We live in a rural area miles away from fast food restaurants, but do enjoy the convenience of such dining when we are on a roadtrip or pressed for time in a city.
Fast food has a reputation for being unhealthy and high in calories, salt and fat.
Thankfully, there are exceptions. Although many fast foods have been processed, refined or deep-fried, some fast food restaurants now offer healthy options.
To make a healthier selection, look for items that include vegetables, lean sources of protein or whole grains. Additionally, opting for foods that are grilled or baked rather than fried can significantly reduce the calories and fat in your meal.
Here are the top best menu meals for healthier eating.
6. KFC Grilled Breast and Sides. Most of Kentucky Fried menu items are filled with grease and loads of sodium. This is not too surprising since the word “Fried” is in the fast food restaurant’s name.
5. Wendy’s Ultimate Chicken Grilled Sandwich. While many of their burgers are high in calories, this Wendy’s offering is relatively low in calories.
4. Baja Fresh Wahoo Fish Taco. At just 230 calories, this taco is a good way to include some seafood in your diet. You can even add avocado.
3. Taco Bell Grilled Steak Soft Tacos. They have added a more lightened variety of menu items for healthier options for their customers. These are the healthiest from these menus.
2. Chipotle’s Salad Bowl. With a good reputation for fast healthy food, they are good about using organic meats and vegetables. They offer build-your-own options too.
1. Chic-fil-A Grilled Market Salad. They have a variety of meal options most of us would enjoy, but this is their healthiest option.
Although not in the top six, here are some healthy choices at other fast food chains:
🔹Culver’s: Beef Pot Roast Dinner.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be all salads and chicken breast. If you enjoy pot roast, opt for the beef pot roast dinner option from Culver’s, then choose steamed broccoli and a side salad (or a double portion of either) as your two sides.
🔹Jack in the Box: Chicken Fajita Pita
This Jack in the Box pick is basically a handheld salad—fresh veggies, flame-grilled chicken, and zesty salsa are all nestled into a whole grain pita pocket.
Update: At 7:50 p.m. June 29, 2022 local time, three searchers looking for evidence, found a body at the bottom of a dry retainage pond approximately 300 yards from the home of Shana DiMambro, who has been missing since July 19.
Donald “DJ” Seeger, Jr. and two associates from his water supply and service company have been vigorously searching for any signs of Shana since Sunday of last week after she was reported missing.
They called 911 immediately after discovering the body. Sheriff deputies and a forensics team arrived.
The Seeger search and rescue team provide individual information to law enforcement. The body, after the discovery site has been documented and examined, will be taken to a medical examiner for an autopsy.
During Seeger’s team’s first search effort, dozens joined him to find Shana. The Spring Branch native said her husband Chris Antos came with them.
“He cried for a little bit then he jumped in and tried to help the best he could,” Seeger observed. “He was just helping us scan the ground looking for anything and we were asking him a lot questions about her during the entire time.”
Seeger first learned about the missing woman after the Comal County Sheriff’s Office posted about the case online. He realized she vanished near the area and around the same time where his company was establishing a water system along State Highway 46.
“We jumped in thinking maybe our truck dash cameras caught something but we didn’t get anything from it,” he said.
When Shana’s father arrived from Neveda, Seeger met him and became determined to help find her.
“I thought well as a company, we got the GIS maps to set up a grid to organize people, so we put a post out and brought people together,” said Seeger.
“I’m always looking for ways to serve,” he continued. “I served for seven years at the Crisis Center of Comal County as a volunteer for sexual assault and domestic violence. Any time I hear of an exploitation or a missing person or an abused victim or something, it’s always something I want to jump in and see if there is anything I can offer to help.”
—-Original Article Begins Here—-
The last time Brian DiMambro of the Reno, Nevada area heard his daughter’s voice was in mid-June, over a month before he was notified Shana was “missing.”
His son-in-law Christopher Antos called him from Texas to chat about various things and indicated he was worried about his upcoming court hearing for a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI). This was not Antos’ first DWI, but the only one where two people were injured allegedly by his drunk driving.
Towards the end of the phone call, DiMambro heard Shana call out, “Hi, Dad! I’m busy cooking dinner,” in the background. Hopefully, those were not the final words of a daughter to her father.
By July 19, 2022, the Comal County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) began searching for 45-year-old Shana Alison DiMambro after she vanished from her RV home at Texas 46 RV Park in Spring Branch, east of Bulverde and north of San Antonio, Texas that Tuesday morning.
Jennifer Smith, CCSO public information officer, said deputies were dispatched to the RV park in the 100 block of Mitchell Drive after DiMambro’s husband, Chris, reported her missing. Antos told deputies his wife was wearing a white v-neck teeshirt, light pink shorts and black flip flops when he left home for work at 7:10 am that morning.
This message was released to the public:
Brian DiMambro flew from Nevada to help with the search and talk with deputies. Detective Anthony Moreno was assigned to his daughter’s case.
By the weekend, word of mouth, social media and local news were reporting Shana’s disappearance. A San Antonio-based KENS 5 television reporter interviewed Antos for their exclusive 10 pm newscast. Here, in part, is some of the interview:
KENS 5 INTERVIEW
Chris Antos [Husband]: “I love you.”
Reporter [Sarah Duran]: “Chris Antos wants his wife, Shana DiMambro, to know he’s looking for her.”
Chris Antos: “Please come home. We want you back.”
Reporter: “He won’t stop searching ’til she’s found. He hopes she’s physically and mentally okay.”
Chris Antos: “I mean, there was some darkness the night before with her and the past.”
Reporter: “Antos said he left for work last Tuesday morning, and when he returned home for lunch his wife was gone. But he noticed DiMambro’s car, cell phone, wallet and dog, remained behind. His search expanded into the neighborhood and the nearby gas station.”
Chris Antos: “Didn’t see anything. Came back here and I was like, ‘O.K. things aren’t right. I got to call the cops.'”
Reporter: “The Comal County Sheriff’s Office is searching for her, along with search and rescue non-profits, Texas EquuSearch and Project Absentis, and the couple’s families.” [Note: Project Absentis is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization made up of retired and former FBI Agents, other law enforcement, public safety, and intelligence professionals who seek to assist families of missing persons in locating their loved ones.]
