Family Camping Creates Fond Memories for Life
One of the fondest childhood memories I have are camping with my family. We would grab our tent, sleeping bags and fishing poles and head down to a local lake for a weekend. Camping can be a wonderful activity for the entire family. It can also become a huge calamity if you are not prepared or don’t know what to expect.
If you are not experienced at camping then it might be best to start with a commercial campground. These campgrounds are often listed in the yellow pages. The costs of these campgrounds is often nominal and they usually have showers, bathrooms, electrical hookups, running water nearby, fire pits and a camp store for any necessities that you may have forgotten.
Established provincial or federal campgrounds also often have activities for the entire family including swimming pools, hiking trails, paddle boats and fishing lakes. Although many of these campgrounds are set up for campers and RVs, they typically always have tent sites as well.
Once you have tried camping at an established campground you may decide to want to rough it out in the woods on your own. To find locations for tent camping you might try doing an internet search on camping.
Regardless of where you go camping it is important that you be prepared. The following is a list of items you should consider for ensuring you are prepared for an enjoyable camping trip.
Your Basic Camping Inventory List
1. Tent. You can find a wide selection of tents in various sizes from 2 person tents to family sizes. You might consider getting the children their own tent. They will enjoy having their own space.
2. Sleeping bags and an air mattress if desired. Using sleeping bags only is fine, but if you enjoy having a good night’s sleep, bringing along an inflatable air mattress is an excellent idea. When deflated, it takes up next to no room at all, and after inflating, it provides a very nice alternative to sleeping directly on the ground.
3. Flash lights and extra batteries. Be sure to test these before you pack them for the trip. There’s nothing worse than heading for the nearest outhouse at the campground in the middle of the night, only to find out that your flashlight doesn’t have the ‘juice’ to light your way.
4. Wooden Matches. Keep these dry by placing them inside a sealed plastic container of some kind. For example, if you can find an empty 35mm plastic film canister, that works perfectly for keeping your matches ready-to-use at all times.
5. Cookware. Cooking on an open fire will probably not be good for your best cookware so you might want to bring older pots and pans or consider buying a camping cookware set. Think ahead about foods that will be easy to cook on a fire.
6. Firewood. If you are not camping at an established campground you may not have access to firewood, so plan to bring your own. The key is to be sure to keep it nice and dry, and also plan to bring some small cedar twigs or other more flammable wood to use for kindling, and make starting your campfire an easier task.
7. First Aid kit. This should include band aids, peroxide, gauze, burn cream, tape, a tool for removing splinters, and bug repellent that contains deet. Another helpful item to add to your kit is a few rolls of bathroom tissue.
8. Water for drinking. This should go without saying, but some folks tend to forget that in many cases, you’ll be camping in areas where there isn’t any potable water to drink. Boiling water for several minutes can provide you with some, but it’s also a big task to have to keep doing, when picking up a few large jugs of fresh spring water is so easily done.
9. Trash bags. Whether you go camping at an established campground or in the woods somewhere it is imperative that you leave the area exactly as you found it. If the location does not have trash bins then pick up your trash and take it with you. Don’t ruin the experience for the next family.
If you carefully plan your camping trip and expect the unexpected by being prepared for anything you will have a great time camping.
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