Monthly Archives: April 2014

How To Choose The Best Backpacking Tent?

As backpackers we put a lot of thought into exactly what kind of gear we should choose. The tent is a really peculiar piece of gear for a backpacker, as it is the gear that gives you shelte for the night, so you might use it for half or even the third of the time of your backpacking trip.

First of all, what determines how good a backpacking tent is its weight. You need to find a light tent, as such a product will be easy to carry with you even to alonger trip. The less the tent weights, the more gear you can take with yourself.

It is also important that the tent is a double wall tent. This means that there is an inner wall inside the tent, and there is another layer, a waterpoof rainfly that protects the tent from the outside. Both layers can be made of polyester or silynylon, but the inner wall can also be made of mesh, which would allow the air to circulate better. If the inner wall is made of mesh you can take off the rainfly in dry weather and look out of the tent.

It is very important the the tent is made of durable material. Nobody wants to buy a lousy product that falls apart if you use it, and a tent is not different. I have already wrote that the walls can be made of polyester or silynylon, or the inner wall can be made of mesh. The poles of the best backpacking tents are usually made of fiberglass, which is a lightweight, yet quite durable material. However fiberglass can break if you use it for a long time. The more durable material that they use for manufacturing poles is aluminium. Aluminium is heavier, so it is not ideal for manufacturing poles for backpacking tents.

The stakes are used for securing the tent and putting it into the ground. Most stakes are made of stainless steel, or aluminium. Both are pretty good materials for this use, but some stakes are made of wood or plastic. Neither of the last two materials are durable enough to make stakes out of, and they are not solid enough to put into rocky, solid ground.

If you want the best waterproof backpacking tent you need a product that has a vestibule. It gives you the chance to put your gear in it, and store a few things inside. The tent also needs to have multiple doors. The more doors there are, the more vestibules the tent has, the more space there is in the tent, and the more ways there are for you to enter the tent.

Conclusion

There are many tents out there, but there are a few guidelines for choosing the right backpacking tent. The rrrright one has to be lightweight, durable, it needs to have multiple doors and vestibules, but it also must have two walls. You only need to make sure your choice meets these guidelines and you will have the best backpacking tent you can have.

How To Choose a Child-Friendly Campsite?

Camping can be fun for children, they are excited every time they see something new, and a camping experience outdoors can introduce them to a host of new situations. They meet new people, they see new animals, plants and they get into new places. These experiences give them platforms to learn new things.

Even though camping can be awesome for children, it has its dangers as well. In this article I intend to share a few tips on how to choose a campsite that is safe for children.

First of all, you need to make sure that the site is far enough from the water. Many campsites are built close to rivers or lakes, as these natural waters supply great ways to spend the time with canoeing, fishing or scuba diving. However children might fall into the water and disastrous things might happen. As a general rule you shouldn’t leave your children unattended if the campsite has a lake or a river. It helps a lot if the campsite has a baywatch-like service who makes sure that everybody is safe during their play near the water.

The best campgounds have plenty of space between the tents.
The best campgounds have plenty of space between the tents. Source: Wikipedia

The best campgrounds have large, spacious campsites that have plenty of space between them. This way if you set up your family tent the kids still have plenty of space to run around between them. It is best to use tents that have as few guyout lines as possible so that the children don’t trip up while playing in the campsite.

The best child-friendly campsites also have a few sports courts. These courts can include a soccer pitch, a volleyball court, a badminton court. There can also be table tennis tables, a basketball court, or a swimming pool. There are campgrounds out there that have some kind of common room were the children can play games, dance, while some campgrounds also have a sauna.

No campground can call itself child-friendly without a playground. However no to campgrounds are created equal. There are playgrounds that don’t have toys with sharp edges, or any high places. These ones are the truly safe playgrounds. The best playgrounds also have a few desks around them so that the parents can sit down while observing the play of their children.

Conclusion

There are many different types of campgrounds out there, and there are some that can serve the needs of little children at an extremely high level. If you choose campgrounds that have safe waters, safe playgrounds and sports courts as well as plenty of space between the campsites your children will surely enjoy camping.

