Archive for August, 2011

Find Your Geocache: Caching Adventure

International Geocaching Day

The first International Geocaching Day was celebrated on Saturday August 20, 2011. says that this will be an annual affaire held on the third Saturday of August each year.

If you found a cache or attended an event on 8/20/11 you will get a special souvenir on your profile on (Souvenirs will be awarded soon but as of today, nothing has appeared yet!)

International Geocaching Day

jeananjoe's EVIL NASTY micro cache is actually hidden in my hand in this photo.

Not only did I drag ESP Boss and The Queen Mother out for a “quick” cache on Saturday, I also celebrated my 100th find. I had been “saving” lucky number 100 for a special occasion…

Okay, not really. I tried to get to 100 two weeks ago when I was caching with Sandy but struck out.

Anyway, not only did I get my 100th find on a very neat day in geocaching history but it was also the first ever micro placed by local caching couple jeananjoe that the “Royal” Family successfully found.

Very cool!

I know every caching area as “THAT ONE” cache hider who is so mean, ruthless, and nigh impossible to find their caches. Well, the micros of jeananjoe are my cache-placing nemesis.

And we found it!


Readers Weigh In:

  • Did you participate in International Geocaching Day? What did you do/find?

Mystery Monday: Adding New Attractions

Remember how a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Utah was missing state parks and that Sandy was researching them? Well, when I sat down this weekend to ADD them to the database, I found a whole bunch of OTHER attractions that were done but not loaded.

Oh no!

So, over the next week or so, be on the lookout for the following:

Cabins & Yurts in Montana (79)
Rentable lookout towers in Montana (13)
Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge & related attractions (21)
Texas State Historic Parks (80)
Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming (8)
Utah State Parks (137)

So, I thought I had 137 attractions to add and ended up with 338!

Guess I have my work cut out for me! But keep checking back to see these new attractions.

Fun Food Fridays: Frito Pie


  • 1 can chili
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 lb ground hamburger
  • Rice (minute rice is nice for camping)
  • 1 bag Fritos®
  • Shredded cheese

Brown hamburger and drain off fat. Season to taste. Set aside in a covered dish to stay warm. Cook rice. Heat the chili in a small sauce pan. In a second sauce pan, heat the beans.

(Yes, if you like it, you can substitute chili with beans!)

Pour Fritos® into a zippered bag and crush.

In a soup bowl, layer the rice, beans, chili, and meat. Top with the crushed Fritos® and shredded cheese.

This recipe is included in the eBook “Camp Cooking from the Newsletter” Get your copy today!

Set Your Hook: Drop-Shot Rig

Drop-Shot Rigs

A drop-shot rig is a hook tied directly to the line (from four inches to four-foot above the sinker) with a sinker also tied to the line, below the hook.

To create a Drop-Shot Rig:

Pass a look of monofilament line through the eye of the hook. The tail of the line (the part that is not attached to the reel) is where you will put your weight.

Tie a Palomar knot to secure the hook and leave the tag end (the tail of the line that is not attached to the reel) about four or five feet long. Now take the tag end and go back through the hook eye from the point side toward the back. When you hang the weight, the hook will be at a 90-degree angle to the line with the hook point up.

Last is the weight and how far up the line the hook should be. Here’s where you’ll have to decide based on how high above the hump or sunken island the fish are holding. You’ll just have to experiment to see what the fish want, but 18″ to 24″ is a good place to start.

Pitch Your Tent: Polite Tip

Polite Camping

I really like camping out in the sticks — dispersed, dry camping where I have to haul in all my own stuff (including water), use my porta-potty, and haul out all my trash. But, on holiday weekends, all the traffic from ATVs and trucks can make me nutsy, so I head to a campground. There’s nothing worse than camping in a developed campground than inconsiderate neighbors!

1. Respect other’s rights.

BathroomDon’t walk through another camper’s site — walk around it. Most public campgrounds in have paths between sites to the bathrooms, trash, etc. Use these paths and enjoy the stroll!

