Beginner Camper Tips

Are you a first-time camper? I only started camping within the last couple years, but I am by no means an expert camper (and I don’t have the luxury of an RV yet, but hopefully in the future). I looked up some good tips for beginners if you’re a tent camper and new to the camping scene. These ideas could come in handy for anyone though. By the way, Hickory Hollow Campground is a great place for beginner campers (or any campers really!)

The tips I am going to share are things that I have taken into consideration while camping and I hope that they can be helpful to other campers as well. This will hopefully make your planning and camping trip less stressful and much more relaxing.

Whenever we camp, we only plan for a weekend. So these tips are directed more towards short stays, but can be adapted if you plan to stay somewhere for more than just a weekend.

Tip #1
Plan Ahead

I am OCD when it comes to planning for trips, even if it is just for a short weekend trip. I don’t like waiting until the last minute, because I know that I will forget something (usually it’s important too.) It’s stressful to wait until the last minute to plan and pack (unless it’s a spur of the moment trip.) So to make it easier on you and everyone else, plan what you will need to take before you leave. I personally love to make lists. This way I can physically see what I need to pack and I can mark it off as I go.

If there is anything that you are able to pack ahead of time, that you aren’t going to need before you leave for the trip, then PACK IT! If you do this the weekend (or a few days) before your trip, that is less you will have to worry about when you are getting ready to head out! Some items you may be able to pack ahead of time are: bedding, tents, bags, cooking gear, and any non-perishable food items you plan to take. Organize it and have it ready to go, so you aren’t scrambling as the last minute. If you are planning to pack any perishable food – try to buy it before the day of the trip so you can avoid stopping while traveling and you can pack them into coolers on the day of. For the items you can’t pack ahead of time, make a list that you will see or even set a reminder on your phone so you aren’t forgetting anything!

Tip #2
Pack Light

I am so terrible at this, but that’s why it is a good tip! Try to avoid packing things with the “just in case” mindset. Take time to think about what you will be doing while you are away. There’s no need to pack extra activities or equipment whenever you won’t have time to use them, so think about what you have time to do during your short getaway and if you have the space for what you plan to do.

Tip #3
Keep Your Menu Simple

If you are planning a trip with a few groups of people, the best option is to share the meal planning. Split the responsibilities up so each group is in charge of a meal (or however you see fit to divide up the work.) That way each family is in charge of packing, prepping, and making a meal and all the work isn’t put on one person. This means less packing and more sharing of the preparation load when it comes to meals and the best thing of all – less work for EVERYONE! This is how we do our camping, each “family” going is in charge of certain parts of our meals and it makes it much easier on everyone and if there is anything specific we want aside from the meals we handle it ourselves.

If you’re camping by yourself (or in a single group), choose meals that you are comfortable making. You’re camping to relax, not give yourself more work to do. Avoid any meals that cause you to slave over the campfire for hours, making it less likely for you to enjoy yourself.

Tip #4
Check the Weather

This is a tip for any time that you are planning to go camping. Weather can be a pain when you’re camping since you are spending the majority of the time outside! I know that it’s not always 100% accurate and if it is bad weather, it could cause your entire trip to change. So always check the weather ahead of time (mid-week before you trip is usually good.) I also check again the day before in case I need to pack anything to prepare for some types of weather that are manageable while camping.

Tip #5
Stay Close to Home

This tip isn’t for everyone, but I think it’s perfect for beginner campers. This is something that I personally do (who am I kidding, I have ONLY camped at Hickory Hollow, so I may be a little biased…lol.) If you’re local to Rockwood, PA then this is the perfect option for you to get away for a weekend too! By staying closer to home, there is much less stress about traveling. You don’t have to worry as much about arrival and departure time, and it makes planning a breeze! You can get outdoors quicker and relax sooner (even if it’s just a short 1-2 day stay).

If you’re not local to Hickory Hollow Campground, then look into campground in your area and if you’re able to book ahead then do that! It makes it easier to secure your spot to ensure that you have a place to stay. If you don’t know exactly where it is located, then take some time before your trip to look up the directions and familiarize yourself, so there is less stress while traveling.

These are just a few tips to hopefully make our beginner campers feel a little less stressed about camping and Hickory Hollow is the perfect place for beginners! We have lots of things to do, plus it peaceful and relaxing here 24/7. If you want to know more about our campground, follow us on our social media accounts and Youtube Channel!

