Protect Your Skin While Camping

Camping_spot_the_First

Sunscreen

One of the great things about camping is spending more time outdoors and having some fun in the sun. However, too much time spent in the sun can be harmful to your skin, and the Texas sun is no joke. While the wide-open spaces of the Texas sky make for some beautiful sunsets and stargazing, it also means less shade and more blazing sunshine. Nothing ruins a fun trip like horrible sunburn!

Make sure you’ve packed plenty of sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 and that you reapply it throughout the day. Remember, there is technically no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen so be sure to reapply after spending time in the water or extensive sweating, as it can easily wash off. And don’t forget to apply even on cloudy days! To be safe, apply sunscreen any time you will be outdoors.

 

Aloe Vera

Despite lathering on sunscreen throughout the day, some people will just naturally burn more than others. Aloe Vera is a great treatment for bad sunburn, which also provides a cooling effect that can help ease the pain. Look for a spray on aloe Vera for an easier application.

 

Bug Spray

While time outdoors is wonderful, it is also full of bugs and pests such as mosquitos, chiggers, gnats, and ticks. Be sure to apply a generous amount of bug spray AFTER applying your sunscreen, to any exposed skin. You can also wear long sleeves or pants to help protect from bugs, especially on a cooler spring night. It is also a good idea to spray on a little bug spray before bed if you’re sleeping out in a tent.

Camping with Kids

camping with kids

In a world dominated by electronics and technology, many parents are looking for ways to get their children’s eyes off the screens and get some outdoor time. Camping is a great way to keep your kid’s entertained while educating them on nature and history and finding a way to bond with them as well. If you’re getting ready to take your kiddos camping for the first time, it’s sure to be a bit of a shock. So here are a few tips to get your kids ready and exciting for their first trip.

 

Practice camping at home

An easy way to get the little ones ready for outdoor life is by setting up a makeshift campsite in your backyard. Pitch a tent outside and spend a night stargazing, eating smores and focus on staying off the electronics. This will start to get your kids ready for a few days of outdoor living.

 

Remember to pack a first-aid-kit

You know your kids better than anyone and sometime they can be unexpected, especially in a new environment. Children can get excited and trip over an unseen bump in the road, get bitten by unexpected bugs and a number of other things. Be prepared for a few scrapes and bruises by packing a good first aid kit full of band-aids, ointments, bug spray and any medicines you may need. The worst thing is for a small injury to cause a short end to your trip.

 

Bring a few toys from home

Maybe you want the kids completely off of cell phones and tablets, or maybe a little use is okay, either way you want to make sure to bring a few things from home so that they have something to play with during downtime. With such a big change, the kids usually feel more comfortable when they have a few things that remind them of home.

 

Get them involved

One of the best ways to ensure your kid has a good time while camping is to let them be involved. Whether that’s gathering firewood, organizing supplies, or picking the hiking trails, kids will respond best to the outdoors when they feel involved and appreciated.

 

Most importantly, have fun! 

Most importantly, have fun! If you go into a new trip with a positive attitude, chances are your kids will too and it will make for a fun and safer trip for everyone!

How to Build a Campfire

Lagerfeuer

Campfires area a loved pastime for many campers, and for some a requirement for any outdoor experience. While we allow campfires in the designated fire pits, here are a few tips for getting your fire started.

SET IT UP

First, you want to lay some tinder in the middle of your pit. This can be anything from small twigs to leaves. Wood bundles can be purchased at the Ranger Station. You may also bring your own but keep in mind only wood or charcoal is permitted to be used in the park.

BUILD THE FIRE

Once you get your kindling laid down, you have two basic options for building your fire. The teepee option is great for making a bigger fire, while the log cabin method is perfect for warmth. To build the teepee you’ll want to stack several sticks up against each other. It works best if you use several sticks and build more of a pyramid shape and then add some more leaves and sticks to the middle of the teepee.

For the log cabin option, you will want to use large wood pieces. Start by placing two large pieces parallel to each other, with two others stacked on top forming a square. This forms the base of your fire so be sure to fill the inside with plenty of tinder. Continue building up by adding a few more layers of firewood, getting a little bit smaller with each layer. Finish by adding a layer of kindling and tinder across the top. Remember to leave space between logs so the fire can get plenty of oxygen.

LIGHTING THE FIRE

Now you’re ready to light it up. Strike your matches and light the tinder in several different places. Blowing occasionally on the fire will help give it oxygen so that it will spread quicker. As the fire burns overtime, you may need to move some of the bigger pieces to the middle so that they burn thoroughly.

When you’re done with your campfire be sure to put it out. The best way is by pouring water on all areas of the wood and tinder. You may need to stir the ashes around to be completely sure the fire is out. Never leave a campfire burning and unattended!

5 Reasons to Camp in the Spring

5 reasons to camp in the spring

While most people associate camping with summertime, the spring is actually a great time to bust out the sleeping bags and get outdoors after spending months inside cozied up by the fire. Here’s a few reasons why you should pack up the RV early and plan a springtime camping trip.

  1. The Weather Is Great

While the summer is great, that overbearing heat isn’t always so nice. Camping in the hill country during the spring gives the advantage of having warm daytime temperatures, usually in the mid 70’s while getting a nice cool breeze at night, without freezing. While you may need to pack an extra blanket and a warm hoodie, a warm campfire and smores can make it all worth it.

  1. Less Crowds

Because most people think camping should be done in the summer, the parks tend to fill up quickly. Camping earlier in the year gives you the benefit of finding the perfect spot without having to worry about parking or noise from any neighboring campsites. Plus, there’s something extra special about enjoying the night with just you and your loved ones

  1. The Bugs – or Lack Thereof

One thing that summertime has more of is bugs, especially mosquitos. While you may still find the occasional fly or bees in the area, the peskiest pests are still sleeping away and won’t be as big of a bother during the spring.

  1. The Scenery is Beautiful

The Texas Hill country is well knowns for its wildflower fields which predominately bloom in the spring. There’s really nothing else like taking a long drive past miles of bluebonnets, sunflowers and many of the other blossoming flowers that cover the hillsides.

Wildseed Farms Volkswalk

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A little-known fact about Fredericksburg is that the city was the first in the U.S. to create a walking club. The “Volksportverein Friedrichsburg” or “People’s Sport Association of Fredericksburg” was created in 1976 after a local man, Kenn Knopp visited family in Germany. Having been very overweight at the time, Knopp’s family introduced him to the sport of walking which he brought back to Fredericksburg as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle to his neighbors while still holding on to the town’s German roots.

Since its creation, the club holds annual walking events all around the Fredericksburg area, one of which takes place this February the 11th. The Wildseed Farms Volkswalk is a free 5k or 10k walk event that winds through the wildflowers and grape plantings the area is best known for. The event starts at 9 am at the music pavilion where food venues and tasting areas will be set up, and lasts until noon. Come out and take a walk through a little piece of Fredericksburg’s German history.