The chart above is NOT considered legal speeds, but they are kinda realistically what to expect on the FREEWAY. Interstates and busy freeways in California get cranking and CHP is usually out in force, earning revenue for the state, as well as ensuring the safety of the roads.
Senior drivers, tourists & outta stater visitors be warned – the closer you get to a big urban area, the higher speed and more aggressive the drivers will be. Large rigs and SUVs kill with impact, so slow down a little folks.
So much for Sammy’s “Can’t Drive 55”
Californians can’t drive anywhere near 55. Now that the laws have increased the statewide speed to 65 or 70 mph, there is no stopping ’em. Unfortunately the average speeds are increasing all over the west, as people zoom from place to place, city to city, in a never ending transient society. This leaves way more dirt roads and rural backcountry left to us.
TIP: Exit the rat race & take your time, for your sanity sake & safety… slow down.
The freeway speeds above do not apply to narrower state routes and rural county highways. Most of these are one lane blacktop in each direction and are labeled 55 mph. Maybe slower for curves, tunnels and bridges. Be alert when driving and know that cell phone service is not always abundant on the back roads. At any time you can experience: wildlife crossing, rock slides across the road, downed tree (or branches) in the roadway, stalled vehicles w/ stranded motorists, snow or hail, or any other hazards that accompany typical backcountry travel.
#1 – Avoid Los Angeles area, if possible. This will add 1-4 extra hours on to your road trip depending on the ‘hellish & hectic’ reasons this area normally experiences. If you must venture through, try doing so at night after dark. Gas up and eat a meal before you reach this area, to avoid needing to stop in L.A.
Watch out for frequent Cal-Trans freeway closures starting
in the midnight hours.
The Interstate 91 & Interstate 10 Eastbound are both bad situations during winter months due to Palm Springs weekenders & if snow is decent, the Big Bear ski crowds.
Lets face it, Vegas traffic back to Cali sucks.
The Interstate 15 is the main corridor that gets backed up on Friday nights Northbound at the I-10 & the I- 215 junction.
Southbound on Sundays is awaful from Barstow to San Bernardino. An alternate route is old Route 66 (best get a good map) & avoid the bumper to bumper in the high desert Mojave region.
OLD ROUTE 66, anyone?
Driving from Southern California
Headed to the Eastern Sierra or Death Valley – Make sure to take Interstate 15 straight up to US Highway 395N. The turn off is just south of Victorville. ” On the Road” gas up & quick food stop on US 395 is available in Adelanto & in the region known as ‘four corners’ @ Highway 58 junction.
But be warned it can get a little congested on Friday nights. An alternate is Interstate 15N to Interstate 215N to avoid most of the traffic from the west.
Typical afternoon rush hour problem spots in San Diego.
A small detour, if traffic is bad on Hwy. 78 in North County San Diego & you are headed Interstate 15 North. Twin Oaks Valley Road leads right up to Deer Springs Road & the Avocado Highway known as 15.
NOTE: I am keeping the old screen shot maps from MapQuest on this page to prove my age and experience on such topics. Sorry that I don’t have the same knowledge of the San Francisco Bay Area traffic, which can be as bad, if not worse than Southern Cal.
Charts below are from DanaMite’s experience of living and driving in Southern California from 1990-2009. Some of these areas may have become better or worse, depending on local circumstances and populations.
Traffic Jam Freeways:
SD (4-6 pm)
Northbound 805/5 merge
Northbound 15/163 merge
Northbound 15 to Hwy.78
Eastbound 8 thru Mission Valley
LA / Orange County (4-8 pm) Northbound 405 LAX to San Fernando Valley.
Southbound 5 – Orange Co.
fleeing from SoCal –
Leave from work before 3 pm , if not
Don’t rush, take your time, leave after 6 pm
(make sure you let the innkeeper know that you’ll be arriving late, and they’ll get quite upset after midnight)
Save yourself cash & stay only one night – Saturday Night (altho some places, esp B&Bs usually require a 2 night minimum stay)
returning to SoCal –
Sundays 3 pm – 9 pm – almost all major arteries coming into a city can get backed up.
