Blog

Funny and Unique Polar Bear Tank Race Theme Ideas

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Funny and Unique Polar Bear Tank Race Theme Ideas

Funny and Unique Polar Bear Tank Race Theme Ideas

Are you dreaming of summer and warmer weather yet? Don’t worry, the change of seasons is on its way! We have found a way that you can beat those winter blues away, and that’s by joining us for the 12th Annual Polar Bear Tank Race. Put a team together and register today because space is limited for this fun race down the Middle Loup River to benefit the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway.

As if this event wasn’t fun enough yet, teams can pick a theme to decorate the tanks with and race down the river. Have fun and let your imagination flow with this one.  If you just can’t think of anything and need some help picking out some ideas, here are some suggestions that you can use, or maybe they will spark some original ideas of your own!

  • Arrrguably the best theme yet – Make your tank into one of the fastest tanks to ever race the seven seas with this pirate theme. You and your shipmates can dress the part with eye patches, fake peg legs, and plastic swords. Make your tank the most feared by decorating it like a pirate ship with its own mast, sails, even a crow’s nest, and maybe a few cannons. Hoist the sails and get to sailing with this idea.

 

  • Do you feel lucky – Maybe the luck of the Irish is with you on this St. Patrick’s Day themed tank. Have fun with this one as you and your team dress up as leprechauns, with green top hats and red beards, or simply adorn yourself in your greenest attire. Or celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early as you float down the Middle Loup as a pot of gold, with your team dressed up as gold coins as you race to the rainbow at the finish line.

 

  • Summer Dreaming – Can’t wait for summer? Throw your very own beach party as you and your team don Hawaiian shirts, shorts, flip flops, and leis. Bring out the beach toys and set up the limbo bar, while you decorate the tank with tiki torches. Make the tank into a massive surf board and shred those waves, which is sure to score a perfect ten with the judges.

 

  • Hold’em at bay – What’s better than an old western tank straight out of your favorite western movie? Dress up as cowboys, complete with cowboys hats and holsters. Gather your team around a poker table and play a few hands as you float down the river, and make sure to show the other teams your poker faces as you pass them by.

 

  • Groovy man- You’re sure to turn heads as you float on by in this 60’s themed tank. Break out those tie dye shirts and groovy bell bottoms! Play the part as you let your long hear wig blow in the breeze, and don’t forget the cool sun-glasses. Decorate the tank with peace symbols and pieces of tie dyed fabric.

 

  • Duck hunt- Make that tank into the hunting blind, all decked out with a camo theme. Or drag the decoys behind you as you decorate the tank to resemble a large duck. Dress up in your hunting gear and make sure to wear your orange so we can see you!

 

  • You’ll win an Oscar- Choose any of your favorite funny movies with this film based theme tank. Dress the gang as Super Troopers, along with fake moustaches and ray bans. Perhaps your favorite movie is Animal House? Dress the team up from the iconic scene and get ready to have your own toga party as you float headlong down the river.

All decorations must be attached while you are racing down the river. Team members must all be 21 years of age or older, and all teams must have a minimum of four participants. Registration is $200 a person and includes:

  • One race tank per team
  • One life jacket, paddle, and Polar Bear Tank Race t-shirt for each participant
  • Two nights of accommodations (double occupancy) on March 1-2 in Thedford or Mullen
  • Welcome reception and soup cook-off
  • Breakfast before the race
  • Polar Bear Tank Race
  • Lunch following the Race
  • Polar Bear Tank Race Awards Banquet – prime rib dinner
  • Team trophies for the top 3 men’s and women’s teams

Register today and make plans to join us and beat those winter blues away! After you register, make sure to contact us for more information on staying at The Sandhills Motel, or you can give us a call at (308) 546-2206 to book your stay. We look forward to yet another action-packed Polar Bear Tank Race!

Join this year’s Annual Polar Bear Tank Race to benefit the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway

Posted by on Feb 1, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Join this year’s Annual Polar Bear Tank Race to benefit the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway

Join this year’s Annual Polar Bear Tank Race to benefit the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway

It’s time to dust off that tank, break out those oars, and work on those paddling skills, because we have found the perfect solution to cabin fever! Come celebrate this year’s Polar Bear Tank Race and see if you are brave enough to battle the cold while taking on your opponents in some exciting tank racing. This is a timed event, as teams of 4-6 people race down the Middle Loup River north of Mullen, NE in metal stock tanks. If you just want to forgo the race and enjoy a relaxing float down the river, you can do that also.