Tips for Camping in the Rain

I don’t know what everyone else thinks, but to me it seems like it has been raining more than anything else this camping season and it makes me sad. BUT, that doesn’t mean that you can’t camp – it just might take a few extra preparation steps. I’m going to share some of the things you could do to prepare yourself more and also what Hickory Hollow provides to plan your trips accordingly (even if rain is in the forecast.) This blog is tailored more towards our tent campers or anyone who isn’t necessarily a RV camper, but anyone is welcome to check them out!

Location
Make sure you are choosing a good location to camp. Hickory Hollow offers cabins (Rustic and Full-Service) that make a great option for dry camping, plus they are beautiful and have a breathtaking view of our lake right out the door! There are also Conestoga Wagons that we started last year and these are a huge hit with campers. They keep you up off the ground and are covered (we even added a window for airflow!) These are a great choice for anyone who wants a different experience camping!

Now that I told you what Hickory Hollow provides, there are also other tips you should consider when choosing a location to camp (even if it isn’t with us.)

Find an area on higher ground with trees overhead (these will come in handy when it comes to hanging tarps – which I will get to in a little bit.) Avoid lower areas that can collect run-off or become flooded with heavy rain. We actually moved our tent sites at Hickory Hollow from a low to a high point at the campground which is much better when trying to avoid the rain!

Rain Free Space
Create a rain-free area using tarps, paracord and the trees above you. This will make a great shelter for gathering, cooking, or simply relaxing. Even if it isn’t raining, this creates a nice shaded area for you to set up (plus it’s not a bad idea to keep your cooking area sheltered too.)

If it is raining while you are trying to set up camp, hang a tarp above where you plan to set up your tent. This will help keep you and your tent dry while putting it up.

If you have an extra tarp, it’s also good to put one underneath your tent before you set it up. This can give you tent a little extra protection from water on the ground and prevent it from getting rips and tears from anything on the ground.

Wet Clothing or Gear
Sometimes the rain is unavoidable which can result in wet clothing and gear, so of course you’ll need a way to dry them. If you set up a tarp covering, you can then add a drying line to hang up your wet clothes and gear to dry.

Campfires
I know you’re thinking it is impossible to make a campfire in the rain, right? Well there are options to make this a little easier on you. Campfires are essential for camping when it comes to cooking and heat, so there are ways to make a fire even when it’s raining. Of course if you make a tarp cover high enough up that it is safe to make a fire, that is always a good option. Trees make decent covering too, but if everything is wet, how do you think you are going to make fire?

There are some waterproof fire starter options like waterproof matches and lighters, but we know that’s not all you will need to start a fire.

Starting with Tinder (because wet tinder won’t help you at all) check underneath pine trees, you may have to do a little digging, but you may be able to find some dry pine needles that make great tinder for fires. You can also make your own by finding the driest log you can, pealing off the bark (hoping that the wood underneath is dry) you can then use a knife to scrape at the wood to create thin shavings that can burn quick and hot! If you don’t like that option, you can also pack your own waterproof tinder (which you can find on Amazon or other places that handing camping equipment) that is good to pack in your emergency/survival kit.

Next you need Kindling, which like tinder can be found under trees or you can also find branches or twigs to scrape down to find dry wood beneath the surface.

When it comes to fuel wood, yes there are ways to find it outdoors (which you can look into if you’re camping at a more rugged terrain), but at Hickory Hollow we have you covered on the wood to fuel the fire. We sell bundles of wood for $5.00 to our campers and it is kept dry (plus it’s already split for you!) This makes the idea of finding large, dry pieces of wood a little less tedious on our campers.

Here are a few other quick and easy tips to remember if your camping gets hindered by the rain:
– Pack Ponchos or Raincoats to protect yourself from the weather
– Emergency Rain suits for your survival kits for those seriously wet situations
– Waterproof backpacks or a backpack rain cover to keep your items dry

If you have any other tips or trick to camping in the rain, feel free to leave us a comment! If there are any other blog topics that you would like me to write about for the campground, please let me know and I will do my best to incorporate it into our blog!

Thanks for reading!

What do People think of Hickory Hollow Campground?

