A Guide for the Family Camping Trip

Planning the Trip

Families have been embarking on camping trips for decades. Sometimes it involves only Mom, Dad, and the kids, but often even Grandma and/or Grandpa come along, or sometimes a camping trip can involve an extended family experience. One of the first considerations when planning a trip is the level of camping the family wishes to do. Is everyone will to “rough it” with tents and sleeping bags, a campfire, and the starry sky above? Perhaps somebody’s idea of camping is an RV complete with toilet and shower facilities, electricity, and a DVD player. Would the family rather stay in a campground where planned activities are available, heated swimming pools, and bathrooms down the well-maintained roadways? Maybe they would prefer to find a spot that can only be accessed after a mile hike up a mountain to the side of a creek that could only be found twice by following bread crumbs dropped along the way. The best rule is the upgrade the camping experience to the individual who wishes for the least harsh conditions. Nothing can ruin a camping trip like someone who is having an absolutely miserable time.

Choosing the Right Location

After the kind of camping is chosen, a location needs to be sought out. Many people prefer to camp close to home. That is one of the beauties of camping, that one can escape from home while still remaining close to home. Others, though, prefer to hop in the car and drive a significant distance away before hitting the woods or campgrounds. This will, of course, be necessary also for those who live in the city and have no place close by to camp. Every state has state parks in which campers can camp, and some have national campgrounds as well. It is important to be careful not to camp on private property without express permission from the owners. The Internet is a great resource to find campgrounds in every state with rates for tent sites and RV sites. Many also have cabins that are available. If it is hiking and tent camping that the family will be doing, most parks will have maps available with marked trails and recommended camping areas.

Packing for the Trip

Packing for a camping trip is more important then camping for the usual vacation. Many times campers will be far from any store. Therefore, careful thought must be given to items that should be taken along. The proper clothing should be taken as well as shelter, a first aid kit, cell phones, medication, and enough food so that an individual can be sure there will be enough for the entire camping trip, and even a little longer in case something were to happen. It’s best to make a list ahead of time. There are lists available on the Internet made by those hikers and campers with more experience than most, or an individual may be comfortable making his own list. A list, however, will aid in making sure nothing is forgotten at the last minute.

Family Activities While Camping

There are many activities to participate in while camping. If a family goes to a campground there may be structured activities such as dances, games, a swimming pool, golf, and many other things. If a family decides that they will go into the woods to do their camping, they may fish, hike, or ride bikes. Sitting by a campfire and roasting marshmallows is always a hit as well as telling stories and singing songs. Fire safety is always a consideration, and fires should always be watched closely and put out completely before retiring or leaving a site. Many individuals like to canoe and kayak, and these activities are often combined with a camping experience. Many families and friends just enjoy spending the time together, away from the business of life, listening to the sounds of nature and watching the stars as they light up the night sky.

Camping Meals and Recipe Guides

Meals become more of a challenge when out in the wilderness, or even when at a campground. It just isn’t as easy to cook over an open fire as it is cooking over a gas stove with an oven or with a microwave. Fortunately, there are many easy and fun recipes one can try while in the great outdoors, many that are the same familiar dishes that are eaten at home. When packing, as noted previously, it is important to make a list. One will need the necessary food staples such as bread, peanut butter, snacks, and those kinds of things that can quickly and easily be eaten cold, especially when there are kids involved. Sometimes it is not as easy to build a fire as anticipated. Furthermore, on the list it will be important to remember certain utensils such as forks, spoons, knives, can openers, plates, cups, and any other pans or cooking utensils anticipated.

Other Aspects of Camping