Thank You for Being a Friend - Guest Bloggers 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017

One of the best things that I did for my blog this year was incorporating Guest Bloggers.  While I enjoy writing and sharing information here, I have great friends and family that enjoy the outdoors as much as I do.  I am so thankful that each of these ladies took the time to share something special on my blog this year.  As I wrap up this year, my last post of 2017 is my way of thanking each of them for being a friend.  I am actually watching the Golden Girls while I write this.  More than a little fitting I think!

What I Learned About Camping This Year

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Legion State Park was our first camping trip of the year.  The historic buildings on this site were beautiful.

Camping is a lesson in learning how to slow down, breathe and just live.  During my regular day to day, I'm rushing from one task to the next.  I'm scheduled months in advance for every facet of my life.  There is no better feeling than pulling into a campground to just shut it all out for a few days.

Top Five Posts This Year

Thursday, December 21, 2017

2017 was an amazing year.  I feel a huge sense of accomplishment.  We completed over 80% of our pop up camper renovation.  There were also 5 great camping trips.  Reflecting back over 2017, here is a little review of our top 5 posts from this year.

How to Make Your Own Fabric Napkins with a Camping Theme

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

When my husband and I married almost 20 years ago, one of our first wedding gifts was a set of white monogrammed napkins.  I still love and use these napkins regularly.  I love fabric napkins.  Making your own is a humble project that works well for a novice.  You can customize the fabric, trim and everything to make your napkins reflect your own personality or decor.

Duraflame Cube Heater - Adding Warmth and Ambiance to Your Pop Up Camper

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Duraflame Cube heater puts out plenty of heat for a 400 square foot space.
Fall and winter camping may seem out of reach to some campers.  In fact, camping may be out of the question during extreme temperatures.  For us, in the deep south, camping really can be done in all four seasons.  Much of this is due to us having two seasons - hot and less hot.  Regardless of your region, how can you warm up your pop up camper if you don't have a furnace?

Camping Review - 2017 Rewind

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Enjoying breakfast inside at our table on our last camping trip of the year.

2017 has been a great year.  We didn't get to camp as much as we would have liked.  Working to restore a camper is a huge task.  However, our hard work has paid off.  At the end of this year, I feel like we will be able to camp more in 2018.  And, we discovered some places we want to return to and places that we might not add back to our list.  This is my review of our camping trips for 2017.

Flannel Obsession - Simple Crafts for You or to Share

Friday, December 8, 2017

Henry Glass Woodland Retreat Flannel Fabric

Right now I'm a little obsessed with flannel.  It is cozy and soft.  With lots of luxurious colors and patterns, I keep finding one project after another that works with this fabric.  After finishing my flannel lap throws, I decided that I needed more flannel in my life!

Cozy Up with the Mach 10 - RV AC with Heat Strip

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Mach 10 unit we installed into our pop up camper has a heat strip to chase the chill on cool mornings.

Almost 1 year after purchasing Peggy Sue, we are still working on our camper.  We had three big projects to finish our work.  These projects included:  replace the AC, purchase a new canvas and paint the exterior.  In October, we replaced our existing AC unit with a Mach 10 by Coleman-Mach ®.  During our recent camping trip, we were able to test out the heat strip feature of the Mach 10.  You will be amazed at how warm we stayed on cold nights!

Friendsgiving - Oak Mountain State Park

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Taking a walk after breakfast with our camping friends!

When most of us think of a traditional Thanksgiving, it is wrapped into a single day.  Activities and meals are many different things.  One common thread is that it is gathering day.  We gather as a family, group or friends or even a mixture of both.  My family has even included strangers or acquaintances to ensure someone had a place to go and gather.  This year, we celebrated both at home with family and at the campground.  A campground Friendsgiving is the best way to begin the holiday season!

Camping Christmas Wish List

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Last year's Christmas camping gear!
Last year we were getting ready to purchase our camper at this time of year.  Because I had taken a girls trip to NYC, I asked for no presents.  But, my sweet husband was determined to get me some things for our new camper.  These things included a dutch oven, trailer hitch and kitchen items for our camper.  Romantic?  YES!  I loved everything he bought because we were about to embark on a new journey together.  I couldn't wait to get started.

