Everything You Need for Backyard Camping - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Everything You Need for Backyard Camping

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Backyard camping is a must for families who want to help kids experience the outdoors in an exciting, but not scary, way.

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PHILADEPHIA, PA, May 28, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Family camping can be one of the best ways for families to bond while having fun in the backyard. Pitch a tent, light a fire in a fire pit or campfire ring, and enjoy some treats under the stars before bed.

Young children love family camping in the backyard because they feel secure knowing that if they get scared of the dark, their bedroom isn't far away, and mom and dad are close-by. Mom and Dad love backyard camping, too, because they know the coffee pot isn't far away the next morning.

Backyard Camping Essentials

Family camping doesn't absolutely require a tent but it's much more fun that way. If a tent isn't available, camping can be done with blankets on a clothesline, but make sure everything is secured and there are no safety hazards.

Establish a "base camp" in an area where you can have a campfire or a portable fire pit or bowl. These items are perfect for a long-lasting fire for family camping and can be used anywhere in a safe place in your backyard. Fire pits and bowls are better for containing a fire, but good safety rules are always necessary when using a fire.

There are also some stunning fire pit rings that feature moons and stars, or moose or horse silhouettes. Fire pits are available in different material - cast iron, steel or copper - and some have mesh lids to keep sparks from flying out.

Sleeping outdoors can bring its own challenges; so stock up on bug spray, comfy sleeping bags, pillows and blankets. Include a few first-aid items and a flashlight. A hose holder is a sturdy way to pack and carry your supplies and also complements your fire pit decor.

And while you're stocking up, don't forget the S'mores ingredients and special S'mores forks. It's the essential fun food for a successful backyard camping experience the kids will always remember.

Sights and Sounds

The night sky is one of the highlights of outdoor camping so make sure you bring a telescope and a book on the constellations. Kids love to learn about the stars and will always remember the "Big Dipper" and "Little Dipper" and other constellations once they've learned to identify them.

Night sounds are also more vivid, crisp and scary for kids, so be prepared to identify bird calls, rustles in the leaves and other "larger than life" sounds that are magnified in the dark. Learning to listen for nighttime sounds can be a new and interesting experience for young campers and can help to get them acclimated to nature and using all of their senses.

Since you'll be in your own backyard you probably don't have to worry about poison ivy, but it's always a good opportunity to teach the "Leaves of three, let it be" mantra.

Safety Tips for Campfires, Fire Pits and Bowls
- Place the fire pit in an open area on a solid surface, but never on a wooden deck, grass, or any other flammable surface
- Never place a fire pit in an enclosed area or indoors.
- Know your city or county regulations regarding the use of a fire pit.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher, a garden hose or large bucket of sand nearby to smother the fire if necessary. Your fire extinguisher should be handy, in good working condition, and not close to its expiration date.
- Use common sense and exercise courtesy as well as caution. Don't build a fire on a windy day. You don't want smoke blowing into neighbors' homes and backyards.
- Start your fire small. Use recommended fire starters. Never use an accelerant or gasoline to start a fire. Suggested burning materials include wood, fire logs, and charcoal.
- Do not allow children or someone with little experience to light the fire.
- Never leave the fire unattended. Fire pits are HOT when in use and should be adult-supervised at all times. Extreme caution should be exercised when children are nearby.
- As a precaution, the fire should be no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high. Don't pile wood too high.
- Use the wire mesh cover when the fire is lit to control flying sparks.
- The screen handle is HOT when in use.
- Use a heat proof barbeque mitt or poker tool to grasp the handle.
- It is best to extinguish the fire completely once you have finished using it. Use a fire extinguisher, or enough water to douse the fire.

Avant Garden Decor offers a premier brand of innovative outdoor living decor, including the CobraCo Brand. From stylish planters and baskets, to flower boxes, plant stands, and fire pits, the CobraCo Brand is the outdoor entertainer's choice for outdoor decor. Avant Garden Decor also offers Gardener's Blue Ribbon brand of garden helpers, such as garden stakes, accessories, and various plant saucers that meet the demands of both gardening hobbyists and enthusiasts alike. Gardeners can contact Avant Garden Decor at www.avantgardendecor.com or 800-323-5800.

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