5 handy tips for some common cottage situations

The island cottage Photo courtesy of CanadaStays.

Cottage season is coming on in full swing. Just like you, we are also excited for heading out and cottaging. And while we eagerly look forward to this year’s excursions, we have collected some wisdom from our previous expeditions in the great outdoors. Here we share some of our handy tips to make your cottage stay pleasant.


A porcupine’s quill is covered in one-way barbs that unhelpfully anchor it in place—plus allow it to torpedo its way deeper into your flesh as you writhe around in pain. Get it out! Cutting the end off a quill just makes it harder to grasp, but cutting it lengthwise (use scissors) can make it easier to remove. Snip, then pull straight back with pliers.

Drive through a flood

Go slowly—more than 10 km/h and you risk creating a wave and raising the water level. Stay in the lowest gear possible, and keep a steady throttle. If the water is deeper than the centre of your tires, find a detour—better to be late than risk the expensive damage that water can do to your engine or exhaust system. Gonna risk it? Once you’re through the water, test your brakes by tapping on the pedal a few times.

Save a dying blaze

Putting another log on the fire won’t work—you are wrong, Waylon Jennings and many other country singers! Especially if the log is a big one. Several small pieces of wood, on the other hand, gives the fire more surface area to burn. You’ll reignite the flames while getting a cleaner-burning fire.

Silence a tap

At least for the night. Drop one end of a piece of string an inch down the drain, and tie the other around the end of the tap. The water travels (noiselessly!) down the string, and you and your guests can get some shut-eye.

De-skunk the dog

First, flush your fur baby’s eyes with saline solution or plain water, then dab petroleum jelly around them to protect them while you tackle the rest of that reeky body. Use a peroxide–baking soda mixture: combine 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide; 1/4 cup baking soda; and 1 to 2 tsp liquid soap, shampoo, or dish detergent. Lather into your dog’s coat, let sit for five minutes, then rinse with water. What a good boy!


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