camping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12321/all en-US 14 Things You Can Do Now to Prep for Your Best Summer Ever http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-508921978.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the past week, I have experienced Polar Vortex-level temperatures in the upper Midwest and then back-to-back wind and rainstorms in California. I have not seen the sun in days. All this weather has got me dreaming about what my family will do this summer.</p> <p>But I can't just dream an epic summer into existence. I need to plan and prepare. Here are some things you &mdash; and I &mdash; can do in the gloom of winter to lay the groundwork for the best summer ever.</p> <h2>1. Reserve a Campsite</h2> <p>In some states, like California, state park sites book up devilishly early. In fact, a quick search of a couple of favorite beach campgrounds found them already booked for weekends throughout the summer. So if you haven't already booked any summer camp-outs, go to <a href="http://www.reserveamerica.com/" target="_blank">Reserve America</a> and snag them before it's too late.</p> <h2>2. Arrange a Home Exchange</h2> <p>If you're able to take a sabbatical or work from home, consider swapping your house with someone far away for a change of scenery, even without using vacation time. If you have to report to work every day, try a temporary relocation to a different part of your region. For instance, since my husband has a 40-mile commute to his Silicon Valley job, I'm eyeing swaps with families who live within the same distance from his work, but in other directions, on <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10774433" target="_blank">HomeExchange</a>.</p> <h2>3. Send the Kids to Camp</h2> <p>If you're a parent, time away from your job might not be as relaxing as time away from your kids. I should know, I have three little buggers of my own. Fortunately, there exists a wonderful institution to give you a vacation from parenting: sleep-away camp. Camp catalogs go out soon. Girl Scout, Boy Scout, church, and YMCA camps offer some of the best values. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-child-care-this-summer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save Money on Child Care This Summer</a>)</p> <h2>4. Book a National Park Trip</h2> <p>The big-name parks book up fast. In fact, a random check of <a href="http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/" target="_blank">Yellowstone lodges</a> for June showed that rooms are already getting hard to find. If you're planning to stay in &mdash; or even near &mdash; a National Park this summer, get going.</p> <h2>5. Buy Baseball Tickets</h2> <p>It's not as if it will be impossible to get seats in most ballparks after Opening Day, but still, wouldn't it be nice to see a big circle on the calendar around a July day and know you'll be spending it at the ballgame? My family received tickets to a Cubs game as a Christmas gift, and I'm already looking forward to that August event.</p> <h2>6. Figure Out Where You'll Be for the Solar Eclipse</h2> <p>In case you haven't heard, there will be a total solar eclipse August 21, but the full monty will only be <a href="http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2017/01/nasas_new_map_can_put_you_righ.html" target="_blank">viewable from certain parts of the United States</a>. You'd better believe that campgrounds and other lodging in the path, which will follow an arc from Oregon to South Carolina, are selling out fast. August 21 is a Monday, so if you can do a long weekend and get there, it should be a sight to see as the moon takes a big bite out of the sun and then blots it out entirely, bringing out the stars in the middle of the day. We haven't had a total eclipse cross the whole country like this for about 100 years.</p> <h2>7. Plan Your Garden</h2> <p>Your dirt may be buried under snow, but that doesn't mean you can't sketch out new garden beds (there's even <a href="http://theselfsufficientliving.com/7-vegetable-garden-planner-software-for-better-gardening/" target="_blank">gardening software</a> to help you do that now), ordering seeds, and starting seedlings indoors.</p> <h2>8. Research Major Summer Purchases on Your Wishlist</h2> <p>Is this the year you buy a boat or a camper, or even an inflatable dinghy? Most of the boat and <a href="http://www.rvpark411.com/rv-shows-camping-expos.html" target="_blank">RV shows</a> are in winter and spring. Even if you're just going to dream, walking through a boat show can help pass chilly days with dreams of fishing and snorkeling.</p> <h2>9. Get Medical Procedures Out of the Way</h2> <p>This may not be as fun as booking vacations or boat shopping, but think about it: If you need a knee replacement, do you want to be laid of up for six weeks in summer or now? Might as well get those bunions removed while you're stuck inside anyway.</p> <h2>10. Learn to Scuba Dive</h2> <p>If you live near water, you might love exploring the underside of it this summer. Did you know you can start learning even if it's too cold to jump in right now? First of all, scuba certification involves a classroom portion, which you can <a href="https://apps.padi.com/scuba-diving/elearning/purchasecourse.aspx" target="_blank">take online</a>. Then, there are <a href="http://www.dolphinscuba.com/scuba-diving-classes/overview.html" target="_blank">classes you can take in heated pools</a> to get you ready for dive season.</p> <h2>11. Buy Tickets to a Summer Theater Festival</h2> <p>For me, one of the highlights of summer is watching Shakespeare out in nature, whether it's at Wisconsin's <a href="http://americanplayers.org/" target="_blank">American Players Theatre</a> or the <a href="https://www.bard.org/" target="_blank">Utah Shakespeare Festival</a>. Tickets are already available for some of these festivals, and even if they're not, the schedule is probably posted, so you can decide which shows you'll see. And if you're unable to travel to see these, check for local shows in your area.</p> <h2>12. Book Amtrak Tickets</h2> <p>Even more than flights, Amtrak trains can fill up early, especially those sleeper cars that make the journey more pleasant. Buy it now or you may find yourself sleeping in a seat.</p> <h2>13. Buy Theme Park Season Passes</h2> <p>Early bird discounts can net you some real savings on these. For instance, Six Flags Great America in Chicago is selling season passes for $75-$93 right now; full price runs $189-$250.</p> <h2>14. Work Out</h2> <p>I'm not talking about a &quot;get your beach body&quot; weight-loss program, because all bodies are welcome at the beach. I'm talking about cardio and strength training to build your endurance for those summer hikes and swims you're going to do. You won't regret it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-little-known-ways-to-save-at-disneyland">15 Little Known Ways to Save at Disneyland</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-digital-nomads-can-save-for-retirement">6 Ways Digital Nomads Can Save for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel book a trip camping family vacation saving money summer shopping summer travel summer trip summer vacation winter Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:30:39 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1888422 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Camping Sleeping Pads http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-camping-sleeping-pads <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-camping-sleeping-pads" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tent_camping_539236780.jpg" alt="Woman sleeping on best camping sleeping pad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Roughing it in the great outdoors doesn&rsquo;t need to be uncomfortable. Whether you&rsquo;re sleeping on a cot, hammock, or on the ground, you can enjoy additional comfort and support with the right sleeping pad. It provides cushioning and insulation from the ground, so you can enjoy nighttime comfort, support, and warmth.</p> <h2>What Are Camping Sleeping Pads?</h2> <p>A sleeping pad is a cushioned pad that offers thermal insulation, so you can sleep better in the great outdoors. It is small and lightweight, so you can easily carry it around on your outdoor adventures. It is a must-have for any backpackers, climbers, hikers, and campers.</p> <h2>Top 5 Camping Sleeping Pads</h2> <h3>Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Mattress</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j5Ab38"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/thermarest_0.jpg" width="220" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2j5Ab38">Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Mattress</a> is comfortable, rugged, and virtually indestructible. The compact, durable pad is softer and lighter than most foam pads, weighing less than one pound. The incompressible closed-cell foam structure is softer on top for extra comfort and denser on the bottom for extra durability. The ThermaCapture surface and reflective barriers reflect body heat to keep you warmer at night. The closed-cell mattress is not affected by tears and punctures, and the foam will not absorb water. The peaks provide support and the valleys trap warmth. The lightweight, compact closed-cell mattress features a compact accordion-style shape that folds down and is easy to pack.</p> <p>This comes from the best-selling Therm-a-Rest brand, so you can count on it to last you a long time. In fact, if you have a hole or tear, you can just repair it with industrial tape. The award-winning camping pad is available in various sizes. It is an Amazon best-seller and one of the &ldquo;most wished for&rdquo; items on Amazon. It is recommended by Gizmodo and by many camping authorities. It is also backed by a limited lifetime warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j5Ab38"><em>Currently $35.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jBadFe"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/klymit.jpg" width="245" height="172" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in camping sleeping pads, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2jBadFe">Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad</a> is a bit wider than most, so you have room to stretch. It weighs only 20 ounces and inflates with about 10-15 breaths. The camping pad features an easy-to-use push valve, which allows for quick inflation and deflation. The lightweight pad offers great support and is very comfortable. The ergonomic V-shape follows the contours of the body and prevents air movement and heat loss, allowing for optimal weight distribution. The inflated side rails contribute to insulation and ensure that you don&rsquo;t roll off. It can be folded down to the size of a water bottle and stored in the included sack. It also comes with a patch kit in case you have any punctures.