Chris Antos: “I don’t know what I would have done without them.”
Reporter: “Holding out hope for DiMambro’s return, the family plans to host public searches soon.”
Chris Antos: “We’re not stopping, the fight is still there, and we’re not going to stop until we know something about where Shana is, or until she’s home.”
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON SHANA A. DIMAMBRO
🔹Shana attended John H. Wood Middle and Madison High Schools in San Antonio. Classmate Jennifer Court remembers Shana as, “Beautiful. Not a lady you forget once you meet her.”
🔹Shana and her future second husband, Chris Antos, would sneak out and meet to smoke cigarettes together as students of Madison High.
🔹While living in San Antonio, Shana began having behavioral problems. Often depressed, she began drinking and consuming various drugs.
🔹In 1997, Shana married her first husband, Christopher Anth Zarbaugh in Nevada. Since divorced, Shana suffered domestic abuse in this marriage.
🔹On October 14, 2021 at 4:40 pm, Zarbaugh, now 54, was booked in San Antonio’s Bexar County Jail “for assault on family, choking and strangulation.”
🔹On January 23, 2022 at 10:30 am, Zarbaugh was booked into San Antonio’s Bexar County Jail for “Violation of Bond and Protective Order.” It is not known by Shana’s family or friends if he remains incarcerated. His various jobs have been at fast food and family restaurants.
🔹With the help and guidance of her father and stepmother, Brian and Vickie DiMambro, Shana was able to get drug and behavioral therapy.
🔹Vickie is, or has, served in various directorship capacities for Rohan Ranch (drug rehabilitation), Rivendel Indepedent Living (mental health clinic), and Safe Embrace (safe house and counseling services for victims of domestic abuse).
🔹Shana successfully rehabilitated from the meth and drug addictions in 2012 in Washington state and Nevada centers.
🔹Shana opened a business, Rent-a-Daughter, doing various chores for families needing caring support in the Sparks-Reno area.
🔹Two years ago, while Shana had been living near her parents in northwest Nevada, Chris Antos located her on Facebook. They began chatting and it led to a long distance relationship. He began to visit her.
🔹Mike Hare verified she lived in San Antonio “most of her life. She moved away some years ago and then moved back a year ago. We worked together all through our 20s at an Italian Restaurant here in San Antonio.”
🔹Shana is a drinker and smoker. It is not known by family and friends that CleverJourneys has corresponded with, if she is back on drugs.
🔹Antos took some time away from his position as a Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) installation supervisor for a San Antonio service company to travel to Nevada, to marry Shana and bring her back to Texas in late 2020.
🔹Coworkers at this (2020-2021) HVAC company described Antos as a smart, skilled and reliable supervisor. “He was friendly and responsible,” a peer said. “He was productive, but sometimes, especially Mondays, he would come in worried about his wife. She was moody and physically combative. It made him nervous and he was concerned and caring for her, but when the two drank on weekends we could tell it was bad. He came in with black eyes and one particular Monday it was a huge black eye.”
“It was hard for him to take her out to our company events or social events because she was unpredictable or just plain drunk,” another coworker explained. “As far as we could tell, he never drank on the job, but I think he was arrested for drinking while driving in his past. I’ve only seen her a few times and after his last day of work here when he came in to get his check. She was always quiet and to herself with her head down. I just felt sorry for them both.”
🔹Shana has a pierced nose and several tattoos: A dolphin on the back of her neck, two sunflowers, a tribal tattoo, and a butterfly.
Anyone with information about DiMambro’s case is urged to contact the Comal County Sheriff’s Office at 830-620-3400.
A large scale search is planned for Saturday, July 30, 2022 at 8 am. The search party begins and organizes at the Wal-Mart parking lot nearby.
There’s nothing better than time away from the noise to recharge your batteries and uplift your mood. There are many isolated, but sight-worthy places within the U.S you can visit.
Here is a sampling of just some of the places that are popular among nature lovers, easy to locate, and the perfect adventure for boosting your dopamine levels.
This location is known to many for the Havasu Falls located in Havasupai Canyon in Arizona. The waterfall itself is located in a remote area on Havasupai Native Reservation.
To get to the falls, you’ll have to walk a distance of 10-miles or join a horseback excursion. This might be a bit stressful for people who don’t like walking or riding horses, but it’s definitely worth the walk.
Once you arrive, you’d be in the midst of one of the most beautiful places on earth. The crystal clear turquoise water plunges down the fiery red cliffs into travertine swimming holes at the bottom.
There are also four other major waterfalls nearby; Upper and Lower Najavo Falls, Beaver Falls, and Mooney Falls. You may as well take this opportunity to explore them too.
Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana
Montana is known for its abundant open spaces of wilderness. And the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, located in the northwestern part of the state, is one wilderness that tops them all—the third-largest wilderness area in the Lower 48.
It follows the Continental Divide for 60 miles, spread across 1.5 million acres of rocky ridges, alpine meadows, and dense forest.
Within the Bob Marshall Wilderness, you can find all kinds of wildlife. From moose to elk, wolves, grizzlies, mountain lions, mountain goats, and deer.
Not only is this wilderness a magnificent place to visit, but the area also contains what is believed to be the most dramatic natural feature of the Rockies: the Chinese Wall, a limestone escarpment deep in the wilderness and a part of the Continental Divide.
Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming
The Bighorn Mountains are one of the best places to visit in Wyoming and quite an isolated area—Visited only by a few people even during high peak travel seasons.
A 58-mile drive on the Bighorn Scenic Byway will bring you over its crest. The mountain stretches from the Powder River Basin to the Bighorn Basin, following Highway 14 from outside the town of Greybull.
If you love camping and a good hike, an adventure on this mountain is definitely for you. You’ll find miles of trails for hiking and perfect places to set camp. However, if you prefer to sleep in a hotel or hostel, the town of Buffalo is nearby and offers many options for accommodation and attractions of its own.
Gila National Forest and the Gila Cliff Dwellings
Fancy a trip to SouthWest America in Arizona? Then head over to Gila National Forest. The Gila National Forest has more official wilderness than any other protected forest in the Southwest.
