Exploring The Great Outdoors – It’s A Big Beautiful World Out There

When my wife and I get to retire from work, we are going to pack up the camper and hit the road. I have quite a few places on my bucket list to visit. I most definitely want to check out Yellowstone National Park! And Alaska in the summer months too! We both share a passion for exploring the great outdoors and living life to the fullest.

Ever since I was a young lad I enjoyed spending the weekend at my Grandparents camp. They used to own thirty acres of woods out in Robert, Louisiana. My friends and I would ride three wheelers, fish, and swim in the river. The camp was right next to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campgrounds and we would go there too and get ice cream. We had camp fires and shot guns. It was the best!

In this post I just want to share with you some memorable trips that i have had and will definitely never forget. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below or share some stories of your own.

The Great Smoky Mountains

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In 2000 I had the experience of a lifetime! My Grandparents took the whole family to The Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN. If you have never been to the Smoky Mountains before, you definitely have to check it out. That was my first time just seeing a mountain and I was blown away. It was October and almost every leaf was bright orange or bright red or bright yellow. I know you have probably seen pictures or heard about how the trees change colors around that time of year. But it’s definitely something to see in person.

My wife and I spent our honeymoon there in October of last year. This time I was older and I just appreciated it so much more than I did in 2000. We stayed in a nice cabin, high up on a mountain. We hiked a good way up Mount Le Conte to this beautiful water fall. But we started to run out of day light so we headed back down the mountain. But I was told that you can book a night up at the top of that mountain in cabin. They cook breakfast for you in the morning, then you hike back down. They said it’s so dark and quiet up there at night. That’s another adventure on my bucket list.

The Grand Canyon

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In 2010 my dad, brother and I took a road trip to The Grand Canyon. There we did a 5-day rafting trip down The Colorado River through The Grand Canyon! It was amazing! The funny thing about that river is that it stays about 42 degrees F year round. It is icy cold even in July! And you get wet on that raft. Especially in the rapids.

We rafted that river all day and did a lot of hiking too. In the evening we made camp, ate dinner, and got a good night sleep under the stars. I didn’t even sleep in a tent. I just slept on my sleeping bag on top of a mat, on the ground. Now that is roughing it! Lol

Montana

 

A couple years before The Grand Canyon trip I flew to Butte, Montana! We stayed in a log cabin high up in the mountain tops. We didn’t do much camping but we did a lot of ATV riding and hiking. We were so high above sea level that the mountain tops had snow caps, and it was August! Just reflecting on this trip makes me want to go see Yellowstone even more!

Weekend Warrior

Today my wife and I just spend the weekends at the fishing camp or staying a couple nights at local camping grounds. There are some beautiful campgrounds in Mississippi. Little Black Creek is my personal favorite. I caught a couple nice size catfish last time we were there. There’s a convenient store / bait shop on the grounds. They have some nice cabins too.

Another awesome campground is Paul B. Johnson Camping in Hattiesburg, MS. You talk about gorgeous! I launched my boat last time we were there and I spent almost the whole time fishing and enjoying the beautiful lake. I think there’s even a zip line there that I didn’t do, but my mother-in-law did.

Conclusion

Life is short so get out there and live it up! And now that it’s finally starting to cool down a bit, we will be planning a camping adventure in the near future. Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. Leave a comment if you wish. I’ll be happy to answer any questions. And i would love some ideas about other places to visit.

Peace,

Billy

Tent Camping Tips And Tricks – Peace Of Mind In The Outdoors

There’s nothing quite like finding the perfect camping spot and getting everything set up just how you want it. However, you never know what mother nature will throw at you when you’re enjoying a nice weekend in the woods. In this article I want to share with you some tent camping tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years. And also share some camping “hacks” as well. Enjoy!

Know Your Tent

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If it’s been a while since setting up the old tent, or if you have just purchased a new one, take some time to set it up at home first. Before you pack it up in your vehicle, set it up in the living room or in the backyard. Something could happen and you could end up getting to the camp site late with not a lot of day light left. If you practice setting the tent up prior to leaving, it will be fresh in your mind and you’ll have it set up in no time. And after setting it up at home, inspect the tent for wear and tear. (Holes, bad zippers, etc.)

And speaking of zippers… Here’s an idea to keep your zippers in good shape.

