3 Things to Focus on When Camping With the Family

June 24, 2016

Camping is one of the most time honored, cost efficient, and family friendly ways to vacation. In 2010 alone, approximately 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings. Indeed, campers get physical activity (evidenced by the fact that 87% of campers participated in multiple outdoor activities), the opportunity to travel (evidenced by the fact that campers traveled an average distance of 186.7 miles for camping trips) and of course, time to spend with friends and family.

But, it can be hard to focus your attention and prioritize everyone’s activities, especially when traveling with kids. Check out these tips for camping mindfully:

Learn Through Hobbies

Use your family camping vacations as a way for the whole family to learn a new skill or develop an old one. For instance, birding, fishing, or foraging can make your family vacations much more goal oriented and overall structured. Plus, if you come away from your trip having seen a couple species of birds you’ve never seen or caught a particularly large fish, you and your family will feel quite positive and triumphant.

Hiking Goals

Don’t underestimate your children, especially if they are slightly older and share your love for the outdoors. For some people, vacation time simply means that the schedule is clear for pursuing loftier goals — literally. Why not use some vacation cabins as base, and take on the tougher trails by having overnight camping trips. Some families in New York might have their eyes on the ultimate prize of becoming 46ers — folks who have climbed the 46 highest peaks in the state — but every state in the country has its own unique landscape upon which goals of height and endurance can be reached.

Let Your Creativity Rein

Before you go on your trip, have everyone in your family select an artistic medium to explore while you immerse yourselves in nature, with one piece of equipment each. This might include a palette and sketchbook for a painter, a journal for a writer, a camera for a photographer, and an instrument or tape recorder for a musician. The natural world has inspired art for many millennia — why should your family take any exception? Share with each other what you have created and encourage one another to explore new mediums.

From vacation cabins to tent camping, there is no reason why a camping trip with the family shouldn’t be the best time of the year.

How to Have Fun With the Whole Family

June 12, 2016

Think there’s no such thing as “fun for the whole family”? That’s understandable — after all, in-between working, school, and other activities, it may seem as though there isn’t even a time when the family is together, let alone having fun together. Not to mention the fact that each member of the family has his or her own idea of what “fun” even means.

Enter family vacations, which are the one time that you and your family have the chance to relax, bond, share valuable experiences, and create memories. Fun for the whole family is possible — even on a low budget. Check out these tips for having a successful family vacation that will show everyone a good time:

Compromise

It’s unreasonable to expect everyone in the family to be excited about everything on a trip, so compromising is the way to go. Camping is one of the most popular family vacations — American families spent about 534.9 million days camping in 2011 alone, when approximately 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings. Not everyone likes sleeping out in a tent, however, so if you want the pleasures of the great outdoors but also the luxury and convenience of having a roof over your heads, you can compromise by staying in family vacation cabins instead.

Spend Time Alone

Yes, the point of the family vacation is to spend time with one another, but 24/7 living with the same people is never going to have a happy ending — make sure that everyone gets the chance to do the activities they want, see the sights that they are excited for, and have some time alone to unwind and rest.

Come Prepared

This goes especially for family camping trips — even cabin camping. Indeed, 82% of cabin campers spend one to two nights outside. Make sure to do meal prep and prepare an itinerary, even if you don’t end up following it. Have a backup plan for rainy days, and be aware of your surroundings on your trip so that you won’t be stuck in the event of an emergency or any special circumstances.

Your family vacation can be truly amazing, as long as you put some thought into how exactly it is executed. Whether you are on a road trip or renting family vacation cabins, make sure to take the time to bond with your family members and enjoy the ride.

The Camper's Guide to Zika

May 25, 2016

With spring in the air, many camping fanatics are switching off their television sets and hitching on their hiking boots in hopes of making their first tent camping endeavor of the season. Indeed, camping is somewhat of a pastime for Americans: in 2013 alone, over 40 million people went camping, and almost 99% of campers report that they were likely to camp again within the coming year.

And while 87% of those campers are eager to engage in multiple outdoor activities on their family camping trip, perhaps they shouldn’t turn off their television news program just yet — especially if the Zika virus is the hot topic that’s trending.

What is the Zika virus?
Zika is an illness caused by the Zika virus. Typically, it is usually mild, with the most frequent symptoms being fever, joint pain, rash and red eyes. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a week. It’s rare for someone to have to be hospitalized because of the Zika virus.

Who is vulnerable?
While anyone can contract the Zika virus, those who spend a lot of time outdoors are of course at a slightly greater risk. Pregnant women and campers should be especially cautious of the Zika virus, as it can cause very serious negative birth outcomes as well as birth defects of the brain.

