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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Before You BUGOUT, Try a Mock Run in Your Backyard

Our Coleman 2 burner propane stove comes with
a wind shield and is very easy to light.
We are itching to go camping soon and are just waiting for a full weekend with a clear schedule.  Until then, we decided to do the next best thing...campout in the backyard. This will accomplish several things:

1- Allows us to practice our camping skills before we go
2- Learn of any mechanical problems with our gear before we go
3- See how the kids react to camping scenarios

Skill: Set up camp.

This was our first time setting up our new (used, bought off CraigsList) eight person tent.  Wifey actually made the purchase and was given a crash course on setting it up by the previous owner. I think that was nearly two years ago.  Needless to say, we got the tent up.

I'll have to double check the name brand on this tent
but it will sleep eight of us comfortably. It comes  with
two dividers as if to make three rooms in the tent.
We also noticed that there was a corner faded and torn.  Turns out that although we sat our tent inside our metal backyard shed to protect it from the elements, sunlight had been shining directly on one little corner of the tent through the shed window.  Acting as a giant heat magnifying glass, the corner of the tent is now frayed and falling apart to the touch.  Luckily, Wifey is a monster with her sewing machine and thinks she can repair the damage.

I set up the two burner Coleman stove and attached a small bottle of propane to it.  Fired right up. Got out our propane latern and fired it up as well. I was going to let one whole bottle run out to see how many hours we get from one bottle but after six hours, it was turned off by one of the kids. We have three D-cell battery powered lanterns. I do NOT recommend these.  Simply because you'll be constantly buying new batteries.  These lanterns take four D-cells each, that's 12 batteries I have to buy every time I go camping. Needless to say, I checked on Amazon for some rechargeables and put them on my Wish List.

Handy little Coleman foldout four-seater table.
Also on my Wish List is a solar powered battery pack that will supply electricity to our laptop should we decide to watch movies when we go camping.  The kids enjoyed watching videos while camping in the background thanks to our little Macbook. We can always hook up our inverter to our Suburban's battery as well. Lastly, I found a free book titled "101 Offline Activities You Can Do With Your Child."

I'm certainly short on the activities list.  I need to add some horseshoes, frisbees, etc to the mix.  There are some great deals with Walmart Promotional Coupons that can save on camping equipment.   Now if we could only practice fishing and shooting bows/guns in our backyard :-(


2 comments:

Dizzy-Dick said...

Sounds like you had a good idea to set up in the back yard before heading out to the boonies camping. I'm sure you will have fun in the back yard and less problems and more fun when off somewhere else camping.

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