Monday, August 17, 2009

Camping Revisited

As you know, if you read my previous post, we went camping this weekend. It was a "dry run" for our trip out West that we will embark on in 2 short weeks. I feel less prepared, but Steve was very happy for our failures this weekend. He said, "Yay, now we know what won't work!"

We did find several issues that need to be addressed:

1. Sleeping Mat Fail: I found out that the self-inflating mats I purchased were "JR" size and only 4 ft long! These were supposed to be for the 3 "adults" and then we purchase 3 foam mats for the kids. When we pulled out the 4 ft mats, we had to switch everything around. The adults got the foam, one kid got the self-inflating mat, and the boys slept on the ground! Interestingly, none of the kids complained about their mat choices or lack thereof. I was surprised that even with a history of minor back complications, I slept "okay" on the foam mat. I slept the second night on the 4 ft. self-inflating mat (hey, I'm short) and did not like it at all. The air displaced and I ended up with a bubble at my head and my hip bones digging into the ground. Solution: Not sure yet. Either buy a higher quality self-inflating mattress or drag our old air mattresses with us.

2. Partial Pillow Fail: 2 family members did NOT like the inflatable pillows, but most of us thought they were fine. Solution: I may just allow the complainers to choose one normal pillow to bring along on our trip.

3. Coffee Fail: The funky one-cup coffee funnel thingy I bought made a crappy cup of coffee. I found this out when I tested it at home and so I just brought some normal filters to put in it. It still made a weak cup of coffee because the water just goes through too quickly. I'm sorry, but I need a decent cup of coffee in the morning. Solution: I am going to buy a camp percolator.

4. Lighting Fail: I had purchased these little LED lanterns from Walmart and boy, were they horrible. They do not illuminate. They blind! Solution: not sure yet.

5. Fire Fail: The fire wasn't really a failure, but I realized that attempting to cook over a fire will probably be a waste of time. Camping on our trip is a way to save $ on food and lodging. We have many other activities planned to fill our time. Getting a fire going and down to cooking coals takes a lot of time and bringing a cooking grate takes up space and weight. Solution: Most likely we will not do any food preparation over a fire. All food prep will be on the camp stove.

I have not gotten any further on my food menu, but my husband is now on board with finding food ideas that require little preparation or preservation. The search continues.

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