Grapevine/ Tejon Pass from Bakersfield, I-5
US Hwy 101 South, from Santa Barbara can get bad
I-15 Westbound coming from Las Vegas
I-10 Westbound coming from Palm Springs
Hwy. 91 Westbound coming from the East
your escape route outta town preplan for freeway gridlock – before you get stuck in it.
winter months: Big Bear ski traffic can be heavy until 11pm
metro / metropolis
Term used to differentiate a single city from a grouping of cities. Large urban centers draw in the good and bad – crowds, businesses, services, criminals and the homeless. The city centers will have hospitals, grocery, fast food, restaurants and big box chain stores.
Illegal raves and outdoor parties, with unruly young people can also be found in rural or forested areas. If you come across an abundance of cars and vehicles, parked along the roadside in a remote area, you will find a large event nearby – if you follow the blasting electronic music. Drive many miles away (to another spot) if you are seeking a quiet camping experience.
After Dark: World Gone Crazy
Civil Unrest in Cities:
2020 UPDATE – In this time of uncertainty, we feel it necessary to let you know about real-life threats and cautions you should consider while traveling. Lockdowns, curfews and criminals are now bigger concerns, along with the growing police state. Recently released inmates: Criminals will more likely prey on people and property at night, when less people are out and less light will protect their identity.
FREAKS COME OUT AT NIGHT. Protestors that plan their marches during the day are safer, and are way different than the restless ones who choose hit the streets after dark. The thugs, hoodlums, and kids (who seek the thrill of danger) are more likely to be out and about at night. Looting, arson and violence escalates after the sun goes down.
DO NOT travel or drive at night inside a large city or metropolis.
DO NOT visit an unfamiliar city or metropolis, at night.
DO NOT dine out in a city or metropolis, at night. If you need to shop, do so in daylight hours.
DO NOT park on the street overnight; find a parking lot, or a private driveway – to leave your vehicle while you sleep.
GIVE your timeframe and itinerary to someone you trust, and stay in contact throughout your travels.
NEVER leave anything inside your car, as these unknown items are just a reason for the possibility of a break-in. Always lock your vehicle and set the alarm.
REFUELING/RECHARGING your vehicle in a city is often necessary while traveling; Choose a freeway exit outside of the city center and use a well lit gas station or recharging station. Lock your vehicle if you need to go inside.
BE CAUTIOUS of strangers that approach you out in public with questions or small talk. Thieves often use this strategy to catch you off-guard. Couples walking around with a gas can, asking for spare change, can also be a set-up to take advantage of you. Tweekers and drug addicts will use a wide variety of tactics, so be aware of their behaviors when you see them.
Care for your Mess Box –
Camp Kitchen Equipment & Cooking Gear:
Camping should be stress free & fun. Good preparation in advance can make the start of your trip a breeze. Store all your camp gear in one common area – stacked, cleaned and ready to roll for the next adventure.
No matter how tired you are after a long trip, do not stick that kitchen storage box away in the garage or basement. You may discover bugs, soiled dishes & the mold from hell months or years later when you go to use it again.
After every camp trip, bring the mess box into your kitchen at home and take time cleaning it and restocking.
Over the next few days clean every dish, pot, pan, skillet. Replace those usable goods: paper plates, towels, plastic forks, etc. A printed list of essentials may help you stay organized, so as not to forget anything.
Besides spices, canned goods, do not store ANY FOOD items in this box, as it will only attrack rodents and bugs while in storage.
This mess box is an excellent place to store a portable water filter and camping fuel canisters. These two important items can be used in an emergency or during a power shut off.
Repack the entire mess box as if it is ‘ready to go’ again & then put it away. It will be a nice treat to easily access your goods the next time you wanna bolt out the door for a spontaneous camping trip.
Repair or replace any broken items. Stock fuel canisters and batteries; Change out burnt lightbulbs.
A mess box also doubles as a survival box, so if you store it in an easy-to-access place in your home or garage, you will be able to get to it during or after an emergency situation.
