Even if you live in the big city, or perhaps especially if you do, a camping vacation is closer than you think it is, and worth the effort. We spend our days inside, whether in the house, the car, or an office. Time to remember there’s a big, beautiful world out there.
You may have an image in your head of a tent out in the wilderness, no one else for miles, isolated and serene. Your family may think camping means roughing it in every sense of the word. The reality is that there are many ways to go camping, and many levels of ‘roughing it’ to consider as you plan your trip.
Chances are that within easy days’ travel of your home there is a campground. Usually located on a body of water for further recreational possibilities, they are a great place to spend some time. Full of other families for you to visit with, other children for yours to play with, they will often have full facilities to make your stay as homey as possible. Showers, bathrooms, places to park an RV, your rolling home away from home.
For a little more away from it all experience, pack the family and a tent in the car and go looking for a quieter place that specializes in tent camping. Make sure you know where you plan to go beforehand, there are very few places that will allow someone to just camp without permission and previous planning.
There are campgrounds with primitive facilities at most State Parks, a great option for the more adventurous camper.
No matter where you go, or how you get there, if you are going to enjoy your stay, you need to be sure you and your family are comfortable. If you haven’t slept well and the bugs were snacking on you all night you won’t be able to enjoy the hiking, canoeing, and playing of the following day. Prepare your gear beforehand, plan for contingencies like rain and inclement weather. Check your tent in the backyard before setting it up at the campground to possibly find torn screens. Dress in layers, even in summer it will be cool in the morning but hot at midday.
With prior planning and good preparation camping can be great fun. Getting outside literally opens up the world to you, from the stars overhead at night, to the fish swimming in the river and nibbling your bait.
Take a field guide or three with you and learn the names of all the flowers, birds, and bugs. Watch your children frolic with no asphalt in sight as you kick back and relax. Or go wilderness camping and stretch the limits of your body while seeing breathtaking scenery.