Getting Started in Camping Are you a NEWBIE to camping? Or maybe you went camping as a kid, and are interested in getting back into it. There is no better time than the present to enjoy the world of camping – especially if you have young children. Studies show that half of all current campers experienced their first camping trip before they reached the age of seven. Introducing kids to camping at a younger age is vital to their enjoyment of the activity throughout life.
Why take up camping? If you have young children, they’ll be motivated to try it simply because it’s fun in the outdoors. Whether or not you’ve started a family, many young adults find camping is a great way to manage stress. Exercise is another motivator; as over 80% of campers do so in combination with other outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, boating, or bicycling.
Other than the fact that camping is an enjoyable family-oriented outdoor activity, another big reason it’s so popular is because it’s an affordable vacation. One can get started in camping with a minimal investment.
Tent camping is the most common form for newbies and veterans alike. Tents come in all shapes and sizes, and bargains can be easily found whether you’re looking for a 2-person pop-up, or a multiple room tent for a large group or family. For milder climates, there’s no need to purchase expensive sleeping bags when basic models will work just find. Or just bring sheets and comforters from home. A good air mattress or cot will go a long way for your sleeping comfort.
Equipment wise, most camping trips don’t require anything fancy. Collapsible chairs are nice, or you can even sit on a sturdy cooler – a necessity for keeping food and beverages cold. Gas camp stoves are pretty affordable, but certainly not mandatory. Build a fire with charcoal or wood in your site’s fire ring, and cook hotdogs and s’mores over the hot coals. A cast iron skillet, a pot to boil water for coffee, and a few kitchen utensils can probably get you by.
Most other things needed for a beginner’s camping trip you likely already own – flashlights, pillows, towels and wash clothes, dishes, games, etc. And anything you don’t have can be easily acquired at a reasonable price if you plan ahead. Watch for sale ads in the newspaper, peruse garage sales, and even auctions are a great source for picking up camping equipment for next to nothing.
Spending the weekend at a nearby campground is a great introduction to camping. Soon you’ll be traveling across the state for weeklong camping trips. Before you know it, you’ll be retired and spending entire summers on a seasonal site.
So jump on the camping bandwagon today, and you’ll quickly see why 40 million Americans already enjoy the most popular form of outdoor recreation.