Make sure to bring along decorations for your tank, because prizes will also be awarded for themes and tank decorations, so let that artistic side flow like Nebraska’s Middle Loup River.

Registration is on a first come, first serve basis and race capacity is limited, so please register as soon as possible. This year’s race will be held on March 2, 2019, with registration and a soup cook-off kicking off festivities on March 1, 2019.

Registration Information:

  • Must be 21 to enter
  • There is a non-refundable $200 registration fee per person
  • A minimum of four people are required for each tank racing team
  • When registering your team, please submit a team name. If a name is not submitted, the team name will be the last name of the team captain or registrant.

Registration Includes:

  • One racing tank per team
  • One life jacket, paddle, and Polar Bear Tank Race t-shirt for each participant
  • Two nights of accommodations (double occupancy) on March 1-2 in Thedford or Mullen
  • Welcome reception and soup cook-off
  • Breakfast before the race
  • Polar Bear Tank Race
  • Lunch following the race
  • Polar Bear Tank Race Awards Banquet – prime rib dinner
  • Team trophies for the top 3 men’s and women’s teams

Once your registration is received, you will be sent a complete informational packet that includes maps, lodging details and a complete schedule of events.

2019 Polar Bear Tank Race Agenda:

(All times – Mountain Time)

Friday, March 1st

  • 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Registration of Teams & Welcome Reception

Location: Mullen Event Center, fairgrounds west of Mullen on the north side of Highway 2.

You must attend the registration and the welcome reception in order to be a qualified racing team.

  • 5:00 p.m.

Soup Cook-Off

Various soups from Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway Communities will be available to sample.

Directly after the soup cook-off, there will be a drawing to determine race departure times.

Saturday, March 2nd

  • 8:00 a.m.

Meet in Mullen for Breakfast

Location: Mullen Event Center

After breakfast, transportation will be provided to the launch site on the Middle Loup River.

  • 9:00 a.m.

First Bus Leaves Mullen, Race Begins

The tanks will be launched in short intervals according to the draw order.

Transportation is conveniently provided for travel from the finish line back to the Mullen Event Center.

  • 5:00 p.m.

12th Annual Polar Bear Tank Race Awards Banquet

Location: Mullen Event Center

So, get the gang together, and make plans to attend the 12th Annual Polar Bear Tank Race, the ultimate cure to cabin fever!

Kick Start Your New Year’s Resolutions at the Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Kick Start Your New Year’s Resolutions at the Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental

Kick Start Your New Year’s Resolutions at the Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental

With the holidays behind us for another year, many are now focused on bettering themselves in 2019 and have made a New Year’s resolution list filled with personal goals. Everyone’s list varies a bit, but one thing that seems to unite us all is the fact that the list tends to be put on the backburner by the end of January. Despite our best intentions, life happens and adding more to your plate in the form of goals can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

However, working towards your goals doesn’t have to be a chore, and we’re here to let you in on how you can complete your resolutions right here at the Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental. Read on to learn how a visit can help you reach some of the more commonly made resolutions.

Try Something New

If you feel that your adventurous side could use some rekindling, a tanking adventure or a trip down the Dismal or Middle Loup Rivers in a kayak or canoe could very well be the answer.  Whether you’re after a wild ride through the waters or a relaxing trip floating down the river, we can help you find the river adventure that is perfect for you. And we make it easy for those new to canoeing and kayaking by providing all of the equipment needed, all of the highest quality and well-maintained.

Save Money

Did you break the bank trying to get everyone on your “nice” list exactly what they wanted, and now you have no idea how you’re going to afford a family vacation? Don’t fret! Staying at the Sandhills Motel is inexpensive, and you won’t blow your budget renting the equipment you need to provide a fun-filled vacation for your loved ones. Keep the money you saved and start a rainy day fund!

Get Closer to Nature

From our annual Grassland Dance to the wildlife that can be viewed during your river adventure, there are plenty of ways you can complete your resolution of embracing nature in 2019 right here at the Sandhills Motel. In addition to our motel rooms, we also offer tent camping sites that allow you to get a taste of living off the grid while still allowing you close proximity to the amenities you need to be comfortable.

