Early spring offers views of nature’s beauty that can easily be missed if you’re not out there camping. Even if it’s still a little cool, you can go ahead and enjoy camping if you have the right equipment.
Many tents offer the necessary shelter from the elements, but only a few are suited for cooler weather. I use my Kodiak Canvas truck tent that I pop up in the bed of my truck any time I camp, but its heavy canvas walls are worth their weight in gold during spring and fall. They also make canvas ground tents in different styles.
The right sleeping bag is another essential item, and having one with the right temperature rating you will be camping in is important. Most sleeping bags are rated to a certain degree temperature. Normally, a sleeping bag rated for 10 degrees Fahrenheit should be sufficient to keep the cool spring air out.
I have one of the new Kodiak Canvas Z Top™ sleeping bags that are totally different than any other sleeping bag on the market, and I love it. I don’t like being cold! This thing has a unique top flap that seals in my body heat and eliminates drafts.
Its revolutionary design allows me to sleep in the position I am most comfortable and I can even sprawl out and keep under the covers. In warmer conditions, I can fold back the top flap, or unzip and remove it.
The bag’s zippers are lined with anti-snag strips to eliminate those frustrating snags and a full-length zipper baffle to reduce any heat loss. They also lock down so they don’t crawl open in the night like my other sleeping bags. It doesn’t have cold spots like some bags, either.
It even has a pillow pocket that helps keep my camp pillow in place. The wedge-shaped foot box provides extra space, so my toes don’t get scrunched, which is something else I love. A zipper at the foot of the bag allows me to vent the bottom when I need to. You can even buy their Booster Quilt™ accessory, which can increase the bag’s temperature rating by up to 30 degrees.
I don’t work for Kodiak Canvas, but I sure do love their products and just wanted to tell you about them because I am pretty sure you will, too. Check them out at www.kodiakcanvas.com.
Wherever you go camping this spring, take along the right tent and sleeping bag and you’ll have an enjoyable experience. If you have never tried camping, why not go discover yourself?
“The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom.” – Theodore Roosevelt
DID YOU KNOW?
If you are out camping this summer and trap 40 fireflies in a jar, they will generate enough light for you to read by. And now you know what you might not have known.
THE AMAZING TRAINED TROUT
This unusual true fish story comes from the January 1932 edition of Popular Science magazine and came from Port Townsend, Washington, with photos to back it up. A resident of that city, who had placed a trout in a public fountain, trained it to jump through a hoop when it was hungry. Then it would flop up on the edge of the pool as was shown in a photograph.
When the trout was first placed in the pool, it was only 3 inches long, but it grew rapidly under the daily care of its keeper. Soon, it would leap out of the water for a piece of liver suspended within a hoop held close to the surface. Eventually, the fish learned to jump through the bare hoop and then swim to the edge of the fountain for food as crowds of people gathered and cheered while watching the amazing trained trout.
AN INVALUABLE ASSET
A good fishing partner is an invaluable asset. Study him, watch him carefully, and if he is courteous and thoughtful of you, he is a rare companion. Show your appreciation by trying to outdo their admirable characteristics.
Turkeys are known to exhibit over 20 distinct vocalizations, including the distinctive gobble, produced by males, which can be heard a mile away.
THAT FIRST SPRING HIKING TRIP
If you’ve been cooped up inside all winter, the fact that spring is almost here has probably got you ready to get out there and take a long hike. But, unless you have been working out in the gym all winter and using the same muscles you do while hiking, you might want to take it easy the first few times out.
Make your first few trips a time to slowly work off that extra weight, tone up your muscles and maybe test out those new hiking shoes.
A DAY IN MARCH
March is a month of subtle changes and gentle awakenings. A warm March day will get us outdoors where we sometimes find buds ready to burst open with tiny leaves and other timidly growing spring greenery.
Just as these signs convince us spring is here and the unending slowness of winter is over, warm spring breezes turn into cold, sharp winds that freeze you to the bone. A beautiful day filled with sunshine can be followed by a day of single digits and snow covering the tender green shoots.
March days tease us and then remind us that winter is still around, though growing weak. Spring will win the tug-of-war.
When outside during the warm days of March, look for colors of spring in tiny wild flowers bursting through decayed leaves. I look forward to the first trilling sounds of the spring peeper frog because I know they will be followed by the haunting sound of the whippoorwill, the blooming of the redbuds followed by the flowering dogwood. Spring is worth waiting for.