America Camping Xplorers

lib balm

Uses of a Lip Balm

Small storage container:

Clean out an empty lip balm tube and use it to keep matches and pills dry. Remember, the cap is not water tight so try to not get the tube submerged in water. You can wrap a strip of waterproof tape around the bottom of the cap to seal it. It should keep dry even in water.

camp gear

Camping Checklists

Everyone has their own ideal as to what items to bring on a camping trip. It can be going out into nature with one or two items to going out into nature with enough items to fillup a large mobile home.

America Camping Xplorers know that having a checklist is one of the most important pieces of information to review before going camping. A checklist is helpful in keeping you organized and possible ensuring equipment is not forgotten at home or at the campsite. There is nothing worse than getting to a site after a long journey, and unpacking to find you’ve forgotten the tent.

We compiled a comprehensive checklist for any camping endeavors to include a specific camping area.

If you have children coming along they might want to bring specific items. Place the responsibilities on them to pack their own personal gear in a backpack. This will limit them to what they can bring and teach them to make the best choice in what they need during packing. Having their own checklist will keep them excited and focus on the trip.

You can download and customize any of the checklists relevant to your trip. You should make checkmarks and add or remove items to suit your needs before rolling out the driveway. There is no need in taking gear you do not need.

During your trip you can remember what you need and don’t need for the next trip by writing it down in a notebook. If there is something that you think we should put on our list, please let us know by the checklist blog.



Quick and Easy Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are one of the most all-around dishes for breakfast.
Here is a quick and easy scrambled egg recipe.
4 Eggs (2 Eggs per person)
¼ cup milk or dry milk
2 teaspoon butter, vegetable oil, or cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste
Crack the eggs into a small bowl.
Add ¼ cup milk or dry milk
Add Salt and pepper to taste (optional), You can add after coking
Using a fork/whisk, beat until blended
Light beating produces more dense scrambled eggs. Vigorous beating aerates the eggs, resulting in lighter fluffier eggs.
Heat the 2 teaspoon butter, vegetable oil or cooking spray in a skillet until hot over a fire.
Pour in egg mixture.
Cook until edges are just starting to cook.
Lift and fold eggs toward center.
Scramble (do not stir constantly) the eggs gently until most are cooked and appears soft or slightly runny.
Remove skillet from fire, continuing scrambling eggs a minute more.
Remember the heat retained in the pan will continue to cook and firm up the eggs after the pan is removed from heat.
Serve immediately from skillet.

Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese or dried herbs.
Tryout different flavors, stir a teaspoon of your favorite salad dressing, salsa or herb into the egg mixture.
Try not to use cast iron when cooking eggs. It can turn the eggs into a greenish color. This color is the result of a chemical reaction between iron in the pan and sulfur in egg whites. The eggs are safe to eat. They may look unappetizing to some people.

car camping

Car Camping

First thing you can do after backyard or cabin camping is car camping. It can be fun and enjoyable. With car camping you can take some creature comforts with hauling everything you need in a backpack. You want to enjoy the outdoors and not try to recreate what you left behind in the first place. Car camping allows you to immerse yourself in an area for more than a day where backpacking is not as feasible. You can explore canyons, climb those cliff faces, hike to the petroglyphs or descend into a gorge and then enjoy the sun setting over where you played all day.  There are many forms of car camping.  Car camping can be a standard car, SUV, van, station wagon, Pickup truck,  car with trailer, car with popup tent. 
        Using your standard car is not what you want to sleep in. unless it is an emergency.  This vehicle is use for transportation that will get you and your
equipment to a campsite and then you will sleep outside in a stand along tent.  
        SUV’s  seats can lay down will make a god place for sleeping in your vehicle Blanket\sleeping bag and pillow are all you need. You can modify the inside to your need. Remember  to put night curtains on the windows for privacy.  Cooking inside your suv can be dangerous. It is advice to cooking outside.
        Pickup Truck with Truck Top Truck tops, also known as camper tops, are hard shells that fit snugly over the bed of a pickup truck. They are  relatively inexpensive and can make for ideal car camping — one or two people can easily sleep in the pickup truck bed enjoying privacy and protection from the elements. Essentially, you can camp anywhere you can park, and most pickup  trucks can easily handle dirt roads or other rough conditions that may be present where you want to camp. Truck tops are usually made to your specific model of truck and are available from many after-market truck retailers. Costs can be from $300 to above $1000. You will probably want to buy a truck bed liner as well.
        Camping Trailers A variety of options exist if  you are willing to tow your camper, ranging from lightweight pop up tent campers to more durable trailers. You will need a trailer hitch and a vehicle capable of  towing – any place that sells camping trailers would be happy to explain the capabilities of your vehicle and install an adequate hitch. 
        Car Top Campers A new back to basics class of camper is a tent that temporarily mounts to roof rack systems of SUVs, trucks, vans, station wagons, some cars and small off-road utility trailers. These roof top tents typically contain a built in mattress and can store bedding and pillows while folded for travel. With practice, set up takes about 5 minutes. Sizes vary from single sleeper to family sized tents that sleep up to four people. The advantages of these campers are comparatively low cost, compact go-anywhere convenience, easy driving, good MPG and RV comfort sleeping space that often exceeds 7 feet length – nice for taller travelers. 
         A van conversion is when you can setup a standard utility van with all of the basic necessities of camping. A bed, storage, lights and often  times even a kitchen setup.