The 558,000-acre Gila Wilderness was the first designated wilderness area in the world. With terrain varying from grassy foothills to juniper woodland, ponderosa pine and spruce-fir forests on high peaks. The Gila Wilderness connects the Blue Range Wilderness and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness.
The Gila Cliff dwellings, built as far back as the 13th century, are located within the Gila National Forest. For thousands of years, groups of ancient nomads used the caves above the Gila River as a temporary shelter. Until the late 1200s, when the people of the agricultural Mogollon culture made it their homes. They built rooms, crafted pottery, and raised children in the cliff dwellings for one or two generations before moving away by 1300.
Boundary Waters Wilderness, Minnesota
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeast Minnesota is one of America’s most beautiful and remote places. With over 1,100 lakes and hundreds of miles of waterways, its vast wilderness extends 150 miles along the U.S.-Canada border, covering approximately 1,098,000 acres.
It offers some of the country’s best canoeing, with 1,200 miles of canoeing trails attracting over 150,000 visitors yearly. From paddling from one lake to the next and stepping off onto countless miles of untouched shoreline, there are many interesting things to do in the Boundary Waters wilderness.
If you need some time alone, that can be arranged. Head to the Boulder and Adams lakes. They are some of the most remote lakes around here—it’s almost certain you’d see absolutely no one.
Spending time in isolated places doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have fun. Some of the most isolated places in the country are some of the most beautiful sights in the world. Don’t forget to breathe fresh air amidst nature. There are many open spaces around America perfect for recollecting thoughts while away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
It’s no secret Bidenflation has forced millions to seek out ways to reduce food, travel and living expenses.
In 2020, we moved to a rural area in the Texas Hill Country away from congestion, traffic and rising crime. We have no regrets about living a far less expensive and peaceful life. It allows us to work and write from home or on occasional road trips.
Due to the high cost of just about everything, including rentals and housing, more Americans are:
🔹Living in RVs and Campers.
🔹Using tents instead of hotel rooms.
🔹Taking “staycations” and limiting travel closer to home.
🔹Working remotely on the internet from home instead of commuting to and from a work location.
🔹Becoming Digital Nomads, wandering the country taking miscellaneous work and temporary employment.
In 2022, the United States should break records with over 305 million internet users within its borders, which accounts for this rise in numbers of digital nomads and remote workers all over the country.
Unfortunately, as practical as this may sound, these remote workers and digital nomads, along with over 25 million Americans, continue to struggle with slow internet speeds and lack access to high-speed internet facilities due to the rural locations they may find themselves in.
Slow internet speeds can affect work deliverables, hamper productivity, and even jeopardize employability, especially if the job requires high internet speeds for effectiveness.
These tips may improve your internet connection if you are living in a rural area, are on the road, or just camping out.
Tips for Rural Residents
Turn off your router for some time. Giving your router a break can help refresh your internet connection and improve your speed issues. Doing this daily stimulates your internet connection, especially when experiencing a lag. This fix won’t take your speeds to NASA levels, but it should help.
What’s your Data Capacity? A data cap may be responsible for slowing your home speeds. Your ISP allocates the amount of data you can use every month. Once exceeded, your internet speed drops drastically. The cap limit is outlined in your bill.
Move your Router. Where is your router positioned? That may be why your internet speed sucks. Moving the position of your router to a higher point or more central location in your home will ensure the Wifi signal from your router reaches every corner of your building. With most wireless modems, the closer you are, the higher your internet speed.
Get Wired. Ditch wireless connections and get wired to eliminate any lags in speed you may be experiencing. Many people don’t know this, but cabled connections like Ethernet are safer, more reliable, and faster than most wireless connections.
Ads are a Drag. Literally. Every time you are online, you see ads. It’s everywhere, on every website; you can’t escape it. Or can you? Ads slow down your internet speeds, especially those heavy, annoying auto-play videos. You can fix this by installing an ad blocker in your browsers.
Scan regularly for Viruses and Malware. Viruses and malware may also be responsible for your crawling internet speeds. Install software that scan your device and connections for viruses and malware, set it up to scan regularly, and you should be fine.
Tips for Campers
Stay centered. Or as close to the center of the camp as you possibly can. The range for RV parks and Campground Wifi signals, thanks to FCC regulations, is limited to just under 300 feet. The closer you are to the camp router, which is often set up in the center of the camp, the better your internet connection.
The less green, the better. Dense trees, foliage, and even high walls can reduce your internet connection quality. For the signal to get to you uninterrupted, you must ensure you are not being obstructed by greenery or other natural or artificial fixtures. Set up your camp in an open space to improve your connection quality.
Upgrade your receiver. A Wi-Fi reception booster or antenna can improve your internet connection and reduce lags. Both instruments can receive and upgrade your internet signals on all your devices. They are easy to install and set up, and you should get sorted out quickly.
Look before you Camp. Different RV parks and Camps use different ISPs for internet access. Do some research before you camp in that park or hotspot. Check reviews for internet speeds and plan accordingly.
Tips for RVers
Choose your equipment carefully. The right equipment can mean the difference between consistent high internet speeds and slower speeds. Pick the right cellular equipment for your needs, the more powerful your router, the more powerful your internet connection will be.
X marks the Spot. Using a coverage map will help you navigate areas with spotty coverage and keep you informed about signal strength so you are never caught in the lurch. These maps are not always accurate but are still great tools for planning your travels.
Avoid Congestions. Areas with many internet users can experience low internet speeds due to heavy data traffic. Congested areas like festivals, concerts, and even football games have tended to experience an overload on the internet infrastructure, resulting in slow connection speeds.
Less is good: The fewer devices connected to your network, the better. Make sure your devices are connected to the devices you are using at the moment. It is easy to lose track of background devices, leading to an increased lag in your internet speed as they update regularly.
That is anxiety that comes from not knowing whether or not you will be able to make it to a charging station before the battery is depleted.
I talked with several Electric Vehicle (EV) owners and a mechanic to ask about the ins-and-outs of these cars and trucks.
“The first hard lesson I learned about owning an electric vehicle was the inconvenient charging,” Steve, who sold his 2018 model after just two years said.
Steve had to talk his employer into installing a charging unit at his place of work near downtown San Antonio, Texas to ensure he had enough power to make it home, 40 miles away in the Hill Country foothills near Boerne.
