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camping gear Camping is a recreational activity in which the campers live in tents, cabins, recreational vehicles, or even outdoors with only sleeping bags for shelter.

There's nothing like spending a night out under the stars to reduce stress and put things in perspective!  Today, more and more families are choosing camping trips as a way to get away from day-to-day life, spend time with each other, and get to know the great outdoors.

While one of the best things about camping is that it's more relaxed than traditional vacations, a good amount of planning still must be done in order for the trip to be a success.  A successful camping trip comprises four parts:  planning the trip, getting to your camp site, camping skills, and staying safe.

The best camping trips are thought out and planned well in advance.  Considerations include what kinds of activities you enjoy, as well as what kind of camping experience you are looking forward to.  In other words, if your passion is fishing, a camp site on a lake or stream would be ideal.  But if your passion is fishing and you're also bringing your four children, picking a site that isn't too remote, and that also has other means of entertainment such as a pool or game room, might mean the difference between a great trip and an okay one.

Once you've determined your destination, the next step is to make a list of all the equipment you'll need.  This will depend on where you are going as well as what activities you plan on doing, but basics include shelter, sleeping bags, cooking implements, matches, food and water, warm and rain-proof clothing, and an emergency medical kit.

Before you embark on your camping trip, it also pays to hone some simple camping skills.  Practice erecting your shelter before you leave home so there are no surprises, and also familiarize yourself with making a fire.  Learn how to repair your gear if needed, and read up on things like coping with wildlife and tying knots.  You'll also want to have some handy games at the ready for entertainment purposes, and it doesn't hurt if you know a couple of good campfire recipes!

Finally, taking safety precautions is key.  Learning how to navigate, recognize certain weather patterns, and handle both minor and more serious injuries will ensure that your trip is both fun and safe.

Camping Resources

  • US National Parks Reservation Service
    Campground and tour reservation site offers a convenient way to make reservations for one of our country's diverse National Parks or Recreational Areas.
  • KOA Kampgrounds of America
    Montana-based company runs an extensive network of commercial campsites in North America.

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