Dirty, baked on charred mess all over the stove top. HINT: never use oven cleaner on your camp stove top. It will burnish it, dull the finish & it won’t be looking shiny anymore. Baked on goo is only gonna come off with elbow grease & a good scrubber sponge. (Or maybe SimpleGreen cleaner). Even the steel wool soap pads leave weird marks on aluminum metal surfaces. BE CAUTIOUS w/ cleaners on your camp stove.
Make a place for it!Put all your outdoor gear in the same spot in your home; the garage or closet may be the best place, but the kitchen or entry hall could also be a decent site. This way you know where everything is, right? The headache of preparing for a camp trip will be minimal once you get organized. Store all camping related items on your camping shelf.
ALWAYS LEAVE A CAMPSITE CLEANER THAN YOU FOUND IT
Each year more of our public lands are being CLOSED off to “us” because of OUR neglect. Litter, graffiti, ammo trash and off-roading abuse can be good excuses for the rangers to close our precious forests and deserts. Be a good steward of the land and teach others the proper ways to enjoy nature, without destroying what little we have left.
Large refillable 5, 7 or 10 gallon water containers are available with a faucet type fitting. Look for brands that are BPA free, so you can be assured you’re not drinking chemicals that leach from plastic into your precious water.
Store the water container up high, with the lid off & a rag in the opening to prevent mold, a funky smell or bugs crawling inside.
Cast Iron – griddles, skillets and dutch ovens have stood the test of time and hold up longer than any other option. Cast iron cooking is DanaMite’s favorite, especially for cooking right on the campfire. It’s the only “over the fire” cookware that can handle hot coals and direct flames. Foil liner or parchment makes clean up quick.
With all that being said, cast iron is not for backpacking, due to the excess weight. Numerous backpacking cookware setups exists and new inventions are always coming to market. Search for light weight cooking stoves and cookware.
Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimers and dementia, so it’s best not to cook with cheap aluminum pots and pans. Some high tech, non-stick, backpacker brands of cookware may be made of anodized aluminum and will be of higher quality. As long as the the anodized surface isn’t scratched or chipped, it is safe to use.
Non-stick cookware. Clean up is already a pain when camping. Why not make your camp life easy? Teflon. Well, first off. Teflon is now known to be harmful to humans and bad for the environment. Secondly, toxic fumes can be emitted from teflon pans, at high temperatures.
And if all else fails and you’re really in a pinch, you can use the small sauce pan from home. Just don’t tell anyone.
California is often called the “bread basket of the world”, since we grow so many foods for export here. California produces almost all of the country’s almonds, apricots, dates, figs, kiwi fruit, nectarines, olives, pistachios, prunes, and walnuts. It leads in production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches, plums, and strawberries.
In the list below, we try to break down where certain foods grow well and in which regions.
Fruit Orchards – Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills
Citrus Orchards – SoCal, Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills
Nut Orchards – San Joaquin Valley & North Sacramento Valley
Avocado – North San Diego Co, Central Coast Valleys
Garlic – Central Coast, Gilroy
Artichoke – Central Coast, Castroville
Olives – North Sierra Nevada Foothills
Corn – Central Valley
Melons – Central Valley
Dates – Coachella Valley Desert
Grapes – San Joaquin Valley, North Sacramento Valley
Lettuce – Salinas Valley
Celery – Salinas Valley
Tomatoes – San Joaquin & Sacramento Valleys, Sierra Nevada
Peppers – Imperial Valley, Inland Empire
Rice – North Sacramento Valley
Carrots – Cuyama Valley, San Joaquin Valley
Strawberries – SoCal, Central Coast, Sierra Nevada Mountains
Cattle Ranches – Central Coast, North Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Sierra Nevada Mountains
California Wine Country – spans nearly the whole state – from Temecula to Mendocino, vineyards are located all over
rodents to raccoons / bats to bears / fish to frogs
Outdoor Kitchen Rules:
At home you can let your dirty dishes sit for days in the sink, but not out here. As much as you hate to, wash the dishes right after your meal – so you don’t attract wildlife to your camp. Heat wash water to make cleaning up easier on your hands. A large towel helps w/ drip dry process, so carry old towels.
Picnic tables outside in the elements and are used by everyone, including the animals and rodents. Bring a table cloth, plastic, or an old sheet to cover the table. Hold it down with heavy objects on each end.
