"How much further?" is a familiar refrain that I remember bombarding my parents with as a child.  I also remember some of the fun travel games that we played to pass the time.  Here are a few simple ones that don't cost anything other than a little imagination.

Give Your Children A Map Of Their Own

Give your kids their own copy of a map to where you are going.  Show them how far they have come and how much farther they have to go.  Let them mark the path with a crayon.  Every time they ask "How much further?" have them pull out the map and take a look.

Make Up A Story

Someone starts with a sentence about anything.  The next person has to follow on with their own sentence.  It may or may not be what player one had intended.  The story can result in twists in turns as one player may want the story to be about princes and princesses and the other may want it to be about race cars.

The Letter Game

Have everyone look around them to find letters of the alphabet from A - Z in order.  Only one person can have one letter in any one place so it can get competitive.  Letters can be found on license plates, road signs, place names and lots of other places.  The winner is the first to get to Z.  As we got older, my sister and I eliminated using the letters on license plates to make the game more challenging.

For my mom and dad the best game of all was if they could lull us to sleep!  Thanks to Joanie Davis Acton for sending us this great picture of her kids playing my parents favorite game!

Sleep Game

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AirBedz On Shark Tank

Another one of our fabulous suppliers, James Pittman of AirBedz,  is to appear on ABC's Shark Tank this Friday, May 4th.

AirBedz Truck Tent Mattresses have cutouts on each side that allow the truck air mattress to fit around and over the wheel wells in a pick up truck. This design creates a sleep area that utilizes the entire truck bed. A built in rechargeable pump inflates and deflates the mattress at the flip of a switch. An integrated air coil system evenly distributes weight over a 12" thick mattress.

AirBedz Truck Air Bed Mattresses

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Road Trip Car Maintenance

Before you head out on vacation make sure that your car is as ready as you are.  Checking the following things can help prevent any breakdowns on your journey.

Check The Oil

Oil is your car's life blood.  It is a good idea to get your oil changed just before you leave if you are planning a long trip.  Also, when driving in the mountains or for long distances take the time to check your oil when you fill up for gas.

Check The Tire Pressure

A well pressurized tire can save money on fuel, make your car handle better and prevent accidents.  You can find the correct pressure for your tires either on the tires themselves or there may be a sticker on the driver's side door that will tell you the correct pressure.

Check The Spare Tire

Though blowouts don't often happen if your tires are well kept and have the proper amount of tread it never hurts to be prepared.  Make sure that your spare tire is inflated and in the car.  If you have special rims or locking lug nuts make sure you have the key to the lug nuts.  Normally you can find the key in your glove box.

Check The Battery

Your battery may be new, but if you leave some type of electronic device plugged in it can run the battery down.  Having a car kit with battery cables, flares, etc. is always a good idea.

Take An Extra Set Of Keys

Have you ever locked yourself out of your car?  There is nothing worse than that feeling in the pit of your stomach as you close the door and realize that the keys are still in the ignition.  It can spoil your vacation in just seconds.  Get a spare set of keys and give them to your traveling companion or put them in your wallet.

We here at Lakeland Gear hope you have a safe summer and we always love to hear any tips and tricks that you have to make traveling easier and more fun.

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How To Pack For A Road Trip

Are you ready to leave on your next car trip?  Whether headed on a road trip to visit friends and family, taking a long cross country adventure, or camping, use our checklist to prepare. 

If you are going camping you may want to also check out our Camping Kitchen Checklist.

Download the list here.

Road Trip Checklist

The Basics
  • Toys & Games For The Kids
  • Snacks
  • Cooler
  • Bottled Water
  • Gum
  • Paper Towels
  • Disinfectant Spray
  • Toilet Paper
  • Kleenex
  • Maps
  • GPS
  • Car Charger
  • CD's / iPod
  • Cell Phone & Charger
  • Camera, Manual, Charger, Extra Chip & Film
  • Lap Top, iPad & Charger
  • iPod, Discman, MP3, CD Player & Charger
  • Compact DVD Player & DVD's

Medical Supplies

  • Immodium
  • Antacid
  • Band Aids
  • Benadryl
  • Insect Repellant
  • Contact Lens Solution & Case
  • Anti Itch Cream
  • Extra Pair Of Eyeglasses
  • Motion Sickness Remedy
  • Laxative
  • Analgesic
  • Prescription Medications
  • Vitamins
  • Sunscreen


