 25% of your weight, it will wear you out.

4. In wooded areas, make sure your extremities and head are covered. That means wearing long sleeves, long pants, socks, and a hat to protect against ticks, mosquitoes, and those poisonous plants.

5. Leave the scented soaps, shampoos, and lotions at home. They attract all sorts of unwanted guests like bugs and bears.

6. Going to bear country? Store all food and even toothpaste in bear-resistant containers in shaded areas.

7. Don’t drink the water! That stream or lake might look pure as the driven snow, but you don’t know what microscopic microbes are swimming around in it. The last thing you want are intestinal problems when you’re miles from indoor plumbing. Bring your own water.

8. Pitch your tent away from trees. That tree might look perfectly healthy, but could be rotten out inside. One strong wind could topple it, and you don’t want it toppling on you or your family while you sleep.

And people wonder why I don’t like camping? Just saying… 
Readers, post a comment for a chance to win a book from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Think I'll stick to indoor plumbing and room service for my vacations. I went camping when I was 12 with my girl scout troop. It was not fun.