</p> <p>This is available in a range of colors. It is one of the &ldquo;most wished for&rdquo; items on Amazon and has outstanding online reviews, including nearly 1,100 five-star reviews on Amazon. It is also backed by a lifetime warranty for your peace of mind.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jBadFe"><em>Currently $49.57 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Coleman Self-Inflating Camp Pad With Attached Pillow</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jsAeCF"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/coleman_0.jpg" width="220" height="203" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2jsAeCF">Coleman Self-Inflating Camp Pad With Attached Pillow</a> quickly self-inflates and self-deflates with a free-flow valve, so you won&rsquo;t need a pump, but the pillow needs to be manually blown up. The durable, weather-resistant nylon shell wipes clean easily and is designed to last you a long time. The tufted design offers additional cushion and comfort. It has convenient built-in Velcro straps to hold the rolled up pad, but if you pull too hard, they can break off.</p> <p>This has outstanding online reviews and has a one-year limited warranty. If you don&rsquo;t care about the pillow, then consider the <a href="http://amzn.to/2jBcsbS">Coleman Self-Inflating Camp Pad</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jsAeCF"><em>Currently $41.76 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Series Self-Inflating Air Pad</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2idScYN"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/alps.jpg" width="245" height="134" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2idScYN">ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Series Self-Inflating Air Pad</a> features durable noncorrosive brass valves for maximum durability. It inflates and deflates quickly with the jet stream open cell foam. The durable diamond ripstop and taffeta construction resists punctures and comes with a repair kit, so it&rsquo;s designed to last you a long time. The strong, lightweight sleeping pad is very comfortable, comes with compression straps, and packs into a compact roll, which you can store in the included sack.</p> <p>This comes in various sizes. It is an Amazon best-seller and one of the &ldquo;most wished for&rdquo; items on Amazon. It is also backed by outstanding online reviews, including more than 700 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2idScYN"><em>Currently $42.24 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j5Fob8"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/therma%20neoair.jpg" width="245" height="218" align="right" alt="" /></a>The lightweight, compact <a href="http://amzn.to/2j5Fob8">Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad</a> is comfortable and packs to about the size of a water bottle, which you can pack into the included sack. It takes about 15 breaths to inflate. The patent-pending, reflective ThermaCapture technology traps radiant heat to keep you warm. The Triangular Core Matrix construction also helps to minimize heat loss. It features low-bulk materials, soft-touch fabrics, and a tapered design to provide better durability, stability, and support. It is built to last and includes a repair kit.</p> <p>This comes in various sizes and colors. It is an Amazon best-seller and is recommended by Gizmodo and The Wirecutter. It is also backed by a limited lifetime warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j5Fob8"><em>Currently $117.68 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best camping sleeping pads. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-camping-sleeping-pads&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%205%20Best%20Camping%20Sleeping%20Pads.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Camping%20Sleeping%20Pads" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Camping%20Sleeping%20Pads.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Camping Sleeping Pads" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-camping-sleeping-pads">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-travel-pillows">The 5 Best Travel Pillows</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-emergency-kits">The 5 Best Emergency Kits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-travel-toiletry-bags">The 5 Best Travel Toiletry Bags</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cloth-napkins">The 5 Best Cloth Napkins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-diapers">The 5 Best Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping Travel 5 best camping camping accessories product reviews shopping sleeping bags sleeping pads Wed, 11 Jan 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1871895 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_camping_000053713732.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to enjoy fall camping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you love camping as much as I do, you don't exactly want to stop when the temperatures drop. Thankfully, there's no need to pack up the gear for good. Here are some genius ways to extend your camping adventures into fall and beyond. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks?ref=seealso">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a>)</p> <h2>1. Check Ahead</h2> <p>Some campgrounds are only open during peak camping months (usually Memorial Day through Labor Day). Before you embark on your adventure, call ahead to make sure your favorite destination is open. Check the weather, too. You may see rain in the forecast and decide to bring an extra tarp or other supplies. The idea here is to be prepared for what's ahead.</p> <h2>2. Leave Early</h2> <p>On our first fall camping excursion, we left too late in the day. By the time we go to the campground, it was getting dark and we were muddling around with our tent using headlamps. Remember that fall and winter mean fewer hours in the sun. So, plan accordingly and leave plenty of daylight hours for setup. Check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) <a href="http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/sunrise.html">sunrise and sunset calculator</a>.</p> <h2>3. Dress for Success</h2> <p>Layers are key when you're camping in the cold. I've always been told to stay away from cotton because it soaks up sweat and can make you wet. Try <a href="http://coolhikinggear.com/what-is-the-best-moisture-wicking-material">dressing in layers</a>. Start with an inner base layer, a warming mid layer (or two, depending on the temperature), and an outer wind or wetness protection layer. Moisture-wicking fabrics are best, so stick with synthetic fibers or even a lightweight wool.</p> <h2>4. Bring Accessories</h2> <p>Along with layering, you shouldn't forget your head, hands, and feet. Bring lots of mittens, gloves, socks, hats, slippers, and other accessories. I like fleece because it's cozy and soft. This <a href="http://oliveleafjournal.com/2014/01/13/fleece-hood-and-balaclava/">DIY fleece balaclava</a> would make a perfect travel companion. You need 3/4 of a yard of fleece fabric and a boot lace. Cut three rectangles from your fabric, sew them together, and thread your lace through the channel.</p> <h2>5. Bag It</h2> <p>Check your sleeping bag for its <a href="http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/sleeping-bag-backpacking.html">European Norm (EN)</a> temperature rating. You might notice that yours isn't fit for cold weather &mdash; the number usually indicates the lowest temperature that is comfortable to withstand in the bag. I like being warmer than most, so I do have a bag I use in summer and one for fall camping. I also favor mummy style bags because they leave less room for air to escape.</p> <p>Skip bulky blankets inside your sleeping bag. They'll actually work against your mission to stay warm. A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=sleeping%20bag%20liner&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=EGNRGTFSM4DEAP4M">sleeping bag liner</a> provides an extra layer of protection (like a bed sheet) and will work with your body heat to create a comfortable sleeping temperature.</p> <h2>6. Pack a Mat</h2> <p>I also like to sleep atop a travel cot or at very least a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QG1P6E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002QG1P6E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LQPQF4QTO5H2ADPD">camping mat</a> to keep excess moisture from entering my sleeping bag. I've used a yoga mat in a pinch. The bonus here is that the mat will create a barrier between you and the damp, cool ground. It's just more comfortable all around this way. If you can, try laying a tarp down before the pad for extra protection.</p> <p>Still cold? A wool blanket under your sleeping bag can help.</p> <h2>7. Add Heat</h2> <p>My husband taught me a cool trick that he learned when he was a kid. Fill a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=hot%20water%20bottle&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=OZBHGASVGIWYOQSF">hot water bottle</a> or even a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NCDE84/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NCDE84&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MQRHEUVZRTF7I45G">Nalgene</a> with warm water and put it in your sleeping bag. You can always refill with warm water if you're particularly cold. We even use this method on cold nights in our house. Just make sure the seal is tight so the water doesn't soak you. And those <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PX20LO0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00PX20LO0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AYUPW62CX2FC24JB">HotHands</a> hand warmers you use on ski trips are also invaluable on camping trips.</p> <h2>8. Sip Often</h2> <p>Another easy way to warm your core is by drinking hot beverages. Keep a kettle on so there's always hot water to make tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or instant soups. While you're at it, mind your fluid intake. Even if it's cold and you're not obviously sweating, you can easily get dehydrated with activity.