The Actual Cost of a Camping Weekend

Friday, November 24, 2017

Beautiful view inside and out from our camper window!
When we started talking about camping as a family, we felt that this would be a great way to spend time together outdoors.  My husband had happy memories of camping in the mountains of Southern California as a child.  My family was not a camping bunch.  But, we did travel out west each summer.  Camping was a way for us to do the things that we both loved - travel and time outdoors.

Camping With Friends

Friday, November 17, 2017

Holiday weekends are best spent with friends enjoying the good life outdoors and on Christy's new boat at the lake!

Guest blogger, Christy Rogers, returns this week to share her thoughts about camping with friends. 

Camping with friends is one of my most favorite things to do! In fact, in my tribe, we plan large camping gatherings for MONTHS in advance. Particularly around holidays. Some of our favorite camping times of year are Thanksgiving and Easter. I’m telling you, these friends of mine are crazy with the spreadsheets and calendars! We have a mix of folks who join our adventures: married couples, little kids, bigger kids, long time unmarried couples and singles, like myself. I’m grateful to have besties who have an AMAZING camper and are always willing to share their space with me! In fact, we pretty much decided last year that one would buy the boat and one would buy the camper, and we’d be good to go! I bought the boat. ;) Let’s just say we’ve had a great summer and are looking forward to another great fall!

Throw a Camping Thanksgiving Feast

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Thanksgiving feast complete with twinkle lights and decorations on the table.

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always spent at my grandmother's surrounded by a large extended family.  These are some of my happiest memories of my childhood.  Our parents sat in the dining room, and the cousins sat cheerfully at the kid's table.  Early in my marriage, Thanksgiving became a holiday spent with a large group of rowdy friends.  Now, Thanksgiving is smaller and much more subdued, but that doesn't make me enjoy it any less.  And yes, Thanksgiving can be celebrated at the campsite.

RV AC Installation and Why You Should Use a Dealership

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Peggy Sue before her update.

When we purchased our 2001 Jayco Qwest Popup Camper, we knew that we had purchased a project.  We had a long list of projects that would need to be tackled.  Nearly 1 year later, we are still doing some of the work.  With full-time jobs and a family, this work has to be planned out over time.  While we have done much of the work ourselves, some work is just handled by the RV professionals - a dealership.

Fall Camping Gear Guide

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fall camping is my favorite time of year for camping.  The air is crisp.  Nights are perfect for a campfire.  And, in the deep south, we still have warm days even if the evenings and nights are cool or cold.  It is a welcome change to the heat of most of our year.  Fall also signals the need to update your camping gear.

Camping Basics - 5 Pieces of Camping Gear You Need to Get Started

Friday, November 3, 2017

If you are new to camping, you are probably shopping for camping gear to get started.  You may think that there is a laundry list of things to purchase to get outdoors, but a few basics along with what you have at home can go a long way.  My husband and I have camped on and off separately before we married, and we each have different ideas about what camping entails.  There are some items that both of us can agree on, and that is basic gear.  For us the basics are eating, sleeping and safety.

Flannel Lap Throws for Fall and Winter Camping

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Flannel throws for fall camping.
 Have you ever been sitting around the campfire and needed a little something extra to make you a little cozier?   Even with a jacket and gloves, I like something to cover my legs and to wrap my hands under.  This fall I decided to make some flannel lap throws.

Renovating a Camper - Do It Yourself vs. Paying a Professional

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Last Best Camper - A 1974 Airstream Excella

Carolyn Goddell shares her knowledge on weighing out DIY projects versus paying a professional.  She and her husband, Jackson, have renovated a 1974 Airstream together.  Their Airstream is available for lodging through Air BnB as The Last Best Camper.  This is their second Airstream renovation together.

Reusable Bowl Covers - And Creating Your Own Brand Swag

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Make your own reusable bowl covers

This year, I incorporated guest bloggers into my work. These writers provide a unique perspective on camping and outdoor activities.  I want to say thank you to these special contributors for their work this year.  In my day job, branded swag is how businesses promote their name.  How could I create something that promotes my brand that separates me from the general swag like tee shirts and water bottles?

