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Melvin Bean's Awesome Tip Page

1. Insulated mugs with snap on lids are the absolute best for campouts. They keep your drink warm, they're hard to spill, and they don't burn your lips like metal cups do.

2. The handyman's friend (Duct tape) can be used as a band-aid in an emergency.

3. If you lose a screw that connects the earpiece of your glasses to their frame use a piece of fishing line. Cut a piece, insert it in the screw hole and melt the ends of the line to form a rivet.

4. Stick small pieces of reflective tape on your knife handle, flashlight, and other equipment so you can easily find them in your pack at night.

5. Don't store your sleeping bag in its stuff sack when you get home from a campout. That will mash the loft and reduce its insulating power. Instead unrole it and store it on a large clothes hanger.

6. Carry a small book in your camping gear for those times when the weathers bad and you are confined to your tent.

7. Test new gear before going on a campout.

8. Carry along a good pair of insulated pig-skin gloves on every campout. They keep your hands warm. They are great hot pads for handling hot objects. They are also great for saving your hands from blisters in doing jobs around the campsite.

9. Have a snack before going to bed and it will warm you from the inside out. An empty stomach almost always promises a cold night in your bag.

10. Before you turn in, place your flashlight in a handy spot so you will know where it is for those late night emergencies.

11. Always have a merit badge in the works - that way you will never have a time when there is nothing to do.

Melvin Bean is still looking for tips to add to his list. E-mail me any other tips to share with the world.