</p> <h2>9. Cook Slow</h2> <p>If you're lucky enough to have a campsite with electricity, consider bringing your slow cooker to make mealtime easier. This way, you can simmer together warm and nourishing foods and keep the campfire all to yourself. Choose a cooker with a lockable lid for obvious reasons. Tent campers will want to bring a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JTS6UC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001JTS6UC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EGSPHAHCIDTGBLW5">long extension cord</a>. (If you're camping in bear country, you might want to skip this tip!)</p> <h2>10. Test It</h2> <p>One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to test our gear before we went on a long trip. My husband and I set up camp in the backyard and felt sort of silly about it. Well, it was a good thing we did because we were missing an essential support for our tent. If you've never camped in the fall before, you might even want to sleep a night in familiar territory to make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable.</p> <p><em>Are you a fall camper? What tricks have you learned to stay warm, dry, and safe?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Ways%20to%20Enjoy%20Fall%20Camping.jpg&amp;description=10%20Ways%20to%20Enjoy%20Fall%20Camping" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Ways%20to%20Enjoy%20Fall%20Camping.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures">The 18 Coolest Frugal Fall Adventures</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel autumn camping fall outdoors vacation Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:00:36 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1576302 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_camping_000051647654.jpg" alt="Couple learning what not to do when camping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Camping is fun, right?</p> <p>Well, it's supposed to be. However, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Some of these aren't preventable, but you have quite a bit of control over how comfortable you are, how safe you are, and how much fun you have while you're camping. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks?ref=seealso">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a>)</p> <p>If you're wondering how to have the best experience possible, here are some things you should always avoid when you go camping. For your next trip, don't...</p> <h2>1. Get There in the Dark</h2> <p>Setting up camp in the dark is hard, and it can be dangerous, too. Even in the best-groomed campsites, there are often sticks, rocks, holes, or lumps of dirt, which can become tripping hazards when you run into them full-tilt carrying a tent pole. Sure, you have headlights and flashlights, which can help, but nothing tops arriving early in the day so you can assess your surroundings. In addition, arriving in the light means that you can find things like the all-important toilet.</p> <p>If something happens and you can't avoid a nighttime arrival, do your best to get as much light in the area as possible. Park facing your camping area and turn on your headlights. Tie flashlights to trees. Set a lantern up in the middle of your living area. Then, before you set up your tent, take your time clearing the area of debris and scouting out anything that might hurt you.</p> <h2>2. Wander the Forest Alone</h2> <p>Most camping is done in an area where you're not familiar with the landscape or, at least, less familiar than you are at home. Camping can also involve hazards that you aren't comfortable dealing with on your own and that you may not be able to anticipate. Because of this, it's always a good idea to take someone with you when you camp and not to go on outings alone.</p> <p>If you want to camp alone or you just need a time-out from your camping partners, be sure to tell someone where you're headed and about when you plan to return. If your friend knows you're out on a three-mile hike, they won't panic when you aren't back in an hour, but they will know that they should sound the alarm when three or four have passed.</p> <h2>3. Leave Your Food Out</h2> <p>Critters love human food, and they will get into anything you leave out. Even small animals, like chipmunks and squirrels, can make a huge mess, and the food isn't very good for them, either. In some areas, you risk a run-in with something less desirable, like a bear or a skunk. And don't store food in your tent, either, because you certainly don't want animals in there!</p> <p>Usually, it is fine to put dry food in your car and to close and latch your cooler. In some areas, where bears are known to roam, you will need to make your food even more secure. Find out ahead of time what is required and make sure you have the supplies and know-how to do that.</p> <h2>4. Forget Warm Clothes</h2> <p>When it comes to the weather, something unexpected is almost bound to happen while you're camping, and it's best to be prepared with the right clothing. Since most camping happens during warm months, people tend to forget warm clothes. It's easy to ignore the fact that nights are almost always cooler than days, and that rain storms or cold winds can happen without warning. And, sometimes, you will want long pants and long sleeves for different reasons, like to keep bugs from biting or to keep the sun off you.</p> <p>If you're heading to a mountainous or high desert area, it's even more important that you bring warm clothes. Nighttime temperatures in both of these climates are significantly colder than daytime ones, and you could end up miserable and ill without the right clothing.</p> <h2>5. Annoy Your Neighbors</h2> <p>When you're camping, the people at the site next door can become your helpers, your new best friends... or the people who wouldn't help you for the world because you annoyed them so much. If you don't want to find yourself in deep water with the neighbors, follow your common sense. Don't get drunk, make lots of noise in the middle of the night, play loud music, drive too fast in camp, or leave your fire burning when you aren't there.</p> <p>If you've done something annoying, it pays to apologize. And if you apologize with some freshly-baked camp cookies, it's even better. When you acknowledge that you did something annoying, people are likely to forgive... as long as it doesn't happen again.</p> <h2>6. Bring Equipment You Don't Know How to Use</h2> <p>I don't care how experienced you are. Each tent goes up a little differently, and it pays to know exactly how the one you brought works. The same goes for any other gear: your stove, your hydration pack, your nifty new camp-cooking appliance. Take it out of the box and figure it out before you leave. Otherwise, you waste valuable camping time and try your own patience, not to mention that of the people camping with you.</p> <p>If you don't have a chance to put up your tent at least once before you leave, make sure you have plenty of light and plenty of time once you arrive at your destination. Send the kids to explore and let your spouse do something else while you figure it out. You'll all be happier with each other and better able to enjoy the rest of your stay.</p> <h2>7. Forget the Toilet Paper</h2> <p>I get it. Your campsite has a bathroom &mdash; a real bathroom, with running water and paper towels and maybe even a shower. I don't care. Bring your toilet paper.</p> <p>You never know when a campground bathroom will run out of TP in the middle of the night, or when you'll be out by the lake or on a hike and find yourself in need. In these cases, it's so much less awkward to have the supplies you need. Sure, you have to trek it along in the first place, but it will save you a headache in the end.</p> <p><em>What do you enjoy most about camping? And what would you never, ever do?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Things%20You%20Should%20Never%20Do%20When%20Camping.jpg&amp;description=7%20Things%20You%20Should%20Never%20Do%20When%20Camping" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Things%20You%20Should%20Never%20Do%20When%20Camping.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-hiking-hacks-to-take-to-the-trail-this-summer">20 Hiking Hacks to Take to the Trail This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-camping-cooking">10 Tips for Camping Cooking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Travel camping nature outdoors safety Thu, 13 Aug 2015 17:00:14 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1518309 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Tips for Camping Cooking http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-camping-cooking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-tips-for-camping-cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_camping_trip_000020818151.jpg" alt="Family using helpful tips for camping cooking" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Imagine, if you will the smell of fresh coffee and bacon frying, a flannel-lined sleeping bag, and finding the constellation Orion in the night sky. Whatever your favorite aspect is about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">camping</a>, a little organization beforehand definitely enhances the experience, so below are some tips about how to fix great meals in your &quot;great outdoors&quot; kitchen.</p> <h2>1. Table or Picnic Table</h2> <p>Some campgrounds have spaces where there are picnic tables on site. But if you aren't camping in a place where they have tables, you may need to improvise. If you are going to be camping someplace fairly flat, these <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00339B17Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00339B17Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=464FKF2RU6GG6Y7D">fold-up picnic sets</a> are nice. Otherwise, I make do with a card table. Using the picnic table for both eating and as a kitchen gets crowded. If you have a truck, the tailgate works nicely as a cooking or dishwashing area.</p> <h2>2. Water</h2> <p>This is information you need to know before you head out. Will the campground have drinking water available? If not, you will need to haul it. I like these <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001QC31G6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001QC31G6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LN4OUYT33JYFCU6C">Aqua-Tainers</a>, which hold seven gallons of water. Before first use, though, wash them out to get rid of some of the plastic-y odor.