Some of my fondest memories when I was growing were the times I went with my family outdoors.
Last weekend, I decide it was time to go to the mountains. The mountains were beautiful, especially the wild flowers. After my trip, I decided that it would be fun to share some of my favorite outdoor tricks that I gathered through the years.
Egg carton firse starter: If you want a sure way to start a fire, make some egg carton first starters and keep them in your camp kit. When you go to start a fire you will not need any paper or kindling.
To make a fire starter, remove the lid from an empty cardboard egg carton. Set the bottom of the egg carton into the lid. Then place lint from your dryer ain the egg cartons cups until each cup is full. (You may collect the lint from several dryings in a container before your make the fire starter. Cotton balls will also work.)
Next, put old candles or cubes of wax in a large can and place the can in a pan of water. Heat the water and melt the candles or wax. By putting the can in the water you have created a double boiler, which allows the wax to melt at a lower temperature.
Wax has a low combustion point and can break into flames if it is heated to a too high temperature.
When the wax is melted, pour it over the lint in the cups and let it set up.
To make a fire, just break off an egg carton cup and put it under the wood and light.
Keeping pans clean when cooking over campfire: If you are cooking in a pan over a campfire, the bottom of the pan will get black from the flames.
In order to prevent that, rub liquid soap on the outside bottom of the pan before cooking. The soap will put a coat between and pan and the black scorching from the flame, and the black washes right off the pan.
Boiling water in paper cup: It is possible to boil water in a non waxed paper cup without the cup igniting into flames.
Pour water or milk into the cup. Cut a small round of aluminum foil and place it around the bottom lip of the cup. Set foil and cup on the hot coals. The foil protects the small lip on the bottom from burning. If flames rise against the top of the cup where liquid does not reach, the cup can burn.
The liquid in the cup keeps the paper below it combustion point and it will heat without the cup burning.
You can also hard-cook eggs in a paper cup. It is also possible to heat a carton of milk if the carton is non-waxed. Open the milk carton top before heating.
Paper plate holder: Paper plates are often flimsy. The best way to give them support is to purchase a Frisbee that is the same size as the paper plate. Put several layers of plates in the Frisbee and peel them off when you are finished with the meal. You'll then be are set for the next meal.
TV personality and author Dian Thomas shares her journey of weight loss, exercise and life on the run every other Wednesday in the Deseret News and at www.DianThomas.com. Her weekly blog also runs Mondays at deseretnews.com, and she takes tour groups to China. Contact her at www.dianthomas.com/travel.htm.
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