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Family Camping Tips

When I was a child I really enjoyed camping with my dad. We would grab our tent, fishing poles, sleeping bags and head down to the local lake for a weekend of camping. Camping can be a great activity for the entire family to enjoy together. On the other hand it can also become a disaster if you're not prepared or don~t know what to expect.

If you don't have a lot of the camping experience then it is recommended that you start with a commercial campground. Commercial campgrounds are often listed in your local Yellow Pages.

These campgrounds don't cost much and have showers, electrical hookups, running water nearby, fire pits, bathrooms, and a camp store if you forget to bring anything. Many established commercial campgrounds also have a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy which include hiking trails, swimming pools, paddle boats and fishing lakes. While a lot of these campgrounds are typically set up for campers they almost always have a few tent sites

Regardless of where you decide to go camping it is very important that you are prepared. Here's a list of some things you should consider to make sure that you're prepared for an enjoyable camping trip.

Camping inventory

1. Sleeping bags and an air mattress if desired.

2. Flashlights with plenty of extra batteries.

3. Matches.

4. Because you'll be cooking on an open fire, make sure that you bring some old cookware. You can also purchase camping cookware sets. [Editor's note: when we camp for just a day or two, we generally don't bring our cookstove and just eat food that can be consumed without cooking.]

5. Firewood. If you are not camping at an established campground, you may not have access to firewood.

6. First aid kit. It is important to bring a first aid kit stocked with Band-Aids, peroxide, gauze, tape, and burn cream.

7. Water for drinking.

8. Whether you go camping at an established commercial campground or out in the middle of nowhere make sure that you bring trash bags so you can leave the area just as you found it.

[to which I would add: rain gear, bug repellant, boots for mud, and toilet paper. Also, be sure to store your food securely in a place where bears can't get it. *Never* eat in your tent!]

With a little careful planning your family camping trip can be a lot of fun for the whole family.

Anders Yerst is the webmaster of Webau Camping which offers international camping links, resources and articles.

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