Have the Best Summer Camping Trip - Here's How
Ah, camping. Time to be one with the outdoors, get some down time and relax. Although camping can be a lot of work with all the set up, take down and packing, it is well worth the adventure, experience and memories. Here's a few suggestions to ensure this summer's camping trip is your best one yet.
'NO SCREEN' CAMPING IDEAS FOR KIDS
- Play Tic Tac Toe
- Collect shells or rocks and paint them
- Go for a canoe or a hike
- Play charades
- Tell stories at the campfire
- Play hide-and-go-seek
- Plan a scavenger hunt
- Go swimming
- Make a sand castle
- Go for a bike ride
PLAN IT OUT
- In order to have a successful camping trip you need to plan it out. If you like the heat then set your trip for sometime in sunny July. However, if you'll miss your AC at night, then plan to go in August when it is cooler once the sun goes down and there are also less mosquitoes to contend with.
- Depending on the level of adventure you are looking for, size of group and age of your campers will all determine where you'd like to camp. For instance, if you'd like to try "roughing it" style camping where there are no bathrooms, outhouses, hydro or drinkable water available then you'll want to search for a place that is designated as interior camping. Interior camping is where you either hike or canoe into the campsite and all there is at the site is a clearing for a tent, rocks set out for a fire pit and if you're lucky, a thunder box for a toilet.
If the idea of interior camping terrifies you then stick to a reliable KOA campground with sites ranging from RV parks, basic tent sites and cabins to cottages and luxurious type lodging. Basic tent sites have several communal outhouses or outdoor restrooms with showers and spots with running water available throughout the park. Some campgrounds have sites along the water where you can use a canoe or power boat depending on the regulations of the lake. Other parks have excellent hiking trails or perhaps waterfalls or rapids to explore.
- You need to keep a close watch on the weather forecast approaching the dates of your vacation. If the weather looks unfavorable with rain or storms in the forecast, then either pack lots of tarps or move your trip dates. It's no fun getting soaked in a tent or being stuck in a cabin with no TV or wifi to pass the time. If you have to pack up when it's raining and your tent and everything else is wet, the pine needles and dirt stick to everything. Then when you get home you have to unpack everything and lay it out to dry. You basically end up having to pack up twice!
FAMILY CAMPING SLEEPING TIPS VIDEO
PACK THE "RIGHT" STUFF
- Packing the right equipment can make a world of a difference. Make sure you've already tested out your tent for holes and make sure you have all the pieces to properly set it up so you don't get stuck camping in the middle of nowhere trying to fudge something together. An extra fly or tarp is always handy in case it rains. Set up your tent on top of a tarp to keep it protected, dry and bottom clean. Pack a little broom to sweep the inside of your tent after camping and the outside before packing it up.
- If boating or canoeing, ensure you have life jackets, a bailing bucket, ropes and a boaters license.
- It's always nice to have a head lamp or flashlight and a roll of toilet paper right beside you in your tent for those early morning bathroom breaks.
- There's a possibility that the weather will change drastically so make sure you have a warm sleeping bag or extra blankets.
- Bring camp clothes. That is, clothing that can get dirty and are easy to layer up or down depending on the temperature. Wear breathable base layer clothing to keep you protected from ticks, mosquitoes and other insects. Also pack a couple bathing suits if you are planning to swim and hiking attire such as to keep your runners dry and feet protected while out on the trails. lightweight overshoes
- Bring a lighter or matches so you can light candles or start a campfire.
- If you're not a fan of sunscreen, then pack some coconut oil as you can apply it as protection against the sun's powerful rays and also use it in the fry pan while cooking.
10 'MUST HAVES' FOR YOUR CAMP COOLER
Ice or Ice Packs
Cut Up Raw Veggies
ALL ABOUT THE FOOD
- Camp food always tastes way better than when you're at home. Camp tea for example always seems to hit the spot. Perhaps it's because it's boiled over the open flame or maybe it's because you can't see what's inside of the charcoaled tea pot so you don't really know what you are drinking. Camp toast cooked on a propane camp stove, hotdogs sizzling on the portable BBQ and s'mores roasted over the campfire are all favourites of any avid camper.
- Make sure you pack lots of non perishables and water bottles.
- Banana boats are always fun for a campfire. You slice a banana and pack it with chocolate chips and marshmallows then wrap it in tinfoil and place it at the base of the campfire for a few minutes.
- Another great camp treat is corn on the cob over the campfire. For this to be successful you have to soak the cobs in their husks, for an entire day. Then throw them in the campfire husk and all and roast away.
- Cook as much as you can over the open flame of the campfire as that's what camping is all about. Other useful cooking devices are portable propane camp stoves and BBQ's. And of course if you are camping in a cabin or trailer you have more elite equipment at your disposal so go ahead and plan a scrumptious 5 course meal with s'mores for dessert!
- When purchasing your favorite alcoholic beverage for the trip, make sure you get cans not bottles as they are easier to pack to go. Then you can crush them once you're done and they are easier to take back out of the campsite when your holiday is over.
- A city boy was on his first camping trip. He was eating his lunch under a tree when an old-timer came along. 'It smells like rain,' he said to the boy. The city boy replied, 'They said it was lemonade.'
- Have you ever hunted bear? No. But I once went fishing in shorts!
- John was hard at work with the broom in his family's tent. His mother came in and said, 'That's nice. Are you sweeping out the tent?' 'No,' John answered. 'I'm sweeping out the dirt.'
Where Would you Prefer Camping?
From the option below, what is your camping style?
Whether you've got a full out two-week excursion planned or you're headed for a simple boat-in camping weekend, make sure to take some time to notice how beautiful nature is. Try to watch a sunset or a sunrise. Listen to the loons or crickets at dusk. Skip rocks into a lake or stream and drift away while sitting by the campfire. Make memories, laugh until you cry and enjoy each moment you have outside and it won't be long before you're planning another camping trip once again.