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The fundamentals of camping are simple:
 know where you are going,
 wear proper clothing, bring adequate food, have a comfortable shelter,
 and make it a memorable experience. 

First, keep it simple to start out. 
Camp close to home, within 1-3 hours drive. 

If you've never been camping, don't worry.
  It's far easier than you might think.
 Extreme backpacking gear is not necessary.
An inexpensive tent, sleeping bag and small assortment of cooking utensils will suffice for an overnight stay under the stars. 
Simply distancing yourself from the everyday tribulations of life will become addicting.

Today, you can buy RV's, pop-up trailers and fancy four room tents for your adventure in the great outdoors. It's all a matter of comfort and what you can afford. If you aren't a regular camper and don't yet own any equipment, it is best to start out with a tent which is just big enough to fit your family.
You can purchase a family sized tent
 for less than one-hundred dollars, 
or 
two nights in a hotel room! 
Other basic equipment you will need for camping is, sleeping bags, a good quality gas lantern, cook stove, first-aid kit, cooler for food and some good out-doors clothing which is suited to the weather you will be camping in.

Click Here
 for some other pieces of equipment 
that you'll want to include 

Setup and try all your gear
 at home 
before heading to the campsite.

Trust me! 
It is better to know how to set up your gear before hand rather than trying to figure it all out at the campsite.

Maybe even set up the tent in the back yard and let the kids try it out over night.

Before heading out on your first camping trip with a child, let them take naps or spend the night in your tent at home. The claustrophobic environment takes some getting used to, and it's best for both you and the child to accustom yourselves to a tent at home rather than the outdoors where it is darker and you might bother other campers.

Involve the kids, delegate tasks and have them share in the camp chores: setting up camp, cooking, cleaning, gathering trash, and packing for the return trip, etc.

Allow plenty of extra time for everything -
packing gear, getting up in the morning, cooking, setting up the tent, and hiking.
Enjoy the leisure time and avoid rushing to get things done.

 

Prepare properly

1. Practice tent pitching at night 

Before leaving make sure you can set up your tent in the dark.
 The unexpected can happen. 
You might run into a 96 mile detour
 and arrive at your campsite much later than planned.

The sun sets three-and-a-half times faster than normal when you're trying to set up camp.

2.  Bring food supplies 

The fish Dad (or Mom) catch,
if any, 
may not be enough to feed the troop.

 Learn how to make your own campfire coffee;
 Seven-Elevens don't grow in the "wilderness."
Bring snacks for the kids
it makes life on the road much easier.

3. Prepare for bugs and other critters 

Pack your bug repellent(s).
 Plan for critter resistant food storage

4. Remember your pets 

Speaking of critters, make arrangements for your pets' care.
 Some pets don't travel well. 

If you are thinking about taking your dog camping,
the outdoors is one of the best places to spend time with your dog. 
The dog loves all the new sights, sounds and smells. 


Click Here for a few tips that may make camping with your dog a bit more enjoyable and possibly safer.

Gold fish are not advisable on a camping trip.

5. Make a packing list 

Start making your list of things to bring at least one week before departure. Check off your list as you load the car.
It is usually the little necessities that get left behind
like the flashlight

We camp several times every summer and have found that organization is the key to not forgetting any important items. We use several Rubbermaid tubs with lids that we keep fully stocked with our camping gear year-round.

One tub contains a dishwashing bucket, dish soap, dishcloths and towels, flashlight, spare batteries, a deck of cards, bug spray, aluminum foil, garbage bags, rope, string, first aid kit, propane and a lighter.

Another tub contains pots and pans, all cooking and eating utensils, plates and bowls, tablecloth, drink huggies, and a couple old measuring cups.

It really pays to keep your tubs fully stocked and ready for any trip.
 We bought cheap flatware and cooking utensils for our tub so we don't have to bring any from home 
or 
cause unnecessary garbage for landfills by using plastic.

We also keep a checklist on our computer of all the gear we need (tent, tarp, sleeping bag, grill, charcoal, etc.) that we print out prior to each trip.
All we have to do when packing is grab our tubs, pack the cooler and dry food, use the checklist for other gear and we're ready to go.

6. OK, now where to go!

Do you and the kids like the water? 
How about fishing? 
Need Fishing Tips?



It is helpful to know your destination in advance.
Also, keep in mind that some campgrounds require a reservation.

Even though it is mentioned last here,
 do this first before going out on any outing. 
Plan!
Get as much information on your different choices of campgrounds as you can before making your choice. Ask yourself questions that will be important to making your experience a good one - is it important to have showers or am I only going to be out one night? Do they have activities for us to take part in? Are their hiking trails nearby? Are their bathroom facilities with running water or only port a potties? Do I need to carry in my own water or take a filter or do they have water facilities? Do they have grills and fire rings on site? Does the campsite have tent pads? Can you reserve a campsite or do you take "potluck" when you arrive? What is the cost? Is there a camp store? The answers to these questions will help you be better prepared to deal with decisions that will have to be made on the fly at the campsite.

Planning On Holiday Camping?

Know where you are going 

Click here to go to The FUNdamentals of Camping Homepage
Click here to see EVERY TOPIC in this Website

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