For those of you who live and work in the cities day after day, you may find yourself wondering what it would be like to just get away from it all every once in a while.  There is nothing like experiencing the fresh air, beautiful scenery and the peace and quiet you just can’t find in the city.  Being amid some good company can make the trip that much better.  If you aren’t an experienced camper then there are some things you should learn first, camping 101 if you will.

Take a Guide

If you have never been camping before then the first time should be in the company of someone who has a little more experience than you do.  There is nothing like being caught in the rain and not knowing how to pitch a tent.  Having someone warn you of any potential danger, tell you the things that you will need to bring and help show the beauty of nature is a good thing to have.  Chances are pretty good that one of your friends is an experienced camper.

If you don’t have someone that you can bring with you on your first camping trip then there are some campgrounds that make it much easier for you the first time out.  They have all the amenities that you could need and all you really need to do is show up and have some fun.  There will likely be other experienced campers at these campgrounds that can give you a hand if you need it.

Packing for the trip

First thing you’re going to need is a backpack and what you pack in it will depend on the length of your trip and how isolated you will be on your trip.  If you are just planning on a hike lasting a few hours then all you need is some water and a light lunch.  You may also want to bring a flashlight, camera and your cell phone.  This will give you the chance to see nature and grab a couple of pics.

If you plan on heading out for the weekend or a couple of days then you need to bring enough food, water, tent, sleeping bag, changes of clothes, matches, a first aid kit, camping stove, a small multifunctional toolkit and a few other supplies, you can find a full list of camping supplies here.  If this is your first time you might want to limit your time to just a weekend.  Here are some of the things to pack with you.

If you can for the first time try and find an experienced camper to go with you.  I promise you most campers will jump at a chance to head out into the wilderness for a weekend.

How to Survive Camping with Kids

How to Survive Camping with Kids

There are plenty of people who love camping but once they got married and had children they stopped going.  Yes, it is exhausting packing for an entire family for the weekend but having kids doesn’t mean your fun has to stop.  Now you have little people you can teach about the joys of camping and the great outdoors.  If the thought of bringing your kids camping scares you to death then here are some tips on how you can survive camping with kids.

Choose Wisely

Find a campground that caters to children and families.  Most state parks are especially good about having facilities for children.  There are also tons of private campgrounds that will put on organized activities like arts & crafts, movie nights or even ice cream socials.  Plenty of them have amenities for kids like playground equipment, wading pools and bike paths.

Organize, Organize then Organize Some More

This is the part we all dread…the packing.  There is more than enough gear to take as it is and you don’t want to forget something vital that your kids absolutely must have like diapers, bottles or medicines.  Make a checklist!  Make sure you have all the right clothing for the weather, if kids can pack for themselves double check their bags anyway.

Bringing the Food

Plan your meals ahead of time and always bring with you things your kids will love and eat.  Keep the meals simple and remember there isn’t always an alternative if the kids don’t like what you’re cooking.  You can have older kids help with the prep and the cleanup.  Pack lots of easy snacks like granola or fruit.  Active kids will get hungry!

Plan Your Activities

Kids are not going to spend 12 hours sitting around doing nothing especially outside at a campsite.  Part of the reason that kids like camping is that there are swimming, bike trails, and lots of outdoor fun.  Try out some activities that kids don’t normally do, let them explore and try something new.  Remember all the fun you had camping as a kid.

Teach Your Kids the Joys of Camping

Teach your kids not just about the fun of camping but the responsibility that goes along with it.  Teach them how to split wood for the fire, how to build a fire, how to pitch a tent.  They need to learn to respect the environment, so assign the tasks in the cleanup and explain the importance of preserving the environment.