Do you camp?
Do your kids like to camp?
I am not talking hardcore backpacking here, where you have to cary your means of surviving on your back, as that’s way beyond the scope of camping and having fun with the kids. Leave your thoughts of being Bear Gyillis and Man vs. Wild on the DVR, we’re talking about having fun here and not about sucking the head off of anything to feed yourself. It’s all about fun and treating yourself the best you can in the process. You can camp while backpacking, car camp in a nearby state park that has all kinds of primitive camp spaces, you can car camp in luxurious national park campground with even showers which can be rather spectacular, or camp on an extended activity like an organized bike ride or car camp in a KOA campground that has tent spots, indoor plumbing, swimming pools and showers, even mobile home camping if you are going to be “candy” about it. I have done them all and will focus this post on non motorized camping. Our mom gets selected and rides in Ride The Rockies and she chooses to camp along the way which includes me and sometimes our son if he isn’t in Milwaukee visiting his cousins which leaves me to pitching tear down and moving for an entire week which leads me to say that I have pitched more than a couple tents in my lifetime. Follow the campground rules and you will keep Ranger Rick away!
As a kid, going camping and getting dirty, I mean really dirty is what its all about and what I’m talking about!
You’re building memories here! Chances are you went at least once when you were a kid and I bet those great memories are deeply embedded in your brain. As an adult you may be thinking about now, what me camp? I’m not a kid anymore and sleeping on the ground is so unforgiving. Things have changed my friend, you are only as uncomfortable as you make it for yourself.
Do yourself a favor and got to the nearest Coleman Factory Outlet either in person, or online, and check out the affordable deals. Number 1, shelter -find a tent, something that can handle wind and rain, these two especially if they happen together can wreak havoc on the best laid plans. I prefer the three man variety that can contain an queen size airbed mattress, my son has been sleeping in his own tent since he was 7 years old and he has a double size air mattress. With the air mattress don’t forget the battery operated air pump AND spare batteries. Next get yourself a good camp stove, maybe with more than two burners. Sleeping bags, you are basically outside more or less, all night so do not skimp on sleeping bags, I did this when Dakota first started going to help me Sherpa gear for the bike ride and I ended up buying a king size down blanket on night 2 that was on sale in an Ace Hardware of all place, in the thriving metropolis of Meeker Colorado.
In the natural progression of things you need, a cooler would be next. Two coolers would ideal, one for your food supply and one for beverages, both adult and kid. The reason is you want to leave the food cooler alone as much as possible to keep the food supply in good shape because with kids they are always digging for drinks and snacks; which are the items for cooler no. two. My personal preference is to pack a third, smaller cooler with dry ice for special (ice cream) desserts. I keep this out of sight and secure with a strap with my stuff because dry ice and kids can be harmful to a good time.
Water, the more you have, or can easily get, the better. Nuff said here.
Camp fires are fun and a good learning tool for kids, what better thing thing then S’Mores for that late night desert part two. Needless to say, but I have to say it anyway; small kids and fires can be dangerous if the kids are left alone.
I hope I have provided you with enough information to get you pointed in the right direction when getting ready for camping. Now get with it and start making those memories!