Beware of Poisonous Plants

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In our daily lives plants are typically considered beneficial. They make our environment beautiful and our diet healthy. We don’t usually think about poisonous plants (like the poison oak pictured above).

When you’re out camping your awareness of the plants around you must increase!

Contact with poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac can totally SCREW your Romantic Camping trip in a BAD way! These plants can cause you to breakout with a painful, itchy and ugly rash that may take weeks to cure. This is NOT the memory you want to have of your Romantic Getaway!

It’s important to remember that the oils from these poisonous plants can be transferred through contact. Poison from these plants can be transferred by clothing or even pet hair. Of course, direct skin-to-skin transfer is possible (and likely) too.

What do you do when you suspect that you just tromped through some poisonous plants?

1) Remove the clothing that has come into contact with the plants. Stick these items in a separate bag, like an extra plastic garbage bag. You will want to wash these clothing items separately.

2) Wash your skin with warm (not hot) water and soap. Then apply rubbing alcohol to the affected area. The rubbing alcohol will help evaporate the badness!

Identify poisonous plants early and avoid them! I’ve posted pictures and descriptions of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac at

Click HERE for more information about poisonous plants!

Your Backpack Basics

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Do you know how to purchase the right backpack and how to use it correctly? There is much to know about backpacks. If you plan to haul ALL your camping gear on your back you MUST be prepared with the right information.

I have setup a brief outline of backpack essentials at This information includes features, styles, sizes, loading strategies and hydration systems ALL for backpacks. Definitely jump over and check out the Backpacks section.

As a preview, I will highlight some to the crucial backpack INFO right now. Don’t learn the hard way! Follow my advice and you will be on your way and feeling right… So, here is my “quick-and-dirty” backpack purchasing advice:

1) Proper Fit - Make certain your pack fits RIGHT! Have an experienced sales person to help you find a pack that fits your body correctly. Your height and the size of your hips and shoulders are significant factors in finding the right backpack. Every backpack feels good empty. Load the backpack with weight and then try it on.

2) Internal or External Frame - What’s important to you… balance or ventilation? The internal frame style allows you to carry the weight closer to your body. This style helps provides a lower center of gravity and provides a more predictable movement of the load. The external frame typically has a system of straps and pads to keep the main pack and frame from contacting the body. This open structure has the added benefit of improved ventilation and decreased sweatiness.

3) Gear Access - How do you want to access your gear? There are three options… Top-loading styles have a single top opening that can be synched-up tight for maximum water resistance. Panel-loading style allows convenient access to your stuff through a horseshoe-shaped zipper from the front panel of the pack. Combo-loading gives you both options.

4) Backpack Size - Buy a backpack that is sized specifically for the trip you are doing. Day packs hold about 1,000 – 1,500 cubic inches. Weekend packs are sized at about 3000 – 4,500 cubic inches. Trekking packs are in the 4000 – 6,000 cubic inch range.

Top 3 Camping Safety Issues

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Nobody enjoys concentrating on what COULD go wrong. Going down this negative thought path can make you crazy! My intension is to keep your camping trip POSITIVE. This is why it’s crucial you know the potential risks that accompany any outdoor adventure. Knowing the possible pitfalls will ensure your Romantic Getaway remains SAFE and FUN.

I have studied the camping safety information available today. There is a slight risk involved with leaving your daily routine and entering the wilderness. This risk actually makes everything more exciting! Knowledge and preparation help you hedge the odds. Reading this blog message already gives you an advantage! Check out the most common camping safety issues listed below:


1) Sunburn: We all know the sun can BURN. Somehow, from time to time, we still get a nasty sunburn. Usually, this happens when we are distracted or overstimulated and forget how long we’ve actually been exposed. Sunburn and other burns from your camping stove or the campfire are common camping injuries. Be aware of these risks. I have posted more information HERE about what to do if you do experience a burn while camping.

2) Blisters: Blisters are caused by friction, heat and sweating. Beware of blisters especially when hiking. Proper fitting footwear (hiking boots) is the best defense against blisters. Some other helpful tips…

      Socks: Use quality wool hiking socks.
      Sock-liners: These are ultra-thin tight socks. Wear the sock-liners under your thicker outer wool socks. Sock-liners minimize friction on your skin.
      Stay Clean: Be sure to remove debris that works its way into you boots or shoes.
      Stay Dry: Avoid hiking for extended periods with wet feet.

At I have included advice on what TO DO if (or when) you encounter a HOT SPOT or BLISTER. It’s IMPORTANT to know this stuff, especially when hiking or backpacking!

3) Sprains: These injuries occur when the ligaments in the joint are suddenly overstretched. The most commonly sprained joints are the wrist, knee and ankle. If you experience a sprain while hiking or camping it’s NOT the end of the world. Just remember the R.I.C.E. acronym and follow these four steps:

      Rest: The sprain should be rested. No additional force should be applied on site of the sprain. If, for example, the sprain were an ankle sprain, then walking should be kept to a minimum.
      Ice: Ice should be applied immediately to the sprain to minimize swelling and ease pain. It can be applied for 20-30 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day. Ice can be combined with a wrapping to minimize swelling and provide support.
      Compression: Dressings, bandages, or ace-wraps should be used to immobilize the sprain and provide support.
      Elevation: Keeping the sprained joint elevated above heart level will also help to minimize swelling.

I will be posting more SAFETY information at and on the Blog under the Safety category. Periodically, give this Safety stuff a quick review. Knowing the potential risks will help your Romantic Getaway remain FUN and SAFE. Also, knowing what TO DO when an accident does occur can make you a HERO. Having the skills and knowledge to remedy a negative situation always boosts your sex appeal… that’s good!

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