Hantavirus is a serious and deadly lung infection that is caused from inhaling fine dust particles from rodent droppings.
Avoid eating or preparing food directly on the ground. Place a ground tarp down and then a picnic blanket, at the very least.
Use caution (and a wet sponge) when staying overnight in rustic cabins, tent cabins.
Beware of older buildings that may be or may have been populated with rats or mice. Bring tarps, sheets and extra blankets to minimize the dust level. It’s advisable NOT to sleep or eat in any place that has evidence of mice turds.
Avoid sleeping or camping in caverns or caves, as rodent populations are in excess.
Do not feed wildlife, birds, squirrels or rodents. They can carry rabies and/or many other diseases.
garbage (pack it out)
Put food left overs in the ice chest as soon as it cools. Use paper towels to wipe food residue out of pots – before washing. Dispose of trash food into paper grocery bag. Dispose of paper bag & towels into the campfire. Let it burn down all the way w/ the last wood scraps; No more food smells to attract bears!
Do not leave the garbage outside overnight. Deposit trash in a dumpster at campground, or treat it like food and lock it away in a vehicle. Double bag it – in case it leaks. Always carry extra black trash bags when traveling, to clean up litter. These large bags can also be used as storage for blankets and pillows.
Obtain a free campfire permit from the local ranger station, if you plan to cook outdoors, using a stove or a fire. Know current fire conditions and obey RED FLAG restrictions on fire.
Do not leave campfires, lanterns or candles burning unattended at camp.Make sure the propane or butane fuel is turned off (at the stove and at the tank) after a meal. Drowned campfires before bedtime, or when you leave camp.
Do not wash dishes or cookware directly in the stream (lake, creek, river). Bring a large bucket or wash tub. Avoid dipping dirty dishes or pans into the lakes, rivers, or creeks. Wash nearby without putting soap into the natural waterway. Some campgrounds do not have piped water, so carry your own.
Disperse wash water over the ground at least 200 feet from nearest stream, river or lake.
Use a sponge scrubber with soap in the handle for convenience w/ minimal liquid. Store it is a ziplock baggie. No more chasing the floating soapy sponge down the creek, in the cold, swift current.
Same rules apply when washing your hands in the creek or bathing your body in a lake. Keep the soap to a minimum and rinse soap off – away from the shoreline of the lake, river or creek.
water (raw water)
Do not drink untreated water from a lake or creek, no matter how fresh or clean it looks. Boil water, or bring a portable water filter for use when camping/hiking. If you carry bottled water, pack trash out; recycle bottles.
Boil water, Boiling is sufficient to kill pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoa.
If water is cloudy, let it settle and filter it through a clean cloth, paper towel, or coffee filter.
Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. At altitudes above 5,000′, boil water for 3 minutes.
Giardia is often found in rivers and streams. These organisms exist in waters because they exist in our digestive tracts and those of other animals. So anywhere that there’s poop near water, that water could contain pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Aeromonas, Yersenia enterocolitica, Leptospirosis, Listeria, or Vibrio, in addition to a suite of viruses and protozoan parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Some only cause short-term, if severe, gastrointestinal distress. Others can cause issues that last for weeks, months, or even years.
Bears? If you are camping in ‘bear country’, do not cook in or near the tent or sleeping cots. Cook downwind from your sleeping area. Use metal bear boxes for food storage, when provided at campground. If not, use the trunk of your vehicle. Windows up!
Two large plastic boxes/containers with lids help in storing items properly, away from rodents & rain. Use one box for kitchen wear & Use one box for food storage. Wooden crates or plastic crates can also work.
Keep cooler in the shade -always! When stored in a vehicle, place blankets or tarps over ice chest to prevent sun from baking down on it. Overnight – put the cooler inside a vehicle. Windows up!
Raccoons are super-crafty creatures and can get into almost anything. Close your car windows at night. Tarp down the truck bed securely. Bring an extra tie down strap or two, to wrap the cooler or food box.
