Camping is a great way to relieve some stress and spend time enjoying the great outdoors.

Some children complain about being taken from their video games or television programs, but the experience is one they will remember for a lifetime.

You don’t have to be an avid outdoorsman or spend a lot of money to go camping. Load your truck with a good tent, warm sleeping bag, and good food and you are on the road to a good time.  If it’s your first time out pick a spot that’s not too far, maybe about an hour away.

Check the internet for the best locations and book your spot to avoid disappointment when you get there. Most sites have attractive locations such as a lake, ocean, or a river close by that you can plan hikes together. This will provide family activities for the day.

A good tent will make the trip that more enjoyable. If you don’t own one then here a few things to know about them, A-frame tents are usually smaller and can sleep two or three. They have a screened door and a small-screened window to keep mosquitos out. Remember to close the door after entering or exiting or you will be sleeping with them.  Most A-framed tents come with a fly, which is waterproof material to cover the outside of the tent. If you’re camping on the coast bring a heavy duty tarp to help with the rain.

Dome tents utilize flexible poles that provide a strong structure when completed and can withstand stronger winds. You can also have larger dome tents that can be separated into rooms with hanging walls.

Cabin style tents are much heavier but provide much more headroom and more space, the down side to these tents are they are heavy, so plan on driving right to your campsite and you will be ok.

I recommend shopping around to see the tent that best fits your needs remembering you need enough space for your family and gear. A sleeping pad or air mattress will help make a good sleeping bag feel more comfortable. Be sure to purchase one that is full length so you are not constantly rolling off during the night.

Preparing food is fun. For safety’s sake, make sure you set up your stove in a level area to avoid any mishaps. If it’s your first time then bring foods that are simple to prepare. A typical propane stove has two burners and a propane tank attached to the side. These are easy to clean and just as easy to pack away.

Remember to bring lots of garbage bags so you can either take it home with you or use proper facilities at your campsite. Be sure to put your food away in your car preferably so as not to attract unwanted animals. Clean the area before you go to give the next person the same experience you enjoyed on your camping adventure.

Contact: ian [dot] harwood [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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