Planning a Camping Trip for the Whole Family

Camping trips can provide an excellent opportunity for families to spend time together, away from television, phones and video games.  However, it is important to take the needs and preferences of each family member into consideration when planning a family camping trip.  Some families enjoy adventure, while others just enjoy cooking burgers on the outdoor grill and relaxing around the campsite.

Think about activities the whole family will enjoy, this can be difficult if you have children of various ages.  Small children need safe, yet stimulating activities; it may not be the best bet to take a three year old white water rafting.  There are campgrounds that have amenities that children of all ages will enjoy.  Older children may not be too keen on leaving their phones and computers behind; and unless this is strictly forbidden, there are campgrounds that offer Wi-Fi service.  If you’re camping near a lake, inquire about canoe or paddleboat rentals, this is something that everyone will enjoy.

To make sure everyone is happy, it is important to plan ahead and make sure you bring everything necessary for a safe, enjoyable trip.  Before leaving, it is a good idea to make sure all of our camping equipment is together and in good working order.  Make sure all you cooking equipment is clean and ready for use; if you plan on cooking on a portable grill, make sure you have enough propane or charcoal.  Make sure you have enough sleeping bags for everyone and some extra blankets are never a bad idea.  A first-aid kit and insect repellant is a necessity.

Grand Canyon - Lower Tapeats Campground at the Colorado RiverSome campgrounds have hiking and biking trails, so if possible, bring the bikes.  Almost everyone enjoys riding a bike.  Young children may have fun riding near the campsite while Mom and Dad relax.  Reserving a campsite in advance can ensure you get a site near the playground which will give children something to do while you prepare dinner or set up the tents.  Who doesn’t love sitting around a campfire at night eating s’mores and telling ghost stories; so don’t forget to pack the chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows.

With just a little thought you can plan a camping trip the whole family will enjoy; even the teenagers.  Do some research about the area around your campground and find some fun and interesting side trips; who knows, you may even learn something.  Just remember it’s about spending time with your family, every second doesn’t have to be planned.  Bring a deck of cards and just enjoy each other’s company.


Camp In Your Backyard With Your Family

One of the best times of the year to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors is in the fall. The cooler temperatures, football and the realization that you might be cooped up all winter are enough to get almost everybody out of the house. If those reasons aren’t enough to get you outside, the beautiful turning of the leaves can make a stunning backdrop that anyone will enjoy. Anyone looking for a chance to get in one last chance to enjoy being outside should consider going camping during the fall even if it’s only in your own backyard! People on the East Coast of the United States have a definite advantage over some of the other states due to their sheer amount of trees, think of Vermont and Boston in the fall. So if you are from these areas you should join the many tourists coming to your area just for this reason, you also have the advantage of not having to book flights and hope that you time your visit with the changing leaves. Of course, you do need to reserve campground if you plan on camping at a private campground but why not get out your cabin tent and pitch it in the backyard. There is a good chance you live near plenty of trees and it can make a great adventure for kids and families. It might be a little more comfortable too since you can use your own facilities. But be creative, get out your barbeque, roast some hot dogs and smores and your kids will love it. Some areas have a bit of a disadvantage. Maybe you live in Las Vegas or the desert and you don’t have many trees near you because you only have one season, hot. That’s Ok, you can still be creative. Even if the leaves aren’t changing colors it is still a great excuse to get outside and there isn’t anything much cheaper than camping in your own backyard. Set rules to limit cell phones, mp3 players and other electronics and let yourselves really enjoy your time together as a family. It can be a lot of fun to have a backyard camping experience and that 8 man tent can get one more use before the winter comes.


Fun in Camper Vans

Traveling across the country is a magical experience that should be enjoyed by all. Many hidden secrets are there to explore that often times are virtually in your own backyard. Unfortunately, the expense of hotel stays can put a damper on these kinds of activities especially for families. A good solution is camper vans. You can find them in many different varieties and sizes both new and used. Transportation that doubles as lodging equates into huge savings!

You can find these vehicles in several different makes and models. Many people will even modify stock vans to become campers. Either way there are tons of options available to suit your individual needs. Deluxe models include sleeping quarters as well as cooking and bathroom facilities. Often they will have heaters that can be used when the engine is not running to allow for use in colder temperatures. Simpler models have one or a few of the above options. The options available in this ultra efficient transportation are limited only by your budget.

The efficiency of the camper vans is remarkable. This is true when it comes to the design, use and gas consumption compared to a full size camper. Most designs craftily tuck in a multitude of options in a small space. This is accomplished with folding tables and beds and sometimes even extendable roofing. The use of collapsible and foldable spaces and features allow you to maximize the room when you are not driving. Then when it is time to drive you fold and collapse everything down into a small, compact, and aerodynamic mode of transportation. The smaller package means that you save money on gas, which is good on the wallet and the environment.

