Saturday, June 29, 2013

Camping Adventures: A Little Granola Part 1

It's around 7 am and aside from the soothing sound of the rushing creek behind,  the camp at Vogel State Park is relatively still. Quietly I pull on long pants and a sweatshirt for my morning trek. No. Not up the mountain side, but my trek to the bathhouse.  Using our bathroom would mean disturbing the quiet coming from the bunk room. No need for that! Before exiting the camper, I start the percolator so coffee will await my return.  Carefully I unlock and gently open the door to ensure that I don't wake those sleeping children. Hubby is ok. But not the children.





As I make my way down to the bathhouse a gentle breeze caresses my hair and face. Looking up I wonder at how something as simple as sunlight filtering through treetops could be so beautiful. It is day three of our first week long convenience-camping trip and I am finally beginning to unwind from the stresses of daily life.

I am growing in my camper experiences.  Use the bathhouse when possible (even if the bathrooms are gross).  Don't keep water running in the camper for lengthy amounts of time; learn ways to empty grey tank more often.  My first camper shower was a success. Turn off water while shampooing and conditioning and don't even think about keeping the water running while you shave!! And to save even more tank space, we had the boys wash behind the camper where we have a convenient outside shower attached and equipped with hot water!

Now I'm sure some of my tent-camping friends, laugh and scoff. I know and concur. This convenience camping is not real camping. However, having never camped in a camper before owning ours, I had high expectations of the camper being just like home...normal showers, dish washing, etc. Adapting to the differences does not take me long and before I know it I begin to appreciate the comfortable bed, electricity, and dry shelter the camper affords.

Before I post about how we played on this trip, I wanted to share a few ways I kept some "granola" in our week.

***GREEN SMOOTHIES***

Green Smoothies in nature...perfect match

The families we camped with were experienced campers, making our week long event a great success. One camper loved to cook big breakfasts each morning. So, we would contribute to all the necessary ingredients and then indulge until our bellies were full.  For this reason no one was very hungry come lunch time, making a green smoothie sufficient to satisfy until dinner. Not to mention a way to try and keep some semblance of balance to the "free" eating we were relishing each day.

I only had to plan and cook dinner for one night that week! Was I spoiled or what?? We girls had no problem taking on the clean up duties together.

***BUG REPELLANT***

Making bug repellant for the camp

To keep the bugs at bay I experimented with a recipe for repellant that I adapted from some reviews I read on iherb.com under citronella essential oil.  And I am happy to report that it worked, which is why I ended up making some for the other two families that we camped with. See end of post for the recipe.

***FRESH BREAD***

Yeah, I didn't feel like hauling this out to snap a shot in nature. :)

Yes. I hauled my big ole' bread machine. I said this was a convenience camping trip! Before we left, I milled enough flour for two batches in the bread machine and packed the necessary extras to go along with it. Throw those ingredients and then start the machine. Easy.

In addition to the bread and smoothies, I packed plenty of fruit and some veggies to pair with whatever meal we were having.  So bring on the homemade ice cream, pound cake and brownies my lovely camping friends!

There you have it.  I can't wait to post part 2 about how we played!

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Basic Recipe for Bug Repellant

3 oz spray bottle
distilled water (some folks used jojoba oil)
10-15 drops of citronella essential oil
10 drops of lemongrass essential oil
5 drops of tea tree oil (thanks to a fellow camper that shared she uses this to help ward off ticks)

Experiment at will and please note that I used these drops liberally and did not mind the strong scent of citronella. No mosquitoes please!

Do you have a bug repellant recipe that has worked well for you?? If so, please

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