In America, Camping for the most part began as a way of life. The Campsite was known was a dwelling for people like the American Indians and Homesteaders and just a place to bed down for the night for Travelers, Explorers, Hunters, Couriers and the Cowboys of the Old West. It was not somewhere you went for a week or a weekend to get away.
Camping is still used as an overnight accommodation for Travelers. However, today Camping is used mostly as a means of Recreation.
Everyone has his or her own idea of what Camping is all about. With that comes a variation of Campers. For example: Roughing it for some means a Motor-Home with all the bells and whistle and for others a Backpack with cloths, first aid kit, dehydrated food, a sleeping bag and a blanket for ground cover. So, don't sweat it if you want to take that portable T.V. or the kitchen sink.
If you have never been camping before, start out slow. Take a weekend, pack the car with some supplies and find a campground close by your home. That way if something goes wrong or for whatever reason you do not like it, home will be just down the road.
Some of the best pointers to you can get for Camping, comes from observing other Campers camping around you.
What makes a successful Camping trip? Well, I feel if we did not kill each other, starve, freeze, get washed away by rain, eaten by wild animals and you left feeling good about the trip, well then, I consider it a success. But then it is not up to me to speak for everybody else, it is up to you to decide what a successful Camping trip means to you.
There are those who do not use the campgrounds and like to set up camp out in the wilderness.
Then there are those that like the campgrounds and offer some comforts that, as we get older, we prefer to have. A good flush toilet and even a smelly out-house beats digging a hole and offering a full moon to whomever or whatever may be lurking around.
My family and I try to go Camping, at the very least, one entire week and a few weekends each year.
For the week long trips, we really like to go to Yosemite or other National Parks. They tend to be very big places and have a lot of things to do. That is if you like Nature, hiking and wild animals running through your camp while you sleep or worse yet, while your in the rest room!
Which brings up another point. Safety! This is also something that should always be on your mind. From illness to injuries, to wild plants and animals to Mother Nature.
Some of the best outings we have taken are to the GrandCanyon,Yellowstone and Yosemite.
The way we setup!
Usually the first thing we do when we arrive at our campsite is to set up camp. The adults breaks up into two groups so as to speed things up. Tents take the longest and dad usually does this with little or no help. We have two, one for the kids and one for us. Mom usually will make up the cooking and eating area and puts the food away in a bear box (if available) or arrange it for easy access in the car.
After the tents are up, the cooking/eating area is done and the food is secure. Then we start on the beds. That consists of (in our case) airing up the mattress and throwing down a blanket and laying down our sleeping bags. Next into the tent is our CLEAN cloths bags, dirty cloths are in a bag outside hanging from a tree next to the cloth line we put up or in the car.
After that is all finally done, we go out to hunt for wood for the old campfire.
There are several things we have to do before we go on a trip.
For those of you who don't know: Camping for the most part is not all that relaxing.
You get up in the morning build a fire, make breakfast, do dishes, secure the camp before going out sight seeing and hiking, fishing, etc, etc...
When you get back you do lunch and/or dinner, clean up, stoke the fire and re-secure the camp to help keep the critters out of things. Then you sit down by the fire to relax under the stars with family and/or friends. Except after such a long fun filled day, you think bed is a good idea instead of that log or chair you are sitting in.
So, up you go for a trip to the restroom (behind a tree, outhouse, flush toilets, what ever is available).
There you do your duty, brush you teeth and down to bed you go.
The next morning you start all over again.
Now! Don't get me wrong, Camping is just as relaxing as any other vacation and it is a whole lot of fun, too! Especially if you have planned it out right.
One thing I would like to mention to about this page and myself. I am not an expert and all advice is my own opinion. The focus of this page is to give a basic idea of camping, my personal experiences and things you should think about before heading out