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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Camping! What a great vacation.

We have been going camping for our summer vacations for several years. The cost is actually quite minimal once you have the necessary equipment. Once you have the equipment you need (which you may even be able to borrow from a friend) the only things you need are gas, food, and a campground to stay in.

How much can I expect to pay at a campground?

Plan on anywhere from about $12 to $30. The more amenities offered the more it will cost. Even when we were tent campers we liked staying somewhere with water and power. I usually take my crockpot, and I have used it even in a tent. For $12 you can expect a place to set up camp and not much else, for $30 you can usually expect bathrooms, showers, play areas and laundry facilities. There are many campgrounds where you can just show up and find a space and also many spaces you should reserve ahead of time. Be mindful of busy holiday weekends!

What recreational activities can I expect?

Hiking, watching animals, biking, fishing, boating and swimming are all fun things to do while you are camping. We always take games, crafts and books. In many state and national park area you will find specific nature programs for kids. I have a box of toys and games that we only use while camping. Scavenger hunts can be fun too.

What gear do I need?

Tent - get one that sleeps a couple more people than you actually have. I have no idea where they come up with the number of people that can fit into a tent, I like a little extra space.

Sleeping bags and extra blankets

Moms and dads might like a little extra comfort provided by a foam pad or an air mattress - this is not a necessity however.

A propane camp stove is great for cooking and heating water for dishes. Don't forget to bring the propane.

A good cooler (or two). To save space in the cooler freeze everything that you can - things that you are not going to use for a couple of days. This will help keep everything cool and save on the space needed for ice.

Then just a few little incidentals: Pots and pans, plates and utensils, pillows, flashlights w/ extra batteries, a small hatchet, insect repellent, scissors (I seem to always need these) and matches or a lighter.

There is a bit of work involved in camping but it's fun work. You can build memories that your kids will remember for a long time.

Here are some links to some great places to purchase camping supplies:

Camping World



Here are some links for locating campgrounds:


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