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Director's Chair

5 Things for the “Camper” this Gift Giving Season

Every year, I see things, or purchase items that are an asset to our Camping and RVing days in our home away from home. This year is no different. I look at some of the great set-ups that people have for their camping experience and sometimes I even ask if I can take a photo.

My first item is a chair. I have bought so many camping chairs over the years, and I don’t want to dis any particular brand or type of chair because we all have our reasons for getting a certain type of chair for camping. Sometimes we buy a chair for its looks, colour or even the use or maybe by a recommendation, such as my chair choice for 2022.

I have camped with friends and one friend, bought a director’s chair years ago and every time he got up, someone would take over his chair. Now I come from a camping family that visibly marked one’s chair and heaven forbid if you sat in someone else’s chair, it was considered very bad etiquette. I never really knew the value of a chair until it was pointed out to me. The sale chairs, you know the ones that sell for $20.00 and under – they are considered the disposable chair, not meant to last and if you really think about how many times you have had to replace the chair, you will understand the importance of buying a great chair and sometimes those come at a cost of $50-$100. The director’s chair.

My second item is a game – fun for everyone.  The Uzzle is a game for ages 4 and up and is a very competitive game, making it a great game to play with friends and family at the picnic table.  There are 100 unique challenges, but if you buy an extra set of blocks, then you can get more players in on the fun of this new and extremely addicting game that is sure not to collect dust.  The Uzzle includes 4 sets of blocks, four sets of difficulty levels, two for kids and two for adults with 25 puzzles per level and it would be near impossible to memorize so, it becomes a new game each time the cards are shuffled, and the blocks are returned.

Have you ever thought of giving a meal to your camping friend(s)?   Well, with my third item(s) you can with Right on Trek – the place to get pre-made, fresher, quicker and more flavorful meals. They can really help those that like to plan and have every meal prepared in advance.  They have less packaging and are easier to make than conventional cooking, especially if you or your friends camp alone or are backpackers, fishers, or backcountry campers.  The adventure meals are delicious and can be planned with their laid out meal plans.

In the days of floatation devices, air beds, air furniture, this item is a necessity which I have chosen as my fourth item.  RYOBI 18V ONE+ High Volume Power Inflator.  The heaviest thing about this is the battery, which you need to purchase as this doesn’t include one, but if you already have a RYOBI Battery, then you’re halfway there.  The best thing is that it is small enough to carry in a bag to the beach and inflate your relaxation devices.  One large battery can inflate an island – yes, a floating island, the ones available from major department stores a couple of times, but I would recommend bringing a couple batteries if your dry or tent camping.

Well now that I am on inflation devices, let’s talk about the most important inflatable of the camping trip as my final item.  Tires, we all camp with them, whether we are driving, towing, or having fun – a tire is always involved.  And this handy RYOBI 18V ONE+ Lithium-Ion Cordless High-Pressure Inflator with Digital Gauge is the item to have.  Again, you will need a battery, but if you already have a RYOBI Battery, then you could use that. With this high pressure inflator, you can inflate your vehicle tires, the RV or Travel Trailer Tires, even the bicycle tires.  The digital pistol grip gauge comes in handy for all your air needs.  I forgot to mention it comes with a sports needle, meaning that you can inflate the volleyball at the beach too.

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5 Go To Camping Games for the Whole Family

Card Games. Photo: Darlene O

Card Games. Photo: Darlene O

When thinking of the annual camping trip(s) and preparing lists, I find that the first list that comes to mind is the “Entertainment list”.  No I am not talking about bringing the TV, PVR or the DVDs.  I’m talking about good old sit down games that are fun for all ages.  The list for games is quite vast, so I’ll keep it simple with my 5 great games to play while camping.