“Stop and start traffic on the highways made me nervous,” he explained. “I didn’t get home until close to midnight so I was constantly worried about power at night.”
“If I had it to do over again, I would have spent more time studying, but in retrospect, I can tell you as I experienced constant mechanical and electric maintenance and warranty issues, I changed my mind,” he continued. “When I began to read and hear about Biden’s Green Build Back Better policies, with impending demands imposed by the EPA and other governmental regulating bodies, I had enough. I took a $11,000 loss, but lessons learned, and now I’m relieved.”
“Charging ain’t free,” Ronald, another San Antonio EV owner announced. “I spent about $2,800 turnkey to install a high output (Level 2) charger in my garage. Before that, I had started by running an extension cord and trading the electrical socket back in forth for my kitchen stove and car battery. I couldn’t chance the possibility of needing to drive at night not knowing if I had enough charge in an emergency.”
“For long trips I had issues with ‘range anxiety for sure,” he said. “I’d plan to find a Wal-Mart or someplace to hangout while my car was charging.”
“I have a Mercedes-Benz EQS and get a bit over 400 miles on one charge,” Ronald added. “If I’m driving long distances it, of course, takes me quite a bit longer to get a full charge than those who just fill up with gas and move on.”
To get a real life estimate, using average KWh charging rates from Texas to California, CleverJourneys checked Tesla’s website calculator to compare cost and time between gas and electric charging.
It’s easy to understand why Joe Biden needed to get gasoline prices higher and availability more difficult. Two of his major campaign donors (over $200 million in contributions) profit considerably:
🔹George Soros bought heavily in Rivian EVs stock in Nov. 2021.
🔹Warren Buffet’s trains carry the oil that would have run through Keystone Pipeline that Biden cancelled on Day 1 of his White House term.
Current prices for charging an electric car at Walmart range anywhere from 12 cents to 99 cents per kW across the U.S. Most charge somewhere close to 30 cents.
“It just really depends on which Walmart or place you go to and what type of electric car you have,” Gary, a newly certified service EV repairman, explained. “They usually charge a buck ($1 fee) per charging session.”
Although Walmart and other places have installed superchargers, “it is not good to use them every day or too often,” Gary warned. “Supercharging your car daily can damage your battery health, and wear out its lifespan.”
“There’s a fee if you stay parked after your car is charged. ChargePoint gives you a 5-minute grace period to move your car after it’s finished,” said Gary.. “After that, it charges you 14 cents per minute up to a maximum of $5 per session.”
🔹According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. household pays nearly 14 cents per kWh.
“An electric car gets 3 to 4 miles per kWh,” Gary stated. “So divide the total miles you drive each month by 3 to get the kWh you would use monthly. Multiply that number by your cost per kWh. The dollar amount you get could be less than what you pay each month to buy gasoline. I think this is why Biden is causing gas prices to go up.”
🔹If someone drives about 1,183 miles per month (Americans drive an average of about 14,200 miles annually), an EV, will use about 394 kWh in that timeframe.
🔹Using the U.S. household average from June 2022 of nearly 14 cents per kWh, it would cost about $55 per month to charge an electric car.
🔹Figure an extra $38.50 per month to charge an electric car at home if you pay the average 14 cents. This is a 33% increase on the average electric bill, according to stats from the Energy Information Administration.
🔹Fully recharging the battery pack with a Level 1 or Level 2 charger can take up to 8 hours, and even fast charging stations take 30 minutes to charge to just 80 percent capacity.
LEVELS OF CHARGE
LEVEL 1 is the slowest and requires a regular 120-volt outlet, which you probably already have. Most EVs acquire roughly five miles per hour of charge when using Level 1 charging.
LEVEL 2 is a 240-volt electric circuit required for charging. This is commonly used for major appliances such as electric dryers, water heaters, and ovens. Installing one of these in a suitable location greatly increases charging capacity. With Level 2, most EVs can charge at a rate of about 35 miles per hour.
LEVEL 3 is the quickest charging station on the market, delivering massive amounts of power in a short amount of time. Modern EVs can charge up to 80% of their capacity in about 30 minutes. These should not be used often as it shortens battery life.
Not all DC fast chargers are created equal, as charger speed can vary from 24 kW to 350 kW, and not all cars are compatible with the fastest speeds or come close to their marketed capability in practice.
CURRENT SAMPLE CHARGING COST (June 2022)
Georgia: EVgo network charges rates by state, and it varies for Level 2 charging. On its website, the pay-as-you-go approach costs 30 cents per minute in Georgia. However, if you’re an EVgo Plus member, the rate drops to 24 cents per minute.
Illinois:Electrify America bills 43 cents per kWh for guests and 31 cents per kWh for paid members; EVGo bills between 22 and 30 cents depending on membership status; those billing rates can change based on location.
Some studies show that you can save around $14,000 on fuel costs if you drive an electric car for about 15 years but sometimes this may not be enough to cover all the hidden costs that electric cars have. Some of these hidden costs that you may encounter could cost thousands of dollars, with a few costing over $10,000.
THE NOTORIOUS BATTERIES
At the heart of all-electric automobiles are batteries — literally, the entire car is designed around them, and they’re the most expensive part of the car.
🔹Currently, all EVs sold in the U.S. come with an eight-year/100k mile warranty. Keep in mind that the average age for a vehicle on the road in the U.S. is 12.1 years. EVs average age is unknown.
🔹At some point the cost to replace the battery is more than your vehicle might be worth — estimates range between $6,000 and $20,000 depending on the model.
“The most expensive repair made on an EV is most likely going to be the high-voltage battery,” Gary commented. “Not anyone can do this type of work and it’s something that should only be done by a trained specialist at a proper repair facility.”
“This is due to the very high-voltage danger as well as maintaining proper repair procedures,” he added. “These replacement parts will come directly from the dealer. There’s just not much competition among parts manufacturers to drive prices down.”
🔹These lithium batteries are benign when compared to Nickel-Cadmium cells or even other automotive compounds like brake fluid. This means it’s considered toxic in our waste stream, and no one is prepared for the volume of used batteries headed to scrap yards.
🔹The EPA reported in 2021 that at least 65 landfill fires were caused by lithium-ion battery waste.