Tips for Camping Safely With Dogs

Friday, October 20, 2017

Christy and her fur baby, Hachi Bear

Guest blogger, Christy Rogers, shares her love of camping with her dog in today's feature.  She is a proud alumni of the University of Alabama and can often be heard cheering "Roll Tide" for her alma mater.  Christy exhibits her love for Jesus, life and helping others wherever she goes.

A Tale of Two Tires - Maintaining and Replacing Your Camper Tires!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Changing the flat tire on Peggy Sue was just the start to our day!
I firmly believe that tires can be the most overlooked item by beginning campers.  If the tires look okay, then that is good enough.  And, that is really what we did.  Sure we took the tire pressure and inflated the tires to the proper PSI, but that is really all we did.

Maintaining Your Porta Potti

Friday, October 13, 2017

Thetford Curve Porta Potty 
If you have a porta potty or are considering this feature for your camping set up, keep reading.  I'm going to give you some tips and ideas that can help you make up your mind.  Porta potties make a practical add-on for pop-up or tent campers.  Who wants to make a trip to the bathhouse in the middle of the night or for an emergency.  A porta potty can be a game changer for your camping experience.

Keep Your Camper Smelling Fresh - Trash Can Deodorizers

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Trashcan deodorizers are simple and inexpensive to make.

Campers are tight quarters, and odors can build up fast.  How do you keep odors at bay in your small space?  Essential oils and baking soda make an effective solution for odor control.  You can use this solution both at home and on the road. 

Host a Pumpkin Patch Party

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Pumpkin patch birthday party at Country Pumpkins.
Birthdays are exciting events for children but are sometimes overwhelming for parents.  How can you host a fun and reasonable party for a child?  Get outdoors!  Cooler weather call for outdoor parties at the pumpkin patch.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

5 Crock Pot Recipes for Your Campsite this Fall

Friday, September 29, 2017

Our crock pot was a wedding gift almost 20 years ago!

A slow cooker is handy for busy weeknight meals at home, but why not take your crock pot on the road for your next camping adventure?  Cooler weather always makes me want to take my crock pot out for a hearty warm meal.  You can turn on a slow cooker and forget it while you take a long hike or a day trip for a local excursion.  Slow cooker meals are the ultimate in comfort food.  Here are 5 of my favorite crockpot meal ideas for your family.

Happy Fall Y'all - Burlap Decor to Spice Up Your Glamper

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

This fall bunting was made for my son's birthday party with a pumpkin theme.

I recently learned a new decorating technique that may have changed my life!  Did you know that you can use your home printer to print onto a piece of burlap for decorating?  Me either until a few weeks ago.  It is amazing.  And, this technique can be used to create so many fun decorations.  If you are looking for something to glamp up your campsite this fall, make a simple burlap banner!

End of the Season Maintenance - 5 Tips for Protecting Your Investment

Monday, September 25, 2017

A little work on your camper at the end of each season is a great way to lighen your upkeep time!

It is the beginning of fall.  You have camped all spring and summer.  After all of those miles and trips, it is time for some end of the season maintenance.  Regular TLC can extend the life of your recreational vehicle.

Foraging for Food

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Oyster mushroom on a trail in the woods.

Lacy Fitts is an amazing wife, mother, and educator.  She loves science and nature and is sharing her passion for the outdoors about foraging for food in a guest post this week!

When I was little at my grandmother's house, I spent hours with my cousin gathering wild food and pretending we were orphans.  We made stockpiles of pecans, pears and wild blackberries so that we could survive hard times.  Although thankfully we've never truly needed to gather our own food in the wild, it's a useful skill and a fun family activity.  

The Price is Right - 5 Tips Purchasing Your First Pop Up Camper

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Peggy Sue needs a good wash and is about to get a fresh coat of paint.
When we bought our pop up camper last December, we went to look at it armed with a checklist from the Pop Up Princess.  I had done lots of research.  I felt prepared and ready to make a great decision.  Several months later, I still feel like we got a great camper.  However, we have encountered quite a few issues along the way.  The main reason I stress doing your homework is how costly mistakes can be.  And, knowing what repairs will cost will help you to budget and plan for them.

Make Ahead Camping Meal Idea - Salad In A Jar

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tex Mex Salad in a Jar

Meals on the go that pack and transport easily are my idea of camping meal perfection.  I like to eat healthy both at home and at the campsite.  Planning ahead can keep everyone on track.  These meals are much more interesting than just a sandwich.  I have nothing against peanut butter and jelly or a just a lunch meat special, but there are so many more options.  And, the right fuel will give you the best energy for a memorable trip!

