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All You Need to Know About Tents

Hello there! Welcome to the next installment of Pink Camo Adventures Camping 101. Today we are going to give all the ladies that are interesting in getting into the outdoors tips and things to consider when it comes to choosing the right tent for your next camping trip. I mean come on! This is where you will be sleeping at night. You will take shelter in your tent, which means you have to make sure it is comfortable.

Get the Right Size

For the ladies who are tall or enjoy lots of space to change or relax, it is crucial to get a tent that will accommodate those needs. You should also consider how many people are going to be joining you in the tent and the amount of time you actually wish to stay there. Are you planning on going with a large family? Then look for a large tent that can fit at least four people. Always choose the right size that fits your needs!

Great Ventilation Features

Especially when camping in humid climates such as the beautiful Biscayne National Park in Florida or other surrounding areas, you can easily get suffocated in a tent. Always buy one that has great ventilation that allows you to breathe comfortably. With advanced technology and design, many have cross-ventilation that also protects you from bugs. Most are not that big and with others sleeping next to you, it can get stuffy real quick! Also, in wet climates having a breathable set up prevents condensation from building up.

There are three-season tents that are great from spring through fall. However, you can also get a quality rain fly to put over your tent during the winters to keep you warm.

Durability and Waterproof

The cost of a good tent can get pricey. However, based on the cost typically means it will last longer. You can always find great deals at end of the year sales from REI and other outdoor gear stores. A quality tent should have lap-felled seams around the floor, which provides extra strength to maintain durability. For uncoated nylon tents, be sure to check for taped seams because nylon tends to unravel. Examine the stress points and make sure it has good workmanship with either extra stitching or bar tacking.

Also, having a waterproof tent will make your life so much easier. Aim to get one that is water-resistant because no one wants to sleep in a wet tent!

Set Up

Whenever you get a new tent, be sure to practice setting up. You should do this if it is your first time camping or for new tents you just purchased. This will save you a lot of time and trouble when you are actually outdoors. Sometimes you may get to your camp site late at night and it can be confusing to fumble through materials to set up the tent for the night in the dark.

Tents have two set up systems: clip systems, grommet systems, and the sleeve system. Sometimes tents will have a combination system. We will talk later within the Pink Camo Adventures Camping 101 series about the different tent systems and tips on how to set up easier!

Lastly, Color!

A girl has to have the right color tent! Okay maybe this is that big of a deal, but for some it is. This is more of a personal preference. Go with a color you love. For those who love bright colors, keep in mind these are great for emergency search-and-rescue situations. When choosing a color remember to consider how well the color deflect sunlight or attracts it. Based on the color, it can develop a nice light inside during the day.

This is the conclusion of our series on all you need to know about tents! As you search for the right one to buy, keep all these things in mind.

Over the next few weeks, Pink Camo Adventures will also provide essential Camping 101 advice to make sure you are well equipped with the outdoor camping knowledge. We want to make sure every female that loves the outdoors will have an adventurous camping trip! So be sure to keep a lookout for the next posts to this series.

Camping Packing Tips

So you are excited and ready to head out on your first camping trip! YAY!!!

You just can’t wait to be out in the wilderness, canyon, mountains, or wherever you are going to visit. There is just something so peaceful about being one with nature. It is tranquil and calming to know you are miles and miles away from chaotic, technology-filled, and fast paced life in the city.

As you begin to pack, you realize. You have no idea what to bring! My goodness, that can make a break your entire camping trip. What equipment should you bring? What clothes should you wear? This is not like any ordinary vacation. You cannot drive a few blocks to purchase what you need. When you are out camping, you live off of what you pack.

At Pink Camo Adventures, we understand this may seem like a daunting task, but do not fear ladies! As passionate lovers of nature, we are here to help you with a few packing tips. Below are the five crucial tips to make your next outdoor vacation a smooth, yet exciting adventure.

Know Details of Your Destination

Before you begin choosing what to pack, you have to take a look at where you are going. Go online and check out how the weather will be during your trip. What you would bring on a camping trip to the gorgeous Everglade National Park, which aligns the western boarder of Miami, Florida, is much different than if you were to visit Great Basin National Park that is at a higher elevation, which means the weather is much colder. So you would not pack the same items for low temperature areas like this if you were going to a subtropical climate area like Biscayne National Park in Homestead, Florida. You would want to pack gear that would accommodate the type of weather you would be in.

Other things to keep in mind:

Areas with dessert climate like Red Rock National Park in Nevada will be very hot in the day, but chilling cold in the night. You have to pack a warm sleeping bag and have warm clothes to change into when it gets chilly.

