Stress reduction, greater physical health, a deeper sense of spirit, more creativity, a sense of play, even a safer life—these are the rewards that await a family then it invites more nature into children's lives.
New York state parks are offering a $5 per night discount off camping reservations through June 26th. We may not have many national parks here in the east, but New York has some of the nation’s largest and most beautiful state sarks.
The Appalachian Mountain Club's Equipped blog has an interesting post summarizing some highlights of the 2013 American Camper Report. An estimated 13% of Americans went camping in 2012, 10% of them for the first time.
It's finally happened: the boys are at the age to rebel against what their parents want, and for us now that means going camping. Sigh. They actually just grumbled a bit about going and of course had a great time once we set off. That was a couple of hours later than we had hoped/planned; we weren't all packed and ready to go till about 5:30. The drive is about two and a half hours without traffic, and we also had to stop for some groceries and dinner on the way. Traffic getting out of the city wasn't too terrible, but we didn't stop until after 8, somewhere between Islip and Patchogue.
AMC Outdoors has a great article about a family camping trip to Floyd Bennett Field. Although I've known about the camping there and have been to Floyd Bennett for other activities many times, I've never camped there myself. If you want to know what it's like, read the AMC Outdoors story.
In talking with other parents, I often hear people say that they're waiting for their kids to be "old enough" to try family camping. So what's the right age to take your kids camping for the first time? In my experience, any age and every age!
Hiking, camping and just enjoying the great outdoors is great fun for both young and old. However, it’s important not to let smart safety habits fall by the wayside, especially when it comes to campfires. Keep in mind the following tips to make sure you stay safe on your next outdoor adventure.
We'd talked about going camping, perhaps even winter tent camping, over the holiday break, but I didn't manage to get around to pinning down a place to go until Friday the 28th. I had some doubts about the winter preparedness of Top Kid, his sleeping bag filling has gotten flat with repeated washings and the thermal underwear fit situation was dubious. NY State parks don't have tent camping year-round, so our choice was hike-in in DEC areas in the Catskills or look elsewhere. We didn't want an expensive or fancy cabin, we wanted rustic if not tent.
There's a useful post over at the blog "A Little Campy," on things that aren't "essential" in terms of camping gear, but that are almost essential for camping with kids. Top 5 Non-Essential Camping Essentials For Kids. Every one of these items is a must-have in my experience, except perhaps the checkers or playing cards.
The excellent blog A Little Campy has a nice guest post by Lacy Bishop on going camping at the last minute—it can be done! Go read it here.