Now that you've got some great Wenzel outdoor gear it'll pay to become familiar with it before you head for the great outdoors. Practice assembling and using your new stove, lantern and tent in your backyard or driveway. You might even do a "backyard overnighter" with the kids for practice. Cook up a dinner of camping style food, tell some campfire tales and tuck the kids in their bags in the tent for the night. You'll be glad you did a test run. It's always better to get your act together in the comfort of your own backyard than to arrive at a campsite tired, hungry and clueless about how to make camp.
Planning a Trip
Write out your itinerary and make extra copies for:
- Friends or family at home
- The Forest Ranger
- Each member of your hike
- And always leave one in the car
- Choose the area and sights you would like to see during your trip.
- Select the trails which service the sights you want to visit.
- Select your access point to the trailheads.
- Select your overnight stopover points.
- Determine the location of ranger stations.
- Determine the time and distance between points.
- When planning your routes use a topographic map to review the terrain you will encounter.
- Make sure at least one person in your group knows how to use a compass and topographic map.
- Try to form a group of at least four people. That way, in case of an accident, one person can stay with the victim while two can go for help and no person is ever alone.
- Always prepare and carry a menu, and
- Detail the contents of each meal
- Write down who cooks and who cleans each meal
- Separate and package all items for each meal in one container (zip lock baggie)
Packing for an Outdoor Adventure
Here's a checklist you may find useful as you prepare for your next trip. You can print this page out and keep a copy in your Wenzel back pack or tent bag. As you and your family gain experience you’ll get a better idea of what you want to add or delete from this basic list.
Wenzel Air Mattress
Ice or Ice Substitutes
Camera and Film
Jug of Water
Radiant Heater (Cold Weather)
Wenzel Propane Lantern
Mantles for your Wenzel Lantern
Disposable Butane Lighter
Matches & Waterproof Container
Dishpan and Pot Scrubbers
First Aid Kit
Pad, Pencil or Pen
Flares/Mirror - emergency devices
Plastic Zipper Bags
Rope, Cord or Wire
Folding Chairs or Camp Stools
Shovel - Folding Type
Folding Stands for Cooler and Stove
Soap - Biodegradable
Wenzel Propane Stove
Tool Kit, Hammer & Nails
Towels - Paper & Bath
Water Container/Purification Tablets
First Aid Kit
Always carry a first aid kit appropriate to the trip you're planning and the number of campers in your party. Here are some important things to include in a basic kit.
1 elastic-roll bandage
Aspirin or ibuprofen
Adhesive bandages, assorted sizes
Bulb irrigating syringe
Chemical heat and cold packs
Dry-wash pads or wipes
Hydrocortisone cream (soothes allergic skin)
Mirror, small and unbreakable
Moleskin, 1 or 2 packets
Cotton swab, sterile, packaged in pairs
Scissors (Swiss Army Pen Knife has scissors, small blade and nail file)
Before every trip make sure the tools and supplies are in good condition. Replace expired medicines and add items you wished you had on your last trip. Make sure the container is durable and waterproof and stow it in an accessible compartment of your backpack. It is important to know how to use everything in your first aid kit beforehand. You won't have time in the middle of an emergency to read an instruction manual. Often very basic first aid knowledge can help to save a life. Completing a First Aid Course is a sensible investment for your family. You'll probably also find it fun and interesting.
Special Tips for Family Outings
- One to two weeks before the trip make a note of what will be needed on the trip. As you gather these items, store them in a grocery bag or box.
- Provide all family members with their own case for toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, shampoo and soap. Trial size babybath works well in place of bars of soap.
- Make a list of like items that each family member will be responsible for packing. Have them check off the items as they pack. (ex. 5 pairs sox, swim suit, jacket ...) Allow each child to bring a small bag of games, toys, stuffed animals or other personal items to make them feel comfortable.
- Several months before a trip, find a few small toys that your child enjoys, but hasn't played with in a while, and pack them away. Bring these toys with you on your trip for something 'new' to play with. Small toys like the ones found in happy meals work well with this idea.
- Print a map for the kids, so they can follow where you are. For door-to-door directions enter your starting address and your destination address at MapQuest and you will be given directions, a map and your travel distance. Have your kids keep this in their travel notebook.
- Buy an inexpensive 1" binder for each child to keep their printouts in. Put several blank and lined sheets of paper in the notebook. Print out a Road Trip Games sheet and Road Trip Printouts from below. Punch holes in the printouts and place in the binder. Keep a box of pencils, crayons, pens and/or markers in the car.
- Give each child their own disposable camera. Encourage them to create their own vacation memories.