We started camping as a family when Indy, our kid, was 2.
The tent leaked.
The fire wouldn't start.
And you know... We had a 2 year old.
This seems to be a very common story. Many people seem to have rough first camping experiences.
Our saving grace was we went with a long time friend who is a very experienced camper.
She smoothed it out. And then the second day was perfect.
10 years later we're camping every possible chance we get.
We've camped coast to coast.
Lakes, oceans, deserts, bear country, alligator country, an island with free roaming ponies. National parks, state parks, private parks. Campgrounds with facilities as nice as any hotel. Campgrounds with no facilities.
The reason we started camping 10 years ago was because it was what we could afford.
The reason we camp today is for the experience.
I travel in all kinds of capacities.
I like it all.
But there is no faster way to unwind, relax and rejuvenate than camping.
I often think camping is the closest thing to taking a mind altering drug without actually taking a drug.
The fresh air will make you sleepy.
You'll get tired when the sun goes down.
You'll wake up when the sun comes up.
You'll say hi to your neighbors.
You'll sit around a campfire.
You'll just zone out.
I practice all kinds of relaxation strategies. Camping resets me the quickest.
So how do you start?
I recommend a cabin.
You probably will still need to bring some blankets and a pillow. But you can pick up everything else at the camp store.
I'm suggesting you start with something like a KOA.
These campgrounds have things like:
And if you don't know how to do something, you are in luck! Nothing brings an experienced camper more joy than helping a new camper.
I've setup tents. I've helped start fires. I've helped open locked campers. I've lended bikes, skateboards, flashlights, balls, floating tubes. And I've given away endless amounts of firewood.
It's not because I'm some great humanitarian. It's because of all the help I've been given.
I've been towed out of a mud pit. I've been given a hatchet to cut wood. I've been given a hand blower to start my fire. I've had a dozen people help me open a stuck canopy on a camper. The help I've been given is endless actually.
And this gets to the greatest aspect of camping. Community.
I know no other place where community is more prevalent than while I'm camping.
It's not an overbearing community. But it's easily available if you want it.
I brought this all up because we spent the weekend at West Branch State Park.
If you are in the Northeast Ohio area I highly recommend it.
We all lead crazy busy lives and don't have a lot of extra money. Camping will give you a quick getaway for not a lot of money.
It will make you more productive and give you a chance to spend time with your family and friends.
If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below.