</p> <h2>3. Table Covers</h2> <p>I like a plastic tablecloth because I can wipe it down, which is nice after chipmunks have been traipsing across your dining room. Once you get that tablecloth down, though, you'll need to keep it there, which is why I use these <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GG9BFH6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00GG9BFH6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DQYR7HDEHEBGYWDP">A-clamps</a>. These babies will keep that tablecloth on the table, even in a storm (been there, done that).</p> <h2>4. Camp Stove</h2> <p>You may have romantic ideas about cooking over a campfire, but except for hot dogs and marshmallows, it's a pain. Instead, invest in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005OU9D/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005OU9D&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=I2XQEWRI76FX6EEM">camp stove</a> (also super-handy to have when your power goes out at home). This one has two burners &mdash; just right for one pan of trout and another of eggs and fried potatoes.</p> <h2>5. Shelter</h2> <p>Depending upon where you may be camping, there may be a lot of insects, which can get incredibly annoying. We invested in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U7OP5KE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00U7OP5KE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GQ5ZSKAPGUPW5VM6">screened &quot;EZ Up</a>,&quot; which made life a lot more pleasant while cooking and eating. It had the added benefit of keeping the squirrels out (and they can be real pests).</p> <h2>6. Ice Chests/Ice</h2> <p>I like my &quot;rolling&quot; ice chest just fine for a day at the park, but for serious camping, you need a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000G64FJK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000G64FJK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5AB6JXNKHT4YRBDE">large cooler</a>. The wheels on a rolling ice chest don't work on rugged terrain, and you'll need a lot of room. Keeping cold foods cold is serious business.</p> <p>Here is how we like to pack our ice chest so that things stay cold:</p> <ul> <li>First, put <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JNPYS5G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00JNPYS5G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DTEX2Z4SGQZ4E4V3">plastic ice blocks</a> along the bottom of the ice chest.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pre-freeze meats and poultry.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Refrigerate other items before they go in, so that all food is cold to begin with.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>I like the extra step of putting loose ice over everything, which keeps it really good and cold.</li> </ul> <h2>7. Washing Up</h2> <p>I may ask for this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009PUQVY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0009PUQVY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LU6G7UNO6IMRFACA">washing set-up</a> for my birthday, but until then, I will continue to cope with two plastic washtubs. Remember the dish soap, a sponge, and a dish towel. I refuse to pack &quot;real&quot; plates, instead opting for paper plates and plastic utensils. However, I still use &quot;real&quot; coffee cups, because I think it's so nice to have coffee in a ceramic mug. Before I start breakfast, I get a kettle of water going so that when we are done eating I have hot water for dishwashing at the ready.</p> <h2>8. Thwarting Varmints</h2> <p>Yes, some of those woodsy creatures are cute, but they can be pests, too, or even scary. If you are staying at a state or county campground, I would advise asking the ranger about necessary precautions (and then following them). Many campgrounds have special bear-proof garbage cans, or advise you to use &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005U5J934/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005U5J934&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5E56NQXV6BL65MSD">bear bags</a>.&quot; Clean up after eating, and don't leave food laying around. Your ice chest should go back into your car for safety.</p> <h2>9. Food Prep</h2> <p>Make things easy on yourself by doing as much food preparation as possible ahead of time. When I was a kid, my mother had this summer schedule: Plan meals on Tuesday. Shop on Wednesday. Bake on Thursday. Pack up and drive to camping location Friday. We were hard-core campers, and while this may sound like a lot of work, we all chipped in on the chores and loved it.</p> <p>To further simplify camping cooking: chop vegetables and put into plastic bags, freeze stews, and marinate meats. Wash fruits, hard-boil some eggs, pack the &quot;add water&quot; pancake mix and syrup. &quot;Bar&quot; cookies, like Rice Krispies or chocolate chips made in a pan, hold up better than thinner cookies, which will get smashed. It doesn't hurt to throw in a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread, in case it rains and you can't cook. Plan each meal ahead of time and think it through &mdash; including what utensils you will need.</p> <p>You'll also want kitchen basics, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Ziploc bags</li> <li>Cutting board</li> <li>Aluminum foil</li> <li>Knives</li> <li>Matches</li> <li>A lighter</li> <li>Newspaper (for campfire)</li> <li>Can opener</li> <li>Garbage bags</li> <li>Paper towels</li> <li>Coffee pot or French press</li> <li>Kettle</li> <li>Pots and pans</li> <li>Lanterns for cooking area</li> <li>Spatulas, spoons, tongs</li> <li>Salt and pepper</li> <li>Rope and bungee cords (always handy)</li> </ul> <h2>10. Most Essential</h2> <p>Lastly, you are likely going someplace wooded where you can cut sticks for marshmallows, but if not, don't forget these special <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LOFXWM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008LOFXWM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=THGN7US6SSGFRKGH">marshmallow-toasting implements</a>. They also work for hot dogs!</p> <p><em>Happy camping! What are your favorite camping cooking tips?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-camping-cooking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking">8 Money-Saving Hacks for Those Who Hate Cooking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-spectacular-uses-for-that-lone-can-of-fruit">8 Spectacular Uses for that Lone Can of Fruit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-pieces-of-homemaking-advice-from-martha-stewart">The 7 Best Pieces of Homemaking Advice From Martha Stewart</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Food and Drink camping Cooking meals outdoors Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:00:15 +0000 Marla Walters 1471128 at http://www.wisebread.com Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_camping_000020319724.jpg" alt="Couple camping for a week at national parks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some of the most awe-inspiring <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">places to camp</a> across the United States are in the National Park system, which means that staying inside their boundaries is super affordable. Here is a sampling of attractions and prices for maintained campgrounds at different parks across the country. The mean price to stay at these destinations &mdash; parking and camping together &mdash; is around $160 per week. Have you packed your bags yet?</p> <h2>1. Acadia National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/acadia_000010302667.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Trek up to Maine to <a href="http://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm">Acadia National Park</a>. You'll find Cadillac Mountain, the tallest point on the Atlantic coast, beautiful ocean views, countless acres of forest, and New England's classic rocky beaches. For seven-day access with your vehicle, you'll pay $25; it's only $12 for bikers, hikers, and pedestrians. From there, you have two camping locations from which to choose: Blackwoods Campground and Seawall Campground. Cost is between $22 and $30 per night. Reservations are recommended in the peak season from May through October.</p> <h2>2. Yosemite National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/yosemite_000034939306.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>There are a whopping 13 campgrounds in California's <a href="http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm">Yosemite National Park</a>. That doesn't mean finding a camping spot will necessarily be easy at this popular destination. With Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, Cathedral Peak, and more attractions &mdash; you'll want to plan ahead. Daily camping fees range from $12 to $26, with parking adding another $30 for a seven-day pass ($15 for bike or foot access). Though most sites require reservations, six of the grounds are on a first come, first served basis.</p> <h2>3. Olympic National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/canoe_olympic_lake_000006288667.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>With close to one million acres, Washington's <a href="http://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm">Olympic National Park</a> boasts everything from snowcapped peaks to wild winding rivers to gorgeous Pacific Coast shoreline. If you're unable to hike for some reason, check out 30-mile Quinault Rainforest Loop. The road snakes all the way around Lake Quinault on the south side of the park. You get access for your car for $20 a week or hike in for just $7. Camping is another $15 to $22 per day, depending on which of the 16 locations you choose. Most (15) of the campsites operate on a first come, first served basis.</p> <h2>4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/smoky_mountains_000019016860.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You might not know that America's most visited national park is the <a href="http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm">Great Smoky Mountains</a>. Its location straddling the North Carolina and Tennessee border makes its majestic mountains, diverse wildlife, and unique culture easily accessible to people traveling from all directions. There are a variety of camping options, including backcountry, frontcountry, group campgrounds, horse camps, and even <a href="http://www.lecontelodge.com">LeConte Lodge</a> (only reached by hiking). The grounds maintained by the park cost between $14 and $23. Oh, and entrance to this park is entirely free!</p> <h2>5. Glacier National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/glacier_park_000003419741.