Family Vacation Campgrounds are the Best Option for Summer Fun!

February 2, 2016

Family vacation campingIt’s good to dream up amazing vacations, but some families can get a bit too creative when it comes to planning their next holiday. Like most things in life, it’s best to stick with the basics. Family vacation campgrounds have been helping to give families the time of their lives for decades, and remain the premier option for family fun in the summer.

Family camping adventures allow the whole gang to try new things while enjoying the company of one another. These days, kids (and parents) are usually too focused on their smartphones and tablets to actually have a conversation. At family vacation campgrounds, such as Camp Jellystone parks you’ll find that it’s never been easier to bond with your loved ones.

You also may run into other families during your trip as well, which makes the experience even more exciting. You never know what to expect in family vacation campgrounds, which is probably why millions of people spend time there every single year.

That’s not all, though. Here are just three of the many reasons to consider family vacation campgrounds for your next getaway:

    • Spend time with loved ones. Camping is still one of the most popular activities for families, because it brings loved ones together unlike anything else. In fact, family camping vacations are one of the most popular choices for Americans, and they spent about 534.9 million days camping altogether in 2011. If you feel as if your relationship with your family has suffered since technology became so prominent, you need to check out some family vacation campgrounds.

 

    • Meet new people. In 2010 alone, approximately 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings. As you might expect, this staggering number means that you’ll probably run in to some other like-minded families during your camping adventure. Meeting new people is perhaps the best part of family vacation campgrounds, and these random run-ins often lead to families becoming lifelong friends.

 

    • Experience different regions and environments. There are campgrounds all over the nation, and each and every single one offers a unique and distinct experience. There are campgrounds in Wisconsin, campgrounds in Texas, and even campgrounds in New York. Each of these family vacation hot-spots offers something totally different, yet all of them are supremely entertaining.

Most camping — about 70% — is done in public campgrounds, and your family will be convinced to make this a yearly event after they experience family vacation campgrounds. Check out some campgrounds near you and start a new family tradition this year!

Camping in the Northeast? Consider These 3 Incredible Destinations

February 2, 2016

There’s nothing quite like spending some quality time with family on vacation, and camping is the ultimate way to enjoy the company of loved ones in the great outdoors. When planning your next vacation, consider camping in the Northeast at one of the many popular destinations in the region.

The West Coast might be a beloved vacation destination because of its weather, but camping in the Northeast is an experience unlike any other. Americans went camping for a total of 516.6 million days in 2013, and many of these families took advantage of the incredible campgrounds near New York, Pennsylvania, and Ontario.

Most campers went on five camping trips that year, traveling an average of 191 miles from their home to the campground. If you live anywhere in the Northeast, you’re already within driving distance to some of the most amazing camping destinations in the country. In fact, you can see all of these places in one weekend if you plan your trip just right.

Here are a few of the best places to check out when camping in the Northeast:

 

    • Camping in New York. New York is generally known for its skyscrapers and snow, but hardcore campers know that it’s arguably the best state in the country for some quality camping. Upstate New York is full of unique campgrounds where families from all over the country gather to have the time of their lives. Most camping (about 70%) is done in public campgrounds, and you can find some resort-style campgrounds in NY if you know where to look.

 

    • Camping in Pennsylvania. Drive just a few hours south from your campground in New York and you’ll land in beautiful Pennsylvania, also known as The Keystone State. Pennsylvania is known for having some of the friendliest people in the country. When you reach your campground, you’ll find plenty of other families who can show you the best places to hike, fish, hunt, and enjoy other activities.

 

    • Camping in Ontario. If you choose to head north after you leave your New York campground, you’ll find yourself in gorgeous Ontario. Americans may not see Canada as the spot to vacation, but the entire country is a well-kept secret for savvy American campers. Ontario is a city with deep roots in the great outdoors where you’ll find world-class ice fishing spots as soon as you cross the border.

