Road Trip / Camping: What to Pack

Packing for a trip can be very stressful. Over the years I’ve learned a few tips that have helped me and I hope they will help you too!

Food: I’ll talk about this first because I figured out a pretty awesome tip after a couple trips on the road. Don’t bring food. That might be an exaggeration but I’m being pretty serious. While on the road I purchase food at the last town before we drive out into the wilderness to camp.

It’s probably not going to be the healthiest stuff to eat… but you can always find a grocery store and pick up some more healthy things too. You just have to be aware while driving when the last market will be and stop. I use my google maps while on the road to find supermarkets. The easiest foods to find at little markets have always been cans of beans, tortillas and maybe some sort of rice mix. When I have been traveling all day, any meal that is hot hits the spot for me.

I’m Also Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Vegetarian which I will talk about in another post.

I bring an almost empty ice chest. Usually I have the first days food and snacks planned out and in the car. Honestly, It’s a waste of space to try and pack 2 weeks worth of food in a car, especially if you don’t have very much room!!

Gear/Supplies: Aside from the usual Tent and sleeping bags; I keep a large plastic bin that fits a campstove in the bottom of it perfectly. This is always packed with our essentials with some room to add last minute things before we leave. The bin makes packing and unpacking quick and easy and has saved so much hassle on the road. I unpacked our bin to show you.roadtrip packing

This makes packing for a trip a breeze. knowing that we have the essentials in the bins helps out so much.

Here is a list of what is in the picture:

  • 1 small pot and 1 small pan
  • Campstove
  • Fuel for the campstove
  • Small Lantern
  • Small and large hand warmers (I get cold very easily!)
  • 50 SPF face moisturizer (make sure to replace this seasonally)
  • Fire Starters
  • Small container of soap (for dishes/hands/any cleaning)
  • spatulas/spoons/cooking utensils
  • paper plates
  • small towel
  • Foil
  • Off insect repellent
  • trash bags
  • paper towels
  • Lighter

There are some things that are added to the bin before we leave. Like

  • eating utensils
  • I always bring a headlamp for walking around in the dark
  • baby wipes for everything (dishes, face, body, EVERYTHING!).
  • Depending on what type of meals I have planned I sometimes throw in another pot or pan.
  • I also add a can opener
  • hatchet
  • a mug (I have one that I’ve marked with measurements for cups and oz. I use the cup to measure and eat/drink out of.)
  • A knife

One easy way to make sure your bin is always packed is to leave a list of things that you would typically add to your camping gear taped to the inside of the lid, that way when you are getting ready to leave again, you’ll be less likely to forget something.

Hopefully you find some good ideas for packing 🙂

-PK

 

Candle Making – 2 Ways – Part 1

I’ve had a set of tea cups sitting here for months and I wanted to do something with them instead of letting them sit on a shelf, hardly used.I started researching methods to make candles and I knew I should make candles in the tea cups. I’ve never made a candle before and I didn’t know if I would like enough to buy a bulk amount of wax, so originally I started off using supplies I bought from Target, later I ordered bulk supplies. First, I’ll show you making candles on the cheap (and it will probably make professional candle makers cringe!).

Method 1: Candle Making on the Cheap

candle-teacup

Here are the supplies:

candle making supplies1. Knife

2. An Unscented Pillar candle with 3 wicks in the middle from Target

3. Chesapeake Bay Candle Home Scents Mandarian Berry scent. These are made to place in an electronic wax warmer to scent your home, but I used these to add scent to my candle.

4. A large pot to boil water in

5. A smaller heat safe bowl (probably not one that you plan on using with food every again) I used a Pyrex Measuring cup that I usually use to craft with.

Step 1. Peel off the bottom foil sticker and use the knife to break apart the wax where the wicks are located, or if the metal plates are exposed pull lightly and the wick should just come right out of the bottom of the candle. This is different for each candle, so you may have to break apart the candle a little bit at the bottom to get the wicks loose.

Step 2. Then you will start breaking chunks of the candle off. I did this by sitting on the floor and using my knife in a stabbing motion around the edges to break pieces of the candle. I placed a bag beneath the candle to catch the chunks of the wax. Do this carefully!

after breaking apart the candleStep 3. I broke off only the amount of wax I needed to fill the 3 tea cups I had. The wax when it is melted is much less then when solid, so make sure you break off enough for the vessel you are going to fill.

uncented candle wax bitsThis was about the amount I needed to fill the 3 tea cups.

Step 4. To warm the wax you will make a double boiler. Fill the large pot with about enough water to go halfway to three-quarters up the side of the heat safe dish you are using. Then you put the wax inside the heat safe dish and place it in the middle of the pot and bring water to a boil.

double boiler melting candle waxStep 5. Once the water is boiling use a utensil to stir the wax. I used a wooden spoon that I wasn’t going to use with food. As you stir the wax will melt faster.

candle scentsStep 6. While the water is coming to a boil begin breaking up one of the wax scents. I used one whole square in the wax to make the 3 tea cup candles. I think after burning the candles, I would have put more scent in the mix.

Step 7. Once the wax is melted and clear, add the pieces of the broken up wax scents and stir until it is completely melted.

Step 8. The 3 wicks that were removed earlier are placed into the tea cups, and using anything like a pencil (like I used) or chopsticks to hold the wicks in the center of the teacup. The image shows one candle farther along in the drying process and one that was just poured.

candle_wax_pourStep 9. I know it will be tempting but keep the pencils holding the wick up until you feel the sides are completely cool.

In most cases you will see a hole developing in the top of the candle. This is something I didn’t know would happen and was a little worried, after searching on candle making forums it sounds like it something that is pretty normal. So I took suggestions and melted some more wax and added it across the top to fill the hole and add another finishing layer on the candle.

I just want to remind everyone that teacups weren’t made for candles, so please be careful while burning them and never leave them unattended. There were no problems with mine but better safe than sorry!

Check out Step 2 for Essential Oil Scented Candle Making

 

-PK