Does your family like camping vacations? You are in good company. In 2011 about 42.5 million people went camping. It is one of the most popular family vacation options.
If you are going on a camping vacation, you probably enjoy doing things outdoors (why else would you go?). Nearly 92 percent of campers go hiking. The most popular way to camp is tent camping.
Here are some tips to make camping vacations memorable and fun:
- Don’t forget your iron skillet. You can cook over a fire much easier with a cast iron skillet than any other way. This is a much better way to cook at a campground than a camp stove.
- Bring firewood. Do not expect to be able to find it at the campground. Most of the wood at camp sites is spoken for and there are strict rules for cutting anything. Avoid yourself the hassle and just bring your own.
- After you pack, take out 75% of the clothes you packed, you won’t need them. While most camping trips last more than two nights, few last all that long. Bring a few items to be warm at night and cooler during the day but really, this is a camping trip, not fashion show.
- Bring a tarp and extra rope and tent spikes. If you have a large enough tarp, you can make a covering for your campsite so if it rains you can enjoy the outdoors (and the company of your friends and family) without being stuck in a tent. You did not trek out to the woods to be stuck indoors when it rains.
- Put together a fire starter kit. Take cotton balls and coat them with petroleum jelly. These make great fire starters. They burn very cleanly, are cheap to make and last forever. If you make too many for one trip, you can save them for next time.
- Baking soda is a wonder substance. It can ease heartburn. It can be used as toothpaste. It can ease the pain of a burn. Bring it with you camping. It is too useful to forget at home.
- Gallon jugs can be lamps. Take a milk or water gallon jug and clean it. Tie a lamp or flashlight to it with the light source facing inwards. The jug will amplify the light and voila! You have a lamp!
- Tea tree oil is a great insect repellent. Mix it with water and spray it on to keep mosquitos away. This is a natural and nontoxic way to keep them from biting you so you can enjoy that fire longer.
Camping vacations can be fun for the entire family and they are a very economical option. Even a camping cabin rental is going to be cheaper for a family than a hotel room and passes to a theme park. Plus, camping allows people to unplug from their devices and actually interact in a way that other vacations do not. Many of us have fond memories of camping with our families as children. These can be magical trips where you learn a lot about nature and each other.