Exercise More

What could be better than fitting in a workout that benefits your body while also being enjoyable? Paddling down the river in a kayak or canoe burns an astonishing 400 calories an hour and is a low-impact workout, ideal for those that need a way to exercise that is easy on joints.

For a vacation that suits your needs and helps you knock out your New Year’s resolutions, visit the Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental! Contact us today to reserve your stay!

5 Benefits of Bird Watching

Posted by on Nov 27, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on 5 Benefits of Bird Watching

5 Benefits of Bird Watching

If you consider yourself a bird watching aficionado, you may already know the many benefits of taking part in this pastime, which has been steadily increasing in popularity in recent years. But those that have just begun to take part in birding, or are interested in learning more about the hobby, may be surprised to learn that bird watching has quite a few physical, mental and social advantages. Here in the Nebraska Sandhills, we are lucky enough to witness the millions of birds that make their journey across the state each year, and are here to share with you five ways you can reap the benefits from joining in on this enriching activity.

  1. Get closer to nature. Not only can you observe birds in their natural habitats, but you can also breathe in the fresh air, soak up the sun’s rays, and appreciate all of the things that make being outdoors so great.
  2. Improve cardiovascular health. Many may be shocked to learn that birding can count as a workout. But often, locations that offer the best opportunities for bird watching are located off of the beaten path and require a bit of a hike in order to reach. Getting your blood pumping with a moderately-paced walk is a great way to keep your heart healthy, and by taking part in an activity you enjoy, you won’t even notice you’re getting in a workout.
  3. Hone patience skills. The payoff of bird watching isn’t always immediate, and usually requires time spent waiting for the much anticipated glimpse of the birds you’re seeking. Refining your patience skills isn’t only a practice that will improve your mental well-being, but also has physical health benefits. A 2007 study found that people that are more patient are less likely to experience headaches, ulcers, pneumonia, acne and other health problems.
  4. Obtain quicker reflexes. After a lengthy wait, a bird watcher has to be ready at any given second to grab their binoculars or camera to bask in and capture that long-awaited moment. Every birding opportunity gives you the chance to exercise your reflex speed, as well as improve upon it. Having fast reflexes not only allows you to be a successful bird watcher, but will prevent a barrage of small disasters from happening in your day-to-day life and help you better thwart off danger.
  5. Become part of a community. Many bird watching trips take place with groups of people, and the act of coming together in this common interest can do wonders in building life-long friendships and fostering a sense of community. There are also many online groups where members can swap birding tips and share their experiences, allowing bird watchers all over the world to connect with one another.

If you’re ready to experience all of the ways that bird watching can enhance your life, book a viewing at the Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental. We are centrally located to some of the best Nebraska Sandhills birding locations, and offer comfortable accommodations for your stay.

Tips for Fall Camping Comfort

Posted by on Oct 31, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Tips for Fall Camping Comfort

Tips for Fall Camping Comfort

There are many reasons why camping during the fall months can be just as, if not more, appealing than any other season. The weather tends to be more mild than summer, the colorful fall foliage enhances your surroundings, and it’s the opportunity for one last “hurrah” before the frigidly cold temperatures of winter set in. But there are also aspects to fall camping that can set you at a disadvantage, such as the short days and freezing nights. Continue reading to learn some camping tips that will help ensure you are able to have an awesome autumn adventure in comfort.

Before You Go

Adequately preparing for a camping trip, no matter the time of year, is critical. Use the following tips as a checklist to make sure you have all the fall essentials you need before you head out:

  • Pack a cold weather sleeping bag. Even though daytime temperatures may still be well into the 50’s and 60’s, it is likely to dip down into freezing temps once the sun goes down. Having a sleeping bag labeled for use in weather between 0°-30° will help you get a good night’s sleep despite the cold.
  • Invest in sleeping pads. In addition to your cold weather sleeping bag, a sleeping pad will help keep you nice and cozy throughout the night by keeping you off of the cold ground.
  • Bring clothes you can layer. With fall’s often-changing temperatures, packing a variety of clothing is a good idea so you can adapt to the current conditions. Pants, shorts, short- and long-sleeved shirts, tank tops and sweaters are all good choices to pack for your fall camping trip.
  • Load up on firewood. One of the best ways to keep warm during the chilly autumn evenings is by cuddling up next to a campfire. Make sure you bring plenty of firewood to ensure you can keep the fire going until you’re ready to head to bed.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. Monitor the forecast in the days leading up to your trip. Although colder weather is to be expected, if there is a significant amount of snow or extremely cold weather in the forecast, you may want to put a halt on your expedition.

