Experiences, anecdotes, tips, how-tos, hiking, nature, motherhood, memories.

Adventures in Camping with Kids

Camping with kids is like pitching a tent upside down. Both are bound to fill with laughter and raindrops.

--Victoria Marie

Monday, January 20, 2014

How to Plan a Camping Trip Part 1

Camping at a Primitive site
Start planning your trip before the campgrounds open for the season.  Meet with the family to get everyone’s input.  Determine the type of camping experience your family wants.  Are you trying to get to certain places or spend time at various campgrounds or enjoy the local area?     

Remember finances.  A good reason to camp is because it is an economical way to travel. The cost of campgrounds hinge upon the number in your party.  Commercial campgrounds usually have all the amenities; electricity, water, and sewerage hookups, playground, pool, arts and crafts, activities, game room, bath houses, and store.  They cost more than the primitive campsites with no hookups or amenities.

National and state park primitive campsites can have ranger stations and some give talks and tours of the nature area.  Some primitive campsites may have flush toilets, but not many.  At commercial campgrounds, hookups are charged by which you use.  Having a pop-up trailer, we never needed a sewerage hookup.     

Your travel vehicle should be in good working order.  A good idea is to go over the basic maintenance of your vehicle before leaving on vacation or have a mechanic look it over.  Oil change, tune-up, fluids check, sensors [oxygen or engine coolant temperature], exhaust system, air conditioning.  New tires aren’t a bad idea if you plan any far distances. 

Also consider everyone’s abilities at this early stage planning your camping trip.  Remember that everything takes longer when camping; set-up, meals, cleanup.  Plan events that everyone is interested in, like hiking, rafting, horseback riding, town festivals, and amusement parks.  Gather details about things to do in the states, parks, or areas that you plan to visit; brochures, websites, and tour books from travel clubs. 

Don’t forget to include the ability to travel for long distances in a car/van when deciding where to go.  We’ll talk about that next.