You’ve heard that camping is a great outdoor activity. Year-round, camping offers individuals and families the opportunity to commune with nature. It’s inexpensive, with campsite costs ranging from about $15-$40 per night, and it does not require the same amount of planning as would a typical vacation or getaway. Usually, there isn’t the need to reserve campground sites months ahead nor would you have to be locked into very specific travel arrangements or the like, and take some large financial risk should you not be able to oblige by the plan.
Planning a camping trip is relatively easy compared to planning a traditional type of vacation. You can go for as little as one day. You can stay close to home and yet enjoy a completely new experience. Just bring a tent, blankets, a cooler, snacks, a book, a ball, a Frisbee, and a flashlight. It’s as easy as taking a trip to the beach!
If you’re laughing or shaking your head at this point, we’re with you. Camping sounds like it could be easy–if you know what to expect and what to do. It’s like any other activity: the first time you do it, there’s the chance for snags and hiccups. The more you do it, the better you get. And if you have little ones, who may be super excited about the idea of camping, you know that there will be challenges to keeping them comfortable in the absence of electricity, electronics and the refrigerator.
But don’t let that deter you. Practice. Pitch your tent in the backyard and spend the night outside just as if you were at a campsite. Take what you would take on an actual camping trip. Think about what you and your family will and might need or want. Only go inside the house for bathroom breaks. Don’t cheat either.
If you’re cold, huddle together. Practice the art of lighting a fire (take precautions, obviously, if you’re in the backyard. Maybe use a fire pit or a chiminea, if you have one.). If the kids get bored, figure out ways for them to be entertained. If the rattling of the leaves in the middle of the night spooks you, keep in mind, there’ll be more noises in the woods.
My kids and I camp in the yard several times a year. Sometimes, we even “bring” friends with us. And we always remember something afterwards that we should have done or brought with us, and we always think of more things to do. It’s educational. It’s down to earth. It’s quality time shared. It’s the opportunity to take a break without any sort of real planning. It’s practice. It’s something different. And it’s always fun.