Camping is an ideal vacation for families, couples and friends. It’s inexpensive, makes for a perfect escape, and forces folks, fluffy and non fluffy, to reconnect while unconnected electronically. Whether you realize it or not, you’re probably within a three hour drive of an amazing campsite just awaiting adventure. So pack up the Yahtzee Game and the insect spray, and lets go have some good old fashioned fun!
My father’s second family was rather large, so on vacations in which my brother and I joined in on, we typically did a lot of camping to keep prices reasonable. For as long as I can remember camping was a part of my life in some way, so I yearn to get out every once in a while. The good part about camping is that there are rarely huge schedules to adhere to and you can take your time with everything you do.
The majority of my camping was done in California, mainly along the central coast. Therefore, I have very little information on camping in truly inclement weather, but I have done it all from tiny tents to RVs. Obviously, the first thing you need to decide on, is how rustic you want to go. Basically camping vs. glamping.
Full-on camping does require an awful lot of equipment, so there is no judgment if you’d rather start out with a little glamp before you invest in camping completely. Try renting a cabin in the woods or a true Glampsite that blends rustic with comfort. Or, you could go full on rustic and actually camp with minimalistic gear, just to see if you have what it takes. For instance, bring along foods that can be cooked by fire only or requires no cooking. We’re talking granola bars for breakfast, PB & J for lunch and hot dogs on a wire hanger over the fire pit for dinner. If you like it, eventually graduate to purchasing a small propane stove. You can start out sleeping on the full on ground before investing in a cigarette lighter powered pump to blow up small air mattresses.
However, there are a couple of things I highly suggest anyone fluffy have when camping, whether it’s glamp or rustic. Mainly, you’re going to need something comfortable to sit on. No CVS or Rite Aid chair will be comfortable for someone with serious fluff. Not to mention, most of those chairs have a 150-200 pound weight limit. I use something similar to this when camping or going to the beach. They’re easy to carry, relatively light and don’t take up too much space in the car. Best news is, they easily hold up to 400 pounds and last for years. Next, I’d highly recommend your buying a set of these collapsible hiking sticks for walking on uneven ground and hiking in general. I convinced my Mom to get a set before she went to New Zealand on a cruise and she said they were invaluable for getting out of busses, cruising Hobbiton and getting down steep steps.
I suggest in general camping at campsites with bathrooms and showers, which is really easy to find and reserve at Reserve America’s Website. Putting together tents can be rather difficult unless you’re a trained engineer, however it can be done! There are even some new styles that just POP open, but I find those more difficult to un-pop than I find putting up a regular tent. I’ve personally graduated from sleeping bags on the hard ground and just bring along air mattresses and sheets and pillows — but I haven’t yet graduated to the full on propane stove. Cast iron on a campfire works well to make standard fare and reheat precooked meals… and there is always room for s’mores, amiright?!?
In my opinion, RV camping is the original glamping. You’re in a campsite, you’re still lighting a nightly fire and playing table top games and throwing a Frisbee, but at the end of the day, you’ve got a soft mattress and a door that locks! Finding a campsite with RV hookups can be a bit more difficult than finding a campsite for tents, but with enough pre-planning, you can do it! It’s also pretty easy to rent an RV and as long as you practice driving it before getting out on the highway, anyone can go RVing! The only thing I dislike about RV camping is that you’re ALWAYS driving the RV. Want to visit a nearby town? Get in the big RV and then park the big RV. It can be a pain in your fluffy bootie.
However, beyond the basics, camping can be dangerous, so I always suggest researching critters in the area and following these suggestions for keeping your campsite clean, and of course always pack a first aid kit!