No food or SCENTS in the tents! Animals are attracted to smells. No BBQ sauce t-shirt or greasy jeans. No snacks, no candy, no cough drops, no toothpaste, no ointments, no deodorant. Store those scented items closed up in a vehicle, or in a metal bear box.
Bats may come in close at night to eat mosquitoes and other flying bugs. On occasion they may find your cabin interesting and want to explore; Or a well lit motorhome could be inviting, so keep the screen door closed.
A large rubber container with lid is great for storage & doubles as a wash tub, so you don’t end up adding suds to the stream. Many mountain streams are used for local water sources & the less polution in them, the better.
Some San Diego car-rental companies will rent vehicles for driving into Baja California & will provide Mexican auto-insurance. Franchises below can have location drop offs & pick-ups in the US or over the border in MX.
Overland Jeep Rentals w/ camping roof top tent and gear;
ATV and Quads @ beach sand dune park
snow & ice?
Heading up to the mountains for anything fun? then you better ask rental car company about snow forecast and tire chains – or buy some in route.
OFF ROADING, for sure
If you plan to drive on serious dirt roads for hundreds of miles, a week of camping, rock crawling mountains, take a spin on the desert sand dunes, or want to drive into Mexico, then you will need extra insurance. Ask and expect to pay $$$.
Eating while away from home often means expensive dinners out. But eating well, usually means cooking it yourself. If budget travel is key, then you will need at bare minimum – a cooler, otherwise known as an “ice chest” for perishable food.
A heat source for cooking food is another item to consider; unless you plan to eat sandwiches, wraps, bars and snacks all weekend. Juice fast anyone?
If you want to do any amount of physical activity outside, then you may want a decent meal or two to nourish your tired body afterwards. This is where the ‘free heat source’ (campfire) comes in handy.
This page covers an overview of eating and cooking outdoors, more suited to tent campers or car campers traveling. No camp cooking recipes; sorry, the web is full of them.
Campfires require only free firewood (for heat) and the groceries (to cook), so they are the cheapest choice for meals; Free campfire permits are needed, along with water buckets and a shovel, and of course, campfire restrictions should always be followed.
Coleman camp stoves or smaller units are ideal for car campers, tent campers and van-lifers. Butane or propane fuel can get expensive if this is your only cooking method, so take that into consideration.
Motorhome campers have it easy – with full kitchens and appliances, but propane fuel could be costly depending on how many meals you prepare. Propane fridges are most common. RV refrigerators are often one of the first things to fail, so keep that in mind when purchasing an older camper on wheels.
Everything – and the kitchen sink. RVs, camper trailers and some camper vans have it made for cooking. They literally have a mini kitchen to do most of their food prep and cooking (indoors, away from wind, dust, bugs). Or they can easily bounce back and forth between the campfire grilling and the indoor kitchen.
Cabin rentals w/ wood burning stoves, some specially designed for cooking are a rare find on vacation. These beauties are unique, antique and some still fully functional as a cooking appliance. It’s a slower longer process to cook, but it is entertaining and rewarding. Wood-burning stoves use small hardwood pieces, known as ‘stove wood’. Bring some, or ask about it when reserving the cabin.
Otherwise, car campers and picnickers must rely on make-shift kitchen setups:
first, flat ground helps immensely.
second, a heat source may be needed, so plan ahead.
developed parks and campgrounds usually provide picnic tables. pavement, cement flat areas for people to congregate and dine.
boulder coves near rock outcroppings usually make good picnic spots and camp kitchens
at bare minimum, a ground cloth or tarp for meal prep is best
tarps can also come in handy, when raining. bring rope.
camp stoves, BBQ grill or campfire ground tarp, table or tailgate
define kitchen area, light up work area & clean prep surfaces; wash basin areas get sloppy, so keep it off the table top
@ camp – Step 2
cover table top and seating surfaces; carry extra blankets for bench seats, and bedding. Camp stove needs FLAT surfaces to be most effective – the end of the picnic table, a flat boulder, a truck tailgate, a stove stand, or a portable camp table.
@ camp – Step 3
clean out the campfire pit; only idiots dispose of their trash in the fire ring. always leave the camp site, cleaner than you found it. bring extra black trash bags; respect the land and teach others. do not to litter.
