Warm Weather Camping
By Nikki Willhite
Camping can be great fun for the whole family. It does not have
to be expensive. A few well-chosen pieces of equipment will make
the whole experience easy and fun for the family.
Camping, hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoor sports have
been a big part of my boy's lives. One of my sons is very
accomplished as a mountain climber. He has traveled to Alaska
and summitted Mt. McKinley, Argentina to climb Mt. Aconcagua, and
because we live in the Seattle area, Mt Rainier, many times.
He will be passing the love of the outdoors to his son, as you
can see in the above picture.
You have to have a lot of expensive equipment to climb mountains,
but you can have a very enjoyable experience car camping with a
minimal amount of relatively inexpensive equipment.
What is car camping? Car camping is basically, driving to a
camping site and pitching a tent next to your car.
You have access to a lot of items (to make you comfortable) that
you would not have if you had to carry them several miles to a
You can still take day hikes, fish, and do other activities, but
you will always be near your car. You can bring your own wood
for your campfire, battery powered lamps for when it gets dark,
and games or other activities for your family.
You have several options when it comes to cooking. The easiest
and fastest way to cook is by using a small propane stove.
Everyone should have a propane stove at home anyway....in case
the power goes out.
You can also bring a portable grill that uses charcoal. Just be
sure never to use it inside your tent.
There are many tents now that only have two poles, and are very
easy to put up. You may also want to bring a tarp to cook under,
in case it rains.
Car camping does not require expensive, lightweight dehydrated
foods. If you want, you can just open a can and heat it up. In
the morning, crack some eggs in a skillet and cook them quickly
on the propane stove, or make pancakes.
You will find that food always seems to taste better outdoors.
I will include a trail mix recipe at the end. It is always good
to take food with you when you are hiking, and always, even if
you do not feel like it, drink LOTS of water. Dehydration, when
hiking, is common, and you don't feel it happening to you.
Here are some more tips to make camping a fun experience for
You will enjoy the experience a lot more if you invest in a few
simple items. the cost is minimal, a one-time expense, and will
make your camping experience more enjoyable.
If you've never tried camping, give it a try. You may start a
great family tradition.
1. When you are outdoors, everything tastes good. Bring lots of
food. Do some of the preparation before you come to make things
easier and have more time to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
2. Fill your leftover bread bags with lots of ice, and bring it
in a cooler.
3. Invest in a propane stove. They aren't expensive, and make
breakfast a lot easier. You can cook over the campfire when you
are not in a hurry. Also, the propane stove is a good backup at
home when the power goes out.
4. Air mattresses under your sleeping bags are good, but cots are
5. A few folding chairs make sitting around much more enjoyable.
6. Be sure and bring a day pack for hiking.
7. An inexpensive tarp will provide shade and make eating more
enjoyable. You will also appreciate it if it starts to rain. A
tarp both under and over your tent will help keep you dry.
8. Use either a big tent that will accommodate your whole family,
or smaller tents. If your children are planning on going into
scouting, they will eventually need their own tents. They may
also enjoy sleeping in them in the backyard in the summer.
9. Bring insect repellent, but avoid areas with lots of
mosquitoes. You should also have a first aid kit in your car. In
general, the farther you go out from the city, the less the cost
of the camp site, if any.
10. Bring some wood and fire starter from home for the campfire.
11. Bring adequate light, which usually is a lantern and
And finally, don't forget the marshmallows, coat hangers, and
Teach your children to enjoy the outdoors, and it will bring lots
of pleasure into their lives.. My boys have gone from scouts to
scoutmasters. I can't imagine their lives without their outdoor
activities. They are now sharing their knowledge and expertise
with others. Watching that cycle has been a great joy to me
GRANOLA TRAIL MIX