El Codo's Tricks for Bug-free Camping

Insects have their place in nature, but that doesn’t mean I want to act as their source protein. The school of hard knocks has allowed me to accumulate some tricks that may be of interest to fellow travelers. ANTS Few insects are more resistant to sprays and baits than are ants and poison is not cool. There is a better way, it’s not bad for you or the environment. But the “better way” must be purchased in the US and […]

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Best of Mexican and Central American Balnearios

Van camping.

  A popular institution in Mexico and Central America, balnearios, or thermal springs, range from undeveloped pools to fancy spa resorts to elaborate water parks that are packed with screaming kids on the weekends but make ideal camp spots during off hours. Many balnearios feature attached hotels, bungalows, or camp areas. Not all balnearios allow camping, but many will allow you to camp (for a fee) even if camping is not on their main menu. El Codo just sent me […]

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Road Blog: Central America Overland Expeditions

Guides stand in front of Range Rovers.

Back when I was a kid, a substantial migration of Mextrippers drove south every winter. Vehicles ranged from rust-speckled VW vans to tricked-out luxury liners (we once met an elderly couple who were driving in Fats Domino’s former tour bus, which was paneled in purple plush). Every year, we’d run into “our kind” in campgrounds,  on remote beaches, and in the coveted walled hotel parking lot (where we’d pay a few dollars to set up camp and access a bathroom). […]

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El Codo: Learning Great Knots for Camping

Yes, knots and ropes are geeky. That is, they seem geeky until you need to learn how to stop tarps from flying off the roof of your car, how to prevent your campsite from flying down the beach, or how to make the perfect loop to hoist a solar shower bucket up onto a coconut palm. Animated Knots by Grog has great illustrated guides for knots that will solve all of the above situations. The site is organized by activity […]

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