Saturday, May 16, 2015

Glamming Practice

A spate of heavy rains and severe storms made camping plans a thing of the past for awhile. Time spent in the storm cellar, however, revealed a location for some glamming activity!  A plain, cement walled storm cellar, two ceiling vents allowing air and light. Short stairs a small storage area beside the stairs and the wall opposite. Not big but enough space for about 4 people to crowd in.  So I began to think....maybe a coat of exterior, white porch paint to brighten the area?  What about a mural to give the idea of space and make it feel less box-like?  Strong, fun colors. Maybe a beach? A Tropical beach? Paint a rug on the floor...


Concept drawing of mural and colors with glamming elements (candle holder, wicker table)
 


Plastic appropriate spray paint; colorful fabric, some items begin to set the stage. The gold circle marks the general area of the "window" mural.

Items to jazz up include:
Two battered and faded plastic chairs
2 candle stands
1 wicker table
1 plastic storage unit
several plastic storage cans and bins (for extra batteries, candles, food and water)

There are some necessary items you need to keep in your cellar and update as needed:
batteries for radios, flashlights, etc.
battery operated radio, cell phone charger
water to drink
some tools (crowbar and hammer are handy)
Ready to eat, long lasting foods
medicine you might need
First aid and hygiene basics (bandages, antiseptics, mouthwash, toilet paper, etc.)
Warm or rainproof clothes (can be kept in a plastic container or bag to keep dust and bugs out)
A blanket or wrap (can be kept in a plastic container or bag to keep dust and bugs out)
Copies of important papers (in water proof pouch or on a flash drive in a waterproof container)


Ideas:

A family with children is painting a wall with chalkboard paint. Other good ideas and suggestions can be found here.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Recipes

Occasional recipes suited to camping.  This one can be done in a crockpot or in a pot.  It's ease of use earned it the nickname "Kitchen Sink Soup" meaning it had a lot of things in it!   The easy use includes combining canned soups and vegetables to create a hearty and tasty meal that travels well. In using prepared foods it is a quick to prepare meal.  Take an extra trash bag along to collect recyclable materials.
 
Ingredients:
1 can/pkg of Lentil Soup
1 can/pkg Progresso Chicken Enchilada
1 can/pkg corn
1 can/pkg peas
1 onion
Seasonings (salt, pepper, 1 t. Italian seasoning; if you like spicy either red chilies or 1 can of chilies and tomatoes)
1 can/pkg beef soup
NOTE: If you like a heartier soup (i.e. thicker) - add a little flour or add more vegetables (potatoes, carrots, celery, etc.)
 
 

 
 
 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Door Detail

The door in a pop-up slides up for storage and then slips into place with a panel that allows light to come in through a screened opening.  Pretty boring too!  Image my delight when I recently saw how someone had used faux tin ceiling tiles to decorate their door. Lightweight, low cost and looks great. I really want to do this because it seems a nice simple way to jazz up the outside.  There is already some metal detailing on the front. It is silver toned so that may decide the tone on the door. We will see...

They are available from many outlets.  Here is one from Home Depot...

Revising the Plan

The grand plans have to be reduced sometimes to more workable - and budget friendly - goals.  So believing greatly in the reduce and reuse model I looked at the camper curtains and decided they could stay a little longer. They were in good condition and so how to jazz them up a bit?  I am thinking of using Velcro dots to attach panels of bright fabric and play up the brighter tones in the current cushions. 


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Recycle and Reuse:Glamping on a Shoestring

I had this lovely large wind chime in my back yard. One too many storms and I was left with the top made from metal.  Seemed such a waste to just toss it into the recycle bin.  Could it have an extended life as something else? Hmmm.  So I painted it to reflect the current colors used to decorate the camper, added some glass beads and the result was a big of decorative swag that can be used outside or inside the camper (as a mini chandelier?). Some are crystal like and refract light in a bright manner.  If I get the chance I will upgrade to more prismatic beads to increase the glam factor.



Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Starting Place

Brown, tan, taupe, olive, and a light burgundy

Found these at a thrift store for pennies and can add them to the "camper as is" color palette

Found this cool yard ornament in olive and brassy green tones....a maybe

Inspiration

I have a popup; but would love someday to have a full camper. Vintage would be so nice. Attended an RV show with these huge bus-like RV's and they left me uninspired.  Two vintage campers were there and the difference was color, fun and adventure. No monitor in every room! No outdoor cooking station with monitor and music. No hotel room blahness inside!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Prepping for the Trip

Here are some handy websites with checklists:

RV Camping Checklists
http://www.rv-camping.org/CheckList.html

Need an RV Checklist?
http://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com/2007/09/checklists_rv_checklist.php

An easy to print out and modify checklist from Coleman
http://www.coleman.com/checklists/rv-camping-checklist/

Complete Camping Checklist (good for camping with children)
http://maddogmom.com/2012/03/06/the-ultimate-camp-checklist/

Printer Friendly Checklist (some good reminders here)
http://camping.about.com/od/campinggearchecklists/l/blchklist.htm

Camping Safety

Camping safety encompasses a lot of territory.  It can mean being safe in the activities pursued, being safe in the environment, and preparing for unexpected situations.
 
1) Have a first aid kit to take on your trip. Include bandages, aspirin, spray painkillers, anti-itch, burn salve/spray, snake bite anti-venom, elastic bandages for sprains, additional medicines you normally take for any physical ailment (from sinus to constipation!).  Keep it up to date and restocked as needed.
 
