Whether you’re roasting marshmallows, telling scary stories or just enjoying the company of family and friends, there are few things we love more than spending some quality time around a campfire. It’s important to remember, though, that campfires can become dangerous if you’re not careful. In the spirit of Smokey, today we’ll share a few important campfire safety tips to keep in mind on your next camping trip.
Pick the right place for your campfire.
Campfire safety should really start before you ever strike a match. Prior to building your campfire, look around to make sure there aren’t any low-hanging branches or brush nearby that might ignite from a stray spark. If you’re staying at a campground or state park, you should always use established fire pits whenever possible rather than trying to build one of your own.
Keep water and a shovel handy.
You never know when a strong gust of wind might blow and turn your little campfire into a roaring blaze. With this in mind, you should always keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby in case you need to smother the fire in a hurry. You can even wet the area around your campfire to prevent sparks from catching in the grass.
Avoid leaving the campfire unattended.
From the moment you start a campfire, you should keep an eye on it at all times. If you have to leave your campfire for a few minutes, make sure there’s someone else nearby to tend to it while you’re gone. Before you go to bed, smother the fire with ash and water and spread out any remaining embers to prevent them from reigniting.
If you’ve been missing the warm glow of a campfire this winter, we’d love to have you come visit us at our campground in sunny Florida. Book your reservation today or give us a call at (386) 294-2510 to learn more!
Has your family’s old tent seen better days? If so, you should consider replacing it with a new tent that will get you excited about camping again. Today’s tents are lighter, more durable and easier to set up than ever.
Check out a few tips for finding a tent that’s right for you below!
Look for a tent that’s large enough to meet your needs.
Are you looking for a tent that’s just large enough for you, or will your entire family be sleeping inside the tent with you? Tent manufacturers tend to be pretty conservative in their capacity estimates, so it’s typically best to err on the side of caution and choose a tent that’s slightly larger than what you think you need. This is especially true for tall people.
If it’s just going to be you and one other person in the tent, for example, consider shopping for a three-person tent to make sure you have enough room for you and all your gear.
Consider the materials and construction.
A tent’s construction will affect its waterproofing and its ability to protect you in extreme weather conditions. In general, it’s a good idea to look for a tent that has a combination of double stitching and folded seems. A tent with these two features will be far less prone to tearing and leaking during rainstorms.
You should also pay close attention to the seasons that the tent is rated for. Three-season tents—which are designed for use in the spring, summer and fall—are probably the most popular and cost-effective option for most campers. Four-season tents are ideal for camping in cold climates, but they are heavier and more expensive than what most weekend campers need, especially here in Florida.
Make sure the zippers are built to last.
During a camping trip, you’ll probably be moving in and out of your tent quite a bit. With this in mind, you should look for a tent that has rugged, heavy-duty zippers that won’t break after just a few camping trips. There’s nothing worse than trying to fix a broken tent zipper in the middle of a camping trip.
Ready to put your new tent to good use? We’d love to have you join us here on the beautiful Suwannee River! Just give us a call or contact us online to reserve your campsite today!
Although it might be tempting to spend the cold months of winter hibernating at home, an RV trip can offer a great way to beat the winter blues and refresh yourself with time in the great outdoors. Most modern RVs are well equipped to handle cold temperatures, but it’s still a good idea to take some extra precautions before you embark on a winter camping trip. Check out a few of our favorite tips for traveling in an RV this winter below!
Check Seals Around Windows and Doors
Before you leave, inspect all the windows, doors, storage compartments and access panels on your RV to make sure they are properly sealed with weather stripping and caulk. An RV can be a cozy shelter during winter camping trips, but only if it’s properly protected against the elements. The last thing you want is to spend your whole trip searching for the source of a draft that could have been sealed before you left.
Pack Emergency Supplies
In addition to packing your usual emergency supplies like a first aid kit and weather radio, it’s a good idea to bring some additional cold-weather accessories as well. These include extra blankets and warm clothes, sleeping bags rated for sub-freezing temperatures and tire chains for your RV in case you get surprised by a snowstorm.
Choose Your Destination Wisely
Taking a winter camping trip doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend the whole time traveling through a frozen tundra. There are plenty of destinations in warmer climates you can get away to instead! At Suwannee River Rendezvous, our campground and RV resort in Mayo, Florida is open all year round.
To reserve a spot for your next winter camping trip, feel free to give us a call or contact us online today!
Getting ready to pack up the car for your next camping trip? If you haven’t been on a camping trip in a while, you may be concerned about the logistics of cooking meals at a campsite. The good news is, there are a few simple steps you can take to make cooking much easier while camping. Check out a few of our favorite meal prep tips below!
