Have you ever thought you might like to try a totally different vacation? Is the cost of your vacation this year a problem? Did you know that a week long Camping Vacation for a family of four can work out to under a $1000.
That sounds pretty good eh! Can you smell that fresh air go on fill your lungs with it and oh! what's that lovely smell, somebody's cooking up a treat... it always smells better outdoors don't you think?
Then you have the glorious sunset and after that why not get together with your neighboring campers for a story telling session and singsong round the campfire. If you thought a Camping Vacation would be 'roughing it' and 'hard work' then think again, yes it will take some planning but that's half the fun and it won't be that much work.
First things first though - location. There are excellent locations in the State Parks for camping e.g. Ocean View Resort Ocean View NJ and many more, check them out on the Internet. Most of the parks have lakes for fishing boating and swimming and also hiking trails. If the kids are really lucky they might come across a deer or a raccoon.
Some have playgrounds and basketball courts so tell the kids to bring their toys etc. Also to be found in these parks are bathrooms and showers, drinking water, ice, trash containers and somewhere to do the dishes. The kids without realizing it can learn a bit of history as there are annual celebrations, events and festivals covering our outdoor heritage. Park Rangers provide security and some parks have outside movies at weekends.
So now you have found your destination the next step is your Camping Gear.
Now don't worry this does not have to be a daunting task, it can be made easy using the Internet. Obviously you will need a tent. You are probably best to pick a tent a bit larger than you need then you will have some available space. Make sure your tent is appropriate for the terrain and weather and use tent stakes that will secure your tent from blowing away in the wind. A Rain Fly is recommended, not only for rain protection, but also as a sun shield.
A tarp is a further means of protecting your gear, by using it under, in, or over your tent.
You probably won't be camping in cold weather, so consider a 3-season sleeping bag. These are ideal should the weather be colder at night and if they get too warm just unzip the zipper. Mom and Dad might like the sleeping bags that zip together, also consider a Sleeping Pad - as insulation from the cold ground. Pillows - the inflatable pillows are convenient, or your own from home but a rolled up towel or shirt will work too, a cot in case somebody needs to sleep off the ground. On mild summer nights you may prefer to sleep on top of your sleeping bag with a cozy comforter.
Now back to those lovely cooking smells. What to cook? Basically anything you eat at home. You can get 100's of Camping recipes off the Internet or why not make up your own. The kids will need proper sticks for hot dogs and marshmallows. A Dutch Oven is useful for baking anything that you would bake at home in a conventional oven. Bottled water is probably best for cooking and drinking, and don't forget the Cooler.
You will also need your basic pots and pans, and also include for each camper a plate, bowl, cup, knife, fork, and spoon and don't forget the can opener. A lot of these items you will already have at home.
It is always best to be prepared so include a first aid kit with the following items - personal medication, bandages, aspirin, Tylenol, medical tape, sterile gauze, elastic wrap, antibiotic wipes, antiseptic cream, burn ointment, sunburn lotion, hydrogen peroxide, scissors, tweezers, eye wash and snake bite kit.
Don't forget your toothbrush, toilet paper etc., but avoid using hair sprays, perfumes etc., as the odor will attract bugs.
So tuck yourself into that sleeping bag, pleasant dreams under the stars and Happy Camping!
Guy Dacceo is the owner of camping camping which is the premier resource for camping information.
For more information go to: http://www.fjcamping.com