2. Be noise aware.

I have no problem with shouting children having fun during the day — I love to see families out camping! However, noise like radios, generators, yelling for no reason, and fighting is really rude. You should also obey the campground’s quiet hours. Voices, radios and other noises carry further than you might think on a quiet evening. (A good rule is to tone down the noise as the sun sets.) Most of the time, when you’re camping you get up with the sun, which means getting up early. Respect the wishes of those rare people who want to sleep in and keep morning noise to a minimum as well.

A few summers ago, my folks went camping in Arizona’s White Mountains. For the last three days of their trip, a HUGE RV pulled in beside them and ran the generator non-stop! My folks ended up leaving a day early because of the noise and smell.

If you’re going camping, CAMP! Get out of the RV and enjoy nature. If you’re going to use your generator (we’ve got one, so you know I approve of them) be sure to be considerate of others.

3. Pack out what you pack in.

You should leave your campsite cleaner than you found it. If the campground has campground hosts, they are responsible to keep the campground tidy — NOT to clean up after wild parties! Many campgrounds have trash service that you should use, making sure to close the lids tightly to keep animals out. Recycle when possible — many campgrounds have recycling programs.

4. Keep your pets under control.

Lily goes campingIf you camp with your dog (or cat!), keep Fido contained and clean up after him, just like you do in a city park. Before tying him to a tree, make sure it’s permitted. (I prefer collapsible pens.) If your dog likes to bark, like Lily does, then make sure you keep it under control. Lily barks when somebody walks by and then stops — if she continues, I put her in the trailer.

5. Don’t cut living trees for firewood.

In Arizona, most of the time, any downed (dead) wood is good to use, but not necessarily the dead wood on a living tree. California has completely different rules so know the campground’s rule on finding your own wood or buying it.

6. Clean up after yourself.


These are placed in campgrounds for a reason! Use them. And yes, for your pet's droppings as well!

Campground facilities exist for the benefit of all campers. Help keep them clean!

7. Be water respectful.

Do not clean fish or wash dishes in lakes or streams. Waste water (grey or black) should not be dumped in a lake, stream, or on the ground. If the campground offers potable water (drinking water from a faucet), know the rules of what you can and can’t do at the spigot. Most of the time, this means no washing ANYTHING at the spigot, including hands.

8. Know and respect the campground’s rules, even if you don’t understand the reasons for them.

The rules have been established to protect and respect the rights of campers, the campground, and the environment.

Readers Weigh In


  • If you know of any campground etiquette issues I’ve missed or that particularly make you mad, post it in the comments.

Find Your Geocache: Swag

In preparation for my big upcoming geocaching event in September, I’ve been going through all my drawers looking for good swag as “seed swag” for the caches I’ll be placing. But, I’d pretty much already done that when I started caching and have placed or traded most of it.

Last weekend I was doing some shopping and decided to look into just BUYING swag. Of course, the toy department at my local Walmart had a ton of selection: for a ton of money! And the toys at the dollar store, while priced better, were just too cheap and boring looking.


This is the swag in just two and a half bags. We ended up with 7 bags of swag so 70 trade items!

Then, I hit upon it: Goodwill!

Now, I don’t know if every Goodwill store offers toys. Of the two here in Prescott, I think only one does. But it was still worth the trip!

There were about twenty bins attached to a back wall, each filled with a selection of plastic toys. And the sign above the bins:

10 for $1.49
4 for $0.99

ESP Boss & I spent about thirty minutes carefully going through each and every bin. The next result: 7 bags of toys (70 items) for $10.43. It turned out to be a lot less than anywhere else. Plus, I really liked it that I wasn’t driving all over to hit yard sales, the money goes for a good cause, and all the items were in good condition. (They’ll get a bath, though since some were a bit dirty or sticky!)

And, if I had gone in on Saturday (it was Friday) it was a 50% off Saturday. Our Goodwill stores offer specials that every-other Saturday are 50% off everything in the store.

We picked up a large selection of plastic snakes, toys from a variety of fast-food kid’s menus, “army” men that are PIRATES, and a lot of exciting random toys including a bendy Oreo figurine, M&M characters, dinosaurs, and bugs.

So the next time you need seed swag for a cache, think about stocking up at your local Goodwill or other re-sale store.