 

 

The History of Bison In The Golden Gate State Park

The Golden Gate State Park is famous all around the world for its beauty and rich wildlife, but most importantly the great population of the rare bison that dwell withing the borders of the State Park.

Although the state park has large populations of goats, elk, and bears, the truth is that many tourists visit the park for its buffalo population.

The buffalos were introduced to the park first at the end of the nineteenth century, in 1890 to be exact. This was the year when a cow and a bull were transported to the state park in order to mate and establish the beginnings of the local bison population. The program was so successful that there were 30 bison in the park by 1918.

bison
Bison in the middle of feeding. Source: Wikipedia

Unfortunately the population got infected with several diseases thrughout the years. TBC was the most devastating out of all those diseases and in the end seven bisn had to be transported to other parks in order to save the population. Thankfully the number of the population started sorin again due to a successful breeding program that increased the number of bison over 200000 by the end millenium.

How do the buffalo behave?

Buffalo have very specific ways of behaving. Some might think that dues to being so big and majestic animals they are full of energy and spend their days running around the fields, but this is not the case. They spend the majority of their time feeding with different weeds and grass. When it comes to the Golden Gate State Park they consume mostly Bermuda grass, Keikuga grass, and Kentucky Blue grass, and a small part of their diet is made up of other types of grasses and weed.

The bison eat in a set pattern that is called grazing. This is the act of moving forward while eating grass instead of staying in one place and consuming all the vegetation. This way the buffalo don’t kill the vegetation and leave some for the next day.

American_Bison_with_friends
An american bison. Source: Wikipedia

The bison use their tail as their primary mean of commnication. They also use it to keep away flies, mosquitos and other parasitic insects.  They raise their tail a bit when they are mildly excited. They have a raised tail and a slight bowel movement starts when they get really excited.

Unfortunately the number of the bison population in the Golden Gate State Park started decreasing lately, up to the point where you have o search for them when you go hiking in the park. All in all I am sure that  this decrease in numbers is just a temporay setback in a larger, dominant upward trend. Soon the bison population will be back to its former glory.

Chain O’Lakes State Park

I have been living in Chicago for a long time, and I have had the privilege to stay in multiple campsites and state parks during my years of living in the city. On this blog I intend to show you the best campsites around Chicago. The first Campsite I intend to introduce to you is the Chain O Lakes State Park.

The park is 60 miles from Chicago, so it can be reached by car under two hours. The state park measures 2793 acres and it has a campsite that is next to the Fox River. The river has excellent options for families to spend some time together during camping.

The Fox River is famous for its wildlife, and rich population of animals and plants. There is an 80 acres big area set aside for a campsite that can host up to 200 families. the majority of the campsites have electricity, but you have to pay a bit of extra to stay on those campsites, they can charge you up to 25 bucks for a night in one of those campsites. The campsites can host either an RV, or it can host waterproof family tents. No matter which option you choose, you will have a great time.

Hwever the price is really worth the time you are going to spend there, as the river offers a host of ways that families can spend their time. First of all,  there is the possibility of canoeing on the river. Secondly you can fish on the river. In the winter you can ice fish on the river, which is rich in fish.

There are facilities for the kids to play at as well. The campsite has a playground, and it has a host of sports courts, like a volleyball court.

You can also rent horses in the in order to ride them on the trails. They also offer instructions for little children who want to try riding horses. I advise you to phone the  horse concession house in advance to get information on what the exact conditions of renting a horse are.

ChainOLakes
Bird of prey sighted in the Chain O’Lakes State Park

There are seven picnic areas located in the campsite. Each of them has a grill area, toilets and tables. The rental of one of these picnic areas can be as high as $25 per night.

In conclusion I advise you to try out the Chain O Lakes State Park, as it is a wonderful place to camp near the windy city. It offers plenty of chances for families to enjoy some quality time together while having a nice bbq, riding horses or catching a few fish.