When You Get to the Campsite

Although you may be ready to unload your vehicle and get to the fun, there are some important steps you should take once you arrive at the campground:

  • Choose a campsite upwind from neighbors. Like you, everyone else at the campground will be utilizing a campfire to stay cozy, so staying upwind will keep you from inhaling their fire’s smoke all night.
  • Pick a sunny spot. Make the most use out of daylight by choosing a campsite that receives sunlight throughout the day.
  • Set up early. With the sun going down earlier and earlier each day, it’s a good idea to begin setting up your tent and other supplies well before sunset.

During Your Stay

Follow the tips below to stay comfy throughout your fall camping trip:

  • Stay active. It’s no secret that movement helps keep the body warm, and camping provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, such as hiking, biking, fishing, or even just playing charades with your group.
  • Drink hot beverages. Fall is the season for hot chocolate and apple cider, and sipping on these drinks are great for keeping you warm from the inside out.
  • Keep the next day’s clothes in your tent. By stowing the clothes you plan on wearing the next day, you’ll allow them to retain some of your warmth so they aren’t so cold when you first put them on.
  • Sleep with a full water bottle. No, this isn’t to make sure you have refreshment in the middle of the night. Lying with a water bottle filled with warm water (and, of course, tightly sealed) will assist in keeping you snug through the night.
  • Use the bathroom before bed. Although this is a good tip for camping in any season, you will feel the least like getting out of your warm tent to use the bathroom during the cold autumn nights.

At the Sandhills Motel & Glidden Canoe Rental, we’re open all year long and are the perfect destination for a fall camping escapade. Call us at (308) 546-2206 or (888) 278-6167 to reserve your camping spot today!

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Camping Trip

Posted by on Oct 1, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Tips for an Eco-Friendly Camping Trip

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Camping Trip

Going on a camping trip is the perfect way to get away from the stresses of everyday life and get closer to nature. However, there are some common camping practices, such as the utilization of single-use products and disposable water bottles, which can be detrimental to the earth.  Read our camping tips to learn how you can be more eco-friendly during your next outdoor voyage.

  • Skip single serve snacks. Although they can be a convenient way to get some nourishment during your trip, they result in a lot of waste, and can even take up more space than snacks that are prepared at home and stored in reusable containers. Sliced fruits and veggies, nuts and jerky all make great camping snacks and can easily be transported without the use of disposable packaging.
  • Invest in durable, reusable water bottles and jugs. Instead of hauling in multiple packs of expensive, single use bottled water, bring along a refillable water jug, such as this Ozark six gallon model, and heavy duty BPA-free water bottles.
  • Just say “no” to plastic utensils and paper plates. Disposable plates and cutlery create needless waste and are really not more efficient than their reusable counterparts. A set of long-lasting dishes is fairly inexpensive and also take up relatively little space.
  • Use biodegradable hygiene products. Many sunscreens, lotions, soaps, makeup and toothpastes contain ingredients that can pollute water, and some insect repellents contain permethrin, which is harmful to aquatic life. It takes only a moment while you are packing to ensure that your items are eco-friendly. Be sure to keep in mind to use all products at least 200 feet from any water source to avoid contaminating lakes and streams.
  • Use the sun to recharge. Solar powered lanterns and chargers not only take up less space than clunky battery-operated options, but they are an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Be wise about fire safety. Before you head to your campground, check the area’s fire restrictions to ensure you don’t start a blaze in a restricted zone. Don’t throw anything in the fire besides kindling, and make sure the fire is completely extinguished before you head to bed or leave your campsite.
  • Stay on designated trails. To assist in preserving nature areas for future generations, make sure to stick to marked trails during your adventure. Not doing so can result in soil erosion and damage to resources that can forever change the region’s landscape.
  • Make cleaning fun. It’s everyone’s job to help keep trash in its place, and you can make it easier to convince little ones to join in on picking up trash throughout the campground by turning it into a game. Bring along fun prizes like stickers, coloring books and candy to give to the person that gathers the most litter.
  • Practice “Leave No Trace”. Be sure to leave your campsite in the same condition, or even better, than you found it. After you pack up, there should be no evidence that you were even there.