Consider the types of bugs you may encounter. Camping in humid areas such as the Dry Tortugas National Park out in the lovely Florida Key West means there is going to be lots of bugs around. Be sure to pack quality bug spray, a mesh net to attach to your hat, etc.

Pack Essentials – Equipment and Gear
Here is a list of essential you must bring when you are out in the beautiful outdoors:

– Tent
– Sleeping Bag
–  A refillable water bottle, which is a sustainable option to keep you    hydrated versus bringing a pack of disposable water.
–  SPF 30+ Sunscreen
– Hat that has a brim to keep the sun and glare from your eyes
– Sunglasses
– Flashlight and headlamp
– Swiss Army Knife (Great all-purpose tool)
– Maps of the park. Use this to plan hiking trails and various attractions you may want to see during your trip.

Dress Appropriately
Based on how the weather is, you should bring clothes that is appropriate. If the weather is cold, bring many layers to keep you warm. Other things to remember are:

– Quality hiking boots that protect your ankles. This will make sure you avoid injuries on your adventure.
– High wool or cotton socks.
– Flip-flops are a must in case you have to take a shower at the camp site.
– Pack extra underwear and plenty of clothes to change into.
– A bra to keep you comfortable during your hikes and another bra for when you are winding down at your campsite.

Don’t Forget About Food
Of course a girls gotta eat!!! Here are things you should bring to have a great dining experience outdoors:

– Cooking and eating utensils
– Dishes and cooking sets
– Cups to drink out of
– Food – remember to bring healthy snacks like granola bars, nuts, -pretzels, dried fruit, etc.
– Cooler to keep the food in, with plenty of ice
– Plastic bags for leftovers
– Paper towels and garbage bags
– Cleaning supplies to clean the dishes.
– Beauty and Health Items

Let’s not forget the importance of keeping a girl fresh and clean throughout the trip. These are the items every lady should bring:

– Toothbrush and toothpaste
– First Aid Kit
– Insect repellent
– Toilet paper
–  Medicine prescriptions
– Shampoo and conditioner (if you plan on showering)
– Face wash and soap
– SPF 15+ lip balm
– Contact solution (If you wear contacts)
– Lotion
– Antibacterial wipes (You can even get baby wipes if you have sensitive skin)

There you have it ladies! We hope this list will serve as a trusty checklist when you pack to make sure this first camping trip is a fun one.

Over the next few weeks, Pink Camo Adventures will also provide essential Camping 101 advice to make sure you are well equipped with the outdoor camping knowledge. We want to make sure every female that loves the outdoors will have an adventurous camping trip! So be sure to keep a lookout for the next posts to this series.

Will Wildlife have a Place in Florida’s Future?

Do you ever wonder about road kill? Seriously. Where was that animal going? Where was its home? Maybe even, what animal was that? I would think that very few of us give any thought to that animal after we drive away. To me, each pile of fur, feathers, or bones I see on the road are a reminder of the perils of wildlife and human interaction.

Many of us are familiar with the stories of our charismatic Florida Panther and Florida Black Bear. These are just two of our species that are severely impacted by the development of our state. These large animals must be constantly on the move in search of food. One study conducted by bear biologist Joe Guthrie tracked a bear for eight weeks. During that time, he covered over 500 miles, spanning an area of roughly 110 miles north to south. M34 may have traveled even further north, but the tracking data indicated he couldn’t find a way to cross Interstate 4. As humans, we all need homes to live in and roads to get around. However, these necessities lead to habitat fragmentation. Animals need room to roam and our way of live typically hinders wildlife’s ability to do so.

Habitat loss and fragmentation seems like an obvious issue to me, but most people don’t give it much thought. One day while getting my hair cut, I got to talking with the hairdresser about how I relocate gopher tortoises as part of my job. She said, “I thought the animals just went somewhere else when something gets built”. It was then that I realized the average person doesn’t give much thought to animals need for habitat. Creatures can just pick up and move when they are surrounded by concrete and cars, the infrastructure we as humans depend on.

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The Florida Wildlife Corridor is a non-profit that aims to raise awareness on this very issue. This is the same organization that put together the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition, where four explorers traveled 1000 miles from the Everglades to the Okefenokee Swamp by traversing a network of state owned natural and privately held agricultural lands. The idea is that if people can utilize these undeveloped areas to travel from one large swath of protected land to another, wildlife can do the same. These natural areas need to be conserved to protect the linkages currently in place. Additionally, several critical linkage properties need to be purchased and preserved to generate new wildlife linkages. As part of their campaign to connect undeveloped lands across the state, the Florida Wildlife Corridor has put together a list of 10 ways to help. For more information, check out their website at FloridaWildlifeCorridor.org.

