Christmas in the Clam

Dec 6, 2021 | 0 comments

How do you keep camping at the forefront of your mind during the winter months? Some of you might enjoy winter camping. For others of us, we might hang out in our travel trailers parked in the driveway or storage area. I’m keeping my Clam pop-up tent set up on the deck.

When sisters, Badger (left) and Otter (right) turned 16, they still wanted to go everywhere, but their hiking capacity was limited. This stroller wagon was a fantastic investment, especially since Badger started having trouble in the heat.

When Dogs are Your Camping Companions

Part of my camping strategy with dogs is to recreate our rituals and set-up from home to camping so they know what’s going on and feel comfortable – which helps them continue good behaviors when we travel. When I had little dogs, I built a back porch room off the back door of my cabin. I left ground as the floor so the girls could smell the earth. When it was raining, I put down papers and they had a place to go potty that was sheltered from the rain. They were always fine going out in the snow, but they didn’t like going out in the rain.

Transferring this arrangement to the campground: I purchased the Clam pop-up screened-in tent to take camping in case it was raining. This gave me an enclosed area where I could relax with the girls, and also protection from rain to make it easy for them on potty breaks.

You can purchase the Clam in various sizes and with or without wind/privacy panels:

The Clam is a pop-up, so you can set up the 6×6 in five minutes or less.

Best Use of Camping Gear

Badger lived until 17 years old and Otter made it to 19 years old! When she passed in Spring of this year, I got to thinking about the Clam. Sure enough, it fit perfectly on my deck! I love living in the woods, but don’t like insects buzzing me constantly, and meat bees are a serious issue where I live. Once I set the Clam up on my deck, I was able to spend a lot more time outside without being bothered by insects. Wrapped up in a blanket enjoying my morning cup of coffee and watching for wildlife on the meadow is a perfect start to summer days.

Inside the Clam with the heater on, I can enjoy the festive scene while watching for wildlife during the day, or enjoy evening snow flurries, as was the case a few days ago. With a couch and a chair inside, this outdoor area is where I have visited with friends during the pandemic.

My Little Buddy propane heater is in my travel trailer right now, so I am using my Coleman heater inside the Clam. Still, comfy blankets are a must, as well as some hot chocolate or warmed whiskey.

I’ve had this Coleman heater for years. The heater face connects to the little green propane canasters – easy!

Little Buddy propane heater rated for indoor use – but crack a window!

Portable propane catalytic heater with folding legs for outdoor use:

I’ve decided to keep my Clam set up on my deck year-round instead of putting it back into my camping gear. I get so much use out of it at home and I love the camping feels of this set up. Also, I have breathing issues and have been very cautious since Covid started – I have not invited people into my home as a rule. With masks on and sitting outside in the Clam, I feel safer visiting with people.

Life Moves Forward

I wasn’t planning on getting another dog anytime soon, but I had a vision of a very specific dog that needed rescuing. I described what I’d felt to my friend, and it took me 48 hours to find her photo on one of the animal shelter sites. I brought her home the next day. I am into finding and tumbling rocks, so her name is Jade. Did you know there is fawn-colored Jade? She LOVES being on the couch with me in the Clam because she has an elevated view of the meadow. We practiced sleeping in my travel travel in my yard so she could get used to it. (Travel was limited in California due to pandemic and continual wild fire issues).

Jade loves being in my RPod (seen here) and spent many summer hours with me on the couch in the Clam.

I must admit, after 20 years with dogs, sitting in the Clam WITH Jade, is much more enjoyable than sitting there by myself. She likes to sit between my legs on the couch and watch everything going on in the woods. I can tell you the zipper strength on the Clam is sturdy because it’s been tested several times when Jade has seen a squirrel! I think the zipper will hold up well with your kids and grandchildren.

Last year one of my friends gave me this cute little travel trailer Christmas ornament.

Keep the Camping Spirit Alive this Winter

Maybe you don’t have space in a yard to set up a screened in tent. Maybe you cheer yourself by writing about future camping outings you want to plan. Or maybe you decorate a little tree with camping Christmas ornaments:

I decided to write this article for you because I’ve seen SO MANY sad posts as people covered their travel trailers for winter or stored their camping gear until next year. If being in a camping mindset makes you happy, I’m all for sleeping in a pup tent in the living room with your dog or kids or by yourself – whatever works to get us through this crazy year!

I feel fortunate to have space on my deck for the Clam. There’s something about snuggling with Jade under a black and red buffalo plaid blanket and seeing those vintage thermoses that takes me to a peaceful place. I found a little Christmas tree that was growing so close in a cluster of other firs, it wasn’t going to get enough light to grow tall. My cabin is so small, there’s no room for a Christmas tree, so the Clam really is my place for holiday cheer. I hope you have a happy Christmas space in your life, if it’s important to you. If you aren’t camping during the winter months, maybe you can do a little something to keep the camp spirit alive until Spring!

Here’s to a Merry and safe Christmas to all the Girl Campers out there!

The trees are flocked with snow as the sun rises through a moody fog in the meadow.

About that stroller wagon seen at top of article: people frequently asked me about that wagon. In case you have little ones in your life (dogs or toddlers!) those wheels are great off pavement and this wagon was very helpful at the beach (that’s when the wagon handle for pulling was really handy). It’s got seat buckles for twins! The canopy tucks into a pocket on one end and the canopy poles fold down. The best part: all you do is pull up on a little center pull and it easily collapses and clicks into place. We put many miles on this thing taking Otter and Badger on evening walks at home, and on trails during our travels. Even if you don’t get this exact one, be sure to get one with sturdy wheels that move in all directions and with brakes:

Article written by: Catherine Goggia

To see the complete list of my articles, click here:

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(Please note: I am not scheduling any camping events until the Covid situation in California dramatically improves.)


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