Pop Up Camper Curtains With Air Flow Vents

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bunk end curtains for a pop up camper with mesh for ventilation.

When I made the curtains for our pop up camper, I made traditional curtains for privacy that I could open and class as needed.  However, if you want to up your game, make your curtains with air flow vents at the top of your bunk ends.  You can close your curtains at night for privacy but still have air flow throughout.

Campground Feedback - Choosing the Right Campground Part 2

Friday, August 18, 2017

Picnic lunch at Choctaw Lake

Previously, I shared about how to choose the right campground.  After you have picked your camping spot and struck out for camping adventures, what do you do next?  Camping feedback and reviews are vital.

How to Choose the Right Campground for Your Next Trip

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Lake Lurleen State Park near Tuscaloosa, AL

How do you select the parks where you camp?  Do you prefer quiet, low key trips around the campfire?  Or do you need lots of activities and excitement to keep everyone entertained?  You might enjoy a mixture of both.  There is a campground for everyone.  Today I am sharing part one of a two part series on camping facilities.

Every Glamper Needs Bunting - How to Make Your Own

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Glamper bunting made from left over fabric from our cushions and curtains.

I have had bunting envy for some time now.  Finally, I decided to make a little of my own.  No time like the present when it is hot as Hades outside.  A good afternoon sewing project is just what the weather man ordered.  I can dream about camping in the cool air conditioning of my home.

Airstream Kitchen Backspash - Smart and Stylish Design

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Adding a backsplash that can travel is both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

Carolyn Goodell is once again guest blogging.  She and her husband, Jackson, have remodeled a 1974 Airstream that is currently available for lodging through Air BnB in Livingston, Montana.  Their finished project is stunning and has created a welcome space for guests at The Last Best Camper.

One big perk that comes with owning a camper or RV is that you have a kitchen to utilize rather than depending on coals in a fire or a small camping stove.  This allows for more creativity and flexibility when planning and creating meals while camping, especially when cooking for a family or large group.  However, it also means more messes, more dishes, and more maintenance.  When renovating our Airstream we took one step to help with clean up and to help make our kitchen last longer.

Camping On A Budget

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Oak Mountain State Park in Alabama

Camping doesn't have to be an expensive hobby.  You can camp on a budget and have a great time.  Planning deliberately allows you to make the best choices about where to spend your money.  A great view and well deserved down time may be less expensive than you think.  So, how can you camp on the cheap?

Got Parts? Where to Find Supplies to Repair and Update Your Camper

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The hubster repairing Peggy Sue's roof.
We have made quite a few updates to our pop up camper this year.  Finding parts for our projects has been both easy and difficult at times.  Where do I go to find parts for our pop up camper?  I have several resources that I have come to depend on for reliable products that work for us.  The first hurdle is finding a resource and product lines that you can trust.

Ring That Dinner Bell! 5 Favorite Camping Recipes for Your Best Meals Yet

Friday, July 28, 2017

Campground cooking is the best.  We love simple meals that can serve double duty as left overs or just ones that don't require a lot of work and prep at the campground.  I typically use our 2 burner stove, a grill, and a Dutch Oven to prepare most every meal.  It is a break from my routine at home and yields flavorful results that our family devours.  Here are my five favorite camping meals and recipes to get you started at your next campsite.

Consider This - 5 Tips for Planning Your Next Camping Trip

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Peggy Sue our Jayco Qwest Pop Up Camper
Camping can be a very enjoyable activity.  However, a lot of work goes into planning a successful camping trip. The work up front will make a lot of difference in the overall trip.  Here are five things to consider when planning your next adventure.

5 More Reasons to Love Summer

Friday, July 21, 2017

Summers are busy, but I can always find some time to build in little pockets of fun.  This summer there are been several favorites on my list of things that we have enjoyed little trips, long walks, lots of time at the pool and just evenings on our deck.  Here are five ideas to make your summer even better!