🔹These batteries are extremely heavy with some weighing up to 1,400 lbs.
🔹EVs have a shorter range than gas-powered cars. Most models only range between 60 and 120 miles per charge and some luxury models might make it to 300 miles per charge.
For comparison, gas powered vehicles will average around 300 miles on a full tank of gas, and more fuel efficient vehicles getting much higher driving ranges. This can be an issue when looking at EVs if you take long trips. Availability of charging stations can make AEVs less suitable for activities like road trips.
HIGHER INSURANCE PREMIUMS
🔹According to bankrate.com, the average annual premium in the U.S. for a gas car is $1,655. The much higher EV premiums are mostly due to the high purchase price and the high cost of repairs.
🔹Steve said he shopped around and paid $2,300 a year for insurance his last year of ownership before he sold his EV.
🔹Electric vehicles will generally cost 25%-40% more than a gas car in terms of the insurance.
CHILD LABOR & ENVIRONMENT CONTROVERSIES
🔹Modern batteries require lithium, which can only be mined in a handful of countries.
🔹There is much controversy about young children being used to hand dig cobalt out of mines for long hours, 7 days each week.
🔹Once mined, this cobalt is used to produce thousands of small cylindrical cells, each of which must be carefully monitored—no trivial matter.
🔹You must add the cost of environmental and crash protection to prevent battery fires.
🔹Finding a vehicle inspection could be a challenge.
🔹A quick search across 12 states from California to Texas to Georgia to Michigan revealed EV registration fees to be between $50 to $250.
🔹This is primarily due to there being a tax on gas that is used to pay for new infrastructure. Many states want electric car owners to contribute to providing the services needed.
🔹Electric cars have a low center of gravity due to the placement of the battery pack, so tires can wear down more quickly than on gas-powered cars.
🔹Some EVs have a powertrain that needs to have its fluid replaced at periodic intervals, such as the Tesla Model S.
🔹EVs are especially at risk of battery issues in high and low temperatures. Cold weather can reduce your range in the short-term, while hot weather can reduce the overall battery life of your vehicle.
🔹Because the battery pack is located in the underbody of the vehicle, corrosion can be more damaging to EVs than to conventional cars. Wash off any road salt and other corrosive materials as soon as possible, and keep an eye out for corrosion on the charging port and other electrical components.
The legendary cowboy, Kent Doyle, of Bandera County, Texas, recently told me how to get rid of some ants using bottled dishwashing soap. It worked.
So I took on another project of searching out more tips and hacks with Dawn dishwashing soap.
Eliminate fruit flies. Pour white vinegar into a small container. Add a drop of Dawn. Fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar, but cannot escape the Dawn.
Make your own ice pack. Partially fill a plastic, zipper-type bag with Dawn dish soap. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag closed. Place the ice pack into the RV freezer. The Dawn will become a gel which will flex to fit the shape of the injury site.
Remove grease stains from clothing. Apply Dawn directly onto greasy stains from that yummy BBQ meal. Rub it in a bit and launder as usual.
Clean carpet stains. Mix together equal parts Dawn and warm water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray the stain. Use a microfiber cloth to gently clean the stain away. Use another microfiber cloth dipped into clear water to rinse the area. Blot the cleaned and rinsed area with a towel. Allow to air dry.
Clean windows. Just one drop of Dawn into a quart of water makes a great glass cleaner. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and get to work on those windows.
Clean hairbrush and comb. Begin by removing hair from the utensils. Then pour a cup of hot water into a shallow bowl. Add one tablespoon borax and one tablespoon Dawn. Gently swirl to mix. Soak the comb and hairbrush in the mixture until you see they are clean. Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any residue. Rinse thoroughly with clear water.
Prevent eyeglass “fog.” Rub a small drop of Dawn on each lens of your eyeglasses, both sides. Then use a microfiber cloth to dry and polish each lens. This is especially helpful when temperature differences cause the lens to fog, such as transitioning from an air-conditioned car to the steamy, outside summer weather.
Eliminate squeaks. Apply Dawn detergent to a squeaky hinge and the squeak will disappear.
Soothe poison ivy. Gently wash the affected area with Dawn and cool water. (Dawn’s oil-fighting formula will help to eliminate oil from the poison ivy plant.) Follow the first application with a second round of Dawn and warm water, which will help soothe the blisters and itch.
Clean the tub and shower. Fill a plastic spray bottle halfway with white vinegar. Heat the vinegar in the microwave until warm. Then fill the remainder of the spray bottle with Dawn. Put the lid on and shake to mix thoroughly. Spray the mixture all over your shower walls, floor, and that disgusting ring around the tub. Let it sit for ten minutes and then scrub stubborn places clean. Rinse thoroughly.
Stop ants. Put two teaspoons of Dawn into a spray bottle of water. Spray the ant trail or any suspected ant entry point into your home. (Hint: This recipe also works to kill fleas. Spray the affected area. Let sit for half an hour. Then vacuum up the dead critters.)
Kill weeds. Mix together 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 gallon white vinegar, and two tablespoons of Dawn. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray the resulting solution on weeds. This should take care of them—even poison ivy!
.Clean outdoor furniture. Mix water with Dawn detergent. Using a sponge or brush, dip into the soapy water and scrub off furniture. Use your hose to rinse and set furniture in the sun to dry.
Oil/grease spill on concrete driveways. If you spill grease onto the concrete pad, you can clean it off with Dawn. First, remove as much of the spill as possible by sprinkling kitty litter over it. Use a paper towel to pick up the oil-soaked kitty litter. Then mix a generous squirt of Dawn with warm water. Use a scrub brush or old towel to apply the treated water to the spill. Scrub to remove the stain.
Find leaks. Spray Dawn soapy water over the hose (water or gas). If you see bubbles, you have a leak.
Clean your BBQ grill. Put 1/2 cup of Dawn dish soap into a gallon of water. Stir gently to mix. Pour the solution into a large tub or sealable trash bag. Then put cooled grill grates into the mixture. Soak the grill grates in the solution overnight. You should be able to easily scrub them clean the next morning.
Scrub tires. Begin by hosing loose dirt and grime off tires. Put Dawn directly onto a rag or heavy-duty sponge and scrub the tires. Rinse thoroughly.
