Camping is a Great Experience!
What a great time of year to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The weather is gorgeous with the cool evenings and warm days and the beautiful changes in the great outdoors. Sounds like a perfect time of year for a camping trip to me! But before you head out for the hills there are a few things that you should keep in mind to insure that your campout will be filled with positive memories!
There are actually websites that have done a lot of the work for you. One that you can check out is Love The Outdoors has a camping checklist you can use. Here are some tips to get started:
- Shelters – tents, tent stakes and extra tarps and cabins.
- Bedding – sleeping bags (temperature appropriate) pillows, extra blankets.
- Cooking equipment – this can vary by quite a bit depending on what kind of cooking you prefer to do while camping. Cast iron skillets work great on an open fire.
- Clothing – this will depend on where you are camping and the temperatures at your campsite but having quick drying clothing helps. Weather appropriate clothing is a must.
- First Aid Supplies – You can find a fully equipped first aid kit in the drugstore or make your own and save a few bucks. The American Red Cross has a list of things to include. Be sure you include antiseptics, sun protector and bug spray!
- Sporting Goods – take your fishing polls, canoes, backpacks or hiking gear. A solar shower is a great addition too!
On my own family camping trips, I make sure to take a headlight that fits around your head like a hat. It's very much like a miner's headlamp. It's great for reading at night; one of my favorite things to do. It's also good if you need light for hiking, but don't want another thing to carry in your hands.
|Fall camping is full of fun family activities.|
Where Do You Camp?
I am fortunate to live in an area that offers just about any type of camping experience you can imagine. But there are hundreds of State and National Parks across the country that offer a full range of camping experiences from complete isolation to feeling like you are in a city with all of the big RV’s with full electrical hookups that let you feel like you are right at home. Enter your state abbreviation and campgrounds into your browser's search box to bring up a list of campgrounds in your state. Campgrounds can also be found at Recreation.gov.
My husband and I prefer camping that lets us feel like we're away from civilization with only nature as company. We have camped in Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks and have had a great time. Fall camping in the parks is a wonderful experience; one that you and your family can also enjoy. There are many preplanned family activities to take part in as you learn about each park’s special features.
The US Forest Service offers many free campsites on the thousands of acres of public lands. Free campsites often do not include the amenities of the “fee for camping” sites, and many don't have running water, trash bins or restrooms. But, these are great places to spend a weekend in the wilderness with Mother Nature. This kind of "roughing it" will require some more planning and preparedness. The Centers for Disease Control has great advice for safety, packing and activities while camping.
Fun for Less
Camping gear can be inexpensive if you look for end of season bargains. Local thrift stores, classified ads and even Craig's List are places where many people sell good equipment at the end of the camping season. You might find some great bargains!
Your camping experience can range from full blown amusement park activities to just you and nature. Having done both, I can say that getting in tune with nature has been the most rewarding. For me, there is nothing more peaceful than sitting around a campfire, looking up at the stars and listening to the crickets chirp. The fresh air is exhilarating and really renews my spirits!
So pack up your hiking shoes and sleeping bag and hit the outdoors for a few days! I guarantee you will not regret it! There is nothing like breathing the fresh air of the great outdoors!