Tips to camp away spring break

Nicole Hennessy

When you think of spring break, you think of college kids in bathing suits doing keg stands on beaches.

You think of boardwalks with nightlife spilling out of bars and clubs.

But you don’t think of peeing in the woods or eating burnt hot dogs.

If you’re broke, camping can be a great alternative to sitting on your couch watching reruns on TV for a week.

West Branch State Park in Ravenna has mountain bike trails, and the KOA in Streetsboro offers one and two bedroom cabins. But for the more spontaneous camper, you can just get on the highway and drive until you see one of those blue signs with a tent on it.

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, realized that your stiletto heels aren’t appropriate and wrestled with your tent or watched someone else wrestle with it, you’ll need to build a fire.

How to build a fire

Start with tiny sticks in a grid formation. Begin lighting paper or cardboard on fire and inserting it in the spaces between and under the grid you made with the sticks. Keep doing this until the twigs catch on fire and then start gradually adding more small sticks. Do this slowly so you don’t smother the fire. Once you have a strong flame going, get three logs and form them into a teepee around your fire. Then just start to add wood to your fire, and eventually you can burn larger objects.

However, burning entire trees is a bad idea and burning the campground’s picnic tables is frowned upon.

Also, be sure to keep a small bucket of water around in case the fire gets out of control.

Campfire Recipes

Before cooking, make sure your fire has died down enough so that you can place your concoction on the glowing coals.

Dinner: Roasted meat and vegetables

You’ll need tin foil, a knife, peppers or any other vegetables you want, potatoes, diced meat and some kind of seasoning.

Make sure everything is chopped up into small squares and sprinkle your food with water so it doesn’t dry out, then fold the tin foil to create a pouch. Set pouch in fire.

Flip it after about 20 minutes. At 40 minutes, take it out of the fire, and if it’s not done yet, keep it on for longer.

Dessert: Peanut butter and bananas

You’ll need tinfoil, bananas and peanut butter.

Cut the banana in half with the peel still on. Spread peanut butter between the two halves of the banana. Then close it up, wrap it in tinfoil and cook it for about 20 minuets, flipping it after 10.

Now you can just relax and stay warm around your fire. And if you’re lucky, it won’t rain.

More tips

In case you do run into problems, here are some items you might want to have on hand: ponchos, rubbing alcohol, Neosporin, aloe, sunscreen, bug spray, Band-Aids and hand sanitizer.

Also, make sure to dress for the weather and always keep your beverages cool.

Contact features reporter Nicole Hennessy at [email protected].