Clean greasy tools. Put one tablespoon of Dawn into a gallon of water. Dip a sponge into the solution and use it to clean greasy tools. Avoid rust by drying the clean tools immediately with old towels.
Remove stickers. Apply Dawn right to the stickers and let it sit for several minutes. Dawn cut through the glue and the stickers were easily removed. Note: Be sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Recent sightings of black bears in the western parts of the Texas Hill Country could indicate the dry hot conditions in the Lone Star State are causing wildlife to venture into wider migration patterns.
From April through June, rare bear sightings have occurred near Carta Valley, Barksdale, Camp Wood, west of Ingram, south of Tarpley, Asherton, Alpine, Fort Davis and Mount Livermore.
On June 20th, a black bear was sighted swimming near the shoreline of Lake Amistad.
In the past year, bears have also been observed not only on the lake, but near Fort Stockton, north of Laredo, and in nearby regions.
While no one is sure how many bears currently live in Texas, experts agree that wildfires in Mexico, as well as drought conditions in other regions, have likely caused bears to migrate to new areas, including many parts of Texas.
Michael Janis, Trans-Pecos district leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD), said dry conditions are likely sending bears looking for food. Breeding season also moved bears around.
The conservation efforts in bordering states over the last 20 years have also led to bears crossing back into Texas, especially during the summer mating season, according to TPWD.
Most of these animals wandering further into Texas are young, transient males in search of food and other bears. Males have much larger home ranges than females, and sub-adults can travel many miles to set up a new one.
To those not aware of bears, some people become quite alarmed when they hear about sightings. However, out of approximately 36,000 people in the U.S. who are bitten annually by wildlife, black bears rank 5th behind rodents, venomous snakes, skunks, and foxes respectively.
In West Texas where Big Bend National Park (BBNP) has had more than 6,592 bear/human encounters since 1950, only 2.5 percent of those encounters were classified as aggressive interactions. Most of those occurred when the bear made contact with property containing human food. There has never been a black bear attack recorded in BBNP.
When Border Patrol agents discovered a young black bear in a tree in north Laredo last July, it likely came from Mexico, noted Eric Garza, wildlife biologist with TPWD.
Not long after, residents of SpinTech – Myers Ranch caught a strange image on a game camera. Maybe it was an overgrown wild hog, but most believe it was a bear:
TPWD is recording more road kills of black bears between Laredo and Zapata over the decade. Garza notes they were likely males dispersing from Mexico also.
“Zapata itself probably hasn’t seen any historic sightings simply because of the lake. It’s hard for them to swim across the lake, especially when it’s up,” said Garza. “This particular animal probably came across where the water is a lot lower. Not where it’s a lake but where it’s still a river.”
In a 2011 Starr County encounter, Garza notes the bear became habituated to residents, picking up scraps of food and eating out of trash cans. In those instances the bears need to be trapped and relocated away from humans, pet food and trash.
“The first thing we need to know is any conflicts between black bears and people can be avoided very, very easily,” Garza explained. “And the easiest way to avoid any conflicts is to make sure and not leave trash out for bears to get into, and really any wildlife to get into. Don’t leave pet food out. Bring that in and secure it. Don’t leave small livestock animals like rabbits or poultry.”
Late 2021 and early 2022, TPWD biologists were monitoring multiple black bear sightings near the North Double Diamond community south of Alpine.
It is believed the bear may displaying behavior typical of hyperphagia (excessive or extreme hunger). Reports suggested that the bear were attracted to and searching for easily accessible food sources (i.e. pet food, wildlife feeders, livestock feed, etc.).
In June, 2021, Big Bend National Park camper Valerie King took photos of a black bear in the Basin Campground:
TPWD indicates anyone encountering a black bear in a camping area should immediately deploy aversive conditioning by creating loud noises (shout, handclap, air horns, car alarm, sirens, or bang pots and pans) to startle the bear. Once the bear leaves, report the encounter to your District Biologist or TPWD Game Warden.
It is critical that the Department is able to monitor any on-going situations with full extent of known black bear encounters.
In the 1800s, black bear lived through every ecosystem in Texas but has long been hunted down and migrated away from settlements and eventually, cities. In 2009, a black bear that wandered onto a Mernard County (Central Texas) cattle ranch was the first ever confirmed in this century in that part of the state, according to Capt. Alan Teague, a TPWD game warden.
A Liberty County judge reputedly slaughtered 200 bears in the late 19th century, a pursuit that earned Lewis Hightower the handle “the Bear-Hunting Judge,” according to the Handbook of Texas Online.
“I practice law for recreation,” Hightower would say, “and hunt bear for a livin’.”
By the 1950s, black bears were eradicated from Texas, experts say.
The state made bear hunting illegal in 1983. That decade, they began crossing from northern Mexico into the southern reaches of West Texas.
For the past 20 years, a small population has bred there, mostly in the region’s rugged mountains. Today, some biologists believe there may be as many as 100.
But bears in Texas recently have been on the move, staging an unprecedented return to regions such as the Edwards Plateau, Piney Woods and South Texas Plains, according to Nathan Garner, another TPWD biologist.
Texas lists the black bear as threatened. The penalty for shooting one is a Class C misdemeanor and a fine of $500, plus a civil restitution of $11,907.50.
One of the most bizzare encounters was in 2017, when a black bear was sighted in a neighborhood between New Braunfels and Spring Branch. The alleged black bear, weighing as much as 350 lbs., ran in front of a vehicle in the early morning hours.
According to TPWD, there were 61 Black Bear sightings in 14 counties in 2018-2019. State mammologist Jonah Evans said sightings tend to increase in the fall because the bears are foraging food and trying “fatten up” before hibernating for the winter.
Transient bears from New Mexico are also occasionally reported in the Panhandle counties of Dallam, Hartley and Oldham, according to TPWD district leader Brad Simpson.
A study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management documents 63 people killed in 59 incidents by non-captive black bears between 1900-2009.
Of special note is this quote:
“We judged that the bear involved acted as a predator in 88 percent of fatal incidents. Adult or subadult male bears were involved in 92 percent of fatal predatory incidents, reflecting biological and behavioral differences between male and female bears. That most fatal black bear attacks were predatory and were carried out by one bear shows that females with young are not the most dangerous black bears.”
