Collectible, Camping, and a Cook Out For Father’s Day

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With Father’s Day just around the corner, here is a great way to celebrate! Pipka Santas just released their Santas at Play collectibles. They represent various sports and hobbies that Santa has. The “Camping Claus” would be perfect for the dad or husband that likes to camp. Put this in a brown paper bag with tissue, tie it with ribbon, and attach a homemade note for your loved one(s) you are honoring.

First:

Make a handmade note and invite them to a dinner in the backyard. To make your invitation, take a large brown paper grocery bag. Cut the edge of one side of the bag with fancy scrap booking scissors or light a candle and burn around the edges and blow it out so looks rustic. Have each family member put one of their hands in craft paint and stamp their hand print on the invitation. Then write “We have to hand it to you Dad, you’re the best!” Put the details of the invitation such as meet us in the backyard or however you want to say it. Roll it up like a scroll and tie it with some string and attach to the bag with the collectible Pipka Santa in it.

Second:

Set up a camping tent in the backyard. Furnish it with a table and chairs. Then set the table with a picnic table cloth, paper ware or get authentic and use tin pie plates and cups on the table. Don’t forget the candles. If you prefer you can eat picnic style on a blanket on the floor of the tent. Put lawn chairs in a circle by the tent to simulate a mountainside campsite.

Third:

Make dinner in a dutch oven by baking it in your oven. (This is cheating but it is permissible for Father’s Day!) Be sure and choose one of dad’s favorite meals. Add a couple of salads, chips, and a dessert ( which can be cooked in a Dutch Oven as well if you want). Now you are ready to enjoy. If you have a backyard fire pit, you can use that to cook foil dinners if you prefer. Use your imagination and then tailor it to fit the ones you love and are honoring.

Fourth:

Wrap up some camping equipment they might be in need of, compass, lantern, camp stove, hat, sweatshirt, mosquito net, pocket knife, flashlights different sizes, sleeping bag, etc…Don’t worry if they already have these items. At your local sporting goods store or on line, you will find a variety of gadgets that your avid camper would enjoy so go hunting around and you are sure to find something they could use or add to their camping gear.

Fifth:

If you have memories of camping with your dad or husband, compile a small camping journal scrap booked with a few pictures and journal the fun times you have shared. Present them with this album as well. It will be a Father’s Day to remember!

Sixth:

It is critical that you plan ahead. Make part of the dinner the day before so all you have to do is take the Dutch Oven out of the oven and outside to your table. Relax and enjoy! Not too fancy, don’t have to fight any crowds, and everyone can just enjoy being together!

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Camping Gear Basics

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Getting good camping gear can be harder than finding a needle in a haystack. Everyone that sells sporting equipment has the basics, but few have personnel on staff that can help you find what you need at a price you can afford. Looking online can be just as tricky – you can’t see what you are getting until it’s too late. The best way to get what you need is to know just what that is BEFORE you start the hunt.

TENTS

There is a tent for all seasons, but not all tents will handle all seasons. In other words, you need to know when you will be camping before you buy your tent. You need to buy a tent in preparations for the worst weather you could possibly face.

Summer Tents are typically light-weight with good ventilation. It is specifically for the hot weather camping.

3-season tents are more open with zipper mesh panels for ventilation in the warmer weather. They are designed for use in the spring, summer, and fall in temperate areas. Although they can do a good job protecting against wind and rain, they are not designed to hold up the weight of snow.

4-season tents are for the serious winter camper. They are stronger and hold up to strong winds and the weight of snow. They do not offer as much mesh for ventilation (a HUGE factor when it comes to hot weather camping) and they are typically the more expensive of the tent varieties.

COOKING GEAR

The way that you are going to cook will probably depend on whether you are hiking to your camp destination or driving up to it. A camp stove can be rough if you are hiking in. Cooking over the open fire does not have to be that difficult if you have the right cookware for the job.

Opening flame cooking is usually done with a grate or grill (to give you a surface to set your cookware on). The very best cookware is cast iron. It’s not light weight, so if you have to hike in to the site then you need to carry as few pieces as possible. This cookware can hold up to what ever you throw at it. Be sure you season it properly before you use it.

SLEEPING BAGS

When it comes to a warm and comfortable nights sleep, down offers the best for weight ratio. The downfall is that if it gets wet, it will take forever to dry and will weigh a ton until it does. Synthetic fill (or waterproof down) is the best choice if you think you might encounter water (condensation or dew). Get a bag rated for 10 degrees COLDER than what you expect to encounter.

This is only beginning, but it will help you get started. The more camping you do, the more time you will want to invest in finding the best gear for your going (and the more money you will probably also invest). Keep in mind that you will probably use your gear the most if it is comfortable and easy to use.

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