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Between Logan Pass, the Highline Trail, St. Mary Lake, and Grinnell Glacier, there's plenty to see and do at <a href="http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm">Glacier National Park</a> in Montana. There are 1,009 sites in all between the 13 campgrounds the park maintains. Prices range between $10 to $23 per night with an additional $25 for week-long parking during the summer months. Since many grounds operate on a first come, first served basis, you can check the status on this <a href="http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/cgstatus/cgstatus.cfm">handy map</a> for updates.</p> <h2>6. Grand Teton National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/grand_teton_000008257344.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Majorly impressive alpine terrain is one of the highlights of <a href="http://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm">Grand Teton National Park</a> in Wyoming. You can float the great Snake River, drive the scenic 42-mile park loop, hike the Jenny Lake Trail, and more. Park your car for $30 or walk your way in for just $15. Camping at one of the six campgrounds is $22 per site (some have a utility surcharge). No reservations are accepted. Maximum stay at the Jenny Lake grounds is seven nights per year.</p> <h2>7. Grand Canyon National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/grand_canyon_000020683915.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Of course, Arizona's <a href="http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm">Grand Canyon National Park</a> has to make this ultimate list for its expansive views and stunning geology. Talk about huge: The canyon itself is a mile deep, 277 river miles long, and 18 miles at its widest. Not only is this park a true national treasure, but it's also considered one of the natural wonders of the world. Admission is $30 per vehicle. With camping, you need to act fast. There are three campgrounds total, and only two take reservations. Prices range between $18 to $25 per night with a variety of options.</p> <h2>8. Big Bend National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/big_bend_000009263517.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>For mountains, desert, and all sorts of critters, visit <a href="http://www.nps.gov/bibe/index.htm">Big Bend National Park</a> in Texas. There are over 150 miles of trails that snake through desert oases, canyons, rivers, and more. Three frontcountry campgrounds offer 184 sites total for $14 a night. Vehicles cost $25 for the week and plain entry is $12 per person.</p> <h2>9. Badlands National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/badlands_000035101096.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>South Dakota's <a href="http://www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm">Badlands National Park</a> has some impressive fossil beds among its rocky skyline. The Notch Trail is challenging but definitely worth the effort for the view at the end. And everyone in your family can see the sights by driving the Loop Scenic Byway. Entry costs $15 for the week via car or $7 if you hike or bike. There are two campgrounds that cost $18 per night for a basic tent site.</p> <h2>10. Shenandoah National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/shenandoah_000019176722.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Would you believe the <a href="http://www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm">Shenandoah National Park</a> is a mere 75 miles outside Washington, D.C.? Believe it. Getting your vehicle into the park will cost $20 for the week. Camping at one of the park's four campgrounds is a modest $15 to $17 per night. That's not a lot to enjoy a good chunk of the Appalachian Trail, Bearfence Mountain, and the Old Rag Mountain Hike.</p> <p>For information on all parks, visit the <a href="http://www.nps.gov/index.htm">National Park Service</a>.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite National Park?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fcamping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FCamping%20for%20a%20Week%20Is%20Only%20%24160%20at%20These%20National%20Parks.jpg&amp;description=Camping%20for%20a%20Week%20Is%20Only%20%24160%20at%20These%20National%20Parks" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Camping%20for%20a%20Week%20Is%20Only%20%24160%20at%20These%20National%20Parks.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" />&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime">6 Outdoor Adventures That Don&#039;t Cost a Dime</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel camping hiking national parks nature outdoors Tue, 30 Jun 2015 11:01:55 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1468136 at http://www.wisebread.com A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/camping_trip_000057103560.jpg" alt="Family using camping hacks for their adventures" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Headed camping this summer? It's a great way to travel &mdash; and certainly <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-summer">lighter on the wallet</a>. At the same time, camping is a lot more work than staying at a hotel. That doesn't need to be a deal breaker, though. Before you pack, check through this list of amazing camping hacks that have your health, safety, and comfort in mind.</p> <h2>1. Smart System</h2> <p>Organize your packing with this family's <a href="http://www.yourownhomestore.com/family-camping-list/">three-tub system</a> and last-minute checklist. One plastic tub is for kitchen stuff, the next holds the stuff that will go inside the tent, and the last will carry all the miscellaneous camping supplies. Your last-minute checklist will vary depending on your family, time of year, and where you're going.</p> <h2>2. Kid Tub</h2> <p>Keeping your little ones clean can be tricky in the wild. If you pack some of your stuff in those big plastic containers, you can <a href="http://www.livingonalatte.com/2011/06/camping-with-little-kids.html">use one as a tub</a> for bath time. The author has a solar shower that gives her family warm water. Placing the tub in a sunny spot for an hour or so should have a similar effect.</p> <h2>3. Clothes Organization</h2> <p>Don't grab your clothes out of disorganized duffle bags or &mdash; worse &mdash; the floor. Instead, bring one of those <a href="http://mamamomtourage.com/2014/08/05/go-see-do-yosemite-2/">collapsible hanging sorters</a> to corral bathing suits, sweaters, shorts, and other gear. This tip works best if your tent is tall. If not, try a smaller organizer like this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A64AUU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000A64AUU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EM3L7OAW2CU7SPYV">three-shelf canvas sorter</a>.</p> <h2>4. Clear Storage</h2> <p>For the rest of your stuff, keep the dirt and bugs out with clothing and <a href="http://blueeyedblessings.blogspot.com/2009/08/get-organizedcamping-style.html">bedding storage bags</a>. You know, the kind that come with new sheets, comforters, curtains, etc. Some close with zippers and others with snaps. Either way, they're free storage that's perfect for camping.</p> <h2>5. Tent Cover</h2> <p>Planning to stay somewhere rainy? This camper shares an awesome trick from his adventures in the Pacific Northwest. <a href="http://www.extrahyperactive.com/2014/05/tips-on-camping-in-pacific-northwest.html">Cover your tent</a> with a canopy for extra protection from the elements. This layer will also help if it's particularly windy.</p> <h2>6. Solar Lights</h2> <p>Illuminate your space with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L0IQEMY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00L0IQEMY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YLRKA3RFES2CQKSR">solar lights</a> that don't require any batteries. You'll just need to make sure they get plenty of sun during the day for optimal power. If you're stuck on how to use them, try mounting on an inverted terra cotta pot as a centerpiece.</p> <h2>7. Jug Light</h2> <p>Or use a headlamp <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/listorama/2415268242/in/faves-31716342@N00/">attached to a water jug</a> as a reading lamp. The camper who shared this tip says it's &quot;easy on the eyes&quot; compared to candles and plain flashlights. Just make sure the jug is full of water and you're good to go.</p> <h2>8. Bug Off</h2> <p>Skip the expensive chemical bug repellents and <a href="http://mintjulepsnmuddin.blogspot.com/2013/08/safer-mosquito-repellant.html?m=1">use Listerine</a> instead. Pour the mouthwash into a spray bottle and spritz for protection. You'll need to reapply just like you would with other repellents. And skip the whitening varieties &mdash; they could bleach clothing.</p> <h2>9. Washing Station</h2> <p>Rig a large water container into a <a href="http://doitandhow.com/2013/04/23/hand-washing-station/">handwashing station</a> with a few bungee cords and add-ons. You'll tether a paper towel holder onto the top and place another bucket to catch falling water below. Don't forget to bring soap!</p> <h2>10. Bag Corral</h2> <p>All those plastic grocery bags can come in handy when you're out in nature. Use them to collect dirty clothes, carry garbage, or hold whatever else you might need. Stuff bags in an empty <a href="http://www.theteacherswife.com/2013/09/diy-reusing-baby-wipes-containers-to.html">baby wipes container</a> for easy, clutter-free access. That's all there is to it.</p> <h2>11. Fire Starter</h2> <p>Here's a must if you're planning any campfire this season: <a href="http://overthebigmoon.com/light-a-fire/">DIY fire starters</a>. Stuff your laundry lint into used toilet paper tubes. Then wrap them in newspaper for clean storage. Light up under the rest of your wood to get your fire roaring.</p> <h2>12. Emergency Inflate</h2> <p>If you brought an air mattress but forgot the pump, don't worry. You can actually inflate your bed <a href="http://lifehacker.com/use-a-trash-bag-to-inflate-a-mattress-when-you-don-t-ha-1625193428">using a garbage bag</a>. Lay your mattress out flat and open its valve. Then wave the garbage bag to fill it with air and secure its opening over the valve. Press the air into the mattress (using your body), repeating as many times as necessary.</p> <h2>13. Key Saver</h2> <p>Many of us camp at lakes or river locations. Keep your keys safe with these <a href="http://www.greenmoxie.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/corks.jpg">cork keychains</a>. Screw an eye bolt into the top of the cork. Attach your keys. Then enjoy the water without worry.