5 Easy Campfire Meals You Have to Try This Summer

5 Easy Campfire Meals You Have to Try This Summer

I think we can all agree that campfire food tastes better than regular food. There’s just something about cooking and eating outside that makes it taste so much better.

Here are 5 fun, easy, & delicious recipes you HAVE to try at your next campfire!

1. Campfire Nachos


Um.. Hello! These nachos are better than any Mexican restaurants by far.

Ingredients/Tools: Tortilla chips, shredded cheese, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 can of black beans, green onions, cilantro, avocado, lime juice, cast iron skillet or frying pan.

Instructions:  Heat pan over fire or grill, pour in oil to coat the pan, and then… Throw it all in and watch it melt to perfection!

2. Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Hotdogs


What could possibly make hotdogs on a warm summer day taste even better?! Cheese and bacon, that’s what!

Ingredients/Tools: Hot dogs, mozzarella cheese sticks, bacon, bread buns, condiments, toothpicks.

Instructions:  Slice an opening in the middle of hotdog, stuff cheese into opening, wrap hotdog in 1-2 pieces of bacon and secure with toothpicks, cook directly on grill or frying pan, place on bun… or don’t!

3. Campfire Cinnamon Rolls with Marshmallow Icing



Ok, I know your mouth is watering over this one.

Ingredients/Tools: Package of cinnamon rolls, marshmallows, roasting sticks.

Instructions: First wrap the cinnamon roll dough onto roasting sticks, place over heat on fire, once the dough is almost fully cooked place a marshmallow (or 3) on the end of the stick and let it melt onto your cinnamon roll. Eat right from the stick for easy cleanup!

4. Walking S’mores


A fun twist on regular S’mores!

Ingredients: Individual packages of Teddy Grahams (honey flavor), marshmallows, chocolate chips.

Instructions: Roast 1-2 marshmallows over fire or grill, throw a handful of chocolate chips into Teddy Grahams bag, once marshmallows are how you like them stick them into the bag as well, close bag and shake for 1 minute, eat with a fork…or your hands! 😀

5. Campfire Pizza Pockets



This has got to be the best idea in pizza history!

Ingredients/Tools: Pita pockets, shredded cheese, pizza sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, and any other pizza toppings you like, frying pan or grill.

Instructions: Stuff pita with all ingredients, heat over fire or grill. Eat and say cheese!






Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Everything You Need to Know

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Everything You Need to Know

“If you have an opportunity to see this—take it. You will not be disappointed.” – Alex Young, Solar Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

For the first time in 99 years North America will experience a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. This is when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth. Everyone on the continent will be able to see a solar eclipse, but anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights – where day will completely turn into night.

The total solar eclipse will appear over a 70-mile wide path that will race across the country at a speed of 1,500 mph. It will start in Oregon and take less than 3 hours to reach South Carolina. The longest amount of time the eclipse will be visible is about 2 minutes, so make sure to check out this interactive map, provided by NASA, to find the time of the eclipse in your area!

The eclipse can cause temperatures to drop as much as 25 degrees. Bright stars and planets will become visible. GPS, communication systems, and even power grids can be messed with. Scientists say even some animals may react to the eclipse by behaving in a confused or strange manor.

Humans, on the other hand, are very excited. Those in its path are hosting events, parties, and concerts in honor of this rare event. Some small towns in the total solar eclipse path are expected to have hundreds to thousands of people flooding into them to watch this 2 minute rarity. Even if you’re not able to physically see this total solar eclipse, due to location etc., you will be able to watch it live from space and from the ground on NASA’s website.

I am lucky enough to be in the direct path of the total solar eclipse here in St. Louis, Missouri. The last time we had a total solar eclipse was in 1442 (not a typo). Missouri ranks #1 in the states with 3.4 million of its residents living directly in the path of totality.  St. Louis has 1.6 million residents living within the path of totality and is tied with Nashville for the most number of residents living directly within the path.