A Deck of Cards

A deck of cards or two always make it into the RV for mostly everyone. Oh the multitude of games that can be played with this great game invention (kudos to the Chinese, as the cards were originally invented by them before AD1000). Did you know that the reason behind four suits was to represent the four seasons and that the 13 cards represented the lunar cycle as well as 52 cards representing 52 weeks in a year (366 days also adds up to the point value of the suits in a deck, each joker counts as 1 and ace through K, added up is 366). The games that are popular with our group of campers are Cribbage, Solitaire, Golf and Rummy.

Mexican Train Game

Mexican Train Game

Mexican Train

The domino game that is fun for groups.  A twist on the traditional game of dominoes.  Our set consists of “Double Twelves”.  There are 91 dominoes numbered from blank to twelve. We start with the double twelve tile and everyone else also has to start their train with the same number tile. This is put into the centre – known as the hub. The more people you have the less dominoes each of you need.  We bought wooden domino holders to make the playing a little easier. There are accessories that you can purchase from toy stores to enhance the game play as well. The gist of the game is that you start with the highest double tile you have.  We play with a double 12 pack which at the start of the game is put in the middle of the table.  Each person takes the number of dominoes decided upon for the amount of players.  We usually have a minimum of four players and that means everyone takes 14 dominoes. You try to make a train using the dominoes you have but your train has to start with the initial one put down in the hub.  So if it is a 12, then your first domino has to be a 12.  You want to line them up on your board end to end matching numbers for continuous play. Visit for rules and strategies.  I’m sure you will be as addicted to this game as I am.

Rummikub or Rummy O.

Rummikub or Rummy O. Photo: Darlene O

Rummikub also known as Rummy O

I first learned about this game on a trip to England and promptly purchased it upon my return, then found that so many of my friends wanted to join in on the fun, so I purchased a second set.  Then when it came to the camping season, I found myself transferring the game in and out of the RV, so that is when I purchased two more sets. This addicting game comes with 104 (2 of each numbered 1-13 in each color) tiles that are separated into four colors – red, blue, yellow and black and two joker tiles, one red and one black.  Players each get a tile holder and all the tiles are placed upside down on the table. Each player takes 14 tiles (based on 4 players. If there are more players, then reduce the number taken so that you have about half the tiles left on the table). Players can choose who goes first. To start play you must be able to place tiles down in either sets or runs with a point total of 30.  If you can’t you must pick up and the turn goes to the next person.  The winner is the person who uses up all their tiles. You will learn tricks along the way.  A great way to teach kids adding and counting while having family fun.

Campfire Alphabet Games

I know there is not always a real campfire, but even the ban-buster firepits are still fun to sit around.  That’s when we find ourselves coming up with the campfire alphabet game, and the many variations throughout a trip too.

Dice Games

Dice Games

Take names of bands for example- the first person in the group starts with A and perhaps would say Aerosmith, then the next would say Abba, and so on until the last person.  Play then moves to the person beside the one that went first and keeps moving along with a new person starting each round, so everyone gets a chance to be first.  If you can’t name a band, then you have to name two songs starting with that letter.  Play until Z.   We have other variations, such as fruits, vegetables, camping equipment, cities… the possibilities are endless and once again the kids are learning without realizing it.

Games to Play While Camping

Games to Play While Camping. Photo: Darlene O

Dice Games

Dice are usually found floating around the bottom of a drawer.  I have a few different sets of dice that I bring camping. I have a set of six fist-sized foam dice that are great for playing almost anywhere.  They are quiet when they land as opposed to traditional resin dice.  We use dice for a few games, the most popular being Yahtzee.  We play without the traditional game pad because after playing for so many years we know what we need to acquire to play.  All you need is five dice, a paper and pen and you’re good to go.

There are so many games available that will keep you and your family occupied for hours and they’re fun. You can visit sites like Hasbro and Milton Bradley for other games.

For places to camp in British Columbia go to Camping & RVing BC Camping Map.

Post your BC travel and camping photos using the hashtag #CampinBC

Published: October 26th, 2018

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