If you would like to spend less time in front of a computer or TV and more time outdoors, take your family camping. It’s easy to get started.
1. Visit local outdoor stores for advice on preferred equipment that best fits your needs. Bass Pro Shops has expert store associates who are current on product information. They will present all the necessary facts to help the customer in making an informed buying decision.
2. Check out the Internet to research camping articles and to watch videos for basic tips. Bass Pro Shops 1Source website is one example of where you can find how-to and where-to camping tips and videos. They even have a Braggin' Board photo gallery where you can share you favorite camping photo.
3. Visit your state department of natural resources or state parks division to find good beginner camping locations. Or, for a first time out, try camping in your own backyard.
Watch video with tips for backyard campouts and cookouts.
4. Be prepared for any kind of weather. Rainy camping trips can be unpredictable. Your well planned adventure can turn into a soaked mudfest that would disapoint any beginner or seasoned camper. Here are three important tips to be prepared when it starts to rain. Also, check out this article with a few more tips to help you be safe and dry while camping in the rain.
- Know Where to Set Up Your Tent - Pitching your tent at a low spot in the middle of a rainstorm is a recipe for disaster. Look for the highest spot you can find in the area, and pitch your tent there. Low spots may become puddles of water if it starts raining.
- Building a Fire in the Rain - Find a spot for the fire, ideally in a location guarded from the rain. Laying down a layer of rocks or criss-cross sticks in a fire pit can help keep groundwater from your kindling, which is critical when you’re building a fire in the rain. Here is a PDF on building a camp fire the safe way.
- Keeping Camp Gear and Supplies Dry - From trash bags to giant freezer bags, plastic bags are a great way to keep things dry. If you want something more reusable, there are dry bags designed to keep your gear and clothing dry as well.
The best advice I can give you, though, is keep it simple. Use common sense and plan ahead. A camping checklist is golden for making sure you have the essentials and for meal planning. Also, take along books about the outdoors such as learning material on wildlife, wild flowers, plants, celestial bodies to make the trip even more interesting. Also, take games for the kids, go exploring, have fun. Don’t forget the video or digital camera to capture the memories.
By Larry Whiteley, Host of the award winning
Outdoor World Radio