1) Raise awareness

2) Support Florida agriculture

3) Advocate for land protection funding

4) Get involved in a land or water campaign

5) Visit your public lands and share the experience

6) Support Florida greenways and trails

7) Teach someone to hunt or fish

8) Go birding

9) Support smart planning

10) Make a financial contribution to Florida Wildlife Corridor conservation

By maintaining habitat, we can conserve habitat and species for the next generation. First, people need to understand the critical connection between wildlife we all love to see and the habitat they need to survive. So, the next time you see a dead animal on the roadway, let it remind you of the importance of supporting habitat conservation and wildlife corridors.

Tubing on the Rainbow

Florida summers in the suburbs can be scorching when you are surrounded by strip malls and roads that cross through nearly every patch of green around. The solution? Just add water. Spring water that is! The cool waters of the Rainbow River in Dunnellon beckoned us a couple weeks ago. So, we piled the family in the ‘ol swagger wagon and journeyed two hours north leaving at 6:30 a.m. to ensure we got there before it reached capacity.

We opted for a four hour float down the river and started at AWA rentals. We pre-packed a lunch careful not to include ANYTHING disposable. This rule is strictly enforced to keep the Rainbow River beautiful. The AWA shuttle took us up to K.P. Hole, a nicely renovated county park with bathrooms, vending machines, and air compressors for pumping up your personal rafts. Bring $5 CASH to avoid a huge line for using cards. County employees were sniffing thermoses too for alcohol!

During the crowded, but beautiful four hour float we saw diving birds (cormorants), a river otter, a small alligator (2ft. resting by the woods), mullet schools, river grasses, clear water, and of course, lots of trees! We attached all tubes together and enjoyed getting out of the them occasionally with goggles on to get gorgeous underwater views. Teenagers jumped from one of a couple of rope swings after climbing up on nailed on footholds. Homes are built up on one side of the river for most of the journey. However, the left side remains undeveloped. Most people exit after 2 hours at the Rainbow River State Park exit. If you continue on for 2 hours more, reapply sunscreen and eat a snack on the float. We literally saw only one piece of trash the entire trip! This is no doubt the result of the strict enforcement of the no disposables rule. The last two hours of the trip is less crowded with tubers.

If you rent from AWA rentals, exit RIGHT at Swampy’s restaurant and right where you parked to begin with. There is a bridge dead ahead so you cannot miss it. You can change clothes in AWA’s tiny garage bathroom. It’s not pretty, but utilitarian. I would recommend Swampy’s for sure. It does get crowded too as Dunnellon is a small town with few choices on the river for lunch. However, we’ve always found it worth the wait.

So, if you are looking to beat the heat, give Rainbow River a try. Kayak, tube, canoe, swim. All in the rural setting away from strip malls and concrete. rainbow1

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Oscar Scherer Trip

Oscar Scherer State Park
October  3rd and 4th 2014

Oscar Scherer State ParkJoin Pink Camo Adventures for a creekside weekend at Oscar Scherer State Park. Meals and gear are included. We look forward to hiking, cooking, exploring and paddling with you! We do encourage carpooling to the park as it is more economical and fun. Kayaks can be rented at the park on Saturday morning and afternoon. Bring your freshwater fishing license and get tips on how to cast, bait your hook, and reel them in! Of course we’ll have our games set up on site if you just want to hang out at the site too.  Cynthia will be ready to teach us more about Real Florida and the unique animal habitats that make up Oscar Scherer.
$147 for 2 night camping adventure.
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UH, What’s a BOW (becoming an Outdoors Woman)

bow_logoBy now you have seen our post about BOW…or at least I hope you have. BOW is a one of a kind experience for like minded women to get together and learn outdoor skills. There is no intimidation to learn skills related to the outdoors. This past BOW I took classes on freshwater fishing, primitive cooking, geocaching and gps, and even became a certified bow hunter!

When Cynthia, Diane, and I arrived we immediately found the “night owl” cabin. We knew this would be another opportunity to laugh and learn all weekend long.  Cynthia’s friend drove down from Mobile, AL to join us! My friend Lisa drove in from Panama City Beach! A childhood friend’s mom also jumped into BOW with us with both feet. We were joined by a very brave soul who came to BOW by herself because she really wanted to check it out. We became fast buds and hung out for the weekend.

While we all had signed up for classes we were interested in attending, sometimes we discovered we were in the same classes. Sometimes we weren’t. That is O.K. There are bunches of ladies in the same boat, and are usually very friendly and willing to talk about their experience or inexperience.

So whether you are interested in handguns, outdoor photography, boating, or cooking, there is something for every pink camo lady. I cannot wait to see some new friends to join us in the BOW experience in February 2015!

Cheryl