Take an unlit candle and rub the wax along the zipper track. This will help prevent the zippers from jamming up.

Water Proof Your Tent

There are several different tent water sealing products out there. You need to find out what type of fabric your tent is made out of first so that you get the right one. You will also need a seam sealer too. Once you get the right product, be sure and follow the directions and do a thorough job. Spray the rain cover and the entire tent. Not only will this help you if you get caught in the rain, it will also help your tent last longer.

Comfort Is King

Just because you’re “roughing it” doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. Bring a good blow up air mattress to sleep on. There are also different types of pads out there you can buy to put under your sleeping bag. Bring a good pillow too.

Bring Food Ready To Cook

Prep cook or cook at home. Crack open some eggs at home and store the egg yolk in a plastic bottle that you can screw a top on. (Water bottle, Gatorade bottle, etc.) Or if you plan on grilling some burgers, slap out the patties at home and season them. That way they’re ready for grilling.

Also don’t forget to stay hydrated. Bring plenty of water to drink and some to cook with too. And speaking of not forgetting things…

Make A List Of Items You May Need

I hate it when I get all the way to the camp site and I realize I’ve forgotten something important. It doesn’t hurt to make a checklist before leaving the house.

  • Hygiene Products – (Deodorant, Toothpaste and Tooth Brush, Etc.)
  • Meds (Prescribed / OTC)
  • Flash Light
  • Matches and / or Lighter
  • Clothing – (Boots, Swim Wear, Underwear, Socks, Etc.)
  • Cooking Gear -(Camp Stove, Pots and Pans)
  • Compas

This is just a short example of a list. The important thing is that you just make one. Maybe team up with a friend or spouse to help you come up with one.

Make Your Own Lantern

If you have a headlamp, fill a clear gallon jug with water. Put the headlamp around the jug with the light pointing into the jug and voila! You now have a homemade lantern!

Sage = Mosquito Repellant

The oil found in sage is used in most insect repellents. Throw sage leaves into the camp fire. The burning sage will keep the mosquitoes away from you.

Use Solar Lights To Navigate By Night

When nature calls in the middle of the night, you can avoid those late night accidents by just placing a solar light or two in the ground nearby. The inexpensive ones will charge up in the day and give you plenty enough light for nighttime.

Use A Shower Caddy For Storage

Hang a shower caddy in your tent to store items in. And hang another one near the cooking gear to store utensils and other cooking items in.

The Old Tic Tac Box Trick

Bringing some cooking spices with you? Just store enough for the camping trip inside Tic Tac boxes. They will stay fresh and dry in there.

Fire Starters

Gather some lint from the dryer at home and stuff it in an empty toilet paper roll. Or you can fill an empty dozen egg carton with some coal. Place either of these at the bottom of the camp fire logs, light it, and you will have a camp fire going in no time!

Happy Trails

I hope some of these ideas will be of help to you in the future. Thank you for stopping by and reading. Have fun and be safe out there!

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About Billy

Hi everyone and welcome to my All About Outdoor Gear website. I’ve always loved camping and spending quality time outdoors. Whether hiking and exploring trails in The Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, or just spending a quiet peaceful weekend at a campground; I love it all!

In June 2010, my Dad, Brother, and I spent a week rafting down the Colorado River, through The Grand Canyon! On that trip something happened to me and I’ve been obsessed with the outdoors life style ever since! Something about sleeping under the stars at night after a day of adventure is so awesome to me.

It’s All About The Gear

One aspect of exploring the outdoors that I love is checking out new gear for camping, grilling, hiking, etc. And that is what this website is going to be all about.

Over the years I’ve found that the better quality gear I have, the more I’m able to relax and enjoy my camping trip. And I’ve also found that shopping around a bit and doing a little research helps me to get more bang for my buck.

You Can Never Be Too Prepared

Let’s not forget emergency supplies! Rain gear, first aid kits, flash lights and/or lanterns, etc.

I want to help people not forget how important these supplies are. When you’re out in the woods, anything can happen so always be prepared.

So Many Choices, So Little Time

My goal here is to help anyone with info and reviews about different types of camping gear and accessories. Tents, grills, hammocks, you name it. So have a look around and if you have anything to share in respect to outdoor gear, I would love to hear it! 

 

And if you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Billy
Founder of All About Outdoor Gear