How to Find the Right Sleeping Pad for Your Next Camping Trip

Sleeping PadA comfortable sleeping pad is one of the best pieces of camping gear you can have in your tent. Not only will your sleeping pad provide much-needed cushioning when you’re sleeping on the ground, it will also help keep you warm when the weather gets chilly. But which type is right for you?

Air Pads

As their name implies, air pads need to be inflated, either with your breath or with a hand pump.

  • Pros: Air pads are great for backpacking trips because they’re very lightweight and comfortable.
  • Cons: The lighter and more compact the air pad, the more expensive it tends to be. They can also deflate somewhat during the night, and are prone to rips and tears.

Self-inflating

Self-inflating sleeping pads combine open-cell foam insulation and air. Some are foldable and designed for backpacking trips, whereas others roll up, and are best for car camping trips.

  • Pros: Self-inflating pads offer excellent insulation and make it easy to adjust the firmness by releasing or adding air. They’re also made of stronger fabric than air pads, which makes them a good choice if you’re traveling with pets or children.
  • Cons: Self-inflating pads are less compact than air pads, and heavier than simple foam pads.

Closed-Cell Foam Pads

These basic backpacking pads are made of dense foam.

  • Pros: You can carry them outside your pack without fear of damage, since they aren’t prone to punctures or damage. They also offer good insulation.
  • Cons: Many campers find foam pads to be the least comfortable type. They also tend to be stiff and bulky.

Ready to enjoy a relaxing camping trip by the shores of the Suwannee River? Give us a call or contact us online to book your next trip today!

How to Fit a New Hiking Backpack

Hiking BackpackYour backpack can make or break a day of hiking. Choose the wrong backpack, and a light load can feel like a ton of bricks. Choose the right one, and you’ll feel like you’re barely carrying anything at all. Here’s how to fit a new hiking backpack:

Pay Attention to Length, not Height

Don’t choose a backpack exclusively based on your height—the length of your torso is a far more important measurement. Use this helpful guide and a friend to properly measure your torso, or visit a local outfitter to get an accurate measurement.

Measure Your Hips

Once you’ve gotten your torso measurement, it’s time to measure your hips. You’ll be carrying most of the load on your hips with a well-fitting backpack, so this is an important measurement to consider. Use a tape measure to determine the circumference of your hips, and check the bag’s hip belt size to ensure it’s a good fit. If not, many manufacturers offer interchangeable hip belt options to accommodate different body types.

Adjust the Straps

Ideally, your shoulder straps should be flush with your shoulders and upper back. If there’s too much space between the bag’s straps and your shoulders, you’ll need to shorten the suspension or try a shorter model. You can also adjust the load straps on the top section of the backpack to keep the weight evenly balanced over your hips.

Ready to load up your new backpack and do some hiking this summer? We’d love to see you on the campgrounds at Suwannee River Rendezvous! Book your campsite online or give us a call today at (386) 294-2510 to learn more!

How to Stay Cool During a Summer Camping Trip

Summer Camping TripDon’t let sweltering temps keep you from camping in July and August. Make the most of the season with these tips to help you stay cool during your next summer camping trip.

Take Your Tent Apart During the Day …

If you’ve ever retired to your tent after a long day in the sun only to find that it feels like an oven, you probably know that your tent acts like a greenhouse during the daylight hours, trapping heat from the sun’s rays. Take it apart when you’re not sleeping to prevent this from happening.

Or Skip the Tent Altogether

Why not switch things up this summer and sleep in a hammock? You’ll stay cooler and enjoy the twinkling stars overhead as you drift off. Just be sure to check the weather to make sure you won’t get caught in the rain overnight.

Use a Pop-Up Sunshade

You can use a sunshade to divert the sun’s rays away from your tent or social area, making it more comfortable to sleep past sunrise and be outdoors during the day.

Wear Light-Colored Clothing

Dark colors absorb solar radiation and make you feel hotter. Light colors, on the other hand, can keep you cool by reflecting the sun’s rays.

Stay Hydrated

The more water you drink, the cooler you’ll feel, while avoiding heat-related maladies like heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

Bring a Portable Fan

Make the heat and humidity more bearable when you BYOB (bring your own breeze). These days, you can even find portable fans that plug right into your phone and use its battery for power!

Now that you know how to stay cool when the mercury rises, it’s time to book your next summer camping trip. If you enjoy swimming, kayaking or canoeing, you’ll love staying at Suwannee River Rendezvous. Give us a call at (386) 294-2510 to book your spot today!

Clever Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away From your Campsite

MosquitoMosquitoes are a fact of life outdoors. They can smell the carbon dioxide in human breath from over 100 feet away, so it’s no wonder they flock to campsites this time of year. However, there’s no need to let these pesky creatures ruin your outdoor fun with itchy bites. Here are a few clever ways to deter mosquitoes during your next camping trip.

Burn sage.

Mosquitoes hate the smell of sage, so if you add some to your campfire they’ll stay away. As an added bonus, ticks dislike it too! The sage smell will linger on your skin and clothing after the fire burns out, giving you extended protection.

Pack dryer sheets.

Even if you’re not planning on doing any laundry, pack some dryer sheets on your next camping trip. Mosquitoes and bees will avoid them, so place them under tablecloths, near food and in your pockets.

Sprinkle some mouthwash.

Mint is another smell that mosquitoes hate. After using some mint-flavored mouthwash, sprinkle it around your campsite to keep them away.

Light a candle.