At these prices, I think that it’s a good idea for ALL cachers to carry a bag of trade with them when they’re caching. Too often the “adult” cachers forget that just because they don’t trade doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t make sure that the caches they visit aren’t full of great trade items.

After all, geocaching is a family activity and kids always enjoy trading for swag. As geocachers we take care to remove any trash, food, or inappropriate items from the cache, but how often do we ensure that the cache is filled with fun trade items?

I know that even after my event, I’ll carry a bag or two of Goodwill goodies to replenish and refresh any caches I visit!

Readers Weigh In:

  • Do you trade for swag?
  • What toys or kid-friendly items do you leave?
  • Do you make it a point to refresh any caches that are in need of swag?

Mystery Monday: Where to Find Me

Not only am I “The Outdoor Princess” I’m also the head cook & chief bottle washer at offers information about outdoor recreation for 14 western states. We cover everything from camping to National Forests, State Parks to National Monuments. isn’t the only place you can find me! I have a Twitter feed: @EatStayPlay or you can look me up on Facebook:

But, I think my pride and joy is when you can find me on YouTube. So far, I have “starred” in five videos:

This weekend, I’ll be camping with ESP Boss & The Queen Mother. The plan is to do some filming for a camp cooking video. Of all the Fun Food Friday recipes, do you have one that you’d like to see on film?

Fun Food Fridays: Spam & Cheese Wraps

Sent in by reader Suzanne Dodds, Arizona


  • Pre-cooked ham or Spam
  • Velveeta (Thick slice)
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Tortillas (if desired)

Cut ham into slices (1 per person) and place on section of foil. Layer on Velveeta slice, sprinkle on brown sugar and heaping teaspoons of butter. Wrap completely in foil and place in coals for about 10 min. Unwrap, eat. (Repeat if necessary to completely melt cheese and heat meat).

My mom would do this on family camping trips when we were young but she used Spam. I never liked Spam so I switched to ham. Recommend for first morning breakfast due to potential spoilage of ham. You could also wrap in tortillas.

Do you have a recipe to share? Email it to me!

Set Your Hook: Knots

How to Tie a Palomar Knot

The Palomar knot is used for joining your fishing line to the fish hook. This can be used with single or treble hooks. The Palomar knot is easy to tie correctly, and consistently the strongest knot known to hold terminal (end of line) tackle.

1. Double about 4″ of line and pass the loop through the eye of fishing hook.

2. Let the fishing hook hang loose, and tie an overhand knot in the doubled line. Avoid twisting the lines and do NOT tighten the knot.

3. Pull the loop end of the line far enough to pass it over the hook, swivel or lure. Make sure the loop passes completely over the attachment.

4. Pull both the tag end and the standing line until the knot is tightened. Clip off the tag end of the fishing line.

Pitch Your Tent: Wildfires

Reporting A Wildfire

What should I do if my fire gets away?
It could happen. No matter how careful you are, you can start a wildfire. Here’s what you do:

1. Don’t panic! If you can extinguish the fire in less than 5 minutes, do so. If the fire is spreading too quickly, get out of there and call for help. Quick action is important, however, there is no reason to panic.

2. Think about your location. You will need to relay exactly where you are, including the county. If you have a GPS, take coordinates and write them down. If you don’t, use a map and have a description ready. Use landmarks and distances from known points. For example: 5 miles north of Tum Tum Mountain; or on SR-503 about a mile east of Jack’s Store.

3. Get to the nearest phone and Call 9-1-1. If you’re using a cell phone, make sure that you have reached a dispatcher in the county that you’re in or ask them to transfer you to that county. If you can’t find a phone, or don’t have cell signal, find someone with a radio or CB and ask them to call for help.

4. If no one is around, walk or drive to the nearest phone. Remember not to panic. Drive or walk safely. You won’t be able to report the fire if you don’t make it to help in one piece.

5. Tell the dispatcher that you need to report a wildfire and give the description of your location. If you can, tell them how big the fire is (for example: “Its about 20 feet by 20 feet and growing.”) how quickly the fire is spreading, wind direction and speed and what type of fuel the fire is burning (grass, logging slash, forest floor etc.). You may be asked to help lead fire fighters to the fire.

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