Come up with a full list of meals you’re going to cook while camping.
Regardless of whether you’re going camping for one night or an entire week, it’s a good idea to sit down and make a list of what you’re going to eat for each and every meal. This way, you’ll know exactly what ingredients you’ll need to pack before you head to the grocery store.
Cook what you can ahead of time.
Cooking at a campsite tends to be a little more challenging than cooking at home. Therefore, you should cook whatever you can at home before you leave. The idea of sitting around a campfire cooking chicken might sound appealing, but in reality, it can be a slow and tedious process. Consider cooking things like chicken at home and then reheating them when you’re ready to eat. You can also cut up vegetables, fruits and more at home so that they’ll be ready to cook when you arrive at your campsite.
Try not to rely on your campfire to make every meal.
There may be times when you’re camping that you just don’t feel like cooking. You want to throw something together that’s quick and easy, like a sandwich. Bring along meals that are simple to make for when you don’t feel like getting a fire going. You’ll be glad you did when you’re exhausted after a day full of hiking, fishing and exploring the great outdoors.
At Suwannee River Rendezvous, you can find both primitive tent camping sites and full hook-up sites for RVs. To learn more about any of our campsites, feel free to give us a call or contact us online today!
Practicing good personal hygiene can be challenging when you’re on a camping trip. You want to keep yourself clean and healthy, but it can be tough when you have limited access to water and bathroom supplies Today we’ll look at a few helpful hygiene tips to keep in mind during your next camping adventure.
Pack the right supplies.
You may not be able to pack up your entire bathroom and bring it with you, but you can bring a few essential personal hygiene supplies that will keep you clean in a pinch. Make sure you have hand sanitizer, biodegradable soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, unscented baby wipes and toilet paper before you leave home. Steer clear of bringing deodorant (it could attract animals to your campsite), scented soaps and shampoos, razors and anything else that could harm the ecosystem around your campsite.
Find a way to bathe.
There are several ways you can bathe yourself while camping. You can jump into a lake or river to wash dirt and oil away from your skin (just don’t use soap in the water as it could contaminate it). You can also take what’s called a trail shower by using biodegradable soap, a washcloth and a few liters of water (just don’t take one too close to a natural water source as, again, it could contaminate the water). Or, you can simply give yourself a sponge bath with biodegradable soap, water and a towel. Regardless of which option you pick, it’s important to wash yourself in some form or fashion.
Bring water to launder your clothing.
You won’t be able to do large loads of laundry at your campsite, but you can wash things like underwear and other clothing staples with a little water and biodegradable soap. This will keep you smelling fresh and minimize the amount of extra clothing you need to bring on your trip.
If tent camping isn’t your speed, you can find a variety of comfortable lodging options at our resort and campground as well! These accommodations come equipped with all the comforts of home like HVAC systems, WiFi access, cable TV and more. To schedule your reservation, feel free to give us a call or contact us online today!
Want to minimize your impact on the local ecosystem during your next camping trip? Camping offers a great way for people to reconnect with the great outdoors, but it can have some unintended consequences on nearby plants and animals if we’re not careful. Check out a few of our favorite environmentally-friendly camping ideas below!
Leave the plastic water bottles at home.
It’s important to stay hydrated when camping, hiking and canoeing, but that doesn’t mean you need to pack cases of disposable water bottles that will wind up in a landfill. Instead, use a water bladder or reusable bottle that won’t create additional waste. This way, we can all do our part to cut down on the 50 billion water bottles that are consumed each year.
Take everything you brought camping home with you.
After spending a few days in the woods, you might be tempted to toss some things in the garbage instead of bringing them home with you. Rather than leaving these items behind, try to make sure you have everything you brought with you when you leave your campsite. Any remaining waste and recyclables should be sorted and disposed of in designated collection centers.
Stay in places that have been designated for camping.
If you’re an experienced outdoor enthusiast, you might enjoy camping off the beaten path in remote areas that don’t have established campsites. Unfortunately, this can disrupt sensitive habitats and leave lasting environmental damage as well. In general, it’s best to stay at designated campgrounds rather than make your own campsite in areas that have been undisturbed by humans.
At Suwannee River Rendezvous, we offer comfortable camping accommodations with environmentally-friendly amenities like recycling containers and water hook-ups. To book your reservation, give us a call or contact us online today!
Camping can be a lot of fun for kids of all ages, but it’s always a good idea to have some crafts and activities on hand to prevent young children from getting bored during a weekend camping trip. Check out a few fun and easy craft ideas to try on your next camping trip below!
