Whether you are a nature lover or not, camping can be the experience of a lifetime. In this day and age when most of us spend our time in the office, running errands and in our cars, a breath of fresh air can really make a difference. Some people like to experience the great outdoors on their own, whereas others use the opportunity to bring family and friends closer without the disruption of electronics and modern gadgets. Whatever your situation is, there are a few items to consider before you go.
Pick your location
Always research your desired location. Find out if there is an organized campsite available, any restrictions that may be in place and potential hazards. Some campsites have great facilities including bathrooms, communal kitchens and even cabins for rent. Others can be more rustic, with only a spot of land available to pitch your tent and enjoy your camping trip. You may also want to explore what there is to do around the campsite. Are there hikes you would like to go on? Is there a quaint town you want to explore? All of this will make a difference in deciding where exactly to set up camp and how to plan your itinerary.
Know your audience
Camping is a fantastic opportunity to cement bonds with your children and you spend quality time with each other. Working together to build a fire, observing nature and discovering new spots is what builds memories that will last a lifetime. Anticipating the needs of those traveling with you will help you plan for it. For example, if you are traveling with young children, make sure you bring board games, materials for arts and crafts, picture books, etc., that may help you keep the children entertained during down time. If your teens are joining you, it may be important to speak to them about the rules while camping, such as not venturing too far, nighttime curfews, etc. You may want to allow flexibility in your schedule so your teens have time to meet other teen campers and interact with them. For children and teens you may consider giving each a camera and journal of their own to record their camping experience.
It is always a good idea to manage expectations before leaving on your trip. Share with all travelers what the route is going to be, what you expect to see and some of the visits you will make. Also emphasize the rules of camping such as no littering, respecting other people’s campsites, no loud music, etc.
Camping is a great experience that offers us a different perspective on life. The feeling of sleeping under the stars with the feel of nature around you while surrounded by people you love is unparalleled. With just a little preparation your camping experience will create memories that will last forever.