Not only do citronella candles add ambiance to your campsite; they also keep mosquitoes at bay! Best of all, a single candle can offer hours of protection against mosquitoes.

Rub yourself with citrus peel.

Mosquitoes aren’t very fond of citrus oils, either. After you peel an orange or lemon, rub your skin with the peel to deter mosquitoes. This only works with fresh peel, so do it right away.

Now that you know how to keep your campsite mosquito-free, it’s time to book your next adventure! We’d love to have you come visit us at the Suwannee River Rendezvous campground and RV resort this summer. Just give us a call at (386) 294-2510 or contact us online today to learn more!

Stay Safe on the Trail With These Hiking Tips

Hiking FeetWarm spring weather is upon us, which means it’s time to lace up those hiking boots and hit our favorite trails around the Suwannee River. However, even the most experienced hiker can have mishaps without adequate preparation. Stay safe on the trail this spring and summer with these helpful hiking tips:

Make a gear list.

Before heading out, make a list of all the things you’ll need: water, food, rain gear, a compass and a map. Keep your list handy and check it every time you hike. Always bring more water than you think you’ll need.

Carry a map.

GPS signals can weak in some areas, and cell phones run out of battery. Make sure you have a physical map of the area where you’ll be hiking.

Avoid hiking at night.

It’s easier to lose your way in the dark and you may run the risk of encountering wild animals you’d rather avoid. Set a turnaround time in advance that gives you plenty of time to make it back to your starting point before dusk.

Go with a group.

In case of an emergency, you should always hike with at least one other person. This way, in case one person is injured or fatigued, there will always be someone nearby to help.

Inform someone of your plans.

Let someone at your camp know where you’re hiking, when you plan to be back and provide them with emergency numbers to call if you don’t return when anticipated.

Now that you know how to stay safe on the trail, it’s time to book a place to stay for your next camping trip at Suwannee River Rendezvous! Make your reservation online or give us a call today at (386) 294-2510 to learn more!

Get Your RV Ready for a Trip to Suwannee River Rendezvous

RV CampingSpring has arrived, and you know what that means—the start of RV camping season! And of course there’s no better place for a camping trip than Suwannee River Rendezvous in Mayo, Florida. We’ve got warm weather, a freshwater spring, the nearby Suwannee river for kayaking and canoeing, and over 50 years of experience in the hospitality industry. If all of this sounds good to you, it’s time to get your RV ready for a trip to the Suwannee River! Here’s how:

Give it a good wash.

Just like your home, your RV will need a good spring cleaning. Remove any dust, dirt or grime from your RV using a gentle car soap or RV wax-and-wash soap. Don’t forget the undercarriage! Then, polish all the chrome components of your RV and clean and shine the wheels.

Inspect the exterior.

Do you spot any missing or cracked sealant on the roof or sidewall seams? It’s important to replace any faulty sealant so that no water can seep into your RV during those spring rains.

Examine the tires.

If your tires need replacing, it’s better to do it before you hit the road. Make sure all tires are properly inflated and use the penny test to make sure they have enough tread for a long journey.

Prepare the battery.

Disconnect the battery and clean it with a corrosion-resistant cleaner and lubricant. Keep in mind that, on average, lead-acid car batteries last about four years.

Check your fluids.

This includes brake fluid, antifreeze and transmission, hydraulic and windshield washer fluids. It’s typically a good idea to invest in an oil change before you hit the road as well.

Freshen up the interior.

Finally, air out the RV and give all its interior surfaces a thorough wipe-down.

Now that your RV is ready for the trip, it’s time to book your spot at the Suwannee River Rendezvous. Reserve your campground online or give us a call today at (386) 294-2510 to learn more!

Tips to Make Packing for a Camping Trip a Little Easier

Camping GearGetting ready to hit the road for your next camping trip? Before you leave home, you’ll need to pack up everything you want to bring along with you for the journey. From weather-resistant clothing to food for your fellow campers, you don’t want to leave any necessities behind. Here are a few tips to make the packing process seem a little less daunting.

Roll clothes to save space.

Clothing can take up a surprising amount of space if you don’t pack it efficiently. To make the most of your available space, roll your clothes into tight cylinders so that everything can fit in a single backpack or suitcase.

Map out your menu.

Trying to decide what you’re going to eat during your trip? Put together a menu in advance so that you know exactly which foods you’ll need to bring. This way, you can consolidate all your food in one place and avoid having to pick up odds and ends along the way.

Bring plenty of plastic bags.

Camping can be a messy enterprise, and it’s always nice to have a place to store dirty clothes and other belongings. Plastic grocery bags can be used to safely store a wide variety of items during your camping trip, from muddy shoes to empty snack wrappers. Just be sure to take any plastic bags you bring home with you at the end of your trip.

Remember a first-aid kit.

Finally, it’s important to be prepared for any scrapes, bruises and bug bites you might sustain along the way. A simple first aid kit is an essential camping accessory that won’t take up much room in your vehicle. Keep your camping first aid kit in an easily-accessible place where you can always find it such as a glove box or map pocket.

At Suwannee River Rendezvous, we have all the amenities you need to enjoy a comfortable camping trip in sunny Florida. Give us a call or contact us online to reserve your campsite today!

How to Choose a New Tent That’s Right for You

Family in TentHas 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!

Meal Prep Tips for Your Next Camping Trip

Campfire CookingGetting 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!

Keep it Clean With These Camping Hygiene Tips

Drying OffPracticing 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!