I will be spending Monday, August 21st in Forest Park eagerly waiting to be in awe. Click here to find events in your area!

I encourage everyone in the States to go outside and witness this event.  It is estimated that total solar eclipses recur at any given place only once every 360 to 410 years, so this might be your only chance to see it.

Don’t forget, you should never look directly into the sun, and if so always use protective eyewear. Here are different ways to view the solar eclipse in a safe way.

“The hair on the back of your neck is going to stand up and you are going to feel different things as the eclipse reaches totality. It’s been described as peaceful, spiritual,
exhilarating, shocking. If you’re feeling these things, don’t worry, you’re experiencing the total eclipse of the sun!”

– Brian Carlstrom, Deputy Associate Director of the National Park Service Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate








Planning a Camping Trip: Rocky Mountain National Park

Planning a Camping Trip: Rocky Mountain National Park

“You have to find that place that brings out the human in you. the soul in you. the love in you.” -r.m. drake

This September my partner and I are driving from St. Louis, Missouri to Colorado for a week long camping trip in the mountains. There is a lot of planning to be done for a camping trip such as booking camp sites, finding the right trails to hike, and finding the  MUST see spots!

We have already booked our camp site for the week. Some camp sites are so popular that you must book them 3-6 months in advanced to reserve a spot. We chose Moraine Park Campground because of how close it is to the main park entrance. It also has a great view and tons of open sky to stargaze at night!

Our first stop will be the Fern Lake Trail. This is a moderate hike that is 7.3 miles long. I actually picked this trail because one of my friends hiked it last week and said it was amazing! I always like going on hikes that my friends have gone on because I trust their opinions the most.

Second on the list is Gem Lake Trail which is a 3.3 mile hike. This Trail is rated as a hard trail, but after I read some of the reviews it doesn’t seem to be as hard as it may seem. Both Billy and I are both experienced hikers so I am not worried about this trail being too hard for us.

Another hike we are thinking about doing is The Loch Lake Trail. It is a moderate trail that’s 5.7 miles long. I’m basing doing this trail for the awesome views it offers.

There are some other small hikes we have planned like the Sprague Lake Trail, which is an 0.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail. We will probably do this hike on a day that we want to relax a little more.

We both love taking photographs of nature and reminiscing on all of the great hikes we have done, this is why we always base our hikes on the views they have throughout. We want to see as much as we can in the short amount of time we have to see them.


As the travel date gets closer I will be posting a more in-depth itinerary- follow my blog so you don’t miss the updates!





Throwback Thursday: Kings Canyon National Park

Throwback Thursday: Kings Canyon National Park

Today marks exactly 1 year ago that I visited Kings Canyon National Park for the first time! (Side note, I first wrote this post without knowing it was exactly 1 year ago so I’m basically a psychic).

The back story to this is actually a little bit different than just taking a trip to a National Park. My boyfriend, Billy, took a position as a Park Ranger in Kings Canyon for the summer of 2016. This meant that we would spend 6 months exactly 2,140 miles away from each other, but that wouldn’t stop us *cue Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye.*

In that 6 months I flew from Illinois to California twice to visit. Ranger Billy showed me all of the ends and outs of the park #personalranger!
The first visit was seriously insane. On our way into the park there was a lightening storm that lit up the sky around the enormous mountains. I felt like I was in a movie or something. I completed the hardest hike that I’d ever done, saw the largest tree in the WORLD, and reached up to 7,500 ft. in elevation!

My favorite part about my first trip there was just seeing everything for the first time. I felt like everywhere I looked I was in awe from the beauty of nature. Nothing beats looking up after a 5 hour hike to see a view that is absolutely breathtaking. It’s an indescribable feeling.

My second trip to Kings Canyon was just as fun! We hiked, ate, camped, watched GOT, slept, & repeat.

These trips really changed my outlook on life. Being surrounded by nothing but massive mountains and trees that are over 80,000 years old really puts life into perspective. If you ever feel like you haven’t been yourself in a while I highly suggest disconnecting and surround yourself in nature- it’s good for the soul.