🔹Black bears mate during the months of June and July. This might account for some of the sightings in the Texas Hill Country, as bears travel to find a mate during the summer months.
🔹State biologists believe that female black bears in Texas hibernate while males do not.
🔹The young are born in January or February, while the mother is “hibernating.” She normally gives birth to two-to-three cubs every two years.
🔹Louisiana Black Bear sightings have been increasing in recent years so it’s possible they are making a comeback in Eastern Texas too.
🔹Louisiana is home to the Louisiana Black Bear, a subspecies of of the American Black Bear. There’s an estimated 750-1000 bears living in the state, but they can also be found in the neighboring states of Texas, Mississippi, and possibly even Southern Arkansas.
🔹Aside from the Louisiana Bear, both the Mexican Black Bear and the New Mexico Black Bear are found in western Texas in low numbers and are also on the state endangered species list.
NEW MEXICO MIGRATION
🔹The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish estimates that there are approximately 5,000-6,000 Black Bears living in all 14.6 million forested acres of New Mexico. There have been strict hunting regulations in place since 1927 in the state to help control the population of Black Bears in the state.
🔹In the early 20th century Grizzly Bears were common in the state, but now only the American Black Bear remain. They are also the state animal of New Mexico.
🔹Black Bears in Arkansas thrive in three places; the Ozark Highlands area, the Ouachita National Forest, and the lower White River basin. Pre-settlement there was thought to be over 50,000 bears in Arkansas, but dwindled down to just 50 bears in the 1930s. Thanks to conservation efforts and the importation of Black Bears from other areas, Arkansas is believed to have over 5,000 Black Bears now.
CAN INJURE WHEN PROVOKED
“The Black Bear is a stocky, large animal, one of the largest mammals in North America. Adults reach a length of 5 to 6 feet, height at the shoulder of 2 to 3 feet, and weigh 200-300 pounds,” notes information from Texas Park and Wildlife Department. “Although called a ‘black’ bear, colors can range from black to the occasional cinnamon brown. Front claws are generally longer than hind claws. The fur is long and coarse. Although appealing and generally harmless, Black Bears can injure humans when provoked and should be treated with caution.”
At least two subspecies of Black Bear are thought to occur in Texas: the Mexican Black Bear and the New Mexico Black Bear. Both are found in West Texas in desert scrub or woodland habitats within scattered mountain ranges, predominantly the Chisos and Guadalupe Mountains. Both subspecies are state-listed as endangered in Texas.
Colleen Olfenbuttel, the Wildlife Commission’s black bear and furbearer biologist, offers some advice about how to co-exist with black bears.
“Most bears that wander into a residential area will quickly retreat to their natural habitat, particularly if no food source is around,” Olfenbuttel said. “Bears have adapted to living near people; now it’s up to us to adapt to living near bears.”
BearWise has six Basics the public can use to prevent potential conflicts and live responsibly with bears:
• Never feed or approach a bear. Bears will defend themselves if a person gets too close, so don’t risk your safety and theirs.
• Secure food, garbage and recycling. Place trash outside as late as possible on the morning of trash pick-up — not the night before.
• Remove bird feeders when bears are active. Birdseed, other grains and hummingbird feeders have high calorie content making them very attractive to bears.
• Never leave pet food outdoors.
• Clean and store grills.
• Alert neighbors to bear activity.
“While these young bears (usually May-August), typically males, may appear to be wandering aimlessly around, they are not necessarily lost,” Olfenbuttel said. “Most are simply exploring their new surroundings and will move on, particularly if they are left alone and there is no food around.”
Unlike brown bears, black bears are omnivorous creatures that rarely pose a threat to humans, pets, or livestock. Like any large mammal, however, humans must take steps to be aware and coexist with black bears.
Black bears diet is very much like a raccoon’s.
🔹Up to 80 percent of their diet is plant matter, and they often scavenge the rest from carcasses of dead animals.
🔹In many circumstances, they will hunt for insects and worms for the “meat based” part of their diet.
🔹They have been known to kill larger mammals and even livestock. This is occurs mostly during late spring and early summer, when bears become active after hibernating, and juveniles “leave home.” This is when food requirements are high, and bears will find the most nutritious food they can.
🔹If there is a lack of fruits, berries, and other plant matter, they may feed on other animals.
Signs of black bears
If you suspect bears in your area, pay careful attention to signs such as, tracks, scat, and territorial markings on trees. Although you may not see the animal, the evidence of their presence is usually clear. Take pictures of suspected bear sign using a ruler or other standard item for scale and send them to your local biologist for interpretation.
Bear tracks stand out and are unlike any other you might encounter. Bears use their teeth and claws to mark trees or other surfaces to mark territory.
If you encounter a bear, TPWD offers this advice:
If a bear regularly visits your deer stand, scare it with rocks, a slingshot or air horn.
If you encounter a bear at close range, talk in a calm manner while backing away slowly. Do not make direct eye contact
Do not run. Running can trigger a bear’s chase instinct.
Stand your ground and raise your arms if a bear approaches you, making yourself appear larger. Yell at the bear to scare it off.
Fight back aggressively with anything available if attacked. Let bears know that you are not an easy prey. Do not play dead.
Hunters must remember that areas where they leave game animal remains will attract bears.
🔹This carrion is an easy meal that bears will eagerly consume.
🔹No matter what time of year you hunt, it is possible you could encounter a bear. Although contact is minimal in the winter, due to hibernation, be aware of your surroundings, especially in remote locations that may contain dens with sleeping bears.
🔹Bear-proofing wildlife feeding stations, such as deer feeders, can be difficult. Because hunters want game to have access to feed, but want to exclude black bears, the best options involve limiting access. Unless they are protected by an electric fence that deer can jump, gravity feeders should likely be removed in favor of spin-cast feeders.
🔹The base of spin-cast feeders should be at least 10 feet off the ground, and suspended from a cross-member that is least 4 feet from the post that supports it. Alternatively, hunters may electrify tripod spin-cast or gravity feeders, as well as providing electric fencing.
🔹Electric fencing may be permanent, similar to systems designed for livestock, or be portable, such as “back-country bear fencing” often used to secure camp sites. These portable systems are available from many outdoor companies. They are powered by D-cell batteries and use lightweight posts and wire. Whether suspending feed or electrifying, take care to prevent damage and the loss of feed.