2) When camping it is good to take a battery powered weather radio to provide warnings of severe storms.  Do not spare expense on this item. It can save your life.  Having a crank option is nice in case the batteries are damaged or become wet but some crank only radios are cheaply made. Be careful in selection.
 
3) Choose your campsite carefully.  Avoid being too close to bodies of water that show evidence of past high and rapid water rising (often seen by sediment and silt residue on exposed rocks or tree trunks or a line where grass or weeds appear too recent or beaten down severely in the past).  Avoid the fall zone from large trees that can be hit by lightening and swept over by rapid and fast moving water or winds.  Know the best outdoor weather protection methods for the area where you are camping,  Information is not only power it is a life saver.
 
4) Be able to secure all parts of your campsite and its most valuable  assets in a manner to make it difficult for anyone to steal but not endanger the campers.
 
5) Know fire safety, especially for campfires, as well as safety procedures for using heaters and electricity around the camp.
 
A good camping manual or disaster preparedness book can be helpful for making lists and reminding of things to do.  What to do When the SH*T hits the Fan by Dave Black, a survival expert, is helpful although some of the advice for tornadoes may be dated (pre-the recent mega storms in the Oklahoma City and Moore areas that illustrated graphically the amount of bad advice often given for survival and safety in storms. Check with the National Weather Service for updated information and advisory data.)
 
Some helpful links:
Camping Health and Safety Checklist at http://www.cdc.gov/family/camping/

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Those Darn Pop-Up Valances!!!!

I really wanted to change the valances in the pop-up. They are kinda drab and if not faded they do lack some "pop" impact.  The question was, how in heck to get them off the tracks?
The first thing realized was that the two 'tracks' butted into one another locking the tracks in place.  The larger aluminum peace attached directly to the fiberglass hull as one piece and that did not bode well for removal.  The screws served to block the valance moving past them.  A small buttonhole in the valance locked it into place.

The second head scratcher were these little "C" hooks.  They did not easily come off. They were not glued in place, and though we suspected magic incantations were holding them on, we could find no proof!  The white elasticized material was tightly stitched to the valance.  They did not slip off and the did not easily pop off so we were stymied.  Then some wonderful folks on a pop-up modification page gave the experienced advice needed.  They DO pop off but may require some help in the form of a flathead screw driver.  Gently place the head under the center and "pop" them off.  They will snap back on easily. 
Some replace them after hand washing (machine washing tends to tear the "C" hooks off in some settings).  Some buy replacement "tape" to attach to replacement valances.  Some suggest using tension rods in the channels.  A few even removed the valances entirely.  Some units may be too ugly for that. Remember the material  used must be able to crumble easily without too much damage or care.  Some use ruffled but others have gone with a solid boxy style that looks good too.
 
 
The curtains over the pullout bunk area are larger and not so hard to deal with.  The major problem encountered with these is that the top are net for air circulation but the bottom of these and the other solid curtains are a plastic foam type of lining that does not wear well.  If you wash it the backing tends to flake off.  Some respond to this challenge by cutting off the bottom and sewing a new curtain they attach to the netting.  One user even just adhered with fabric glue a new lightweight material over the old one.

So, now I know how to do the replacement and the challenge will be finding the right material!

POSSIBILITIES

Owners of vintage trailers go for some all out transformations and refurbs.  What if the pop-up covers are in good condition, the valance workable and there is little money?  Can glamping features be added in spite of a lack of trendy colorful new seat covers, bright dazzling new valances and lots of cash to spare?  Yes! These were taken when I aired out the pop-up after a long, long winter.  Nothing special here - no painted to match or careful coordination here. Just some things from around the house that might travel well and serve to bring the "glamor" to the camping.  I am going to explore using the colors of the cushions (olive, tan/taupe, and light burgundy) to coordinate some items.  If I can find the right material I will replace the valance (now I known how they come off!).




Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fun with Samples: Choices!

I have rec'd great advice on recovering options. Denim is well liked. So is a Solarium outdoor fabric.  Scotch-guarding is considered essential so the fabric, I am told, should be able to hold up to that process.  I will try and link source sites up to these as I find them.  I still need something with a little brown to ground it but then pop with the turquoise, yellow, royal blue type of colors. The search goes one!

House of Fabric is one source and they have sales! http://www.housefabric.com/Solarium-Outdoor-Fabric-C472.aspx

Joann Fabric is another source http://www.joann.com/outdoor-fabric-solarium-coltrane-nutmeg/12743050.html?

Locally, fabric stores are not as numerous as they once were and especially looking for upholstery or outdoor fabrics at reasonable prices. 





A Last Normal Camp

Last fall we took the popup camper out for a few days of early November camping. The weather was warmed from an early and unusual cold front that dropped snow and sub-artic temps down. As we set up camp, the wind was crisp, the skies still cloudy but the temps were well above freezing, not warm but bearable with a fleecy hoodie.  An out of the middle of nowhere campsite meant lots of geese landing on the nearby pond at sunset and skidding over its surface during the day.  Very relaxing with warm food, reading, and lazy conversation.

It was also a time to review the camper and see what changes and updates might be made to 'glamp' it up a tad bit.  New, brighter seat covers for one thing. Change the dining table to a more bistro size. Learn how to set up the awning (which we had never opened!).   Even when rain came through in the middle of the night and played a 'rat-tat-tat' on the canvas covering it was restful. 
 
It is now early spring. The temps are still a little low, the winds too high, and the energy still slug-like to do much more than just dream and remember the last, hopefully, dull normal camp.