Posts Tagged With: Fire Pot

Fall Is Here! Don’t Pack that Gear Just Yet!

If you’ve been following this blog, you probably get the impression that camping and outdoors activities are summertime events. And yes, they are certainly a lot easier to pull off when you don’t have to work around school schedules, football practice, dance class, etc. But I urge you not to overlook the super cool fun there is to be had at this time of year, especially now that the weather is cooling off a little and the bugs are starting to get lethargic.

Fun fact: Did you know mosquitoes supposedly can’t flap their wings if the temperature drops below 68 degrees Fahrenheit? Wrap up in your sleeping bag and enjoy a bug-free evening!

But one of the things that kills camping and other activities for parents right now is the packing and the driving and the setting up…only to tear it all down just two days later and race home to get ready for school. And that’s assuming you even had a completely free weekend to do something.

So one of the best things to do at this time of year is the day excursion. Whether it’s hiking, going mountain biking, star gazing, geocaching, canoeing or kayaking if you live somewhere still warm to enough to risk a dunk in the river…whatever you do, a day trip is perfect.

But don’t give up on the opportunities for a day trip that happens to take place at night! Here’s a really fun option that will take your outdoors fun to a limited level, but after sunset.

  1. Pick up the kids from school and hit the road (nothing wrong with dropping the backpacks and lunchboxes at the house first, or even waiting for other family members to get off work).
  2. Pack a portable grill and a cooler filled with dinner ingredients. Check out this easy to make fire pot for hot dogs and marshmallows if you don’t have a grill, or invest in a small charcoal or propane grill, which should run a price spectrum of between $15 and $100.
  3. Find a safe and legal spot to set up lawn chairs, spread out the blanket, cook some dinner, and even roast some marshmallows.
  4. Enjoy the evening! Use an app like Google Starwalk to help you guys pick out different stars and planets, bring along some games or a frisbee, whatever. Just get your kids out there and enjoy!

And if it’s not all that chilly where you live, don’t forget your Bug Off Jar and some peppermint oil to keep those noseeums at bay.

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DIY Gear: Portable Fire Pot

The great thing about the outdoors is that you can have a lot of fun on a strict budget. We often rely on camping and other outdoors activities when the money just isn’t there for a trip to Disneyworld, but we still want to do something fun.

Unfortunately, you can break the bank on outdoors gear, much of it stuff that you will never, ever need. I’m sorry, but no one short of an Everest expedition guide needs a $500 sleeping bag or a $1000 tent. Even better, for most of your family’s adventures, you don’t even need a $100 sleeping bag (yet!).

There are some really great life hacks that I like to file under DIY Gear, and this Fire Pot is no exception. It’s nothing more than a terra cotta pot, some tinfoil, and some charcoal or wood pieces, but it’s the perfect size for a small fire to roast a few hotdogs or marshmallows. It’s also a nice little personal fire pit, so you can enjoy the night sky with a flickering glow.

WARNING: I know this might sound like common sense, but it’s really not. Why? Because of websites where items like this are photographed badly. I happen to know someone who blogged about this very fire pot, and how it burned a hole straight through her deck. She’d seen the picture on Pinterest, and in the photo, there were people holding these little pots while they burned. She knew it would get warm, but not warm enough to char wood. Eventually, this woman’s story was actually featured on Pinterest Fail. Check it out.

Once you’re done with your fire pot, it will still be hot! You can pour water or sand over the burning coals to put them out, but make sure you’re exercising all fire safety precautions for putting it out. Don’t just dump your coals on the ground, or you’ll be reading about the forest fire you caused in the following day’s newspaper. You also need a sturdy box to transport it back home in, and some kind of pot holder or glove to pick it up with.

NOTE: If you took your fire pot to a nice little picnic spot, DO NOT CARRY IT HOME INSIDE YOUR CAR WITH THE COALS IN IT. You run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning! Plan your excursion to leave you plenty of time to put out the coals safely and let the pot cool off before returning it to your vehicle in its sturdy cardboard box.

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