Those are just some of the ways that you can reduce your impact on the earth while enjoying some time in the great outdoors. Stay with us at the Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental for your next adventure for camping fun while surrounded by some of Nebraska’s top scenic destinations.

Tips for Stress-Free Camping with Dogs

Posted by on Sep 4, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Tips for Stress-Free Camping with Dogs

Tips for Stress-Free Camping with Dogs

Forget the hassle of finding a pet-sitter or expensive kennel service to look after your four-legged friend while you enjoy your next outdoor getaway, and enhance your camping trip with your furry buddy’s presence.  With the following camping tips, you can take the steps needed to ensure your next outdoor excursion with Fido goes smoothly and you’re both able to enjoy your time off the grid in peace.

Pay a visit to the vet

A check-up before you head out will help spot any issues that may become exacerbated when your dog is in different conditions than they are used to. During the visit, make sure your pet’s flea and tick medications, as well as their microchip, are up to date. Ask your vet for preventative medicines for fleas, ticks and heartworms if you don’t yet have any.

Have a plan for dangerous situations

Prepare your pet for the very different atmosphere they’re going to be in by teaching them commands that can be used if you come across danger, such as a rattlesnake. Also, get them used to being secured by a tether and stake before you go so that they are more comfortable with the situation when you need to keep them from wandering away from the campsite.

Pack your pet’s necessities

 What could be worse than getting to your campsite and realizing that you left one of your pet’s vital items at home? Prevent that from happening by using the following checklist to make sure you include everything you’ll need to keep your pet taken care of throughout your expedition:

  • Directions to the nearest animal hospital from your campsite
  • Food and water bowls – collapsible options are available to save room
  • ID tags and license
  • Leash
  • Papers verifying current vaccinations
  • Pet-friendly bug repellent
  • Plenty of fresh food and water
  • Tether and stake to keep your dog secure when needed
  • Towels and blankets exclusively for their use
  • Toys
  • Waste disposal bags

Put together a customized first aid kit

Another necessity for your camping trip, a first aid kit with items specific to dogs, is a must in preventing and caring for injuries that may occur. The following are vital for any well-stocked first aid kit:

  • A bandana to use as a makeshift muzzle
  • Protective covering for injured paws – toddler socks work great and are inexpensive
  • Extra blankets
  • Preventative medicines for heartworms, fleas and ticks
  • Tweezers and mineral oil to remove ticks

Pick a Pet-Friendly Campsite

Before you leave on your big journey, check with the campground that you are planning on staying at to ensure pets are allowed. Also, when you are picking which camp site to set up at, select one that has plenty of shade so you dog can find relief from heat.

Traveling with dogs can sometimes be stressful, but with a little preparation, you can make it a relaxing, refreshing getaway for all involved. During your next Nebraska camping expedition, stay with us at The Sandhills Motel, a pet friendly property!

What You Need to Know About Kayaking and Canoeing

Posted by on Jul 30, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on What You Need to Know About Kayaking and Canoeing

What You Need to Know About Kayaking and Canoeing

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful way to spend the afternoon or are seeking some thrills, a kayaking or canoeing trip is sure to satisfy. Many people enjoy the benefits of partaking in the sports, with about 23 million Americans hitting the water in a canoe or kayak each year. But for those that have not yet experienced an adventure in one of these watercrafts, the thought of hopping in one and zooming through the water may seem a bit intimidating. We’re here to let you know the ins and outs of both canoeing and kayaking so you can find the right fit for you and start planning your river expedition.

What are the differences between a kayak and a canoe?

There are a few key differences between these water vessels that allow for a different experience depending on the one you choose. Kayaks seat one to two people and typically contain enclosed seating areas; however, the kayaks that we rent here at The Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental are recreational kayaks and do not contain the enclosure.  Kayak paddles have blades on each end, allowing for more efficient paddling.