</p> <h2>14. Toilet Roll</h2> <p>We've all got to go at one point or another. I'd rather not use leaves to, well, you know. Try making this <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Toilet-Roll-Dispenser/">toilet roll dispenser</a> that will keep your paper clean and tidy. Take an empty soda bottle, cut out the middle, then core your toilet paper, pull the sheets up the spout, and put the bottle back together.</p> <h2>15. Air Conditioner</h2> <p>Those of you who are really crafty might want to make this <a href="https://robotfun.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/swampcooler/">evaporative cooler</a>. Or, in other words, a crude AC system. It comes together for around $40 and a lot of effort, but it's worth every bit. Pick up a five-gallon bucket at your local hardware store, a water pump, cooler pad, elbow duct, a 12-volt battery, and some wire and connectors. After you assemble, pour water into the bucket and enjoy the cool breeze.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite camping hack?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fa-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FA%20DIY%20Air%20Conditioner%20and%2014%20Other%20Cool%20Camping%20Hacks.jpg&amp;description=A%20DIY%20Air%20Conditioner%20and%2014%20Other%20Cool%20Camping%20Hacks" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/A%20DIY%20Air%20Conditioner%20and%2014%20Other%20Cool%20Camping%20Hacks.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-camping-cooking">10 Tips for Camping Cooking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Travel camping DIY nature outdoors Fri, 26 Jun 2015 09:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1464649 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_outdoors_000021612624.jpg" alt="man loves outdoors and on his bike in the city" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Reconnecting with nature is one of the best things we can do to improve our mental and physical health. In fact, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that our physical environment has a direct <a href="http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/environment/nature-and-us/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing">impact on stress levels</a>.</p> <p>Here are eight cities that make it easy and affordable for their residents and visitors to access nature.</p> <h2>1. Portland, Oregon</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/portland_000030723434.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>In Portland, Oregon you can pick your weather. It's a short drive to skiing in the winter, or surfing in the summer. If you have a penchant for camping, hiking, and exploring on your own two feet, Portland makes it easy to do that all year long with its temperate climate and abundant natural beauty. Portland's residents are some of the most passionate environmentalists in the country, and the city has been named one of the most bike-friendly places in the word.</p> <h2>2. Burlington, Vermont</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/burlington_000041492728.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The summer I spent in Burlington, Vermont was one of the best summers of my life. I could bike or walk everywhere. The city itself is covered in trees and green space, and it's surrounded by deep woods complete with lakes, streams, and mountains. The integration of the city into its natural environment lends an easy-going, friendly atmosphere to its residents and visitors alike.</p> <h2>3. Fort Collins, Colorado</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/fort_collins_000018270979.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Rocky Mountains are icons of the natural beauty that's so abundant in the American West. Nestled into the foothills of Rocky Mountain National Park, Fort Collins is a city that provides a perfect blend of urban culture and nature. Whether your vehicle of choice is a bike, kayak, or your running shoes, Fort Collins offers plenty of ways to get around and enjoy the scenery. It's no wonder that it's consistently a receiver of <a href="http://www.fcgov.com/fcfacts.php?ID=6">best city awards</a> lists in multiple publications.</p> <h2>4. Charlottesville, Virginia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/charlottesville_000016738009.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I would think I'm a bit biased toward C'ville because I went to Darden Business School at UVA. However, publications were <a href="http://www.charlottesville.org/index.aspx?page=158">raving about Charlottesville</a> long before I was there, and have continued to do so in the eight years since I graduated. With the Blue Ridge Mountains at your doorstep, you can't help but have an amazing time outdoors in this charming quintessential college town.</p> <h2>5. Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/minneapolis_000057139250.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>With the twin cities, you get two for the price of one. While cold in the winter, Minneapolis and St. Paul are phenomenal choices for bike lovers in the spring, summer, and fall because of their extensive park systems. You can enjoy boat access to both the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers. Hiking is also a common and much-enjoyed pastime for residents and tourists.</p> <h2>6. Buffalo, New York</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/buffalo_000015689720.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Buffalo is booming. Recent revitalization efforts have transformed downtown and brought a much-increased sense of culture to this former industrial town. A stone's throw from Niagara Falls and Toronto, another scenic nature-loving city, Buffalo is perfectly situated for people who want to combine urban convenience with plenty of time spent close to nature. New York State's wine country is also an easy drive from Buffalo.</p> <h2>7. Nashville, Tennessee</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/nashville_000022666432.jpg" width="605" height="341" alt="" /></p> <p>In case you haven't heard, the travel world is buzzing about Nashville. Long known as the seat of country music, this vibrant city is also a nature lover's dream. Situated on the banks of the Cumberland River (a tributary of the Ohio River), Nashville's mild winters along with long spring and fall seasons make it easy to enjoy the outdoors for most of the year. Two new riverfront parks are under construction on the east and west banks of the city, and will include an outdoor amphitheater for those who want to combine their passions for the arts and the outdoors.</p> <h2>8. Charleston, South Carolina</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/charleston_000020519230.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This fall I took my first trip to Charleston and I fell in love with it. Its scenic river views, rich history, and southern charm gracefully build a bridge (literally) between nature and the built environments. People in Charleston also take the time to enjoy the view, and when you're around them, you do, too. They know how good they have it, and after one visit you'll be planning a return trip.</p> <p>If you've been longing to get back to nature in an affordable way, these eight cities are well worth a visit. Who knows? You might just find a new hometown to call your own.</p> <p><em>What city brings you closest to nature? Tell us where to go in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Best%20Cities%20for%20Frugal%20Lovers%20of%20the%20Outdoors.jpg&amp;description=8%20Best%20Cities%20for%20Frugal%20Lovers%20of%20the%20Outdoors" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Best%20Cities%20for%20Frugal%20Lovers%20of%20the%20Outdoors.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel biking camping cheap vacations cities nature outdoors Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:00:07 +0000 Christa Avampato 1357946 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Outdoor Adventures That Don't Cost a Dime http://www.wisebread.com/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-woman-outdoor-hiking-climbing-Dollarphotoclub_37077216.jpg" alt="woman climbing hiking" title="woman climbing hiking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Believe it or not, winter will end soon, and spring will bring perfect weather for experiencing the great outdoors. Fortunately, many of the greatest outdoor adventures can be had for free. Here are six of our favorites. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun?ref=seealso">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a>)</p> <h2>1. Foraging</h2> <p>Next time you are looking for a new outdoor activity, follow your stomach. Not only is foraging free, you'll return home with free food, too!</p> <p>Before setting out, it's important to do some&nbsp;<a href="http://www.foragingguide.com/">foraging research.</a> You don't want to end up eating something gross, or worse, poisonous. Get informed and start out by going in search of a couple of specific items that grow in your area. With a little practice, you can find a variety of herbs, edible flowers, and even delicious mushrooms. Connect with other local foragers to get tips and learn where to look. You can even practice foraging if you <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/04/23/178603623/want-to-forage-in-your-city-theres-a-map-for-that">live in a city</a>!&nbsp;</p> <h2>2. Hiking</h2> <p>For the ultimate in outdoor exercise and adventure, go on a hike. Hikes come in all shapes and sizes, from short, leisurely affairs on well-maintained trails, to intense up-and-down treks that are off the beaten path. Some lead to waterfalls or canyons, while others traverse hilltop neighborhoods.</p> <p>Start by researching hikes people are doing in your area. Decide what intensity you're up for, pack necessary supplies like water, and consider going with a friend or two. Many cities and colleges have hiking groups that meet up regularly to try different routes, and some parks even offer <a href="http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ranger-led-activities.htm">free guided hikes</a>. If you're an experienced hiker, try something different, like a full moon hike.