Bingo is a classic game that the whole family can enjoy. To make it even more fun, you can play camping bingo and incorporate all the sights and sounds of camping into the mix. This is a great activity to help pass the time during a passing summer thunderstorm.
Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars
Your kids will have the opportunity see all kinds of amazing things when they go camping. You can encourage them to look around and make the most of the experience by equipping them with a pair of homemade binoculars! Make a simple pair by binding two toilet paper rolls together with twine and decorating them with stickers and illustrations. They’ll love looking for birds and other wildlife with their personalized binoculars.
Camping Scavenger Hunts
If you really want to keep your kids occupied, you can send them out on a camping scavenger hunt. Ask them to spot things like flowers, birds, insects and ferns. Chances are, they won’t have to travel far to find all sorts of plants and animals around your campsite.
If you’re trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, you might want to start by taking a camping trip this summer! In addition to being a whole lot of fun, camping can also offer some very real health benefits. Check out a few of our favorites below!
Reduce Stress Levels
According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is something that affects millions of Americans every year. If the demands of everyday life have been taking a toll on your nerves, a camping trip is a great opportunity to unwind and reduce your stress levels in a peaceful, natural setting.
Socialize With Others
If you’ve been feeling lonely lately, camping also offers a great way to reconnect with friends and loved ones. You might even meet new friends with similar interests in the outdoors during a camping trip! Humans are naturally socially creatures, and nurturing these relationships can help to stave off depression and loneliness.
Breathe Fresh Air
Simply breathing some fresh air can be hugely beneficial to your overall health and well-being. Trees produce plenty of clean oxygen, which can promote serotonin production, aid in digestion and boost your immune system.
Learn New Things
Stepping outside of your comfort zone and learning new things can also help keep your mind sharp and healthy. From learning how to read a compass to campfire building and meal preparation, there is always more to learn on a camping trip. Plus, all that extra physical activity can stimulate your mind as well.
Ready to enjoy a refreshing camping experience this summer? We’d love to see you at Suwannee River Rendezvous! Give us a call or contact us online to book your reservation today!
One of the best parts about traveling in an RV is that you can bring all the comforts of home along with you when you hit the road. From basics like cooking utensils and organizers to luxuries like TVs and camping hammocks, you can equip your RV with all sorts of useful accessories. But while most of this gear is optional, there are a few travel accessories you should definitely keep on board during your next adventure. Check them out below!
First Aid Kit
When you’re far from home in unfamiliar territory, it’s always a good idea to keep a first aid kit on hand. This way, you can treat everything from minor cuts and bruises to headaches and sunburns. It’s especially important to have a complete first aid kit if you’re traveling in remote areas where hospitals and urgent care centers might not be easy to find.
In the event that you lose power in your RV, a solar charger can allow you to keep phones and other devices charged so you can contact roadside assistance for help. These chargers have gotten far more affordable in recent years, and they can offer some valuable peace of mind when you’re on the road.
The weather can change quickly when you’re on the road, and a weather radio can help you stay one step ahead of dangerous storms. These radios offer access to a nationwide network of NOAA weather stations that provide regular updates on developing weather patterns throughout the country. You can also find hand-cranked weather radios that operate reliably even if you don’t have access to batteries.
There’s no better way to explore the Suwannee River than by canoe or kayak. Paddling down the river is a uniquely relaxing experience that we look forward to every year. It also offers a great opportunity to get an up-close look at the local wildlife in our area.
But to make sure you have a good time, it’s important to keep a few important safety tips in mind when you’re out on the water.
Don’t Drink and Paddle
Stowing a few beers in your canoe might seem like a nice idea, but trust us: alcohol and boating don’t mix. Inebriation will make it much harder to react quickly if you get into a dangerous situation on the water. In fact, alcohol is the number one contributing factor in recreational boating deaths.
Rather than drinking while you paddle, wait till you get back to shore to enjoy a well-earned beer and a hot meal.
Always Wear Your Personal Flotation Device
Keep your life jacket on at all times, even if you’re a strong swimmer. Not only will it keep you afloat in strong currents, it will also make you more visible to your fellow canoers and kayakers. This way, if your boat tips over, you can get back in sooner rather than later.
Dress for the Weather
Wet clothing can cause you to lose body heat at a rapid pace, making it possible to get hypothermia even in relatively warm weather. In general you should wear light, water-resistant layers, and avoid cotton garments whenever possible.
Bring a Buddy
It’s always best to paddle with at least one other person, especially if you don’t have a lot of boating experience. The more people you travel with, the easier it will be to spot potential hazards and help each other out in the event of an emergency.