  • Snail Mail Addresses (to send postcards, especially fun for the kids
  • Email Addresses
  • Travel Insurance Documents
  • Business Cards
  • Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Card, Traveler's Checks
  • Copy Of Vacation Packing List
  • Driver's License
  • Emergency Numbers
  • Pre-Paid Phone Card
  • Copies Of Prescriptions
  • Vouchers, Coupons, Tickets
  • Itinerary
  • Travel Guides, Maps & Directions
  • Journal / Notebook and Pen
Foreign Travel Checklist
  • Flight Tickets or Confirmation Number
  • Language Dictionary or Phrase Book
  • International Driver's License
  • Embassy Phone Number & Address
  • Passport, Visa, Birth Certificate
  • Vaccination Documents
Misc Travel Items
  • Sunglasses
  • Small Sewing Kit & Safety Pins
  • First Aid Kit
  • Crazy Glue
  • Mini Duct Tape
  • Keys
  • Luggage Locks
  • Plastic Zip-Loc Bags
  • Garbage Bags
  • Q-Tips
  • Ear Plugs
  • Sports Gear
  • Umbrella
  • Reading Material
  • Tweezers & Nail Clippers
  • Small Mirror
  • Small Flashlight
  • Eyeglass Repair Kit & Lens Cloth
Checklist For The Guys
  • Belts, Suspenders, Ties, Tie Pins
  • Underwear & Socks
  • Casual Shirts, T-Shirts, Dress Shirts
  • Hat or Cap
  • Pants & Shorts
  • Pajamas, Robe & Slippers
  • Sports Jacket
  • Suit
  • Swim Suit
  • Workout Clothes
  • Comb or Brush
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving Kit & Shaving Cream
  • Shampoo, Conditioner & Styling Products
  • Toothbrush & Tooth Paste
Checklist For The Ladies
  • Bathing Suit & Cover-Up
  • Bras, Panties, Slip, Socks
  • Lingerie, Sleep Shirt, Robe, Slippers
  • Jewelry & Accessories
  • Skirt, Blouse, Dress, Jacket
  • Pareo / Sarong
  • Sandals, Flip Flops, Dress Shoes
  • Shorts, Capris, Pants
  • Sweater or Warm Shirt
  • Wide Brimmed Hat
  • Tank, Halter, Sleeveless Tops'
  • Workout Clothes, Tennis Shoes
  • Comb or Brush
  • Deodorant
  • Tampons, Pads, Panty Liners
  • Razor
  • Make-Up & Make-Up Remover
  • Moisturizor, SPF, Skin Care Products
  • Toothbrush & Tooth Paste
  • Shampoo, Conditioner & Styling Products
  • Hair Styling Tools & Accessories

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Air Bedz Lite Truck Bed Air Mattress
Air Bedz Lite Truck Tent Mattress

Air Bedz Truck Mattresses has introduced a new "Lite" Truck Bed Air Mattress.  This pickup truck mattress offers is the same popular design as the Original Air Bedz Mattress, but is made of PVC rather than cloth. Great features at a lower price.

Air Bedz Lite Truck Mattress Wheel Inserts
Air Bedz Lite Wheel Well Inserts

Air Bedz Truck Bed Mattresses offer a comfortable solution to truck camping.  They are perfect for outdoor trips and with the addition of the Inflatable Wheel Inserts you can turn your truck mattress into a regular air mattress for use in tents or as a guest bed in the home.

Fit Chart
Bed Size
Model Year
Chevrolet Silverado
6' Short - 8' Long Bed
1973 - Present
GMC Sierra
6' Short - 8' Long Bed1973 - Present
Ford F150 - F250 - F350
6' Short - 8' Long Bed1973 - Present
Ford F250 - F350 - F450
8' Long Bed1992 - Present
Dodge Ram
6' Short - 8' Long Bed1973 - Present
Nissan Titan
6' Short - 8' Long Bed1974 - Present
Toyota Tundra
6' Short - 8' Long Bed1973 - Present
Toyota T100
6' Short - 8' Long Bed1993 - 1998
Chevrolet Silverado
5' 8" Short Bed - With Tailgate Down
1999 - Present
GMC Sierra
5' 8" Short Bed - With Tailgate Down
1999 - Present
NOTE:  Does not fit 5' 5" - 5' 8" truck beds unless otherwise noted.

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Plastic Camping Box

Plastic Camping Box

Using a Camping Box is a great way to keep all of your kitchen camping gear ready to go.  Set the box up ahead of time and eliminate scrambling to find everything when you are ready to head out the door.  It doesn’t have to be expensive either.  Look for things like cups, plates, bowls, silverware, etc. at your local thrift store.

Toolbox Kitchen Camping Box
Wooden Camping Chuck Box
Toolbox Camp Box
Wooden Chuck Camping Box

The box itself can be large enough to conveniently store your items.  A plastic box or even an old suitcase will work.  If you are headed into bear country make sure that the box will either fit into a bear-proof storage container or is bear proof itself.