🔹Campers should collect trash nightly and hang it high enough from a tree or other structure that a bear cannot reach it, or climb to it. Ten feet off ground level and four feet from any branches is generally sufficient.
🔹Sweet-smelling items such as perfumes, insect repellants, and candy attract bears.
🔹The smell of camp cooking can also attract bears. It is wise to locate your cooking site 100 yards from your sleeping area. Even the smell of food on clothes can attract bears, so change clothes before sleeping if you cook for the camp.
🔹Coolers of food are easy targets for bears—keep them inside vehicles or otherwise inaccessible. Although some coolers are rated as bear-safe, black bears will still cause damage trying to get in them.
🔹Hikers should be noisy in areas where black bears are present.
🔹A startled bear is a dangerous bear, and will have the same reaction as any animal when frightened. Although they might flee, they might also display defensive behaviors such as bluff charges or teeth clacking. This is especially possible for a female with cubs.
Bear-proofing around the house
Human-bear relations are most problematic around private homes.
🔹Bears, like raccoons, are opportunistic omnivores who enjoy human garbage. Homeowners should minimize exposing garbage to bears.
🔹A good first step is to secure trash cans with certified bear-proof covers. You can also contact your waste disposal company to request that they upgrade community dumpsters to be bear-proof.
🔹Minimize areas where you dump cooking grease, scraps, and reduce access to compost piles.
🔹Other food sources include bird feeders and other wildlife feed, fallen fruit from trees, pet foods, and barbecue pits.
🔹Wood piles attract rodents, which can be a food source. Bears will quickly assess these sources come to them for food. If you choose to feed wildlife in “bear country,” move the feed frequently to prevent bears from becoming habituated to one area.
🔹It may be surprising, but a closed door, high window, or low wall often will not deter bears. Livestock and pet feed stored in outbuildings are easy, high-energy sources of nutrition for black bears.
Forget the propaganda churned out by the corporate news media, here are the facts about the SOB (Soros-Obama-Biden) oil and gas policies designed to socialize America towards control via “The Great Reset, and New World Order (NOW).
🔹The day before Barack Obama was inaugurated regular gasoline prices across the USA were $1.87 per gallon.
🔹When Obama left the White House the cost of gas was $4.22 per gallon.
🔹Immediately upon taking office he rescinded leases for oil shale production and expedited the failed Solendro energy deal while stalling other new energy production.
🔹He urged the Senate to pass a new higher energy tax.
🔹To George Soros’ delight, Obama opposed bills to unlock American energy resources, stopped drilling and leasing through new bureaucratic hurdles, and rejected the Keystone pipeline.
2018– The United States became the world’s top crude oil producer under President Donald J. Trump and maintained the lead position through 2020.
April 7, 2020- Americans, with the leadership of President Trump in the White House, were enjoying low gasoline prices at the pump. $1.79 per gallon
BIDEN’S BUILD BACK BETTER
Jan. 21, 2021– Biden inaugurated and immediately cancels Keystone XL pipeline. Gas is at $2.09 gallon
Jan. 27, 2021– Biden halts new oil and gas leases. $2.35 gallon
Feb. 19, 2021– Biden rejoins Paris Climate Agreement. $2.48 gallon
May 7, 2021– Biden makes 30% of land off limits to oil and gas. $2.64gallon
June 1, 2021– Biden halts drilling in ANWR. $3.07 gallon
June 30, 2021– Nancy Pelosi’s Congress reverses President Donald J. Trump’s natural gas regulations. $3.12 gallon
Oct. 29, 2021– Biden’s Department of Interior introduces “Social Cost of Carbon.” $3.43 gallon
Nov. 15. 2021- Biden begins moratorium on drilling in Chaco Canyon. $3.80 gallon
Feb. 24, 2022- Because Russia invades Ukraine, suddenly Biden Administration and Big Oil decides gas should be over $4 a gallon. $4.02 gallon.
March 1, 2022– Biden releases oil from US Strategic Petroleum Reserve again. $4.13 gallon
March 21, 2022- Biden’s SEC proposes Anti-oil Rule. $4.24 gallon
May 12, 2022– Biden cancels all remaining lease sales. $4.48 gallon.
June 12, 2022– Price of regular gas reaches all-time historical high according to AAA. State averages range from $6.43 a gallon in California to $4.52 in Mississippi. $5.01 gallon
Recently, Senators Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Jim Risch, R-Idaho; Roger Marshall, R-Kansas; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Jerry Moran, R-Kansas; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; and Tom Cotton, R-Ark. wrote a letter to Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm demanding she must comply with the law requiring her agency to disclose the number of jobs lost when Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline.
“At the time of its closure, the Keystone XL pipeline project was already under construction and employed more than 1,500 workers,” the letter read. “By the end of 2021, the Keystone XL pipeline was projected to provide approximately 11,000 jobs.”
“The closure erased thousands of real, high-paying jobs and approximately $800 million in wages,” it continued. “Significant prospective spending for rural communities and small businesses, as well as tax revenue for local schools and public safety, disappeared with the stroke of a pen.”
“The Keystone XL pipeline was a critical investment for U.S. energy security and job creation,” Sen. Risch said in a statement. “Why the administration made the decision to prioritize Russia’s workforce and energy sector over the United States is beyond me. The Department of Energy must report back on this significant domestic loss.”
How is the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris “Build Back Better” agenda working out for you?
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Which states are the five most prone to lightning strikes in America?
Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.
The top six most prone states (in this order) are Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and Oklahoma.
Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that include lightning and can:
This is our go-to list for tent camping as a couple. It can be modified per trip –family, friends, ages, activities (toys, rafts, hunting, skiing, etc.).
We always have protection, a jack, spare, fix-a-flat, jumper cables, portable battery starter, small power unit with lights, stored energy, electricity, etc. in our vehicle.
No two people are the same when it comes to planning a camping trip. What is important to one person may not matter to another when it comes to camping gear. One of my sons prefers to go ultralight and another brings practically everything he can when they camp. As a family, we tend to bring more items. All this to say, there is no right or wrong answer to what you bring on your camping trip.