 

Camping in the Northeast is full of possibilities, and each of the places mentioned above are among the greatest places in the country to spend time with family. Consider camping in these areas for your next family vacation and enjoy the unique serenity of the Northeast.

The Line Awakens: What You Can Learn About Camping From Star Wars Fans

December 11, 2015

Camping is one of the most popular activities in the United States. In 2010, 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings. The following year, 42.5 million people went camping — 2.5 million more — for a total of 534.9 million days, 19.9 million more days or 54,520.5 years more than the previous year.

Typically, people find campgrounds near their homes to enjoy, but there are some out there who have recently chosen less-than-traditional campsites. These folks aren’t just camping for the fun of it. They’re on a mission!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to open soon, and fans are already lining up. In fact, many started camping out in front of theaters a staggering 10 days before the movie premieres. Consider how tough it must be to camp out on hard pavement, there are a few things we can learn about camping from their mission.

 

    • Lesson 1: Make sure you’re comfortable. The hard, cold ground is tough enough to sleep on. Imagine trying to get a restful night’s sleep on pavement. In order to get comfy on the sidewalk, many fans have likely invested in a good sleeping pad and/or mattress, as well as a good sleeping bag. Having thick layers of comfortable material to lie on may not make up for your bed, but they’re definitely comfortable enough to rest on.

 

    • Lesson 2: Eat well. You need to keep your strength up when you camp, which is why it’s important to have plenty of food with you. Those waiting in line for Star Wars can probably take turns going out to grab meals at fast food chains or grocery stores, but only if someone stays behind. In order to keep hunger at bay when camping, it’s a good idea to have food you don’t have to worry about cooking. Things like fruit, peanut butter, cold cuts, bean salads, and pastas can all make hardy meals that need little prep.

 

    • Lesson 3: Stay warm. It’s December. It might be a rather mild December so far, but it’s still cold out, and there’s nothing that can make a wait even more unbearable than the cold. When you go camping, be sure to bring plenty of layers. That way, you can dress to your comfort level. A t-shirt, sweater, pullover, and coat do wonders to keep the cold out.

Camping out is certainly fun, and while many might not consider Star Wars worth the hassle, it certainly adds a fun element to the experience. After all, who doesn’t want there to be a prize waiting at the end?

What People Don't Understand About Winter Camping

December 4, 2015

It’s understandable why some don’t “get” winter camping. After all, the most popular parts of camping don’t seem to be too conducive to winter.

Consider the fact that the most popular type of camping is by tent, as 86% of survey respondents said, while 33% said they preferred cabin camping; 30% backcountry/backpacking; 26% drive-up campsites; 24% RV; 11% camped in a backyard; and 8% slept under the stars. What’s more, about 70% of tent campers — the majority of the majority — have one to two-night outings. Plus, 92% of people say that hiking is their favorite camping activity.

All that being said, wintertime family camping is a whole different experience in and of itself, and that’s what people don’t get about winter camping. Of course winter camping can also be done in milder temperatures as well but there is something to be said about camping in crisp clean wonderful air.

Everything is still and everything is quiet during the winter. There’s not the usual background, woodland chatter you might hear during the summer, and if you are camping in the snow, this beautiful blanket quiets the area.  Camping in the winter can be an incredibly peaceful, tranquil, and quiet experience — even more so than nature usually is.

Going wintertime family camping is also like taking an adventure to a whole new world with your favorite people. Sure, you’ve probably gone camping before, or at least been in the woods, but in the winter, the snow changes everything. It looks like an entirely different place once it’s been frosted with snow.

Most importantly, there are some camping activities you can only do in the winter, like build a snowman, have a snowball fight, go snow shoeing, try ice climbing, or even ice fish. If you don’t go winter family camping, you may never get as good of a chance to take advantage of the icy weather.

If you’ve never gone wintertime family camping before, do yourself a favor and go. Granted, these colder months may not seem too conducive to the outdoor experience, but once you go, you and your family may experience a new and wonderful experience together.

