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11+ Essentials For Stress-Free Family Camping

11+ Essentials For Stress-Free Family Camping

Family camping means quality time experienced by the whole family. The memories and experiences arising from such fun trips help family members to bond better with each other.

Most families love camping. In hindsight, any family camping trip may seem blissful, but when you’re loading your station wagon with tents, coolers, first aid kits, extra water bottles, utensils, life jackets, and so on, it is not really that calming. However, with some careful planning and heeding to some essential family camping tips, you can make your trip truly comfortable.

Here are some family camping essentials to make your outing enjoyable and relaxing.

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1. A camping tent

Nowadays, the best family tents are sold online or are available in stores. Tent size and shape are important if you do not wish to feel confined.

Consider the length and width of the tent. It should be large enough to accommodate two adults and two small kids. Plus, you need to stock your other camping gear. Family camping tents come in many shapes to choose from — the A-frame, the umbrella, the dome, or the wall tent. Irrespective of shape, the best family tent will be tall enough to stand in, waterproof, and made of thick rip-stop fabric without any rusty zippers. Remember that the weather at the campsite can be sunny, windy, rainy, hot, or cold, and all this will have diverse demands on your family’s camping tent.

2. A whirly-gig

You never know how many tents in the campsite will look similar. So, a whirly-gig, like a flag or windsocks, will help you or your kids quickly recognize the tent.

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3. Sleeping bags and blankets for your family to stay warm

If you feel cold in the night, you will become miserable. Carry enough sleeping bags, blankets, hot water bottles, duvets, and layers.

4. A lighter, matches, and firewood

Carry some firewood in case you are unable to forage any. You will also need some matches and a lighter. A campfire is always enjoyable, just remember to extinguish it after you’re done for the night. Softwoods are great to start camp fires, and dry hardwood will help to get you a bed of hot coals. What is camping without a campfire!

5. A camping stove to cook your hot meals

Carrying a camp stove makes sense. You can cook hot meals or use one to warm water for a hot beverage. Nowadays, there are plenty of choices when it comes to camping stoves. Choose one with the number of burners you will need for your camp cooking.

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6. Food, a cooker, and utensils

Carry a cooker with sides so as to protect the flames from the blowing winds. Other essential utensils to carry are enamel plates, cutlery, bowls, and mugs. Water bottles are a must.

7. Some pancake batter, a frying pan, and a spatula

Carry your pancake batter in a cooler if you want, along with some boiled eggs and some homemade buttermilk to help sustain you until you properly set up your camp kitchen.

8. A backpack with extra essentials

Each of your family members may need extra socks, sweatshirts, sunscreen, toothpaste, toothbrushes, books, puzzles, and so on depending on their needs.

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9.  A first aid kit

Carry a personal first aid kit. This will handle most of the minor problems that you may encounter and you can treat yourself. If you are allergic to insect bites, make sure to carry your prescription medications.

10. A camp lantern

A camp lantern helps to make your late-night suppers stress-free. It allows you to play games or even read after sunset. Your camp lantern makes your campsite feel like a little retreat in the dark. You can carry either a battery-powered lantern or one that is powered by propane gas.

11. A camera

Your family camping will do well with a lightweight, durable camera. You can capture great images from your camping trip.

Featured photo credit: Julian Bialowas via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on February 12, 2019

12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid

12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid

I’m a hypochondriac. Always have been since I was a child. One of my biggest fears as an adult is getting breast cancer. I visited my gynecologist a few months ago and asked what I could do to help prevent getting breast cancer. You know what she said? Nothing. According to this recommended OB/GYN doctor, besides regular check-ups to see if I already had breast cancer, there was nothing I could do to prevent a cancer that impacts 1 in 8 U.S. women.

BS.

After heavily researching breast cancer, I found out that I was making quite a few mistakes with my everyday activities. Here are 12 things that may cause breast cancer that you should avoid.

Buying Deodorant Without Checking the Label

I actually have a good friend who is more of a hypochondriac than I am, so I went to her with my concerns about breast cancer. She took me into the bathroom and thrust her deodorant at me. While at first I was confused and slightly offended, she explained that I should start using a different deodorant because the mass-produced ones at the store have ingredients (ie aluminum –based compounds) I can’t afford to put under my armpits and so close to my breasts. Luckily, she had an extra Tom’s natural deodorant to give me.

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There might not be any “conclusive” research that links antiperspirants to breast cancer but better safe than sorry.