I’ve gone on and on about how I feel about our campground and how much our campers and staff care about it, but I know not everyone believes what they hear. Well let me tell you something, we have lots of great reviews of people who have stayed at our campground over the years. Maybe you’ll believe the reviews over what I say, maybe not, but let me tell you I am so proud of what has been said that I want to share it with all of you too!

I’m only going to hit on a few reviews (mostly because there are so many) and you can go check out more at the sites that I mention if what I give you isn’t enough to convince you to stay at Hickory Hollow. We receive reviews from a few different sources, the most popular ones being Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor. We are also a part of Campground Reviews. I have shared most of the ones that I will post below on our social accounts too, but I know not everyone sees posts all of the time (now there’s no excuse! lol).

Also, we are always looking for ways to improve and make our campers stay better any way that we can so if you have never left a review for us, please feel free to do so. That way others know what you think about the campground as well! The reviews I will be posting are all positive, but we are always open to new ideas and thoughts from others. You can click the links below to leave a review or read other reviews!

Google 4.6/5 Stars
TripAdvisor 5/5 Stars Ranked #1 Specialty Lodging in Rockwood, PA
Facebook Reviews 4.9/5 Stars
Campground Reviews

2020
2020
2020
2020
2019 Reviews
2019
2019
2019
2019
2019

Hopefully these few reviews sway you to come check out our campground in Rockwood, PA. I’m not going to go on and on this time, because I feel like these reviews speak volumes for Hickory Hollow Campground!

If you haven’t reviewed us yet, please do! Your review may show up on our socials and help us gain even more campers and we are always welcoming new people. Thank you all for being loyal and caring campers. We are so lucky to have such a great group of people at Hickory Hollow!

Your little home away from home.

I can’t believe that I just realized that I have been writing all of these blogs and telling you what you can be doing during this time, but I have failed to tell you about our campground! The most important piece behind all of my work and everything that I’ve shared with you. I don’t want you to think that I don’t love and appreciate our little campground, when in reality it is my home away from home!

Hickory Hollow Campground is a privately owned campground located in Western, PA. If you’ve ever heard of New Centerville or Rockwood, PA then you’ve probably heard about our campground (or at least you’ve heard about Haunted Hollow which is owned by the same family.) If you’ve never been to the Laurel Highlands in Pennsylvania, then you are missing out! Our campground is located in such a beautiful area, with tons of great things to see and do without going far. There are plenty of places to get out and adventure nearby.

Just a few places you can check out while visiting us are the trails at Laurel Hill State Park (Pumphouse trail has one of the prettiest waterfalls with public access!), the Flight 93 Memorial (which I have mentioned in an earlier blog), and there are ski resorts with beautiful views and things to do while you’re visiting us. There are also plenty of local restaurants that are still accommodating during this time (just in case you don’t feel like cooking over th fire.) But you don’t have to leave our campground to have a good time or enjoy the peace and beauty of our campground.

The scenery at Hickory Hollow is more tthan just for looks! There are plenty of things to do right on our own piece of land. We have a lake (yes, it does classify as a lake) for fishing, a playground, volleyball net, basketball hoop, a pool, an off-leash dog park for our furry family, and lots of places to walk to enjoy everything nature has to offer. That’s not all though! We offer great activities during our holiday weekends and more activities on regular weekends too. This season may be a little different due to social distancing, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t have fun things to do while you’re camping with us!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, I’m just saying all of these things because it’s my job and I have to. Yes, that is true, but that’s not the only reason! We have proof that our campground is great and that we aren’t being biased. If you don’t believe me, believe the people! Our campers have given us so many great reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, and Facebook! We have recieved a 4.9/5 on Facebook reviews and 4.6/5 for Google and that’s pretty great if I do say so myself! Some of the biggest comments we get are that Hickory Hollow is peaceful, beautiful, relaxing, and quiet. It is also comfortable, and extremely clean and neat. We take great pride in our cleanliness and upkeep of our campground and we could do it without our staff and campers!

That’s also a big perk of this campground. We treat everyone like family, because that’s what we are. I consider the people here to be my family and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. We work together to keep going even under stressful, uncertain times like now.

So I hope this clears up anything I may have missed when talking about Hickory Hollow Campground, but feel free to ask questions or let me know what else you’d like to read from me.

We are opening for the season TOMORROW!!! MAY 1, 2020 and we are so excited! Book your reservations now, online here or call the office at (814) 926 – 4636.

Tractors, Trucks, Crowns & Steam – Come on out to the New Centerville Jubilee!