Use our handy list to help you prepare your Camping Box.  You can also download a printable Camping Box Checklist by clicking on the button below.

We would love to hear from you about any camping tips or destination ideas you have!

Camping Box Checklist PDF File

Camping Kitchen Checklist

  • Spoons
  • Forks
  • Knives
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Drinking Cups
  • Coffee Cups

Cooking Equipment

  • Camp Stove
  • Grill
  • Charcoal
  • Charcoal Chimney
  • Lighter
  • Matches
  • Dutch Oven
  • Nesting Camp Pots (with lids)
  • Frying Pans (with lids)
  • Pie Irons
  • Coffee Pot

Kitchen Supplies

  • Can Opener
  • Wine Bottle Opener
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Potholders
  • Tongs
  • Spatula
  • Wooden Spoons
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Pronged Fork
  • Whisk
  • Paring Knife
  • Chef's Knife
  • Grater
  • Campfire Roasting Forks (for hot dogs & marshmallows)
  • Cutting Board
  • Basting Brush
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Colander or Strainer
Clean Up & Put Away
  • Ziplock Bags (sandwich & quart)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Dish Soap
  • Small Container of Bleach for Sanitizing
  • Dishcloth
  • Dish Pans (3)
  • Plastic Scrubby
  • Sponge
  • Paper Towels
  • Trash Bags
  • Folding Table
  • Tablecloth
  • Tablecloth Clips
  • Wet Cooler
  • Dry Cooler
  • Drink Cooler
  • Large Water Container
  • Hand Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
Pantry Food Items
  • Small Bottle of Vegetable Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Baking Power
  • Baking Soda
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Creamer
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Hot Chocolate Mix
  • Garlic Powder
  • Your Favorite Herbs & Spices

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Making A Grilled Pizza
Grilled Pizza
  1. Roll out your pizza dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.  Smooth out the air bubbles with a rolling pin so the dough stays as flat as possible.

  2. Turn the gas grill to high heat.  Use a basting brush to apply olive or vegetable oil to the grill plates to keep the dough from sticking as it cooks.  You can also use cooking spray on the underside of the pizza dough before placing it on the grill.

  3. Place the pizza on the grill gently with your hands or slide it from a greased cookie sheet or pizza stone.  Since the grill is on high, the bottom side of the pizza should cook pretty quickly.  Grill until the underside is lightly toasted.  Use a spatula to flip up the edges of the pizza so it does not burn.

  4. Remove the pizza from the grill with a spatula or by sliding a cookie sheet underneath it.  Put on oven mitts to avoid burning your hands. 

    Children Making Pizza

  5. Flip the pizza over so the grilled side is facing up.  Add all of your toppings to the grilled side.  Layer your sauce, cheese, and other goodies.  Get the kids involved.  Making individual pizzas would be great for a family picnic or camping trip.  If you have your toppings all available you can flip the dough over on the grill , reduce the heat and immediately place the toppings on the pizza.

  6. Place the pizza back on the grill and close the lid of the gas grill.  Turn down the heat of the grill so you do not burn the toppings without giving them time to cook through. 

  7. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes (depending on how quickly your toppings cook).

  8. Turn off the gas grill and remove the pizza with a cookie sheet or large spatula.  Transfer to a cutting board or large plate.

  9. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes and ENJOY!

Below are a couple of great Gas Grills whether you're making pizza, beer can chicken, roasting vegetables, etc.

Keg-A-Que Gas Grill
Keg-A-Que Gas Grill With Lid Open

Keg-A-Que Stainless Steel Gas Grill
Available in both Gas and Charcoal for $74.99

The Keg-A-Que Gas Stainless Steel Gas Grill is perfect for tailgating, camping and backyard meals. Its Patented keg-shaped stainless steel body opens on hinges for easy access to the 200 sq. in. cooking surface.

  • Large enough to hold a dozen burgers
  • Includes warming rack, fold up legs, and heat-resistant handles
  • Choice of Propane or Charcoal

Party King Hitch Mounted Grill

Party King Hitch Mounted Grill

The Party King Hitch Mounted Grill lets you drive-in, unlatch, swing-out and be cooking in less than three minutes.  This hitch mounted barbeque grill is great for tailgating, camping or any other outdoor adventure. It's swing out carrier system allows you to cook and still access the cargo area of your vehicle.

