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August 2004

Family Camping Tips

Ideas to help make the backcountry family friendly

Make Yourself Comfortable

Bugproof your campsite
>> Don’t camp near standing water, a favorite hangout for insects.
>> Camp in a breezy spot–this makes bug landing more difficult.
>> Keep a campfire going. Bugs hate smoke.
>> Check your site for anthills before you set up the tent.
>> When all else fails, pack a screened dining canopy.

Take a shower in camp Most primitive campsites lack bathing facilities. But if you still crave a warm rinse, paint a plastic gallon jug black and poke holes in the lid. Warm the filled jug in the sun, then pour. Low-impact reminder: Don’t soap up within 200 feet of a lake or river.

Fish with a stick, string, and a worm

It may take a lifetime to master the art of fly-fishing, but you can still land big ones the old-fashioned way. What you need: 8-foot trimmed tree branch, 8-pound test fishing line, #8 baitholder hook, 1-inch bobber, and live earthworms. Measure the fishing line to match the length of the branch and tie it on. Tie a hook to the other end and attach the bobber 2 feet up from the hook. Slip an earthworm onto the hook, and jerk like crazy when dinner bites.

Keep a firefly alive

>> Don’t punch holes in the top of your jar; fireflies need humidity more than air. Instead, open it up and blow across the top each day.
>> Place a moist apple slice or paper towel inside to maintain a humid environment.
>> Line their new home with grass to replicate the lightning bugs’ preferred habitat.
>> Keep the jar out of direct sunlight, but in a place where it gets ambient natural light.

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