</p> <h2>3. Bird Watching</h2> <p>It's easy to overlook the amazing variety of birds in our surroundings, but there's a good reason that bird watchers are so passionate about their hobby. Study up on local species online or at the library, and take a walk through the wilderness or a park to experience the startling diversity of this fauna first-hand. Start with a few common species, making it your goal to spot them while on your first expedition. There are <a href="http://www.audubon.org/audubon-near-you">Audubon centers</a> in most cities and in some parks, frequently offering free resources like talks, guided nature walks, and binocular rentals.</p> <h2>4. Outdoor Sports</h2> <p>Chances are you've already got the items needed for a fun outdoor game. Take your bike out for a spin on a new route. Grab some friends, scraps of cloth (cut from old t-shirts or a sheet), and play a game of capture the flag. Cut the cloth smaller, and find yourself a football for a game of flag football. Use a round ball to play kickball, or gather various smaller balls to play bocce. Ask your friends what items they have available and pool your resources to play any number of games. It's a great way to spend a sunny day in the park or someone's backyard.</p> <h2>5. Star Gazing</h2> <p>How often do you stop and really look up at the night sky? It can be a beautiful and humbling experience, and is further enriched by a bit of knowledge. Find a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html">star chart</a> for your location and the appropriate month, perch yourself on a good vantage point, and see what stars you can identify. There are a few night sky apps with free versions that help you identify stars by pointing your smartphone at the sky. If you are astronomically inclined, check out your local observatory. They frequently have free programs and many host regular star watching groups where you can peer through a telescope zoomed in on current points of interest.</p> <h2>6. Geocaching</h2> <p>If you own a smartphone or GPS and feel like having a bit of an adventure on your own, try geocaching. This is basically a <a href="https://www.geocaching.com">tech-savvy scavenger hunt</a>, featuring items hidden all over, especially in major cities. Just open up the app and see if there are geocaches near you. Use your GPS to navigate and get ready to hunt for your chosen geocache. Once you've found a geocache, explore what's hidden inside, sign your name in the log, and share your experience online. The app is free, and more advanced geocaches are available with a paid upgrade.</p> <p><em>What free outdoors adventures do you enjoy?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-adventurous-things-you-should-do-before-you-die">15 Adventurous Things You Should Do Before You Die</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-143-fun-and-frugal-ways-to-spend-your-weekend">Flashback Friday: 143 Fun and Frugal Ways to Spend Your Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Green Living adventures camping cheap thrills hiking outdoors Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:00:09 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1316475 at http://www.wisebread.com Castles, Ranches, and Other Weird, Affordable Hotel Alternatives http://www.wisebread.com/castles-ranches-and-other-weird-affordable-hotel-alternatives <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/castles-ranches-and-other-weird-affordable-hotel-alternatives" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/castle-hotel-178953235-small.jpg" alt="castle hotel" title="castle hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you hear the phrase &quot;travel accommodation,&quot; do you automatically think of hotels? They're the safe, default option for many travelers. But forgoing hotels doesn't have to mean giving up cleanliness and basic amenities. And alternative travel accommodation is not just about hostels and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals">vacation rentals</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>If you're ready for something truly different, try the following lodging options on your next trip.</p> <h2>Castles</h2> <p>If you're visiting Europe, why not get the full experience by sleeping in a castle? Castles have opened their doors to curious travelers who want to live like royalty and nobility used to. On some castle grounds, guests can even spend their days horseback riding, practicing their swordplay skills, and watching knights joust. The interiors of these castles are often furnished with appropriately antique-looking items. But despite the old-timey vibes, the facilities have been updated with modern fittings.</p> <p>Staying at a castle is a fun way to incorporate history into your trip, especially if you travel with kids. It's also a great story to tell when you get home. You can often find these castles listed on regular hotel booking sites, but they aren't grouped separately from regular hotels.</p> <p>For a list of these castles, visit <a href="http://www.castleandpalacehotels.com/">CastleandPalaceHotels.com</a>.</p> <h2>Religious Guesthouses</h2> <p>If castles show you how the elites used to live, monasteries and convents offer a completely different type of experience, although you may still get the feeling that you've gone back in time. You don't have to be religious to stay in these guesthouses; you're usually welcome to stay as long as you respect their rules. Many of the guests may be pilgrims who take part in the masses and communal meals, but attendance is not required.</p> <p>The facilities at convents and monasteries are basic &mdash; you may not even get a TV &mdash; so ask questions and make sure you know what you're booking. Remember that these are religious buildings first and foremost. You may find crucifixes in the rooms, bedding configuration options are often limited, and there may be curfews.</p> <p>These guesthouses are not run for profit, so they're a great option for budget travelers. However, on the flip side, they are not listed on booking websites, so you'll have to do some sleuthing. If the place you'll be visiting is a common pilgrimage site, contact the local tourism office to find out if there's any religious guesthouse where you can stay.</p> <h2>Farms and Ranches</h2> <p>If you're one of the urbanites who sometimes fantasize about living on a farm, this is your chance to get a taste of it. However, your experience can vary wildly, depending on the particular farm.</p> <p>At the most basic end of the spectrum, there are farms where you can work in exchange for free lodging. If you have no money but want to see the world, these farms can dramatically cut your travel costs. You can find them through the <a href="http://www.wwoof.net">World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms</a> (WWOOF). Other such arrangements are also listed on <a href="http://www.workaway.info">WorkAway</a> and <a href="https://www.helpx.net">HelpX</a>, although you'll also find non-farm work exchange opportunities on these more general sites. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel?ref=seealso">Volunteer to Travel: 11 Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</a>)</p> <p>If you'd rather pay for the farm stay and relax, you have many options, including bed and breakfast inns, dude ranches, and cottages. These farms are usually independent, family-run establishments that you can find through the local tourism offices.</p> <h2>College Dorms</h2> <p>University dorms usually remain empty when there are no classes on campus, but there are some colleges that rent out these rooms to travelers. You can usually rent a dorm room for as long as three months &mdash; the length of a normal summer break.</p> <p>Living on campus can be an enjoyable experience. Many universities have libraries, museums, and gardens that you can visit. While usually spartan, a college dorm has all the basic amenities and is usually surrounded by shops and restaurants. The rooms vary widely depending on the particular building. There are all kinds of bedding configurations, some rooms have ensuite bathrooms, and some dorms even provide breakfast.</p> <p>Not all cities have college dorms where you can rent a room, so do your research before the trip. You can find and book these rooms on <a href="http://www.universityrooms.com/">UniversityRooms.com</a>.</p> <h2>Backyards</h2> <p>Camping on someone's yard can be a great budget option if you like being in the great outdoors. You can often do it for free.</p> <p>For example, a man I met on a Greyhound bus told me that he was on his way to a family reunion and that his brother was attempting to reach the same destination by bike. His brother would cycle during the day and camp in people's backyards during the night. &quot;You'd be surprised how kind strangers can be if you'd only ask,&quot; he said.</p> <p>Granted, it takes a particularly adventurous traveler to attempt that kind of journey. If you're interested in the idea but want to connect with the homeowners beforehand, you can find them online through <a href="http://campinmygarden.com">campinmygarden.com</a>. Some of these homeowners will let you stay for free, but most will require you to pay a small fee. You'll most likely have access to basic amenities like bathroom facilities and electricity. Some homeowners may even provide you with camping equipment and breakfast.</p> <p><em>What's the most adventurous place you've stayed while traveling? Please share in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fcastles-ranches-and-other-weird-affordable-hotel-alternatives&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FCastles%2C%20Ranches%2C%20and%20Other%20Weird%2C%20Affordable%20Hotel%20Alternatives.jpg&amp;description=Castles%2C%20Ranches%2C%20and%20Other%20Weird%2C%20Affordable%20Hotel%20Alternatives" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Castles%2C%20Ranches%2C%20and%20Other%20Weird%2C%20Affordable%20Hotel%20Alternatives.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/castles-ranches-and-other-weird-affordable-hotel-alternatives">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever">14 Things You Can Do Now to Prep for Your Best Summer Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations camping castles farms Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:36:15 +0000 Deia B 1157259 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Old-School Things That Make Summer SUMMER! http://www.wisebread.com/10-old-school-things-that-make-summer-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-old-school-things-that-make-summer-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fun-1098666-small.jpg" alt="swing" title="swing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The summer fashion trends seem to be leaning toward the '90s (ugh, clogs), which means I'm constantly reminiscing about my summers growing up. It's nice to remember not having to worry about money or my future. In fact, the only thing I worried about was that dreaded day when school started again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun" target="_blank">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a>)</p> <p>Summer when I was young was easy, carefree, and most importantly, FUN. Below are some of the frugal, old-school things I miss about summer, which I hope to enjoy again in these next few remaining months before fall arrives again.