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

Friday, January 1, 2016

Visiting Family During Holidays or at Vacation Time

Slow and easy does it--even on a quad!
Happy New Year, everyone!

            Holidays are a time for visiting.  Families and friends get together to catch up on each other’s adventures during the previous year.

            So it can be during camping trips.  It’s easy to combine visiting family or friends who live in different states or even countries with your vacation plans.  You build your camping trip around the parameters of the visit.

You must remember, though, that you can’t assume your relatives or friends will be able to accommodate your family.  This much I know.  I have seven.  It is a burden to the hostess to expect her to provide shelter for your family.  So when we visited my cousin in Michigan, we camped at Metamora-Hadley State Park.  This is a beautiful park available even in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.  There’s a cross-country ski trek by candlelight on January 23!      

We visited in the summertime and one evening our son—ever the fisherman—caught yellow perch and catfish in Lake Minnewanna.  Ohmygosh!  There is nothing like fresh fish prepared and eaten within an hour of catching.  Since we were camping, we coated the fish with egg and crushed cornflakes.  It’s true.  When camping, there is no need to crush the cornflakes.   

             Camping and vacation are for trying new activities.  This can be done while visiting friends and family, too.  At my cousin’s home, she has over an acre of land…and an ATV.  Immediately, six people lined up in her driveway to ride.  Luckily my husband, who has a motor cycle license, decided not to get in line.  It took me most of the afternoon to get my turn!  The children enjoyed “driving” the ATV—albeit slowly—through a field complete with manmade hills and bumps.  Yes, I drove slowly too.  You couldn’t see all the moguls through the tall grass.    

Another good reason to visit people when camping?  Delicious food prepared by someone else…who has a full kitchen and oven at her disposal to bake homemade macaroni and cheese (my children’s favorite!), and whose husband has a fully operational barbeque grill that cooks in less than an hour what would take us days to cook on a propane stove, barbequed chicken, with zesty homemade sauce.  We ate like we had been camping for two weeks eating only hot dogs and hamburgers prepared at the campfire or on a propane stove.  Wait…we had been camping for two weeks by the time of our visit.  Aside from our son’s fresh catch of the day, this meal was a godsend!

            Visiting family and friends while on vacation can be beneficial for other reasons.  No one knows an area like the locals.  My cousin tipped us off about another great Michigan state park in the Upper Peninsula, the Tahquamenon Falls State Park.  She pointed out that there was nothing like the tawny brown Tahquamenon Falls.  And she was right!  This state park is also open in winter for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing with breathtaking views.  They’re having a snowshoe race in February!  

I hope your holidays are full of family and friends and visiting.  Enjoy!