Smart Family Camping:
A Guide to Successful and
with Your Family
brought to you by Smart Family Camping
Family Camping: Tent Camping
Camping is an incredibly rewarding experience and is just a really good way
to enjoy a weekend with the family. Women especially need to plan ahead
because we get stuck with providing clean clothes, innovative menus and all
the niceties of being home. For awhile, camping for me was a nightmare. I
had to wash clothes in the most primitive conditions imaginable, produce
food over a campfire (no gas grill here, sweetie!) and make like I'm having
For you and your family, you have to really reach
to fail at having a positive camping experience.
The kids will love it. The man will feel much more
manly. It's just a win-win situation.
And here's the super bonus -- the benefits of
camping do not have to happen on the shoulders
of Kilimanjaro or the peaks of Mount Everest -- it
can happen in your own back yard. Yes. It is that much fun. Hard to believe,
I know, but true.
Let's Go Camping
So let's go tent camping. If you don't already
have a tent, you will need to purchase one.
Keep in mind that the only thing you will be
doing in the tent is sleeping. Remember too,
that in the case of inclement weather, you and
your family may have to spend some extended time in the tent as well as
some food preparation. Be sure that the height of the tent you choose is
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something you can live with. Remember that you will have to crouch down to
get into and out of the tent each time you enter or leave. Moving around
inside the tent very much in a crouching position is very tiring.
The tent must also be large enough for all members of the family to sleep
without being crowded.
Where to Buy Camping Gear
You can spend a little or you can spend a lot on camping gear. I recommend
that you start with the basics and see what you can't live without. Then add
to your gear. Part of the fun of camping is the "roughing it" part. However,
camping in luxury has its benefits as well.
Good sources of camping gear are sports and outdoor retailers such as REI,
Big 5 and the like. Watch for bargains at WalMart, KMart and Target. Amazon
has some very good prices especially on larger items like tents, stoves and
Keep an eye on GoodWill, the Salvation Army and other thrift stores. These
are excellent places to get used cookware, grills, flatware and blankets. You
may find the occasional percolator coffee pot and other camping goodies.
Military surplus stores have some good finds as well, but watch the prices.
Another excellent source is yard and garage sales. It takes some shopping
but the benefits are great.
Practice Makes Perfect
Anytime you get new gear, check it out at home first.
Put up the new tent and see how everything goes
together. In fact, let the kids sleep in the yard for a
night. It's fun. If you just bought a new stove, fire it
up and cook dinner on it to see how it all works. Roll
out your sleeping pad and sleeping bag to see how it
feels. Do you think it will be OK for a whole night? Or
maybe you'll find out that you need a different kind of
pad. These things are good to know before you find
that you're 100 miles from the nearest WalMart.
The time to learn how to use a fire stick or a compass is before you find
yourself in an emergency where you absolutely need to know how the thing
works. Using a flare is pretty simple and it's not easy to test one prior to
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having to use it. However, be sure to read the instructions so that you have
an idea of what you need to do and when you need to do it.
Where to Camp
Camp grounds vary greatly in their facilities
from quite elaborate to nothing except a fire
ring and a place to park you vehicle. The fees
vary accordingly. Most state parks have a
campground with toilet and shower facilities.
Many KOA campgrounds have pools. Decide
where you want to go before you get there. If
you can, call the campground and get a list of
the amenities available at that particular site.
A good place to start your search for a good campsite is online. Simply
search for "campgrounds" and the location where you want to camp. You will
get a pretty good list of available campgrounds in that area.
Camping, for those who enjoy it, in really fun. Kids seem to love it without
exception. If you ever went camping with your family, I will bet that you
have some really fond memories of it. Your kids will, too.
Go camping. Relax. Enjoy the outdoors. Don't take so much stuff that you
spend the entire time unpacking and packing back up. If you don't enjoy
cooking, bring already prepared food -- sandwich makings, Church's fried
chicken. Get some potato salad at the deli. This a time to enjoy, not work
yourself into a frenzy. Pack a good book. Bring your fishing gear. Don't forget
your good hiking boots. Get out there in the woods or the desert and let the
world go away for a while.
Get even more camping information at http://www.smartfamilycamping.com
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