Do you enjoy that fresh country air? The incredible taste of fresh apple cider? What about spending quality time with friends and neighbors? I know I do, and I know many of the campers at Hickory Hollow do as well. But did you know there’s a jubilee that happens only a mile up the road from the campground? And it is happening NEXT WEEK! How exciting right?

This year the New Centerville Volunteer Fire Company is holding their 67th annual Farmers and Threshermens Jubilee beginning on Wednesday September 4th and continuing through Sunday September 8th. If you’re familiar with Hickory Hollow, just make a right out of the campground and it’s only a mile up the road, on the right-hand side. If you’re not familiar with the area, you can still come and check it out. Just take Exit 110 – Somerset off of the PA Turnpike and take Route 281 South, 9 miles to New Centerville. The Jubilee is part of the “4 Fall Festivals” of the Laurel Highlands, so you know it’s going to be a fun time.

As a former Jubilee Queen (Queen XXXI in 2009), I like to think that I know a good bit about the activities that occur and not to mention it’s the mark of the beginning of my favorite time of year…fall. I mean how can you not think fall when there is fresh apple cider being pressed right on the fair grounds?! That’s definitely not all that the Jubilee has to offer though.

Kick off the fun with the annual parade that takes place on Wednesday evening (Sept. 4) and delivers the crowd right into the heart of the Jubilee. There’s so much to see during this parade from floats, to firetrucks, and they even bring out the Steam Engines to ride through the parade. It’s an incredible experience you don’t want to miss. Bring your kids out and let them get some candy from the other attractions in the parade. And who knows, you might even get a sneak peak of our Haunted Hollow actors too!

Photo taken from NCRVFC website

As a former queen, you can imagine that one of my favorite parts of the Jubilee is of course, the Queen contest. This takes place at 7:45 pm Wednesday, so follow the parade into the main Jubilee grounds and head in to the stage to watch these girls turn into young women. Aside from being local or volunteering at the Jubilee, these girls must have knowledge about the history of the jubilee, be able to answer questions with ease in front of an audience, pose themselves with poise and grace while walking the stage, and most importantly be able to be a good role model that represents the local fire department and Jubilee. And these girls are only between the ages of 15 and 18! That seems like a lot to handle for such a young girl, but believe me they have incredible talent. So even if you don’t make it to the contest, make sure you stop and say “hello” to the queen and her court sometime during the week as they attend the different jubilee activities. This is an incredible memory that they will never forget, so help become a part of that journey!

2018 Jubilee Queen & King
Lexi Knopsnyder & Jason Johnson

Don’t forget though, the jubilee fun isn’t only 1 night, the fun lasts clear through Sunday. And trust me, you’ll want to come back more than once. There is so much to do and see every night, but it’s okay if you can’t make it more than once. It is still a great experience no matter how long you can stay. Just to give you a glimpse into the Jubilee fun, there’s truck pulls, tractor pulls, broom making, wood carving, there’s animals, including a dog that churns butter! Even if you think you’re not “into” any of these things, I can promise you it is still a great time. Just being able to spend quality time with people who I don’t get to see as often as I like (and trust me you will run into lots of people) is my favorite thing to do at the jubilee (well aside from eating my apple dumpling…yummm).

Photo from NCRVFC website

If this is you’re type of thing, but you aren’t sure what you can do to get involved there are contests that are held and there is something for EVERYONE! Just of few of the contests include: the photo contest, apple pie contest, the scarecrow contest, even a pumpkin painting contest. But if you don’t want to actually make anything, just taking time to go and appreciate the creativity that people put into their art is enough to entertain you.

Honestly though, out of everything that is going on, yes even checking out the dog-powered butter churning (because you know how much I love animals), the absolute best part of the jubilee is spending time with friends and family. Even when I run into someone from my past or even that is on my social media accounts that I don’t see much, I enjoy catching up with them face to face. Our lives are so busy all of the time, this is the perfect opportunity to slow down and enjoy what is happening around us.

Photo from Jubilee Contest fb page

So if you get a chance, make sure you go to the 67th Annual Farmers and Threshermens Jubilee, get some good food, check out the dog churning butter (ok I might be obsessed haha), walk around see all the vendors, and the handy work of the wood carver and broom maker. Then take some time to just walk around and enjoy the commotion. Who knows, you may even run into me there. 🙂

As you all know it’s not free to hold activities and fairs like this, so they do ask for a small $5 donation for adults, but children 12 and under get in for FREE! So not only is it good, wholesome fun, but it’s inexpensive too. If you want more info, or to check out the schedule for the week, go to the NCVFC Website here.

