Had it with the rat race? Got time off but not much cash to spend? Losing touch with your family? Sounds like an old-fashioned campout is just what you need. I know that this summer camping opened my eyes to a world of possibility, connecting with my family and just being in the moment. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day we need to unplug and unwind every now and then. We just got back from a last minute overnight campout and I couldn't be happier!
Family Camping 101
Great family camping getaways are easy to plan and inexpensive vacation options. Nature is everywhere, so you don't need to travel far for your camping trip. You can journey to a national park, drive to a local campground, or pitch a tent in your own backyard. It doesn't have to be complicated it should be fun and adventurous!
Family camping 101 begins with the planning. This part of the trip is half the fun. Call a family meeting to decide where you'd like to go. Depending on your budget, you can plan to load up the trunk with tents and sleeping bags, pull a camper or drive an RV. The point is to treat your family to an unforgettable outdoor adventure, so it doesn't matter how you plan to camp or where you intend to go.
If you are new to the camping experience, it's probably a good idea to start out slow. Book a weekend campsite to get the feel for the camping lifestyle. Get used to cooking over a wood fire and sharing your space with wildlife, before you venture too far away from the comforts of home. Many campgrounds provide fun activities like day hikes, playground and even beaches.
Don't expect to bring along your everyday dinnerware and automatic coffeepot for your campout. Remember, you will be roughing it, so pack accordingly. Bring plastic dishes and cutlery that can be washed and reused, but won't break in transit. Make sure you have enough sleeping bags, pillows and extra clothes. Pack the food you'll need, plus a little extra, and keep a supply of ice on hand for perishables like meat and dairy. If you're bringing tins of beans, remember a can opener! The best part is if you choose you can be without internet access or sometimes even cell service so you can really disconnect and recharge!
Family Camping Checklist
Make a list and check it three times before you leave on your camping trip. Make sure that there is enough food and fresh water for everyone. Bring food that can be easily prepared on your campfire. I love to use cast iron cookware for making our food on the fire (don't forget the matches), everything seems to taste better outdoors! Pack clothing for all kinds of weather, think layers. Don't forget sunscreen, bug spray, hygiene items and a simple first aid kit. Check ahead to see if your campsite offers bathroom facilities, campfire wood and water this will help you pack to better suit the amenities that are available. Bring along some soap and toothpaste, but leave the hair gel and makeup at home. Mother Nature doesn't care what you look like. She just wants you to enjoy your stay.
When's the last time you unplugged and recharged?