Canoes, on the other hand, have the ability to carry more than two people, as well as the room to haul pets, a picnic lunch, more gear and any other necessities you need for your adventure. Canoes do not feature enclosed seating areas, so preventing water from splashing into the boat is necessary to keep dry. This lack of enclosure also allows for an option of seating positions, which can lend for a more comfortable ride, especially on longer river journeys. Canoe paddles only contain one blade, which equates to more effort needed in order propel the boat through the water than is required for a kayak.

What are the benefits of going kayaking and canoeing?

These sports not only provide a fun way to spend time outdoors with friends and family, but they also offer many other physical and mental benefits.

In observing those paddling in a kayak or canoe, one would think that only the arms are receiving a workout, but the motions needed to propel the watercrafts also work the core and legs, as well as provide a great cardiovascular workout. Moving at 3-5 miles per hour in one of these vessels will burn an astonishing 400 calories an hour! They also provide a low-impact workout, making them great for those seeking exercise that won’t cause stress to joints.

The workout that kayaking and canoeing provide releases endorphins, which act as a natural painkiller,  but that is just one way that these sports can benefit you mentally, physiologically and psychologically. The surge of endorphins released will also reduce stress and depression. Simply being on the water and taking in the beauty of nature is calming and can help in lowering your stress levels. Taking part in kayak and canoe rides is always a great way to socialize, and can provide a healthy way to bond with your pals.

Which is easier – kayaking or canoeing?

 While there are components of kayaking and canoeing that can make riding one more difficult in a particular body of water than the other, they are, for the most part, the same level of difficulty. However, the water in which you make your expedition is what can make your journey more mellow, or cause an invigorating day full of technical maneuvers.

Since acknowledging and staying within your ability level is vital in choosing a canoeing or kayaking adventure that will suit you, the experienced staff at The Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental will help you choose the route that will allow you to acquire either the relaxation or thrills you crave while ensuring you have the skill necessary to navigate that particular body of water. The Middle Loup River is ideal for those looking for an easy-going ride aboard a canoe, kayak, or stock tank, while the Dismal River is great for those that are comfortable with a more exhilarating trip.

So, the next time you’re looking for fun, exciting things to do in Nebraska for your next vacation, visit us at The Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental! We offer affordable kayak and canoe rentals for your next river adventure!

Camping Safety Tips

Posted by on Jul 13, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Camping Safety Tips

What could be better than a summertime camping retreat, where you can escape the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life by roughing it in the wild for a few days and getting closer to Mother Nature? But in addition to scenic hikes, gooey s’mores by the campfire and sleeping under a star-studded sky in a sleeping bag, there are the dreaded sunburns, mosquitoes and uncontrolled fires that can accompany them. Keep you and your family safe during your next camping excursion with the following camping safety tips.

General Safety

Although many of the following suggestions may seem obvious, it can often be easy to overlook basic safety measures in the excitement of venturing out on your expedition. Use the following as a guideline while you’re loading up the car for your trip:

  • Pack layers you can add if it gets cold. Even sunny, hot days can dip into chilly temperatures during the night. Add in a blanket for each person in addition to their sleeping bag.
  • Bring a first aid kit. Your kit should be personalized to fit your needs, but some vital items to include are:
  • Band-Aids
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Adhesive tape
  • Sterile compresses
  • Gauze pads
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, or your chosen method of pain relief
  • Burn ointment
  • Heat/cold packs
  • Tweezers
  • Wear the appropriate safety gear for any activity you’re partaking in (i.e. helmets and lifejackets).
  • Be sure to regularly apply your chosen method of insect repellant. Take a look at our May blog on natural repellants [Link to: Sandhills May blog] if you want to find chemical-free ways to keep the bugs away during your camping trip.
  • Keep your skin safe by regularly slathering on a sunscreen with a SPF rating of at least 15.
  • Never go swimming or hiking alone.

Campfire Safety

What camping trip is complete without a campfire to gather around and tell spooky stories? Abide by these rules to make sure your trip doesn’t go up in flames:

  • Build your fire at least 15 feet away from your tent, shrubs and trees.
  • Never build a fire under low-hanging trees.
  • Put the fire out completely before going to bed or leaving the campsite.
  • Never leave the campfire unattended.
  • Never use gas to start a fire.