It is clear that you save money on lodging when you purchase a camper van. To even further maximize your savings purchase a used model. There are many to choose from and the Internet is an excellent resource to start your search. There are magazines that list used cars that will have a section reserved for finding used camper vans for sale of all sorts. Just by buying one a few years old you can save thousands allowing you to get more options! So, save and explore.


Turn Your Exercise Time into Nature Time

Are you concerned about your heart health? At the same time, are you wanting to spend more time outdoors enjoying nature? There are several sports that allow you to do both. Besides being good exercise, biking, canoeing, walking, hiking and running all provide you with the opportunity to enjoy nature as you work on improving your health. This is probably not news to most of you. However, I have a suggestion that may enhance the enjoyment you get out of the nature you observe during these activities.

Technology has produced a small camera called a bullet camera that is easily attached to a hat or headband. Based on how and where you mount it, the camera will record everything that you are looking at. In the past, if you were out running,hiking, biking or canoeing you would have to dig in your pocket for your phone or a bag for a camera if you saw something exciting you wanted catch a photo of. Usually, by the time you had your equipment ready, not only was the moment passed, but you had also lost your physical momentum. Now, as you are running down that forest trail or paddling up that stream and you look to your left and see an eight point buck, you will have the event recorded to share with your friends. The cool thing is that you never had to break stride or pause paddling! Never again will you miss that picture! As I mentioned, a bullet camera is small. They are usually, as their name describes, the size of a bullet cartridge. They are light weight and do mount well on helmets and hats. About the only concern I can think of would be in reference to canoeing. If you were to capsize, I don’t think your camera would survive.

Just imagine getting your exercise and also being able to record, enjoy and share your adventures with your friends.


The Many Solutions For An Outdoor Playhouse

Many children love to play outdoors and wish for an outdoor playhouse. There are many different options. There are kits to purchase with instructions on putting the structure together. Prefabricated options are available by manufacturers of childrens’ play equipment and toys. They can be located in many home improvement and department stores, as well as some garden centers.

If you have decent carpentry skills and want to make your own toy playhouses, this is a great cost-saving option. There are many design plans available online. Many are free and provide graphics or illustrations to help with the process. If this is a project you believe you can tackle, make sure to use the appropriate wood materials that won\’t cause injury to a child.

The plastic resin models made by Little Tykes and other toy makers are sturdy. They also tolerate all kinds of weather. The only issue is that they may not be large enough for many children or for older children who want their own private space or a clubhouse feel.

Wooden playhouse models usually come in kits that must be assembled. This option provides the greatest variety in size, price and style. Some are painted in attractive color schemes. Others come with various wood finishes. You can find a few models with no paint or finish, so you can choose your own. Whatever materials are used, make sure they are not harmful to children. Many styles are available, including the cottage playhouse, with working windows and doors.

Basic resin models can be purchased for as little as $75. wood models can cost as much as $4,000, depending on size. They can be found at home improvement stores and can also be found online, from retailers of wooden sheds and greenhouses. Make sure that regardless of the model you select, it will stand up to constant use, as outdoor playhouses are very popular among children of all ages.


Camping and Beach Chairs for Children

A great way to provide kids with their own seating areas, foldable camping and beach chairs for children gives parents peace-of-mind knowing their children are not making direct contact with sometimes polluted, ground surface areas. Designed specifically for smaller individuals, camping and beach chairs for children are lower to the ground and have smaller seating areas. While most of these childrens chairs are available in solid colors, usually pink and blue, others can feature some popular childrens cartoon characters and are designed to coordinate with other beach accessories including swimwear, flip flops, beach towels and sandwater toys.

Kids camping chairs are different than beach chairs, as these tend to fold in an accordion-style rather than in a clamshell-style. Camping chairs for children are sold alongside adult camping chairs. Many are designed to match adult-sized chairs creating a coordinating look for the entire family. Easy to store and very portable, youth chairs can be used for camping, backyard gatherings, ballpark games and inside bedrooms.

Before purchasing a childs beach or camping chair, parents should read manufacturers recommended guidelines pertaining to height and weight. If able to, perform a test with your child using the chair before purchase to see if your child will be comfortable and it is easy for him or her to enter and exit the chair. If there may be a tight squeeze or if your child desires a tallerroomier chair, try him or her in an adult-sized version.

Just as with all childrens accessories, your child may quickly outgrow his or her chair. Take good care of it and with gentle use, you should be able to sell it at a yard sale or childrens consignment shop. This will provide a small return on your investment and allow you to buy your child a larger-sized beach or camping chair.


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