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Tips for Outdoor Fun

These are ideas that folks here at NRS have for fun things to do while boating, camping and just generally enjoying the outdoors!

Ashley, Customer Service Rep - "Water fights, card games, making things like a fishing pole, out of stuff you find around camp. I probably spend most of my time in camp chatting and telling stories with everyone or taking hikes."

Blake, Wholesale Account Manager - "Pinecone baseball - basically Mother Nature's whiffle ball! Played like regular baseball, but with a pinecone for a ball and a stick for a bat. Common bases are Frisbees, plates, stumps and PFDs. Play a set number of innings or until you get tired of it."
      "If you've got a beach that's big enough, Beach Football is a fun game. You can modify it for one-hand or two-hand touch."
      "In kayaks, it's fun to bat a beach ball back and forth, while you're going down river or at camp, in an eddy. It's not only fun, it sharpens your balance and bracing skills."
      "And, of course, no on-the-water trip should be without at least one Frisbee!"

Playing Bocce
Playing Bocce on the Lower Salmon.
©Stacy Jensen

Bill, NRS Founder and President - "Blongo Ball (also known as Ladder Golf, Bolo Toss, etc, etc) is another fun game. It has a stand (that breaks down compactly) with three horizontal bars. The 'balls' are usually two golf balls connected with a cord. The object is to toss the balls so that the cord wraps around one of the bars (which have different point values). On a hard surface you can bounce the balls first, which gives you more points - doesn't work very good in sand!"

Stacy, Marketing Coordinator - "To me, this time of year is 'berry picking time.' Huckleberries, blackberries, the bounty of the forest. And it's always fun to try out a new Dutch oven meal. My latest favorite is Chicken Pot Pie.
      "When the water is low and slow, it's time to pull out the River Tubes and take a lazy float down the river, soaking up some sun."

Laura relaxing in a river tube.
Laura floating on the Lower Salmon.
©Stacy Jensen

Niki, Customer Service Rep - "In July I took my two-year old camping for the first time up along the lower Selway River. I recommend a bucket and shovel for little ones of most any age. Jacob loved putting rocks and water into his and dumping them out again. Kids get hungry and thirsty - bring lots of snacks (graham crackers, dry cereal, granola bars, etc) and containers of water and healthy juice."
      "I know I over packed, but you never know exactly what you might need to make them comfortable. And don't wander too far afield on those first overnight outings. If the kid is miserable, you're better off heading home early. Kids have their own agendas, and if you have an unhappy toddler, you'll have some adults that aren't having much fun either!"

Tyler, Wholesale Support Rep (and former raft guide) - "Water guns - people love 'em; raft guides love to hate 'em!"

Kids with water guns
The Hood children playing in Wallowa Lake.
©Mike Hood

"Turn over an unloaded raft. Put one end of it out in the water. Then slosh water on the bottom and you have a great "slip-n-slide"!
      "Take an inflatable kayak out in a quiet eddy. Turn it upside down, then have two people climb up and stand on it. Now you have the river-rat equivalent of logrolling or birling. The goal is to outfox the other person with your movements and dump them in the water first."

Laura, Retail Sales Manager (and self-confessed caffeine "addict") - "Iced Aeropress coffee!"

Nick, Customer Service Rep and Repair Guy - "Ah, finding a couple of good trees, putting up my ENO Hammock and doing some serious relaxing!"

Ryann, Customer Service Rep - "Whenever I go camping (well, all girl camping), we like to bring a tube of henna. Henna comes from a plant and is used to create temporary tattoos - used in traditional Indian culture. The sun helps the henna to dye your skin better - it creates a lot of fun and laughter - and again, it's temporary!"

Sam, Wholesale Support - "I suggest fly fishing. 'Course, I'd almost rather fish than eat, and I like to eat!"

Clyde, e-News Editor - "On-the-water camping for me is visiting, swapping stories and jokes, cooking good food and relaxing. On a layover day, I'm into naps, reading a good book and sipping a cold one. If there's a good hike to be had from camp, I may or may not be in for it - depends on how lazy I feel.
      "A fun camp game that you can usually put together with what you have at hand in camp is Cans. On a recent trip, Tyler came up with a good variation by bringing along a set of 3-inch washers to use in place of the cans. Dave, over at Olympic Raft and Kayak, in Port Angeles, Washington has a great variation to the game. He uses two 6-foot NRS 1" Tie Down Straps looped in a circle for the targets and uses softball-sized rocks instead of cans. He says sometimes a rock will knock the circle out of round, but that just makes the game more interesting.
      "Another game, with natural components, that we play is called the Salmon River Rock Toss. You pick a rock, size is optional but usually at least large cantaloupe-sized. Scrape a starting line in the sand. To make your toss, you stand with your toes up against the line, then reach behind you to pick up the tossing rock. Yes, behind you. Then you squat with your arms back behind you grasping the rock and toss it through your spread legs. The throw is a rocking, tossing motion - awkward as can be and usually resulting in a pratfall to the great amusement of the assembled players and onlookers. Each effort is marked and the furthest toss wins."

Amy making a Cans toss on a Grand Canyon beach.
Amy making a Cans toss on a Grand Canyon beach. Note the white oval in front of her.
It’s a buried cut off plastic gallon jug that’s serving as a “bucket”.
©Blake Longworth.

These are some of our ideas for outdoor fun. We'd like to hear yours. Drop us a line at editor@nrs.com. We'll post your ideas in the next issue of the e-News.

Boat and Camp Often, Be Safe and Have Lots of Fun!