Life is Best When You’re Camping

Camping means relaxing…right? But who says you can’t party and have fun while doing so? Hickory Hollow campers know all about this (and I have the photos to prove it…hehe).

Even though we are a small and quiet campground located in the beautiful Laurel Highlands, that doesn’t mean that we don’t know how to party and have fun when the time comes. This summer we really amped up the weekend activities, but of course our annual favorites are always the showstoppers for the campground. Our campers come out and show us what it’s really like to have some fun!

Jimmy Buffett Beach Party
Randy Myers

This past weekend we had our Tropical Paradise weekend which included huge groups of campers for our Campground Flea Market, kids crafts, a wagon hayride, and of course our Jimmy Buffett Beach party that featured acoustic music from Randy Myers!

These aren’t the only activities we have at the campground! We celebrated Christmas in July with Santa and his elf delivering gifts. There was the soaking wet Water Wars that had all the campers dripping with excitement! We have also done tons of other fun activities like the annual Poker Run, Wing Fling, and Local Wine, Spirits, and Beer tasting! This year Hickory Hollow Campground even sponsored a race car, driven by Matt Ruffing with AMA Motorsports at Jennerstown Speedway and Matt was nice enough to bring his car out and sign autographs a few times during the season. These are just a few of the activities we have and each year we hope to grow and add more throughout the camping seasons. Check out a few pictures from the activities throughout the season!

Local Wine, Spirits, & Beer Tasting
Jungle Yoga
Santa delivering gifts for Christmas in July
Father’s Day Fishing Tournament
Hickory Hollow Sponsored Car – Matt Ruffing with AMA Motorsports
Poker Run
Water Wars!

Those are just a few highlights from the activities and fun that happens at Hickory Hollow Campground! We are always looking for new ideas to add to our activity list, so feel free to leave any ideas that you have in the comments below.

Don’t worry though, we aren’t done for the season. There are still some great things planned for the remainder or the season, like our Labor Day Picnic, and more! Plus in October, you cannot forget about Haunted Hollow which is located right across the road! For our campers we even offer a Lights On Tour of the haunted house during the day. Make sure you come out and enjoy the rest of the camping season here with us at Hickory Hollow!

Thanks for reading! If you want to see more pictures from the activities we have make sure you like our Facebook Page. And if you are interested in scary activities for fall go and like the Haunted Hollow Page too!

How Much Do You Know About Camping?

Have you ever gone camping and felt overwhelmed with so many things to do, when you should be taking that time to relax and enjoy the scenery around you? I know I have.

Especially in the Somerset County Area, there is so much to do and things to see, but you get overwhelmed with the fact that you have to set up camp and figure out everything you want to do and what you want to eat. You shouldn’t be taking your relaxation time to worry about the tiny details involved in camping.

I stumbled upon an great resource that I feel would be beneficial for any and all campers all over the world. I wanted to share it with the campers at Hickory Hollow as well. I hope that you find it helpful and use it as a reference for any adventure you take. It may even be beneficial for when you’re not camping.

Okay, I know you’re wondering what the resource is… so here you go. The webpage is called 50 Campfires and you wouldn’t believe the amount of information that is on this site. You can find almost anything you can imagine and it is all related to camping (not that you couldn’t use these tips any other time though) and it is organized very well. Based on the reading that I have done, there is everything from recipe ideas for all meals, different camping gear that you could use, and it even tells you great camping locations all over the United States. It even has articles about the best hills to go sledding on – who would have thought about that? So it’s not only summer ideas, but all year long.

There are other great perks to this site. I know that I hate when I forget where I found an article or when I find something I want to save and it is such a hassle to find a way to do that. I then screen shot it and it ends up in the mass of photos I have on my phone and it eventually gets forgotten. 50 Campfires is set up similar to a blog page, this way you can comment and discuss with other campers, like, save, and even share these posts on your social media sites. That makes it easy to find and also give your camper friends ideas too!

So if you have a chance, I highly recommend checking out 50 Campfires. You won’t be disappointed, and who knows you might find something you wouldn’t have thought of before.