I am so grateful to have found someone who I can travel and share my passions with. We always have the best times doing what we love together. I love sharing these amazing memories together, ones that we will never forget!


In early September we will be spending a week in Colorado exploring the Rockies and other awesome parks! I will be posting another blog soon that will entail our entire travel plan! Stay tuned 🙂




Backpacking for Beginners: Featuring The Ozark Trail

Backpacking for Beginners: Featuring The Ozark Trail

Backpacking is somewhat of a new adventure for me.

I have been on several long hiking trips on some pretty tough trails in California, Tennessee etc. so, I thought that the trails in Southern Missouri would be nothing short of a breeze.

Backpacking comes with its own set of unique challenges that I had never encountered before on day hikes.

I spent several weeks researching and comparing different products that we would need for this trip so that we would be completely prepared for anything that might be thrown our way!

I have provided the links and reviews for all of the camping gear my group and I used throughout our backpacking trip.

Here is my advice to any backpacking newbie:

1. Drink water, more water, and then some more water

Staying hydrated while hiking is extremely crucial. Having quick easy access to water is probably the single most important thing to consider on your backpacking trip.

For this trip I used a couple of different things: A Platypus Hoser Hydration System and a Sawyer Water Filtration System.

The Platypus is hands down the best water bladder I’ve ever owned. It holds 3 Liters of water which lasted me an entire day of hiking and also through the night. It fit perfectly in my backpack with no leaks or kinks. The mouthpiece is also super easy to drink from unlike other bladders I’ve owned.

The Sawyer water filter gave us the ability to rapidly filter water out of any river, pond, or lake that we came across. It also reduced our pack weight since we didn’t have to carry extra water around with us. We have recommended this product to all of our hiking friends. 10/10 product.

2. Never underestimate the power of a good backpack

Since this was my first backpacking trip I decided to invest in a smaller/cheaper backpack to make sure this was something that I was going to stick to. It was actually overall a very stable, comfortable, reliable backpack and I will definitely be using on my next trip.

On the contrary, one of the girls in our group was using a backpack that I would assume was from a 1980’s summer camp. This thing had 2 large metal poles holding a small cloth pouch and only had one strap adjustment. She was very uncomfortable the on the whole trip and was unable to hold adequate supplies.

Moral of the story- invest where it’s necessary or it could create a huge damper on the backpacking experience.

3. If you like to eat bring a propane camp stove

For so long I used the camp fire to cook my meals. I purchased a PocketRocket Stove and it changed my life forever. It boils water in about 2 minutes, and it’s very lightweight and portable!

Instead of waiting 10-15 minutes for ashy camp fire water this camp stove gave me clean boiling water almost instantly, which is a plus since I am always starving after a hike!

I used this to cook ramen noodles, instant mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and the list goes on!

4. Keep the bug spray handy

I love the outdoors, but I do not love bugs. That is why I use repellant that contains deet.

I know that everyone has developed a phobia of deet, but in moderation it is going to help you more than it will hurt.

I am not quite sure where we purchased our repellant but this anything with deet will work the best!

5. Hang around in a hammock

The first thing I do after finding a camp site is set up my hammock. It is the perfect place to relax, cool down, and enjoy nature after a long hike.

We have an ENO DoubleNest Hammock and it is super comfortable, flexible, and strong enough to hold 2-3 people. They come in fun colors as well (ours is pink and orange)!

In addition to the hammock we realized after many trips that it is pretty hard to find good trees to attach to. That is why we use the ENO Atlas XL Hammock Straps, they allow us to securely support our hammock even in the most extreme of spaces.
While this is not a full list of backpacking supplies, these were the things I felt were worth noting specifically because of how well they worked for us! Our other supplies such as our tent, hiking boots, sleeping bags etc. were all purchased at second hand.
Stay tuned for more hiking tips and updates on where I’m going to next!