Using Chemical Hair Dye

I know so many people who dye their hair every few months using the cheap boxed dyes you can buy at the store. Sure, it can be fun but it’s like playing Russian Roulette because the dyes you use most likely contain carcinogens. The National Cancer Institute even warns against the practice of just picking out a hair dye willy-nilly. So the next time you do it, go to a health foods market and find the most naturally-based hair dye you can.

Smoking

Regarding my visit to the gynecologist, she did come back after our conversation a few minutes later and asked if I smoked or drank a lot of alcohol. I said no (I don’t think any true hypochondriac can do either of those things). “You’ll be fine then,” she said. But she forgot about second-hand smoke, which can be just as dangerous. Now, I won’t go near anyone if they’re lighting up, including my BFF’s boyfriend. He can get as mad as he wants; my health is more important!

Wearing the Wrong Bra Size

When an organization devoted to protecting women against breast cancer suggests you get fitted with the right bra, you take notice. Bras that are too small or big might pose a risk because they just aren’t supportive on the breast tissue or if they are too tight they will cut off drainage of the lymph fluid. Hey, it was a great excuse to head to Victoria’s Secret to get measured.

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If I had my choice though, I would go all-natural and join the bra burners of the 60s (however, my mom was a bra burner, so that might make it a little awkward).

Using Chemical Household Cleaners

If the cabinet under your kitchen sink looks like most, there are enough chemicals to make all sorts of crazy things. And yes, as you and I suspected, those chemicals are REALLY bad. Not only are they connected with breast cancer, they are connected with other kinds of cancers, as well as chronic conditions like migraines, allergies and more. So from now on, clean with vinegar, baking soda and other materials that aren’t going to give you a medical nightmare.

Using Mothballs

When I was a little kid, I learned to use mothballs. They actually remind me of my grandmother, bless her heart. Little did I know that they are filled with chemicals that have been connected with breast cancer development. Looks like I’ll be looking for an alternative, like cedar chips. Sorry, Grammy!

Putting Non-Organic Make-Up on My Face

I won’t tell you the foundation I use, but I will tell you that after I read the ingredients, I promptly threw it away. It was chock full of all sorts of nasty things like parabens, which have been found en masse in tissue samples that came from breast cancer patients. I can still wear make-up, though. A trip to my local whole foods store was all it took to come up with organic-based, paraben-free cover-up.

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Neglecting My Physical Health

In my research, I discovered losing weight is a good way to ward off breast cancer since there have been indications of a link between being overweight and being diagnosed with this type of cancer. That’s all the motivation I need to get off the couch and head to the gym.

Drinking Alcohol

Like I mentioned above, alcohol has never been my drink of choice but basically everyone else I know highly enjoys their beer. Yet alcohol is super problematic if you want to avoid breast cancer, liver cancer and heart cancer. In a global study, over 21 percent of alcohol related deaths were because of cancer. I’m hoping for a soon-to-be revolution that swaps alcohol for tea (healthier and less expensive) when it comes to social drinking. Tea time anyone?

De-Odorizing My House With Air Fresheners

I love a clean-smelling house and car, but the air fresheners I’ve been using contain phthalates, a type of plasticizing chemical. Phthalates have been found in air fresheners because they help create a long-lasting fragrance. Unfortunately, that fragrance could be deadly. Looks like I’ll be boiling some water, cinnamon sticks and cloves on the stovetop to make my house smell really amazing!

Storing Everything in Plastic Containers

I have a habit of collecting those plastic containers. Whenever I get a coupon for them, I just go hog-wild and buy a bunch. But they have a connection to breast cancer, which I didn’t know before. It’s especially bad when you use them to reheat food in the microwave. I’m going to suck it up, throw them out and use glass containers instead.

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Buying the Wrong Food

I figured that pesticides were trouble from the get-go, and I was right. They get into your foods and, in some cases, seem to foster an environment where cancerous cells feel compelled to grow within the organs and tissues, including the breasts. It’s one more reason to buy from local farmers, as long as they don’t use pesticides. You’ll have to ask them, by the way; most local food market stands don’t have signs up about the whole pesticides topic.

While everyone still makes fun of me for being a hypochondriac, I know in my heart that I’m actually just protecting myself, and maybe educating some people on the health dangers that lurk in everyday items. My wellbeing is worth being the butt of a few jokes. Yours is, too.

Featured photo credit: NA via istockphoto.com

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