If you find anything you’d like to share, please feel free to share it to our Facebook page. If you know of any other great resources, comment them below and I will check them out too!

Thanks so much for reading and happy camping!

Jump on the Wagon!

Our new Conestoga Wagons that is.

So I decided to stick with my big theme this week for this post, especially with all of the great reactions I’ve received over our new wagons! (ok they aren’t new, we use them for the Haunted Hollow too, but this is new for Hickory Hollow!) This is a new feature for the campground! Of course we have used the wagons for our traditional wagon rides through the woods, but now we have the whole old-time camping experience with our Conestoga Wagon campsite.

Before I get into describing the new site, I wanted to give you a little background on the “Conestoga” concept and time era. For those of you who don’t know, a Conestoga wagon is a broad-wheeled wagon. Now we pull ours with trucks and tractors, but they were pulled by 6 horses and according to good ole Webster Dictionary, the wagons were used for transporting freight across the prairies. Britannica Encyclopedia also says that these wagons were made in the 18th century in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania – another great concept created in good old PA!

I know what you’re thinking though. What is so special about staying in a covered wagon? Well let me tell you everything that is so awesome about them! So since it is new at the campground, we haven’t quite worked out all of the kinks. With that being said we have two, yes I said it, TWO wagons for your comfort on one site. That means there is plenty of room for you to spread out and you are up off of the ground. These wagons are 8 feet by 14 feet, which is enough room to sleep 4 people, and they are covered! What’s that mean to you? You don’t need to set up a tent – you can just set your bed/sleeping bag or whatever you choose to sleep on inside the wagon and you are protected from the outside elements. There are also screen doors to keep those pesky bugs out and provide you with a nice cross breeze while you’re relaxing. This site is also equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring for your camping experience.

We still have time this season if you want to come out and camp at Hickory Hollow Campground! This is a perfect way to spend some time relaxing outside. Being that there is only one site available, you shouldn’t wait too long to make your reservation for the remainder of this season. You can find more information about Hickory Hollow and what we have to offer at our website here.

Thanks for reading! Make sure you hit the follow button and put in your email address to see my weekly posts.

Slow down, relax, you’re here now.

In this day, it’s really hard to take time to enjoy the small things in life and relish in the little moments of our lives that we tend to take for granted. I am no different. As someone who has worked multiple jobs (a lot at the same time) since I was old enough to have a job, I am guilty for looking past the beauty of life and the nature in this area.

Somerset County is known for it’s rural beauty. I’ve lived here my entire life and that’s how it tends to be for most of the population, but how many of those people take the time to really appreciate the land and all that is included with it? Not very many. Everyone is so busy on their phones and glued to social media (not that it is always a bad thing) that they forget to look around and see what is right in front of their face… or phone screen. I am just as much to blame for this, but lately I’ve began to realize that life is short and beauty is everywhere, as long as I am looking for it.

Maybe since I started working at Hickory Hollow Campground, that is when I started to see the beauty in nature. I grew up not even ten miles from the campground, but didn’t realize how breathtaking this area truly is (if you don’t believe me, check out the pictures – they are all taken at Hickory Hollow). This job has helped me take an extra moment to enjoy and appreciate everything that is around me. I have more time for myself too – which helps me feel like I am able to relax and enjoy my life. Everyone should have the opportunity to do that.

Even if it’s a few hours once a week, once a month, or even once a year, take a few moments out of your busy life and look around. Life is passing by so quickly. Children grow and change, animals grow and change, and you are going to grow and change. You don’t want to miss out on the little moments and the beauty that is surrounding you. You don’t even have to go far. Sit outside for a few moments and breathe some fresh air, get some Vitamin D and just reflect on the good parts in your life. There are so many negatives and problems that drain us and make us forget the positive aspects of our lives, but we shouldn’t spend our precious time dwelling on the things that we can’t control. Especially when we can control this.

So I challenge you, it doesn’t have to be today or even tomorrow, but find time for you. Put down your phone, go outside, and relax. Find at least 5 things around you that are beautiful and just reflect on the positives. If it’s difficult to do that where you live – get out for a day. Go on a walk, go to a park, just go do something! You could even go camping, that’s a perfect way to relax and Hickory Hollow Campground is one of the most beautiful campgrounds (in my own personal opinion). But seriously, slow down, relax, you’re here now, enjoy it while you have the chance.