Don't Forget These Essentials for Your Winter Camping Trip

October 1, 2015

Whether you’re camping in Texas or cabin camping in Ohio, there are a number of spots you can choose for winter camping. But not all campgrounds locations are created equally. Depending on the weather and the accommodations, you could have a vastly different experience at one campground or another.

For example, much of a camping trip is dependent on the weather. Of campers surveyed, around 70% of those who stayed in tents only stayed out one or two nights — no matter what the weather. By comparison, those who stayed in an RV tended to have the longest trips on average, and 28% of them spent five or more nights camping. Booking cabin rentals can also extend a trip and keep the family better sheltered in all types of weather; this is the preferred method of camping for about 30% of campers.

Being prepared for anything (rain, snow, or shine) is a necessary part of camping around wintertime in any part of North America. How can you make the most of a winter camping trip? Make sure you don’t leave home without these three essentials:

    • Warm bedding and outerwear: At night, especially, temperatures can drop to their lowest point of the day, even during the summer. As a result, you’ll need to find as many ways as you can to stay warm. Don’t forget to pack appropriate clothing, boots, outerwear, hats, and gloves for everyone on the trip, especially children. You’ll also need to make sure you have the appropriate items for sleeping, including insulated sleeping bags and bedding in materials like flannel and fleece. Even if you’re staying in a cabin, you’ll still need to bundle up to keep warm, and this is especially true if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors.
    • Food and cooking supplies: Because temperatures may be below freezing on your trip, you’ll need to make sure that you have enough food and supplies to make warm foods and drinkings. Bring pots and pans to cook over the fire, if you’re staying outdoors; if you’ll be in a cabin, bring warm drinks with you like tea or cocoa. If your winter camping trip will last several days, ration your food so everyone has plenty to eat.
    • Someone else: Finally, whether you’re headed to your favorite camping grounds or planning a trip in the wilderness, make sure that you take someone with you. Surveyed campers indicate that they bring a friend with them 70% of the time, so planning a trip with close friends, a significant other, or family members is the best course of action. Not only can this help you have fun as you participate in outdoor activities, but it’s also safe. Should you get hurt, wind up lost, or have some other kind of emergency, having someone to travel with ensures that help will be there when you need it.

Being prepared for anything (rain, snow, or shine) is a necessary part of camping around wintertime in any part of North America. Enjoy your family adventures in camping by being safe!

Fall Camping: Better Than Summer Camping?

September 1, 2015

Fall may not be quite as warm as the summer, but it’s just as perfect a time to go camping — if not better. Here’s what you should know.

 

The Foliage.

 

One of the main reasons it might be better to go camping in the fall is because of the foliage. As nature gears up for winter, the leaves take on bright, vibrant, beautiful colors. It’s simply picturesque. Campgrounds in New England are famous for their foliage, but there are a ton of other places that also have amazing foliage, such as Colorado, North Carolina, Michigan, Washington, and New Mexico. Plus, since almost 70% of tent campers have one to two-night outings, you’ll have plenty of time to take in the amazing scenery.

 

Tons to Do.

 

While hiking is the most popular activity amongst campers — with 92% of survey participants saying that they hiked when camping — there’s plenty of other things to do. In fact, about 87% of campers participate in multiple outdoor activities. In the fall, you can do tons of fun things that you wouldn’t be able to do at any other time of the year, such as pick apples, carve pumpkins, check out harvest festivals, and even fish in some derbies.

 

The Timing.

 

When you go camping in the summer, you often have to pay a bit more, and have to deal with a ton of bugs. If you go camping in the fall, you won’t have to bother with these problems. Campsites often drop their rates, and stop taking reservations after Labor day, making it way easier, and way more affordable. The chill of fall also chases the bugs away, which means there won’t be as many mosquitoes and gnats to bite you.