Wild Winds of California
When nights are chilly and dining by the campfire is preferred, line a folding camp chair with a thick blanket. This will keep the cold wind off your back.
If the wind is harsh (20+ mph), you can park your vehicle to block most of the wind toward the campfire and/or camp kitchen.
Do not burn ANY FLAMES or FIRE when weather conditions are severe. HOT, DRY, WINDY = red flag warnings; all fire permits and burn permits are suspended.
Know current fire restrictions before you light up!
NON-FOOD ITEMS vs. FOOD
When packing your kitchen box in advance, do not load food items that have a scent – NO SPICES, no tea bags, nor hot chocolate mix. No coffee, no snacks and small smelly items. Bears, raccoons and wildlife would love to find your food (even if you only stepped away from the camp for 2 minutes). Crafty types will even attempt opening the cooler or getting inside the hatchback.
Store all food related / scented products inside the ice chest or the easy to manage, grocery bag – aka the FOOD BAG.
This Food Bag concept and style of storage is best for packing up at night after meals. The EASY and fastest way to get to bed early and avoid sorting food items in the dark. When the dishes are done, laying out drying, all grocery bags and food related items go in the car or in the steel bear box (provided at camp ground).
Remember these scented items also includes – toothpaste, cough drops, deodorant, creams, candy, medications. We’ve seen a tube of Ben-Gay chewed open by critters. Yuk. Save the animals from eating your foot cream. Store your creams and meds in a zip pouch with the food bag. Problem solved.
Prep @ home before the trip:
Freeze large juice bottles for cooler ice. BLOCK ice last much longer than small ice cubes. Freeze smaller water bottles for smaller coolers. Prevent bottle bursting, (water expands when ice swells) by pouring an inch off the top and screwing cap down loosely.
If you absolutely must have ice cubes for your drinks, take a smaller zip-lock bag. If it melts fast, buy another one in route.
Pre-chop vegetables; package fruit chunks. Think of hike-able meals, proteins, fast snacks and fruit. Fresh veggies w/ the meat grilling @ the deluxe campfire dinner.
Select a sturdy reusable bag with wide bottom. This can be your designated FOOD bag. Groceries, spices, coffee and teas, anything with a scent. Garlic, apples, raisins, oatmeal pouches.
The FOOD BAG (see orange notes above) is also a great place to store small items when traveling and camping. Items like lighters, matches, pocket knives, candles, pen and paper, headlamps, batteries, bandana, napkins, half roll o TP.
Solo travelers may even want to pack a ‘place setting’ (plate, bowl, utensils) inside the food bag for on the go meals and easy access.
Pack & pre-cook:
precooking certain foods
(that would normally take lots of time and fuel, or mess)
rice, pasta noodles, steel cut oatmeal, homemade chili, cakes, bread, sausages, bacon
2 coolers may be needed. depending on the situation, eating habits and amount of travelers
One large ice chest for storage, located in the back w/ a blanket on top to block it from the direct sunlight.
Smaller, portable ice chest up front, near the driving compartment for easy access to snacks, trail mix, sandwiches, beverages. Picnics will be easy with a small cooler. Freezing plastic water bottles days ahead, for block ice without the soggy mess.
JUST HEAT UP
If you want to do more exploring and less cooking, then plan your meals dining out (at home, online), well in advance. Fast food drive-thrus should always be avoided. Budget at least $10 per meal and expect to pay more in smaller towns. Pack lots of snack bars, beverages and easy to fix meals. Sandwiches are great for day time, cuz you’ll be out sightseeing. Night time you can have a camp fire to cook on, or break out the camp stove or grill.
Left overs are super quick to heat and serve. Pancakes, bacon, quiche, casseroles, enchiladas, stir fried rice, pre-chop salads. Save the salad dressing and top salad just before eating. Other easy prep meals include: scrambled eggs, hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, soups, tacos, or if all else fails, the dreaded MRE. Pre-packaged backpackers meals in foil pouches have come a long way, but are often expensive and always look so unappealing, like mush.