I truly hope you find the joy and beauty in nature, even if it was just from looking at these photographs. Thanks for reading – make sure you put in your email address to follow our blog and to get notified whenever a new blog post is made.

Camping Tricks

Have you ever went camping and found some tricks that helped you survive a little easier? I’ve been doing some research (and there’s tons of info out there) on some different tips and tricks and I found quite a few that I personally have tried or need to try. Maybe these will help you too! Leave a comment at the end if you have tried any of these or if you have any other suggestions that you have learned from your own camping excursions.

Trick #1 – Make a Checklist: I know this sounds simple, but it is a huge time saver! When you’re packing for any kind of trip, you should always make a list beforehand. I am an avid list maker. I have to be organized and I’m always nervous that I am going to forget something that I will need while I’m away from home. There are some important necessities that you will need when camping. Here are just a few things to be sure to include when you are packing for camping: lighter/fire starter, cookware, lamps, bug repellent, sleeping items, and of course a first aid kit. Another item that I could make as it’s own category, but I’m going to just list it here, is a portable charger! Lately we all know that some electronics are a necessity, so you should be sure to have some way to charge them if electricity is not readily available. We personally have a Halo charger, and you can find them on Amazon, which is linked here. These are great for a variety of reasons and are definitely helpful during camping.

Trick #2 – Microfiber towels: These are a lifesaver whether you’re camping or at home. Microfiber towels are lightweight, so not much to add to your packing list. They are also extremely absorbent and quick drying, which is great for when you are packing up to leave as well. These towels also help our environment! They reduce the amount of waste when you are using paper towels. So not only are you benefiting yourself, but you are doing something small to help the environment too. You can find microfiber towels at most stores.

Trick #3 – Lantern: Lanterns are important for a few different reasons. Even if you don’t personally own a lantern, you can make one! Headlamps are an inexpensive item you can purchase at most stores, in the outdoor/camping section and they can be easily turned into a lantern to light up an entire tent! Attach your headlamp to a gallon jug of water and there you go! You have a light to shine and brighten up your area in the dark.

Trick #4 – Meal Prep: This is something that we do before we camp and it saves so much time and effort. When you’re camping you don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing your food, you want to spend your time eating that food. So anyway, preparing your food at home before you leave will save you time and a mess to clean up, plus you won’t have to pack as much if you prepare it before! One of the easiest ways to prep your food is to cut up all of your ingredients before you leave. This saves you time and the mess. There are other things you can do like putting your spices into smaller containers (tic-tac containers are great for this) or other small hacks. But preparing your food and items before you leave your house will save you time.

Trick #5 – Veggie Peeler: I know what you’re thinking, you already talked about meal prep so why would I suggest a veggie peeler after that? Well let me tell you, it’s not for your food (although, obviously you can use it to cut your food up before you leave too). This time I’m talking about using this for your soap, yes your SOAP! If you either chunk your bars of soap or use the veggie peeler, you can make single use soap leaves. I know how much of an inconvenience it is to carry a huge bar of soap and then when it’s wet, it’s such a pain to figure out what to do with it. I personally don’t like putting it in plastic bags, it feels messy and annoying to me. By making single use soap leaves, it’s much better for you and you also don’t have to over pack either!

Trick #6 – Sage: We all know that one of the most irritating things about camping is the bugs, especially mosquitoes! I personally cannot stand them and hate having bug bites. Sage is a simple fix to this. If you burn the sage over the fire, it makes a natural bug repellent and will save your skin, as well as your sanity when it comes to the irritating bugs involved in camping.

Trick #7 – Deodorant: Obviously deodorant is something you want to have when you are going anywhere, but did you know there are other things that deodorant is good for? With all of the research I did (which wasn’t as much, because there is tons of info out there), I could honestly do an entire blog on deodorant hacks! But the one hack that I found went well with camping. Along with the sage (tip #6) deodorant will help in the aftermath if you happen to get bit by an irritating bug. Deodorant helps stop the itch! Try buying a travel-sized just for this reason! This is something I will keep in mind for any time that I get a bug bite.

Well like I said before, there are so many other camping tricks and hacks out there. These were just a few of my favorites that I wanted to share and that I have tried or want to try too. If you have any other suggestions, leave them in a comment below! Don’t forget to put in your email address to get notified every time I post a new blog. Thanks for reading!