Other Outdoorsy Stuff

Using Your Camping Gear at Home

October 28, 2016

tailgateYou’ve bought all that gear to make your campout as comfortable as possible, so why only use it a couple times a year? Some of that stuff can come in pretty handy right at home; so next time you return from camping, you may not want to stash that camping gear too far away.

Power Down
If your neighborhood is like mine, you can pretty much guarantee a power outage or two a year. Whether it’s the weather or a contractor hitting a power line when digging, it’s sure to happen at least once in a while. That’s when those LED lanterns come in handy. Even propane lanterns can be used indoors and if you have headlamps and/or flashlights, you’ll want to keep those handy too. They are sure more convenient, safe and useful than candles and as long as you keep them nearby and keep batteries in them, they’re ready to go.

Unexpected Guests
Not all of us have extra guest bedrooms, especially for multiple visitors. Instead of throwing your guests on the couch, break out that air mattress and sleeping bags to make them comfortable. Even if you don’t use that mattress, there are always uses for those sleeping bags. Kids are happy to sleep on the floor if they get to use a sleeping bag. Even that piece of foam some diehards settle for using as a bed comes in handy on that basement floor.

Wet Your Whistle
Any smart camper has plenty of storage for fresh water. I have several containers ranging from 5 gallons to 1 gallon to use for everything from washing up to drinking water. It’s a good idea to keep at least some of these filled between campouts just in case of emergency. You ever know when that contractor who clipped the power lines before is back at it and hits the water main. Believe me: it happens more often than you may realize. These shutoffs are usually just for a few hours but sometimes last for days. Sure you can buy drinking water, but you need water to flush your toilets and I don’t think you want to waste bottled water on that. Besides, just like camping you need water for many other things besides drinking such as hygiene and dish washing. Just don’t leave that water stored in unheated areas during cold months or it will freeze and bust open that container. I learned that one the hard way.

Cook Outs Galore
Have you ever volunteered to cook Thanksgiving dinner and run out of burners? Or, if you host a big time barbecue, unless you have a big time grill, you could always use a little more cooking space. That’s when it’s a good time to break out that camping stove. It may sound nuts or even seem tacky but hey, it works. Just having that extra flame or two can help you get everything done at the same time. Plus, if that idiot contractor is at it again and hits the neighborhood gas line, well, look who’s cooking now.

Take a Seat
We all gave up on sitting on logs a long time ago. Nowadays we all have those fold up camp chairs so keep them handy and use them year-round. You can use them in the yard or on the deck next time you have more guests than patio chairs and let’s face it, you never have enough patio chairs. The main and most important use I have for camp chairs in the fall is of course: tailgating. Whether it’s for your favorite college or pro football team, or just to watch the kids playing soccer on Saturday morning, everybody needs a fold up, portable chair year round.

Who’s Hungry?
If you are the type that plans for anything and I do mean anything, then maybe you should stash some special food away. Dehydrated foods for backpacking are not only much better than they used to be but are a handy way to survive that zombie apocalypse. Even if worse comes to worse and that idiot contractor wipes out the power and the gas at the same time, and you forgot to stock propane for your stove, you won’t starve. Not only will you not starve, you can still dine on a quality meal like Beef Stroganoff with pasta and beef as long as you are prepared.

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