Family Camping Tips

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Getting away from the hustle and bustle of city and everyday life is one of the reasons families choose to go camping, but for the kids it's the ultimate adventure. If family camping is in your future here are some tips this will insure a safe and fun experience.

1) Pre-trip Preparation - If you're taking small children, you will want to rent or buy a tent that will have everyone comfortable. It's a little different if you have older children as you might want to set up an additional tent to give them a sense of independence. You actually might want to go through a dry-run of pitching your tent in your backyard to save time and frustration at the campsite. It could possibly get ugly, but no uglier when I pitched my first tent in US Army Basic Training.

2) Selecting a Campsite - You have choices when camping. You can rough-it military style or choose a campsite that has onsite amenities or amenities nearby. There are endless online directories for campsites in your area or plan a road trip. A number of campsites are listed with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). Researching campsites should include finding out if they are on high-ground because if it rains it will probably pour, and you don't want to be a duck waddling in water.

3)Prepare a Checklist - Forgotten items on a camping trip is a little different than forgotten items on a hotel trip.

Here are some important items you will need:

Cooking Equipment such as a few pots, pans, a bucket, barbeque or propane grill, ziploc bags, and cooking and eating utensils. In addition, air-tight sealed food containers and canned goods are best for this type of trip. We recommend that you prepare the majority of your meals at home and package them in containers for the trip, basically, you don't want to do any prep cooking out in the wilderness. Also, bring plenty of water, a hot water kettle, coffee pot, and a nice sized cooler with a block of ice.

Proper Clothing is Essential - Depending on the location and season wearing light layers is a good idea, but if it gets cool in the evening, make sure to pack some sweaters and a jacket. Rain gear, extra socks, hats and gloves if necessary. If you intend to take advantage of the trails, make sure you have proper hiking boots.

Sleeping Bags, flashlights, extra batteries, toiletries, garbage bags, an area map, insect repellent, basic games for the kids, and a cell phone for emergencies (not texting). For the best camping products print out a checklist of multiple camping websites and compare quality and prices.

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4) When you arrive to the campsite, choose a prime area to set up your tent. Make sure your area is not rocky, debris and branch free. Most campsites will post warning signs regarding animal and vegetation concerns.

5) Take precautions when peparing a campfire, if appropriate start it further away from the tents. After roasting the marshmallows and telling family and ghost stories, make sure the fire is completely extinguished, because you don't want a visit from Smokey the Bear.

Finally and foremost, make sure you enjoy the camping experience. Counting the stars, enjoying nature at its best and cherishing time spent with your family will not only bring everyone closer, the memories will last a lifetime.