Put a Lid On It - Recycled Canisters for Your Camper

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Both attractive and practical.  These cannisters are a winner for our camper!
I'm a practical person by nature but I also like to make the practical cute and fun.  Maybe not that practical, but it is something that I enjoy.  We probably eat more peanut butter in our home than any other staple item, and peanut butter jars can be repurposed to make a small set of canisters for your camper.

Go Green with a Composting Toilet - 1974 Airstream Excella Remodel

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Last Best Camper is a fully restored Airstream trailer in Livingston, Montana.

This week, we have a guest blogger.  Carolyn Goodell and her husband, Jackson, have been hard at work on a 1974 Airstream Excella.  This well thought out guest space is available on Air BnB. Carolyn is going to be sharing some content over the coming months on some of the updates and upgrades to their space.

My first experience with a composting toilet was at a family friend's house when I was about ten years old.  Walking into the bathroom there was a large wooden platform with a toilet seat attached to it.  After opening the lid and begrudgingly sitting upon it I felt like I was in a rustic outhouse.  Once I was finished I had to scoop a cup of cedar chips into the deep hole.  As a child, I thought this process was bizarre and so out of comfort zone that it made me uncomfortable enough to hold it for the rest of our visit.  Well, ten years later and times in the eco-friendly world have certainly changed.

Dollar Store Art Supplies to Entertain Little Campers

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Earlier this spring, I featured Activites for Little Camper.  We are usually pretty busy when camping with hikes, the campground playground, playing with legos and just being outdoors.  But, it is always a good idea to have a backup plan.  What about rainy days or just when kids are "bored" or want something else to do?

The Magical Land of Chalk - Decorating Your Pop Up Camper Door with a Chalkboard Sign

Saturday, July 8, 2017

When we purchased our pop camper, the door was not in great shape. The top portion of the plastic insert was hanging on by medical bandage tape.  It was coming apart a little more each time we used it. After a couple of trips, even the medical tape was not really hanging on.  I decided that it was time for a little work.

Money on Your Mind? 3 Ways to Save Money So You Can Enjoy Life More

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Afternoon bike ride on the Long Leaf Trace is one way that I like to enjoy the outdoors in my free time.
 The reason we wanted to start camping is to start spending more time together as a family.  I travel for work, so my time at home is precious.  I want to make the most of this time.  Camping is an escape from the day to day.

And with any hobby or recreational activity, it does take money.  As inexpensive as camping can be compared to other travel and excursions, an RV and gear can be costly.  For years our reason for not taking this leap was the idea of another expense that we didn't want to take on.  You can build a camping budget into your lifestyle easily without making drastic changes.

Give Me Your Best Insulated Cup Comparison - YETI, Ozark Trails and RTIC

Sunday, July 2, 2017

There are lots of insulated cups on the market.  Are the premium brands worth the extra money?  We have three brands of insulated cups at our house.  I decided to give them a test to see how well they held hot and cold liquids.

Got Fabric? Three Ways to Use Leftover Fabric to Finish Decorating Your Camper

Saturday, July 1, 2017

When I first started decorating our camper, making curtains and recovering cushions were the first big projects I tackled. I started with some fabric pieces that I purchased in New York on a girls trip.  These pieces ended up helping me to make the color choices throughout.  After finishing the first two projects, I had several pieces left over.  I don't believe in wasting a thing.  I gently folded the pieces and put them away thinking of ways to use the leftover fabric for other projects.  Since this time I have ended up with three different decorative projects that I really love and a fourth is on the horizon.

When Everyone Else is Camping - And You Can't

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer's are my busy conference season at work.  While everyone is heading to the campground, the lake and lots of other outdoor activities, I'm busy working.  It is nearly impossible to schedule any time off during the months of June and July.  If I am home for a weekend, the last thing that I want to do it take a trip anywhere since I am gone all week for work.

7 Camping Kitchen Essentials - What Every Camp Cook Needs

Saturday, June 24, 2017

If you cooking at your campsite, you need the right gear.  That list of gear doesn't have to be lengthy.  A few key pieces go a long way.  I have seven things that I use to make most meals we enjoy at our campsite.

Fly Your Flag High - DIY Camping Inspired Yard Flag

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Making your own camping inspired yard flag is a simple afternoon project.  With a little burlap and a few other supplies, you can create a yard flag that reflects you at the campsite or your home.  If you camp full time, then you home is the campsite!

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