Water Safety

While it may be an easily overlooked aspect of an exciting adventure, ensuring you have enough clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing during your camping trip is crucial. The following tips will help you in not only acquiring clean water for your needs, but offer a guideline to guard against dehydration:

  • Never drink water straight from a natural source without treating it first, even if it looks clear. Bring along a portable water purifier if it isn’t possible for you to pack in an adequate supply of water.
  • Water can also be boiled to ensure it’s safe to drink. Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute (three minutes at high altitudes) to kill all pathogens.
  • Ensure you’re drinking an adequate amount of water while you’re having fun on your trip. The following schedule can help you stay on track:
    • Drink 15-20 ounces of water 1-2 hours before starting strenuous activity.
    • Drink 8-10 ounces about 15 minutes before beginning any activity.
    • During your hike or other activity, drink about 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes.

Food Safety

Nothing ruins a great camping trip like an issue arising with your food supply. The following tips will help you keep you and your nourishment safe:

  • Keep foods in tight, waterproof containers, and make sure coolers stay properly sealed to avoid wildlife getting into your food supply.
  • Never use fuel-burning camp stoves inside a tent, camper or other enclosed area. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can build up in a very short amount of time.
  • Keep hand sanitizer on hand to use before and after you start cooking and eating. Although there may not be a sink in which to wash your hands for miles, don’t let that important habit fall by the wayside during your outing.

Follow these precautions if you want a memorable camping trip that you’ll look back on fondly for years to come. And remember to visit The Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental for river adventures that are the perfect way to round out a summer outing!

Natural Ways to Keep Bugs at Bay

Posted by on May 31, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Natural Ways to Keep Bugs at Bay

Natural Ways to Keep Bugs at Bay

Nothing spoils a fun summer camping trip like your campsite being overrun with bugs, but the thought of spraying you and your family with toxic chemicals may be just as unappealing. Rest assured that there are many remedies out there that will repel insects without the risk of contact with dangerous solutions. Utilize the following camping tips so you can enjoy a pest-free outdoor adventure this summer!

Choose your campsite wisely

Simply ensuring that the place that you choose to set up camp isn’t a breeding ground for insects is an important step in keeping your excursion as pest-free as possible. Mosquitoes and other bugs love water, so choose a site as far from standing water as possible. Another good practice in choosing a spot is to find an area that receives a lot of sun, and isn’t enveloped completely in the shade. Sunny spots will dry out faster in case you receive rain during your stay, guarding against the dampness that insects thrive in.

Dress Smart

Being mindful of your clothing choices is another easy way to help you keep your trip nuisance-free. Light-colored clothes not only help you stay cooler in the heat, but they also attract fewer insects than dark-colored clothing. Wearing loose fitting long-sleeved shirts and pants will keep more of your skin covered to also prevent bug bites. Clothes in fabrics that are made to naturally repel insects are also on the market, and are both functional and stylish.

Build a Fire

What camping trip is complete without a good, roaring campfire? In addition to roasting your marshmallows and creating the setting for spooky stories, campfires are also effective in repelling mosquitoes and other insects. The smoke from a campfire is so helpful in driving away bugs that some sources advise “smoking” your clothing by placing them downwind of your campfire.

Burning sage also helps keep mosquitoes away, and has the added bonus of being a pleasant aroma to be around. Another huge plus of burning sage on your camping trip is that it also repels ticks, which transmit Lyme disease and other illnesses.

Make Use of Natural Solutions

There are plenty of things that appear in nature that ward off a variety of insects, while at the same time being pleasing to humans. Citronella oil and candles can be purchases at most grocery stores and assist in keeping bugs from your campsite. Peppermint, tea tree and lavender essential oils are all scents that repulse bugs, yet are also non-toxic, relatively cheap and widely available. Dot these essential oils on your skin to ward off insects and reduce the chance of bug bites. Cinnamon, something that most people have in their kitchen cabinets, is also a natural deterrent that can be sprinkled around your campsite.

Those are just some natural insect repellant solutions you can make use of to maintain a campsite that is as bug-free as possible. Plan your next outdoor excursion at The Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental, where you can escape insects all together by staying in our motel or stay at one of our camp sites that are only $7.00 per person. We’re here to help you make the most out of your summer and make those lasting family memories!