 

Whether you like camping in tents, or prefer cabin camping, fall is the perfect time to go out, and enjoy some time in nature. If you have any questions about checking out some campgrounds this fall, feel free to share in the comments.

Your Fall Camping Checklist: What You Need to Bring

September 1, 2015

There are few things better than taking the family on a camping trip. Just consider what recent years have shown. In 2010, 40 million people went camping for a grand total of 515 million outings. In 2011, families spent 534.9 million days camping altogether. Then, in 2013, Americans went camping for a total of 516.6 million days.

Autumn camping, in particular, is one of the best things you can do with the family. The crisp, cool breeze blowing. There’s fresh air, the vibrant colors of the foliage, and the wonderful harvests that are coming in.

Before you go family camping this fall though, you’re going to have to pack. Here’s just a few things you should take with you to the campgrounds.

    • Shelter. – To set up camp, you’re going to need your tent, a ground cloth, tarps, extra stakes, rope, a hatchet, a hammer, a mat for the tent’s entrance, a broom, and a dust pan.
    • Bedding. – If you don’t sleep well, you’re not going to have a good time. This is why you need to bring a good sleeping bag, an air mattress or a foam bed pad, sheets, blankets, a good pillow, an air pump (if you take an air mattress or a blow up pad), and a repair kit for said air mattress. If you make a nice little nest, you’ll sleep just fine, no matter how hard or cold the ground is.
    • Clothing. – Though the fall weather can be warm during the day, it can get pretty chilly at night. You need to pack a variety of different clothes, including jeans, sweatpants, t-shirts, sweatshirts, extra underwear, extra socks, a cap, shoes, boots, a jacket, sleeping clothes, rain gear, towels, and a laundry bag to put it all in when it gets dirty.
    • Cooking Gear. – Food cooked over a campfire just seems to taste better, but you’re going to need to remember to bring your cooking stuff with you. Depending on what you plan to make, you’re going to want to bring a water jug, a water bucket, coolers, thermoses, propane stove, a lighter, pans, pots, campfire grill, firestarters, plates, bowls, silverware, garbage bags, measuring cups, aluminum foil, paper towels, dish soap, cooking oil, plastic containers for leftovers, potholders, oven mitts, spatulas, knives, cooking spoons, tongs, skewers, can openers, bottle openers, a folding table, mugs, paper cups, mixing bowls, cutting boards, napkins, dish pans, dish rags, scrubbing pads, and condiments.

So long as you remember to take all this with you to the campgrounds, you’ll undoubtedly have one of the best camping trips of all time.

7 Things People Always Forget When They're Camping

July 23, 2015

Camping Tips

 

 

 

Camping is one of the most popular family pastimes in America. In 2010, a reported 40 million people went on a camping trip. In 2011, this number was up to 42.5 million. Tent camping is the most popular form of camping, with 86% of people who camp identifying this as their preference. However, tent camping is the most labor intensive form of camping, with the most moving pieces and parts. The big elements, like the tent, cooler, and grill are the easiest to remember, but often lots of little things are forgotten in the preparation process. Here is a list of the most frequently forgotten items at campsites:

    1. Wood
      Some campsites forbid you from bringing in outside wood, while others forbid you from foraging around the campground for wood. Know the policies ahead of time and either way, don’t get caught in the cold and dark with no fuel for the fire!
    2. Batteries
      You got your lanterns and flashlights, but what’s your back up plan if one of them dies? Make sure you have some spare batteries on hand.
    3. Wet Wipes
      These little powerhouses have dozens of uses on a camping trip that you won’t realize until you’re looking for one. Don’t miss them!
    4. Duct Tape
      From fixing tent tears to holding down table cloths on a windy day, you do not want to forget this multipurpose tape.
    5. Ice
      So you packed all your food in the cooler to bring to the campsite, but did you remember to get ice to keep it fresh? Remembering this essential could be the difference between fresh food and granola bars your whole trip.
    6. Trash bags
      Most campgrounds are carry in/ carry out, and carrying all the waste from your trip out by hand would be a real drag! This item is essential to a clean, tidy, campsite.
    7. Hatchet or hammer
      Often overlooked, this tool is usually needed to chop more wood and can double as a hammer when driving the spikes for your tent.