How does it spread?
The Zika virus is typically spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes normally lay their eggs in and near standing water. They also occupy shady areas, like wooded campgrounds and shaded campgrounds. They will also come out at night, so be sure to prepare yourself if you are tent camping.

Where is Zika now?
Currently, no one in the U.S. has been locally infected by the virus. Check your local news station for outbreaks and warnings. However, do not live in fear of Zika. Regardless of where you are, it’s important to take precautionary measures.

How do I protect myself.
Stocking up on permethrin and EPA approved bug repellent sprays is one of the biggest and best lines of defense. Spray your clothing in permethrin and let it sit overnight. Additionally, cover exposed areas of your body with Deet. If possible, try to wear long sleeves.

There’s no family vacation like a family camping vacation. That being said, don’t be afraid to get out there and enjoy yourself. With education and awareness, it’s possible to protect yourself from Zika and have a good time.

3 Essential Survival Trips For Your Inaugural Summer Camping Trip

May 25, 2016

As summer rapidly approaches, families across America are gearing up and getting ready for their first weekend camping trip of the summer. After all, family camping vacations are one of the most popular vacation choices for Americans; in 2011 alone, Americans spent a total of 534.9 million days camping! That’s a whole lot of smores!

And while camping can provide ample opportunities to bond with nature and loved ones, a weekend trip can easily be spoiled by a lack of foresight and poor planning. Even when cabin camping, you’re still forced to confront the downsides of nature every now and again — especially when you consider that 82% of those who are cabin camping spend one to two nights outside.

In order to ensure that you have the most optimal, enjoyable, and as safe of a time camping as possible, be sure to follow these three survival tips for your next summer camping trip:

Pack for all temperatures.
Even if the forecast looks warm on the particular weekend of your family vacation, do not neglect to bring clothing suitable for a range of temperatures. Your best bet is dressing in layers and having convertible clothing on hand.

Prepare for Zika (and other pest prevention)
With the Zika virus working its way across the country, it’s imperative that families — pregnant women especially — protect themselves. Dress in long sleeves when possible and equip yourself with an effective bug/mosquito repellent such as Deet. If camping in a tent, take care to invest in mosquito nets.

Protect your family and your food.
Wildlife that’s privy to your family’s food supply are not only a pain, but a real danger. Be mindful when munching on snacks, being sure to always seal them securely. If possible, keep items that give off a strong scent in your car.

Recent surveys show that campers are planning as many as 4.3 camping family vacations this very year. By Following these three safety tips, you and your family are guaranteed to have a fun and safe time.

Tips For Family Vacation Camping

May 23, 2016

Camping is a time honored tradition, especially for families. Indeed, family camping vacations are one of the most popular choices for Americans, with families spending about 534.9 million days camping altogether in 2011. Camping is a formative experience for many young people, especially for those who don’t get the chance to experience much of nature in their homes. Among current camping participants, 85% took their first trip between birth and the ages of 15 — after 15, chances of being introduced to camping were small. In order to foster an appreciation and respect for the great outdoors, many families choose to camp with their children during vacation times.

Of course, camping can also be labor intensive, especially with kids in tow. Check out how to make your family vacation camping trip a little for relaxing for everyone:

    • Food Prep: Make your vacation feel more like a vacation by doing as much food prep before hand as possible, while you have a sink, cutting boards, and space at your disposal. Marinate meat, prepare kebabs, pack sandwiches, and chop vegetables with dip. Don’t forget the watermelon.

 

    • Come Prepared for Rainy Days: Even though you may be all geared up for some summer outdoor fun, rain happens, and when it does, it is best to have activities planned so the little ones (and their parents) don’t go tent-crazy. Bring board games, coloring supplies, and books to pass the time until the sun shines again.

 

    • Take Advantage of the Ranger Stations: The ranger stations or visitors centers at parks are chock-full of untapped resources for camping families. During busy seasons, rangers will often hold learning sessions and nature activities for kids. Plus, they’ll provide maps, interesting facts, wildlife identification checklists, and suggestions for activities to do together.

Camping has a high rate of return for a reason — 99% of camping participants said they were “likely” or “very likely” to camp next year, according to the 2014 American Camping Report. Whether you and your family go cabin camping or tent camping, tenting or family cabin camping provides a valuable chance for families and groups to spend time in nature, take a break from work or school, and spend your family vacation together with those who matter the most.

Tips for Finding the Right Campsite For Your Family

May 17, 2016

Family camping trips are some of the most fulfilling, affordable, and rewarding ways to travel with a family. With various levels of camping amenities, and throughout many seasons, spending some time in nature is truly a great way to unplug and reflect, together. Indeed, it can also spark a family tradition — 12% of adult campers first went camping with their immediate families.