We’ve seen the city-boy bachelors show up to camp (after midnight) w/ a cooler packed full of beer and Subway sandwiches. Chips and nuts were their only side dishes. Needless to say, but the second day they we’re done w/ their food and wanting ours. BBQ ribs?
EASY COOK MEALS
one burner stove
one steel pot / one pan
2 burner camp stove w/ fuel
skillet & lid
medium size pots and pans
utensils camp lantern
dutch oven cooking
campfire grill tripod
foil & ziplock bags
fireproof oven mit / gloves
extra long tongs
Start the campfire before sunset, so it has time to burn down the wood to make adequate coals.
Cook over glowing hot coals rather than the flames of burning wood. Use flat rocks and/or metal grills for positioning cast iron cookware.
Wait until the campfire becomes hot coals to do the cooking. Rearrange the glowing coals and rocks for optimal cooking spots.
You’ll need plenty of small wood – to keep feeding the fire and pushing the coals in place. Direct flames on cookware means black soot and often burnt chicken. Flames are okay for some food – like roasting wieners or shish kabobs, but generally it is the coals that offer the most even heat source.
Dutch oven (pictured above) is often the first cast iron campers purchase. Positioned over the campfire, it becomes a mini oven for heating up left over food dishes. You can heat them w/ a camp stove as well. Start with a smaller size and buy larger ones as needed.
Cast iron skillets are very handy for cooking up meat or fish dishes. Re-heating left overs, cooking eggs, pancakes and bacon. Books abound on dutch oven cooking show baking breads, desserts, making chili, and lots of recipes.
Aluminum foil and a roll of paper towels will come in handy. Ziplock bags help with leftovers. Metal spatula and tongs are ideal when cooking over campfires. Choose a can opener w/ a bottle opener built into it. Bring a corkscrew if you are packing a bottle of wine.
Washing up all dishes and pots immediately after a meal is best practice; Before bedtime is mandatory. No food or beverage smells should be found overnight around camp. Tie and pack garbage away (inside a vehicle), or dispose of in trash cans – before retiring for the night.
Remember: No toothpaste or snacks allowed inside the tent. Keep a clean camp to prevent unwanted visitors (wild animals).
Baja Mexico Flights Best Times to Fly Cheapest Airfares California Local Air Charters Sightseeing Flights Small Town Airports
Air planes burn major fuel. More than one-tenth of all transportation-related carbon emissions across the United States comes from air travel, according to the EPA.
Estimates say rail travel emits less than one-third of the CO2 relative to what air travel does. Consider a longer journey, taking in more scenery and traveling by train; California has lots of options.
Biggest destination airports in California
SAN – San Diego
SFO – San Francisco
LAX – Los Angeles
ONT – Ontario
SMF – Sacramento
Popular connector flights include –
LAS VEGAS, NV
SALT LAKE CITY, UT
Best Times to Fly
Time of the Flight:
Book a flight before 7:00 am or after 7:00 pm. Also, Saturday & Sunday flights may eligible for off-peak pricing.
Day of the Week:
Certain fares are priced lower on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Saturdays
Days surrounding a holiday or 3 day weekend are usually not the best choice for a deal. These are considered “blackout” days. Try to get a “red-eye” (late night) flight just before the holiday rush.
Six major airlines control nearly three-quarters of the air market & airfare prices.
Keys to savings:
Be flexible. Jump on bargain prices and then figure out why you want to go there. If you must travel to Point B for a specific visit, only purchase during deep sale periods.
Familiarize yourself on discount airline routes. You may be able to travel to a city within 150 miles of your final destination, but save hundreds in doing so.
Check out the number of Internet sites that sell tickets below the official, or published fares. Many offers are completely non-refundable and not exchangeable for other travel dates.
Historic cities and towns are commonplace inside California, but very few towns are totally abandoned. By definition ‘ghost towns’ are population locations that have previously thrived (usually in mining), but they’ve ultimately have been deserted. Sometimes a few residents will stick around for the seclusion, but the place often appears empty. Finding an open business is a rarity.
North Bloomfield allows visitors inside the buildings to examine the furnishings, decor, fixtures and the interior style. As part of a ranger guided daily tour, you can explore these historic structures up close and personal.