cabin camping


When you have successfully  participated in one or two backyard family campouts under the stars with the chores of setting up a tent, starting a fire with varies other activities of camping can and  will be eliminated with cabin camping . Cabin camping is another great way to open the door for beginners to  look and feel how mother natures wonders works in the wilderness with the minimal comforts of home and chores of a real camp site.

backyard camping

Backyard Camping

Backyard  camping should be simple and fun. It is also a good test for little or first-time campers. Most of the things you will need are already in your house.  For families with kids, explain why you are going camping and how much fun it  will be. If you are excited they will be too! Backyard camping will help children get use to sleeping outdoors. Older kids may enjoy it as a way of being more independent; where they can have their own tent and some much needed privacy. Backyard camping allows you to use a minimum amount of equipment to develop your skills and is also good practice for learning to use new camping equipment.

            Children should never be left alone when camping and an adult should be supervising at all times. For safety reasons always keep children within your eyesight and inform them never to leave the campsite without permission. 

            Find a cleared flat spot in your yard for a campsite. Make sure that there are no trees or rocks that could fall and hurt someone. A firepit, grill or some type of fire ring will work for a campfire. NOTE: make sure you know the fire restrictions or regulations for backyard fires in your area. As Smokey the Bear say “Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires.” For information Click SMOKEY. Use this opportunity to teach children about fire and campsite safety. Since you will be outside let it be known that no one is to approach, touch or harm any wild animals. 

             This will be a great time to give everyone a disposable camera to take pictures of the campout. If the weather starts to get bad, the campout can become a sleepover inside the house. If leaving food outside at night make sure it is located where it will not attract night animals.  Always have a first aid kit on hand and make sure everyone knows where it is located. To wash dishes, you can also use the outside hose with a bucket although it may be easier to wash them inside the house. Keep dangerous items out of children’s reach.

             Use the proper equipment when setting up your campsite. Backyard camping be can simplified by cooking meals inside the house and sleeping  outside.

                                                                                            Backyard Checklist – Short and Simple
 • Tent – best to have an enclosed tent, especially with younger kids as they may feel safer; although you can use a tarp, bed sheet or a sheet of plastic draped over a clothesline, with the corners pinned down. 
• Ground cloth (plastic) – If someone wants to sleep out under the stars without a tent.
• Blanket\Sleeping bag\Air Mattress – Children may feel more comfortable when sleeping in their own blankets eliminating the need to buy a sleeping bag, for now. An adult can use an air mattress to sleep outside with the Children. Place a ground cloth under the sleeping item to help keep out the cold chill from the ground.
• Pillow – bring along kids own pillow\sleeping doll or comfort toy.
• Pajamas – for sleeping 
• Insect repellant- if pests area a problem
• Flashlight\Lantern –for seeing around the campsite; usually one for all campers is a good idea.
• Change of clothes – wear/bring clothes that are climate appropriate.
• Try not to go back into the house, although for the first campout it is ok. But on the second campout, if it is not outside then it should be left in house as if you were a 100 miles from home.
• Hat\ball cap – to protect your head from the sun.
• Sun Screen – to protect your skin from sunburns.
• Jacket – use for cool nights
• Chair \lounge chair – can be used for sitting around the campfire or sleeping.
• Table – for eating or playing games
• Grill\fire pit – for cooking food or sitting around the campfire. If using propane remember to think “safety-first”. Remember to check  your area for fire regulations.
• Sanitarily wipes\ paper towels – many uses for cleaning
• Trash Bags – keeping the area clean
• Plates, cups & utensils (plastic would be  best)
• Pots and Pan – (easier to clean inside in the beginning)
• Ice chest – (drinks, condiments, and leftover food)
• Drinks – water, tea, or drinks of choice.
• Food – for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

                                                                            Activities – Fun things to keep kids busy
 • A hike around the area (under adult supervision)
• Board games and deck of cards
• Frisbee
• Bubbles
• Glow Sticks – at night
• Campfire stories – at night
• Coloring books & markers
• Camera disposable – each child can have their own
• Fun reading books
• Scavenger hunt
• Binoculars\Telescope – wildlife and stargazing

Male Camping List

  • One T-shirts
  • One pair of underwear
  • One pair of pants
  • One pair of shorts
  • One Long-sleeve shirts (for sun, bugs)
  • One hat for shielding the sun
  • One pair of shoes suited to terrain
  • Rain coat (if you are in area of unexpected rain)
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • One jacket
  • One towel & wash cloth
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Sleepwear
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