Monday, November 11, 2013

A Few Creative Ideas You Might Like

If there's anything I've learned about the Girl Camping crowd, it's that it's full of creative women. In fact, one of the notable benefits of attending a group gathering is that you're sure to come away with new ideas to try. Some are decorative, some are practical…you can take your pick.

1. Use old belts as trim. These are beaded souvenir belts, but almost any kind of fashion belt will work--and you can pick them up at thrift stores for a song.

2. Pick up a shelf riser or two; they come in very handy. Here, a tall one is used to make a level surface over a propane tank, so the owner can set things on it.

3. If you have an unsightly propane tank, you can hide it with a round, pop-up laundry hamper. Or, line the hamper with a garbage bag to make a trash container.

4. If you've removed the propane tank from your trailer, you can dress up the hitch space with a sign or other items. On this trailer, the cowboy boots are bolted to the frame and used to hold the sign. They'd make a good holder for dried flowers, too, or fresh ones if vases were inserted.

5. A flat-sided suitcase, reinforced with scrap lumber, makes a dandy trailer step. This one's been painted to match the trailer, with a piece of non-slip carpeting glued to the top.

If you have cool ideas of your own to share, feel free to post them in the Comments section. Or, take a photo and share with the readers of our Girl Camping page on Facebook.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Few Cold Weather Camping Tips

I'm known to stretch my camping season at both ends, going out in the chilly start of spring and camping on through November or later--until slippery roads get the upper hand.

Even with a heater, a vintage trailer can have cold spots due to incoming drafts. Here are a few tips to share about upping your comfort level.

1. Insulate the roof vent. Heat rises, so you know what happens when your heater's work hits the roof--it's pulled right out from that uninsulated plastic or aluminum vent cover. Basically, you have a hole in the roof. To block the hole, cut a piece of foam to fit, or spend about $12 to buy a covered foam
vent insert from an RV supply store.

2. Drape the door. I have an old woolen serape that I use for this purpose, using clip rings on a rod to hold it up. I leave a few extra inches at the bottom to block drafts at the lower edge of the door. Use your imagination to come up with something similar that will work in your trailer. You may with to do something similar for your trailer's larger windows.

3. Bolster the bed. A trailer bed always ends up somewhere along an outside wall, and if it's over a cubby space, it's also resting atop trapped cold air. To cut the draft/chill factor, bolster the bed with rolled-up blankets and extra pillows.

4. Use a good sleeping bag. The whole glamping thing is great, with adorable bedding, ready for magazine pages…but when the camera's back in the case, warm is where it's at. I've never, ever been cold in my sleeping bag, even with no external heat whatsoever, even below zero. For cold weather camping, it comes along.

Note of caution: If you heat your trailer with propane, don't seal it up too tightly, and keep a carbon monoxide detector inside.