</p> <h2>1. Sprinklers</h2> <p>Considering the temperature and the (most likely) dying grass outside, there are probably lots of sprinklers in your neighborhood. And outside businesses. And in parks. Head outside and get wet. Or maybe you can find out from your local government <a href="http://brokelyn.com/how-to-legally-open-a-fire-hydrant/" target="_blank">how to open up fire hydrant</a> for some relief. Bathing suit not required, but don't prance around in your birthday suit like your parents might have let you do when you were five. That's a little thing called &quot;illegal.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Swing Sets</h2> <p>Um, hello! Playgrounds are the best thing ever (SLIDES!), but swing sets really take the cake. Competing with your best friend to see who can go the highest? Trying to swing AROUND the pole? Jumping off and doing a somersault? These are the things that I miss most. I still love swinging, and it actually is a great workout for your legs (sorry to bring it back to adulthood worries).</p> <h2>3. Popsicles</h2> <p>When it's blazing outside and your water has already turned too hot to drink, a cool, refreshing popsicle is just the ticket. And luckily, popsicles have become popular among the &quot;hip&quot; crowd, so you can generally find them at festivals, food truck circles, and markets for cheap, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-your-own-ice-cream-and-other-frozen-treats" target="_blank">just make them yourself</a>.</p> <h2>4. Jump Rope</h2> <p>Jumping rope (jump roping?) really is the best workout ever (again, I apologize for reminding you that you're still an adult). Also, it is super fun to attempt to do the same tricks you did when you were only half your current size. Definitely buy a cloth jump rope for this one, and make sure it's your size!</p> <h2>5. Bikes</h2> <p>Boom, easy. Bikes are good for the environment, they're cheap (as long as they don't get stolen), and they'll give you amazing calf muscles. I unfortunately am unable to ride a bike (I had to ride with training wheels until the 3rd grade, and although I miraculously managed to forgo them eventually, I have since then lost my balance again), but I applaud and support those who can, specifically by minding the road. <a href="http://www.bikesbelong.org/resources/stats-and-research/research/bike-sharing-in-the-united-states/" target="_blank">Most cities have developed a bike share program too</a>, so riding a bike has never been easier.</p> <h2>6. Hula Hoops</h2> <p>I've always had a hula hoop, but I was never able to do it correctly. When I lived in New York, I took a &quot;lesson&quot; from a guy in Central Park. (Track him down! He's cheap and taught me well!) From then on, I was hooked. I currently have a hula hoop in the backseat of my car that makes everyone ask me if I'm a hippie and go to shows that involve glow sticks. No, I don't, but I do like going to the park and pretending I'm a kid again.</p> <h2>7. Backyard Camping</h2> <p>When we were little, my parents let my brother and me camp in the backyard because we both desperately wanted to go out into the wilderness, but we were too young. Camping in the backyard might be the best thing in the world, because you feel invincible away from your parents while simultaneously being able to use an indoor toilet. It's funny to me now that they let us do it, simply because we lived in the country and there were coyotes that roamed around in our yard, but I'm so glad they let us because it prepared me for many camping trips in the future. (That isn't true; I don't camp.)</p> <h2>8. Summer Camp Revisited</h2> <p>Speaking of camping, how about CAMP? Don't you miss camp?! Counselors waking you up at the crack of dawn, jumping into a lake from a tire, arts and crafts all day...those were the good ole days. And although it'd be near impossible to do a camp for grownups, shirking all responsibility, it's possible to get close. Rent a cabin with friends, think of some fun crafts, and relive your childhood.</p> <h2>9. Backyard Games</h2> <p>Instead of just having <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-to-eat-hot-dogs" target="_blank">a grill out or backyard party</a>, why not involve some old school games? Red rover, badminton, kickball, and Frisbee can all be easily played and still be fun (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-great-beer-apps-to-kick-start-your-summer" target="_blank">especially if drinking is involved</a>). Plus it's a fun and cheap way to hang with friends. If you don't have a backyard, head to the park. Maybe you can find some swings, too!</p> <h2>10. Boomboxes</h2> <p>What happened to the '80s, where you could carry around your music on your shoulder and loudly display your right to party? I say, revive it. I'm not one to listen to other people's music on public transportation, but at the beach? Sure. Why not? While you might not still don roller skates and a high-waisted bikini, you can still play your tunes loudly and proudly.</p> <p><em>What are some old school summer-time things you miss?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-old-school-things-that-make-summer-summer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-fourth-of-july-party-ideas">Frugal Fourth of July Party Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-warm-weather-weekdays">15 Ways to Make the Most Out of Warm-Weather Weekdays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-free-ways-to-spend-your-summer">15 Free Ways to Spend Your Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle camping cheap fun exercise outdoor fun summer Thu, 27 Jun 2013 10:36:32 +0000 Jennifer Holder 980153 at http://www.wisebread.com Turkey Dinner for Two http://www.wisebread.com/turkey-dinner-for-two <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turkey-dinner-for-two" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_picnic.jpg" alt="Turkey Dinner for Two" title="Turkey Dinner for Two" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many years my husband and I&nbsp;have lived in a fairly large city far from any relatives. Over the past few years, when the holidays rolled around, we've bounced back and forth between each others parents' homes spending time with our families. However, recently we've grown tired of always having to travel some place else for the holidays, so we've come to create our own traditions that often include only the two of us.</p> <p>The Thanksgiving holiday often poses a challenge in deciding how to handle the traditional feast we've grown accustomed to. We've had to think creatively to continue to satisfy the pumpkin pie urges and marshmallow-glazed sweet potatoes on a smaller scale.</p> <h2>The Deli</h2> <p>My husband is a wonderful cook. But I can barely boil water, so cooking for two all on our own for as large a spread as Thanksgiving demands is usually out. One alternative we've found that works for us is purchasing pre-cooked turkey or ham from the deli at our grocery store, then preparing the side dishes at home.</p> <p>Living in a large city gives us plenty of deli options to choose from. Not only does our local grocery store have a large selection of pre-cooked meats, but the Honey Baked delis are also a great option for ham and turkey as well. The price per pound is slightly higher, but since it is just the two of us, it makes more sense to purchase a reasonable amount of meat than a huge turkey that may never get eaten.</p> <h2>Dinner at the Beach</h2> <p>Many people feel Thanksgiving dinner is one to be spent with family at home, and not in an impersonal setting such as a restaurant. However, over the years we've hunted down a few quaint restaurants with superb atmospheres that make up for the missing home-sweet-home atmosphere. One such place happens to be a restaurant on the beach that we've come to enjoy. The prices are reasonable for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, and the walk on the beach after dinner makes for an amazing sunset ending to a thankful holiday. We even took our parents to this restaurant for Thanksgiving a few years ago, and they were delighted by the view, not to mention relieved they didn't have to cook.</p> <p>Of course not everyone has the luxury of living near the coast, but there may be a restaurant that offers Thanksgiving dinner specials in a beautiful setting near you.</p> <h2>A Weekend Getaway</h2> <p>For many, Thanksgiving is the start of a long weekend. Instead of spending it at home or traveling by plane through over-crowded airports, I've used this time for camping and exploring towns a few hours from my own hometown. Not only are campgrounds and state parks not very crowded, leaving on Thanksgiving Day often means less traffic on the roads. Preparing roasted turkey can still be done on a small camp stove and pumpkin pie can be purchased per slice from a deli for portability. Enjoying the holiday weekend outdoors before the weather turns colder is an excellent alternative to a traditional holiday trip.</p> <p>Many people will be traveling to visit family and friends this coming weekend. But if you are one of the few who isn't planning family visits this time around, these are just a few suggestions that may pique your interest.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turkey-dinner-for-two">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kick-ass-alternatives-to-canned-cranberry-sauce">Kick-Ass Alternatives to Canned Cranberry Sauce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youll-waste-money-on-this-thanksgiving">10 Things You&#039;ll Waste Money on This Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-camping-cooking">10 Tips for Camping Cooking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-last-minute-thanksgiving-fixes">Five Last-Minute Thanksgiving Fixes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-and-easy-meals-that-make-even-better-leftovers">10 Cheap and Easy Meals That Make Even Better Leftovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alternative Thanksgiving ideas camping Cooking restaurants Thanksgiving Tue, 23 Nov 2010 13:00:08 +0000 Little House 322573 at http://www.wisebread.com