The Joys of Camping

Camping is the all-American vacation. Find some beautiful places to camp

Camping is one of the best vacation deals out there, because it’s easy, fun, and tends to be inexpensive. While the teenagers may whine a bit because they can’t use their iPhones, most families get a kick out of roughing it once in a while.

I’ve talked about camping before, but it’s such a great family activity that I thought I’d beat the drum again. And kids love it!

Lots of options

The wonderful thing about camping is that you can do it in just about any style you like, from the purely primitive–where you sleep under the stars and cook your fresh-caught fish on an open fire–to bunking in an RV with all the conveniences of home.

Your choice, of course, depends upon your finances and circumstances. If everyone’s raring to face the great outdoors, primitive camping might be best. It tends to be less gear-intensive, which means you can hike in to places that aren’t otherwise accessible–and therefore, less likely to be ruined by over-attention.

If you’d rather rough it in a camper or RV you happen to have on hand, that’s easy enough. Just drive up into a KOA or RV park, pay the fee, and set up.

Location, location, location

You can count on finding plenty of great places to camp, too. We Americans are fortunate in that so many of the most beautiful places in our nation have been set apart as national parks. It shouldn’t be much trouble to find one near your home; and of course, there are plenty of other prime camping locations, too.

Many lakes offer good camping locations, some of which are absolutely free to use. Often, you can find a nice camping area along the banks of a local river as well. All it takes is a little online research and calling around to find a good camping spot near to but away from home.

A little advice…

You’ve probably been camping before, but it never hurts to put some thought into what to bring along. Basic gear and food is a given, but you might be surprised how often people forget the little things. At the very least, you should always bring a first aid kit, insect repellent, and a foolproof way to start a fire.

Other items on your must-have list should include a sizeable length of rope, water purification tablets (if you’re primitive camping), a compass (if you’re hiking), and extra food supplies. You may not need any of these items when you’re camping, but not having them could be disastrous.