Remember when you were a kid and one of the best things to do during the summer was to camp out at the park or back on someone’s property? I know I do. When I was in late elementary and junior high my cousins and I, along with our parents, would go out to my Uncles land and camp out for a couple days. All technology minus a cell phone was banned. Just us and nature. As kids, it was one of the best memories we created during that time. Even now, I still look back on those memories with fondness. Although I wouldn’t go the same style we did back then.
Camping technology has come a long way. First off, the tents back then were the equivalent to the child-proof items of today, impossible to work. After hours of fooling around with the tent, you might have some semblance of the tent up if you’re lucky. But today’s tents it’s so simple it’s scary. When we go camping now, we have a Coleman’s 4-Person Instant Cabin which I could put up in my sleep in less than 5 minutes. Plus, the takedown and storage are just as easy. Of course, you’d have to have something to sleep on. When I was a kid, my dad had these old small army cots that we would put sleeping bags on. It was nice to be off the ground, but I think my back is still suffering from sleeping in those. Nowadays you can buy cots, sleeping bags, or air mattresses that effectively bring the comforts of home with you into the woods. When choosing the best air mattress for camping try using Best Air Mattress for Camping. They give you great tips and pointers for the best sleep you can get while camping!!
In our tent, we can comfortably fit an average size air mattress or 3 sleeping bags with plenty of room to have our supplies around us. Supplies like lanterns and flashlights. Make sure you have plenty of lights. I would bring at 3-4 battery lanterns and at least 1 flashlight per person. Having adequate lighting for emergencies is always important. Depending on how much into “nature” you want to be, you can take a fan or heater depending on the time of year. Personally, I know I can barely make it without my A/C so the fan is a must for those summer camping trips. Nothing will get you kicked out of a tent quicker than smelling like a grizzly bear that just ran a couple miles.
What camping trip isn’t complete without a fire. Probably 90% of the memories I have from growing up about camping happened around the fire. This was the one and only thing we cheated on even then. We did try and rub sticks together or have a flint rock. My dad was an outdoorsman but that was a bit extreme, even for him. We used the matches and lighter fluid. Now be careful when you’re going this route. Keep the lighter fluid far away from the fire after its lit. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to have read up on how to control a fire and put a fire out as to not upset the environment around you. Those memories around the fire though are my favorite. Roasting marshmallows and making smores, cooking over the fire what we had caught that day out of the river, or cooking what we had brought with us because we hadn’t caught anything. The fire popcorn was always a huge hit, not because it tasted good, even though they do nowadays, but because you have expected the tin to eventually expand so far that it exploded like in the cartoons, sending popcorn everywhere. Unfortunately, (but fortunately) it never happened. Coolers always make a great seat if you didn’t bring any chairs plus they hold and keep all the beverages and food cold. Depending on where you are camping, be sure to note what the campsite rules are about wild animals and food.
Camping is a great experience to create memories with family, kids, and friends. I’d advice going technology (minus the one-off phone for emergencies) so you can truly enjoy the outdoors and deprogram yourselves from the everyday hustle and bustle. Be sure to bring bug repellant and make wise decisions so that no one gets hurt. If you do, it’s a great, enjoyable, fun time that people of all ages can appreciate.