4 Tips for a Technology Free Family Camping Trip

July 2, 2015

Oh, technology — smartphones, tablets, mp3 players — all those visual Kool-Aid devices that keep kids tranquilized and quiet while parents try to steal some peaceful personal time! It’s amazing, but at the same time it can be scary when your kids get that glassy-eyed robot look to them. Encouraging kids to be active is harder and harder with all of the sedentary distractions available — you can take something away but there’s always something else to sit and watch. What’s a parent to do?

Camping is a great way to keep your children engaged with the world outside of an LCD screen, and is by far the most popular choice for American families. In 2011, Americans spent a total of 534 million days on camping vacations. The average camper goes on about five trips a year and travels an estimated 190 miles from home to camp ground. You would think traveling so far would minimize the ability to get a cell or wifi signal, but the tech revolution should not be underestimated — tons of places have wifi signals now, including camp grounds.

Here are some ideas for family camping trips that never fail to have the kids sliding their screens away and smiling.

  1. Put your own phone away. There’s nothing kids learn from faster than a bad example.
  2. Have some fun with water. Squirt guns, creeks, water balloons, pool time — all of these things will force everyone to secure their electronics far away from what you’re doing.
  3. Go hiking. This is by far the most popular camp ground activity — over 90% of campers go hiking. Bonus points for bringing disposable cameras the kids can use to document all the cool things they find in an album when you get home.
  4. Get them dirty. The great outdoors is for exploring! Bring nature guides, dig in the dirt for worms, identify plants, have a scavenger hunt, do arts and crafts. If the kids are engaged they won’t even miss their devices, and if they’re too dirty to touch them it helps deter the urge to sit down with a game of solitaire.

Anything we missed? Leave a comment!

How to Bring Your Dog Along on Your Next Family Camping Vacation

May 26, 2015

Family camping vacations might be the most popular way for Americans and their families to escape the hectic distractions of the modern world and spend some quality bonding time together. In 2013, we spent a combined 516.6 million days at campsites all across the country, and the average camper takes five trips throughout the year.

If your family includes a dog, you probably want to bring your canine friend along for the ride. In addition to including your pet on your family fun, he or she will benefit immensely from the extra exercise and fresh air.

Want to include your dog on your next family camping vacation? Be sure to follow these three pointers for a fun-filled camping trip everyone will enjoy:

Preparing for your trip

Before you even book your next camping trip, be sure to find out whether or not the campground allows dogs. It’s a good idea to make yourself familiar with the campground’s specific rules on pets before you embark on your camping vacation. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all his or her vaccinations; you may want to have your dog vaccinated against tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease or mosquito-borne heartworms, as well. Lastly, be sure your dog has a collar or harness with an identification tag.

Packing for your dog

If there isn’t a source of drinking water near your campsite, be sure to bring plenty of water for your dog — and never allow your dog to drink out of standing bodies of water like ponds. Bring along enough dog food and treats to last the duration of your trip, as well as bedding and toys. To keep your dog safe and healthy in the event of an emergency, pack a first aid kit and bring along a copy of his or her veterinary records.

Camping with your dog

There are countless ways to enjoy the outdoors with your dog during your family’s next camping trip. From playing frisbee to going on a hike together — 92% of campers go hiking regularly — there’s no shortage of ways to keep your dog entertained. Just be sure to keep your dog on a leash or lead at all times so you don’t disturb your fellow campers, and to always clean up after your dog.

Have any other tips or tricks for bringing pets along on a family camping vacation? Let us and your fellow readers know in the comments below.

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