  • Standard LP tank connection
  • Can be powered either by LP tank or Double Barrel Fuel System/Twin Valve Manifold.
  • High-quality Party King DLX SS Grill Head
  • MVP Grill Cradle
  • 3 stainless steel burners
  • VERSArm™ HD Swing-out Carrier System
  • Umbrella Mount
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  1. Clean the area that was bitten with soapy water.

  2. Rub aloe on the affected area, or apply a lotion that includes aloe in its ingredients.  The aloe is a soothing agent that helps alleviate the itching sensation.

  3. Apply calamine lotion to the bite.  The lotion is a common remedy for itchy skin, and can provide temporary relief from the itching sensation.

  4. Peal a banana and rub the inside of the peel against the bitten area.

  5. Mix baking soda and water a mixing bowl to create a paste.  The paste should be thick enough to remain on the bitten area without being runny.  If your mixture is too runny, add more baking soda.  Apply to the bitten area for 15 to 20 minutes, and wash off with running water.

Don't get bit!  Avoid those pesky insects on your next picnic or beach trip by using the Sand Free Rug by CGear.

CGear Sand Free Mat

10% OFF Sand Free Mats & Rugs

The innovative Sand Free Mats and Rugs from CGear are a unique patented construction that allows particles to fall through the mat without coming back up creating a sand,dirt and dust free environment.

Both the rugs and mats are available in a variety of sizes. Rugs are great for picnics, soccer games and the beach.  The Mats stake to the ground and are a great replacement for your ground sheet or canvas.

Sale Ends April 30, 2012

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Another way to use your vehicle as a camping accessory is to utilize the roof top.  Roof Top Tents are a more permanent camping solution.  These roof tents can mount to your car, truck, jeep, suv, minivan, etc.  They feature a solid base that mounts to your roof rack. The roof top tents permits you to sleep up off the ground.  They incorporate a built in foam mattress.  Lakeland Gear is proud to offer both Tepui Vehicle Tents and Cascadia Roof Top Tents.

Tepui Vehicle Tents

Kukenam Roof Top Tent
Kukenam Roof Top Tent

Some of the advantages of Roof Tents are:

  • Fast and easy to set up
  • Better wind and rain protection than a conventional tent
  • You are off the ground and away from any dangerous animals such as snakes, raccoons, spiders, etc.
  • Great for 4WD vehicles
  • Better view and ventilation than camping on the ground
  • A Roof Top Tent will not collect as much dirt or sand as suppose to a tent on the ground
  • A flat spot to set up your roof tent is not needed, rocks and mud are not a problem.
  • No extra cost for air mattress, the roof tent comes with a very comfortable foam mattress.
  • Less expensive than a caravan, trailer or motor home
  • More fuel efficient  than towing a trailer
  • You can leave the Tepui Roof Top tent on all year long so you will always have a campsite wherever and whenever you need one
  • Extra shade and/or privacy area with the vestibule
  • Less storage required at home compared to a caravan, trailer or motor home

Cascadia Vehicle Tents

Mt. Ranier Roof Top Tent
Mt. St. Helen's Roof Top Tent

Accessories, such as, screen rooms and annex rooms are available to provide more space on  your camping adventure!

For more information visit:  Cascadia Roof Top Tent FAQ and Tepui Roof Tent FAQ.

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Week two of our series on camping using your vehicle.  Another option for using your pick up truck as base for your camping trip is the DAC Truck Cap Tents.  These tents attach to a truck with a truck cap or to minivans or SUV's.

DAC Truck Cap Tents

Full Size Truck Cap Tent
Mid-Size Truck Cap Tent
Minivan & SUV Tent
Full Size Truck Cap Tent
Mid-Size Truck Cap Tent
Minivan & SUV Tent

DAC Truck Cap & Minivan/SUV Tent Features

  • Rear door panels fold up and tie back for maximum ventilation
  • 2 no-see-um mesh windows
  • Zip and tie at bottom corners for privacy
  • Two way zippers provide easy entry to the rear of the vehicle
  • Tent treated to keep the water out.
  • Color - Tan roof, Blue walls.
  • Fire retardant.
  • Carry bag is included

Truck Cap Tent Set Up

  • Raise the rear window, lower the tailgate and place the tent over the opening
  • Will fit high back and flat camper tops, right over carrier racks or air foils
  • Elastic shock cords with plastic coated hooks connect tot he under frame and wheel wells to snug the tent tight against the truck body

Minivan & SUV Tent Set Up

  • Place the tent over the rear portion of the vehicle
  • Hook the shock cords into the wheel wells
  • Unzip the doors and reach inside the tent and raise the lift gate

More to come!  Next week we will talk about Roof Top Tents.  These nifty tents are a more permanent option for vehicle camping and are brand new offering at Lakeland Gear.

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