The first step of any camping trip is deciding on a location. Campers across the board spent an average of 14.9 days camping, meaning that the location you choose for your summer camping trips should be optimal for the length of time you stay there.

Consider the Accommodations

Campgrounds come in many different shapes and sizes and have varying degrees of accommodations. Some families prefer to rent a cabin and go cabin camping while others enjoy tent camping. Still more have RVs, which are especially convenient when the campsite has full hookups, providing electricity, gas, and waste disposal. Consider the needs of your family and your camping choices when looking at different campgrounds.

What Kind of Nature do You Like?

Some families dedicate themselves to climbing all of New York State’s 46 highest peaks while others prefer tumbling over boulders in the beautiful desert of Texas. Some families specifically camp to experience a destination like the Grand Canyon of Arizona or the Badlands of South Dakota. What kind of nature are you set on experiencing?

Accessibility

Do you want to be fully immersed in a state or national park, or would you like easier access to certain amenities? For family camping, it can be nice to have all of the advantages of a scenic campground, but be able to run to a store for emergency supplies. For more seasoned families with older children, a more isolated campground with fewer amenities might make it easier to embark upon serious hikes and explorations.

Whether you choose summer camping trips or autumn camping trips, make sure to choose a memorable and practical camping ground! If you find the perfect spot, don’t let distance deter you — many campers travel an average distance of 186.7 miles for a camping trip. Let the search begin!

What to Expect When Cabin Camping

April 28, 2016

NewJerseyCabinsTo most, cabin camping sounds more luxurious and relaxing than tent camping, but the truth is that the two are very similar. In fact, it might even help you to think about cabin camping as roughing it in a hard-shelled tent. Cabin camping is a great introduction to camping for beginners, and for more seasoned adventurers, it can be a welcome change of pace. You get all the benefits of a traditional camping experience, but without the trouble of setting up and taking down a tent, or worrying much about the weather.

No matter, it is still important to come prepared in mind and body. Here’s what you should expect from your cabin camping experience:

Campgrounds with cabins can have accommodations that range in size and quality from basic, four-walled structures with cots and bunks, to deluxe accommodations including kitchen appliances and air conditions. Some cabin sites, like tent sites, will come with a picnic table and a fire pit. These two ingredients are often all you need to have a great time at the campsite in between outdoor adventures — 87% of campers participated in multiple outdoor activities during their stay, which is why it’s a great idea to have a comfy campsite ready to go.

Bedding will be just as important in the cabin as without for all family vacations — it can get chilly at night, even in the summer! Make sure you know what the accommodations are in the cabin — you may need to bring sleeping bags and pillows and some extra blankets.

One thing you now have room for in your cabin, as opposed to the old tent, is full sized towels! They will be a luxury after a day on the lake, or after a big rain.

Speaking of rain — now that you have a dry area to enjoy for those rainy days, come prepared with games for a family vacation like cards and board games to occupy the time until the sun shines again. Of course, all the standard camping amenities should not be forsaken — coolers, warm clothes, fire starting gear, cooking and cleaning gear, and food are a given! Jellystone Parks have great planned activities in all types of weather, so bring different types of layered clothing.

Camping is well loved. In 2010 alone, approximately 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings, and American families, in particular, spent 534.9 million days camping altogether in 2011, but make sure you come prepared for your vacation cabins and enjoy!

Discover Genius Camping Tips for Your Next Trip

April 13, 2016

For a total of 515 million outings, more than 40 million people went camping in 2010 alone. People go for summer camping trips for many reasons — 13% of adults went camping to spend quality time with their families while some campers do it for the chance do some extreme hiking. Camping is more than just an American past-time — it is a chance for people to reconnect with roots, trees, and the great outdoors. It’s a chance to unplug and relax, get some fresh air, and sleep under the stars.

However amazing camping sounds, and often is, there are certainly some nitty, gritty details that need some attention. Whether you want to go tent camping or cabin camping check out these camping tips for some innovative camping ideas.

