Family Camping 101
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In North Carolina, mild weekends during spring, summer and fall lend themselves to great family camping opportunities. Here are the basics you'll want to review before packing the tent and heading to the woods with the family.
Campgrounds offer sites for tents and campers. Their family-friendly environments often include activities such as fishing, swimming, hiking and nature programs. Family campgrounds provide restrooms, showers and potable water. Some have stores and rent fishing poles, paddle boats, canoes and other equipment. Look for one that offers all the amenities your family wants.
Eating in the Wild
Most campgrounds provide grills, fire rings and picnic tables. A basic cooking set can be made up of no more than a bag of charcoal, a few pots and pans, and a spatula. Start with simple meals like sandwiches, hamburgers and pre-packaged meals. With each camping trip, try different recipes and add the necessary cookware.
Dressing for the Occasion
As families gain experience, they may invest in specialized clothing. For most family trips, the expense isn’t necessary. A selection of T-shirts, jeans, sweat pants, jackets and sweatshirts worn in layers allows for quick adjustments to the weather. Because clothes will get dirty, new or white clothing is not recommended.
Protecting Your Feet
Good boots are one of the first investments families will make as they expand their outdoor activities. When researching boots, look for solid ankle support and tread designed for the types of surfaces you’ll find in the wilderness. Purchase boots in outdoor stores where people are trained to fit them properly. Buy socks and liners made of wool or other materials that will cushion feet and absorb moisture.
The Right Equipment
Before investing in equipment, try to borrow tents, sleeping bags, lanterns or stoves to determine what suits your family. Take time to research what different stores and manufacturers offer. To save money, check yard sales or camping groups for used equipment. Remember, tents and sleeping bags are rated for specific conditions. Since most families camp in warm weather, you don’t need to pay extra for gear designed for freezing and sub-freezing weather.