Before the Phoenix Pop Up

When I was little, I loved to go camping, even if it was just being allowed to sleep in a tent in the backyard with my best friends. I think the sleeping bag, was my favorite part. There was something so warm and safe and cozy about sliding into that sleeping bag and zipping up the zipper. You felt protected in that sleeping bag, which was good, because between the strange noises in the trees, and our young imaginations running wild, camping could also be a little scary. Not really scary, but lying in a tent on your back with just a flashlight and your best friends… you could work each other up so that each sound of the wind in the trees, or a big animal passing by and a few creaking branches in the distance was enough to keep us up all night, our fantasies going wild with monsters and witches out to get us. All in good fun, and we were old enough to know that such things did not exist, but there in the dark, we would shriek and giggle and most often, stay up way too long.

Basic camping with pole tentBack to basics

This was, without dating myself too much, way before there ever was such a thing as a custom made Phoenix Pop Up Camper. Now, you can camp with all the luxuries of your home. You can have a stove and electricity, running water and maybe even an indoor hot water shower system, and still enjoy the simple  little pleasures we felt in that triangle pole tent, with one flashlight, a sleeping bag and maybe a thin “mattress” – what I would now refer to as a yoga mat –  to give us a little padding on the hard dirt ground. And let’s not forget about the campfire. The campfire is still the greatest place to come together, friends and family and enjoy some fresh air, silence from the city noise, and just let all the stress of the day to day melt away, like a marshmallow on a stick.

Campfire cooking

Which brings me to my second favorite thing about camping: making S’mores and “twisty” bread over the open campfire. At home, I would be irritated by burnt toast, but when camping, burnt bread is delicious and symbolizes my survival skills and getting back to basics. Nothing as trivial as burnt bread can dampen my camping experience, if anything, it will enhance it. The best part (yes, I have a long list of “best things about camping”) was finding the stick and whittling the tip to a point and removing the bark. This was fun for two reasons. 1) I got to use my dad’s Swiss Army knife 2) I got to use my dad’s Swiss Army knife. I could play with that knife all day long if he would let me, just folding all the different tools in and out of the casing. Anyway, I’m getting off topic here; back to the camp fire food. Once the sticks were found, debarked and whittled to a point, I would use one stick for the twist bread and another for the S’mores. You can use the same stick for both, but in our family, we added a hot-dog to our twist bread, and I wouldn’t recommend putting a marshmallow over the same stick that you just cooked your hot-dog. So, two sticks is a must in my book. Plus, more whittling with the knife, so it’s a win-win, really.

The “twisty” bread

Here’s what you do. You slide your hot-dog carefully down the debarked tip of the stick. Be careful not to split the hot-dog, you want the stick to go directly down the center of the hot-dog. You are not spearing it on your stick. Then you roll your bread dough into a long sausage strand and start to twist the bread around the hot-dog. I always started from the bottom and worked my way up, but I suppose you can start from the top if you are so inclined. Then you hold it over the fire, up above the flames so that it doesn’t burn the outside too quickly. It takes a little time, and some patience. Believe me, the patience part is the hardest. As a kid I didn’t realize that burning the bread on the outside, did not make it cook faster all the way to the center. I’ve had my share of burned bread, and a cold hot-dog in the middle. It’s not bad, and the hot-dog is already cooked, so it’s also not dangerous, and it is certainly a fond camping memory, but if you’re patient, you should end up with golden brown bread and a delicious juicy hot-dog in the center. It’s my favorite thing to eat when camping, still to this day.

Please, Sir, can I have S’more?

Now for the S’mores. If you are a camping enthusiast, I have no doubt you know how to make a good S’more, so take your second stick, break up a few graham crackers and some chocolate, and start building that deliciously gooey, sticky, sweet and crunchy camping desert. Fun fact, the name S’more, is actually a play on the words “some more”, which, so the legend goes, is what kids would yell after getting their first taste of this time honored campfire treat.

Custom Making Your Camper

Jeep Cherokee camper

Custom made camper to fit Jeep Cherokee

At Phoenix Pop Up Campers we will work directly with you, our customer, to custom make your camper any way you want. You Pop Up will be camp ready when you pick it up. There is no limit to what we can build. We can make your camper like a house on wheels, with all the amenities, or we can keep it simple, and just provide an easy “pack and go” camping experience with our smallest floor plan. No frills, just a place to rest your weary head after a long day of outdoor activities. Pop in today and see how we can make your camper fit all of your camping needs.