    • Point a headlamp into a gallon jug of water — it’ll create an instant lantern.
    • Re-purpose an old coffee can to protect your toilet paper — just cut a slit in the side and feed the paper through. The camp resort may not have great toiletries or amenities.
    • Use empty Tic-Tac containers to store spices for camping cooking — no more carting around bulky spice containers.
    • For single-use toothpaste packets, cut up a straw, fill with paste, and seal the ends with a lighter. Also, make single use soap leaves by peeling a bar of soap with a vegetable peeler.
    • Do some meal prep — make pancake mix with shortening and dry milk, and store in a jar for instant pancakes (just add an egg and some water)
    • Frighteningly, but conveniently, Doritos make amazing fire-starters if you don’t have any of your own.
    • Add bundles of sage and rosemary to the campfire to keep mosquitoes at bay.
    • Invest in microfiber towels — they are super absorbent and lightweight
    • Freeze gallon jugs or empty juice containers to keep your cooler cool and food fresh.
    • Bring glow sticks — they will help you see your kids at night (and kids love glow sticks). Sunny campgrounds in the day can turn pitch black at night. If you have a dog, put one around his neck too. Color coding things with glow sticks at night can also help you stay completely organized.

Remember, to enjoy your family and friends and see how these tips might make your next camping adventure even better!

 

Here's How to Have the Most Fun Possible with Your Family while Cabin Camping in Illinois

March 23, 2016

When you think of a great cabin camping destination, where do you think of? Cabin camping in Kansas, Missouri, or South Dakota may be some of the first places that come to mind for most. However, if you really want your family to experience something unique and unexpected, you need to consider cabin camping in Illinois.

Illinois may be known for deep dish pizzas and rabid sports fans, but it’s actually one of the best places in the country for cabin camping. If you’re not a fan of roughing it, cabin camping is the ideal way to enjoy some finer camping amenities without sacrificing the appeal of the outdoors. Each camping participant, whether they stayed in a tent, RV, cabin, or otherwise, spent an average of 14.9 days camping. Cabin camping is ideal for longer vacations because it’s basically like living in a rental home for two weeks.

Most campers travel an average distance of 186.7 miles for camping trips, but you won’t need to travel nearly this far to experience everything cabin camping in Illinois has to offer. This is because cabin camping in Illinois is done on public campgrounds, which is truly the best way to go on a camping vacation. In fact, most camping (about 70%) is done in public campgrounds, and your family will be convinced to make this an annual event after experiencing family vacation campgrounds.

Three of the most unique and exciting campgrounds for vacation cabins in Illinois are within just 26 miles of each other. Therefore, your family won’t have to drive around the entire state just to absorb the full experience. These cabin camping sites provide a wide array of amenities for your family to enjoy, including splashparks, DJs, fireworks, playgrounds, and so much more. Plus, all of these campgrounds are within miles of some of the most notable landmarks in Illinois, such as Wrigley Field and the Sears Tower.

If your family is tired of going on the same monotonous trip every single year, consider the endless benefits of cabin camping in Illinois. Located in one of the most exciting places in the country, your family can bond with one another while having the most fun you’ve ever had.

From Splashparks to the Amish Country, Here are Just a Few Unique Perks of Ohio Campgrounds

March 23, 2016

Camping is one of the most fun things you could ever do with your family, and millions of people embark on exciting adventures every single year. In 2010 alone, about 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings, making it one of the most popular vacation options in the country.

If you’re planning a camping trip, you may be wondering where to find the best camping amenities and other unique perks. Ohio campgrounds are truly some of the most amazing destinations in the entire country, blending tons of excitement with the serenity that you would expect when enjoying the great outdoors.

From splashparks to the Amish Country and everything in between, there is nothing that Ohio campgrounds don’t offer. Here’s are just three of the most unique and entertaining perks of Ohio campgrounds that your family needs to check out:

 

    • Splashparks. Family camping trips are supposed to help you bond with your loved ones, but it’s always important to throw in a bit of excitement during your vacation as well. Most camping (about 70%) is done in public campgrounds, and your family will be convinced to make this a yearly event after they experience Ohio campgrounds. For example, the Columbus North campground has an incredible splashpark with water slides that both the kids and adults will love.

 

    • Playgrounds, games, and more. Campgrounds in OH are really something special, and in fact, they’re more like camp resorts. For instance, the Akron/Canton Jellystone park is truly something to behold. There is a massive pool, a staggering 144-ft. water slide, a 100-ft. playground slide, and an 18-hole mini golf course. If your family prefers a bit of fun in the sun mixed with some friendly competition, you will be thrilled with Akron/Canton.

 

    • The Amish Country About 13% of adult participants camped because they wanted to spend more time with their families, and there’s no better place to do just that than in the Amish Country. While Ohio campgrounds are known for the excitement they offer, it’s also the perfect place to relax with your loved ones. The Amish Country in Holmes County is full of beautiful hills, rolling farmlands, and colorful parks to enjoy Mother Nature.

 

Every family has a different set of expectations for a vacation, but Ohio is truly one of the only places that can fulfill the wants and needs of every family members. Check out Ohio campgrounds for your next vacation and have an experience you’ll never forget.

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