Camping is meant to be a fun experience. However, you can only play poke-the-ant-hill-with-a-stick so many times before it gets a little boring. Coming up with original ideas for activities to do while camping can sometimes pose a bit of a challenge. Let’s explore some fun activities you may not have thought to do while camping.
If you are looking for an exciting adventure, look no further. Geocaching is the world’s largest organized virtual treasure hunt. People camouflage and hide different size containers, called caches, some with toys and games inside, while others have just a little slip of paper. The coordinates are posted online or on a Facebook page or other social media for all players to find. Others grab their GPS and try to track down the cache. Once you find the cache, you sign a log letting others know you found it and even trade out for some of the bounty inside. Then hop back online and log your find when you get home.
Test Your Survival Skills
So you think you can survive if you got lost in the woods? Why not test your survival skills just to make sure. Can you build a fire or catch a fish? How good are you at gathering berries and other edibles? Can you read a compass? What about setting up a shelter? Write down three or four tasks that you think would be important if you were lost in the woods. Challenge everyone in your group to try and demonstrate their survival skills by completing one or all the tasks. Be sure to include prizes to all who “survive.”
Hunt for Treasure
While geocaching is a lot of fun, nothing beats the excitement of the possibility to stumble upon real treasure. Many of our state and federal parks began life as Civilian Conservation Corps projects in the 1930s. By using old maps and a metal detector, you can sometimes locate the old dumps from these camps. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There could be some vintage tin cans and other objects that are intriguing and exciting to find.
Make Ice Cream
It’s difficult to bring ice cream on a family camping trip, but there are products that can bring the ice cream making right to your campsite. These activities usually involve some cream, sugar, and a little flavoring. Basically, you pour the ingredients into a ball with some ice in the middle to keep it cold and begin shaking, throwing, and kicking to keep the ball moving. After a little while of moving the ball around, you crack it open and voila!… you have ice cream to go with your grilled dessert.
This game is great if you have a lot of marshmallow to spare. If you’re less than willing to waste food, maybe you can make do with a pillow or a foam cushion.
Because these fluffy treats are so light, trying to throw them very far can get rather humorous. This is a game that’s easy to plan and play. Each member of your group takes turns standing at a marker and throwing a marshmallow as far as they can. The distances are measured and points are awarded. You can also bring some golf clubs and tees and set up your game that way instead. Another fun, and silly, way to play is to set the marshmallows in a row on a picnic table and have each participant huff and puff and blow their marshmallow over the finish line. Use a Sharpie pen to decorate and “personalize” each marshmallow to keep track of who has which one, and for even more fun, too.
Working with chocolate is not as easy as it looks. How well it melts depends on many factors not the least of which is the makeup of the chocolate itself. If you are looking to create your own chocolate sweet treats at home, here are a few tips on getting started.
So, what are you using chocolate for? Whether it is a cake, fudge, candies or something else delicious, there are chocolates made for the task. In the store, you’ll find blocks or bricks of chocolate in the spice aisle. You can’t just grab a bar of chocolate candy and melt it.
Chocolate can be melted in the microwave oven or over hot water (double boiler). The key is to go slow and steady so you don’t have a mess on your hands.
Once you’ve bought the chocolate bricks, there are specific instructions on the side of the box that tells you what to do. Before melting anything, the chocolate has to be prepared. Trying to melt an entire brick of chocolate is a no-no. It’s just like cooking a thick steak at a high temperature. The outside will be charred and unpalatable before the inside is cooked at all.
Chocolate needs to be chopped into small pieces. This way, there is more surface area available to the heat and the chocolate will melt uniformly. Don’t add any water. We always want to add water to things to make them creamier or melt better. It works with a lot of foods but not chocolate. The water makes it harder to work with later, essentially ruining it.
Use low heat. It will take a little while but the results are well worth it. To know if your chocolate is melting, stir it. Chocolate will remain looking like a block even when it is fully melted. Tap the pieces to see if they have begun to melt. Stir frequently from that point on until the chocolate melts to the consistency that you like.
If you need your chocolate quick, you can use the microwave. Even those people who blow up hot dogs in the microwave can learn to melt chocolate. Start by reducing your cooking power to half or fifty percent. You will still cut up your chocolate into small even pieces.
Ceramic bowls work well in the microwave. The idea is to have a container that will stay cool even while the chocolate is heating up. Plastic containers get too hot and can ruin your chocolate and your fingertips. Microwave one minute for each ounce of chocolate, using one-minute cycles. Chocolate is considered ready when most of it is melted.
You can melt chocolate with liquids like milk. The other ingredient lowers the melting point of the chocolate so it melts faster. But, resist the urge to use higher temperatures as it can ruin the chocolate.
So, the next time you want to make a chocolate fondue or simply make a cake icing, use these tips for the smoothest melted chocolate you can get.
Your wedding music can be simple if you’re considering only the wedding march song. Of course, the traditional classical wedding march music is good for that. A special song for the bride and groom can also be a good one to play while the bride is walking down the aisle. But the wedding march is just a party of your wedding music line up. Here are some tips if you plan on hiring a band or a DJ to help with incorporating music into your wedding ceremony and wedding reception.
Sit down with the band to talk about the music line up. It can be easy to just leave the music line up to the band. After all, when they’ve practiced with direct sound headphones and they have been doing this for years, it seems like they know more about music than you. But as a wedding planner, or a bride planning her own wedding, you should be hands on in picking the songs for the line up as well as selecting the ones that will be played during intervals in the ceremony.
Music for dining. Dining music can be something light and breezy like bossa nova, jazz or a mellow RnB song. You want people to feel relaxed and at ease while trooping to the buffet tables to get their food. You also want music soft enough for anyone to have a decent conversation without shouting.
Select appropriate music for the intervals in-between speeches. Many speeches end awkwardly, and the audience don’t know how to react, whether to clap or not. What you can do is play music that is lively or romantic to keep the mood of the celebration.
Select music that the couple likes. Songs that function as nostalgic reminders of the couple’s journey to the altar can be good choices for your line up.
Children are pretty easy to buy for. It seems that advertisers begin bombarding children with ads for the latest and greatest toys earlier each year. Because of the ads during their favorite TV shows, they’ve probably been telling you since school was let out for summer break the different things they’d like to get.
Don’t let advertisers make you feel inadequate if you don’t buy your children everything they want for Christmas. Pick one or two toys your child has repeatedly said they want, and then get them other things to finish out the gifts they receive from you and your spouse.
Books, CDs, and DVDs are all good gift-giving ideas. You may also choose to give them clothing they’ve been asking for. If you really don’t know what to buy them, there’s nothing wrong with giving them a gift certificate, gift card, or cash so they can buy what they like. Unless they drive, however, they may need you to take them to the store to get what they want.
Giving a gift card may be a wise choice for a couple of reasons. You know they’ll get what they want and they don’t take up a lot of space in the shopping cart. They can be purchased in any amount, and they can get to open something on Christmas day. The best thing about gift cards is that if they may be able to get more for the same money since they can hit the after-Christmas sales and save quite a bit on some of the items on their list.
Pre-Teens and Teens – Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to buy a pre-teen or teenager. Whether they’re yours or the children of friends, teens aren’t always easy to buy for. You may also want to look at some of the stuff from Reeds. Times and teenagers have changed so much since you were one that things you may have appreciated would probably be looked on in disdain.