Suwannee Adventures

          Decide how many people will be sleeping in one tent. You may want to have one tent for adults and one for children if you will be camping with the whole family. For a more comfortable arrangement, purchase a tent that will hold two more people than the number you expect to have sleeping inside. The tent is the focal point of most camping trips. If you’re a beginning camper, there are a couple of different tent tips to remember. 
          First and foremost, practice pitching your tent before you head to the campsite. Being able to do it quickly and effectively is extremely valuable. When looking for a place to set up, always look for a “natural bed” of soft, flat soil – but avoid the bottom of hills or valleys. Finally, always set up a tarp below your tent to avoid potential damage or water-logging.

Sleeping bags: 
Sleeping bags are graded for temperature and come in different shapes and sizes. Choose sleeping bags that are appropriate for the season and that have a comfortable size.

What to Bring on a Camping Trip
With any luck, each camping trip proves to be a unique experience. There are many wonderful things that nature has to offer. But, no matter where you’re headed, a few things should always come with you. I have a "Camping Check List" page to help you decide what to bring.

Cooking and Meal Equipment
         A small, portable propane stove is very handy and makes mealtime as easy as if you were cooking in your own kitchen. You can also purchase a barbecue or find a stove that has both burners and grill. Choose washable dishes and utensils to be environmentally conscious. 
         The real trick to enjoying great meals on the road is to do as much prep work at home as possible before you leave so you can make sure mealtime isn’t boring or predictable. Doing your prep work in advance will also help you cut down on the handling of raw foods and help you minimize the hassle and mess of cooking when you’re on the road. Check out my "Meals - Plan ahead" Page.

Coolers and food storage: 
Choose coolers big enough to allow for blocks of ice. It's a good idea to have two separate coolers in different sizes as well, one for frozen foods and one for refrigerated foods. Select coolers with a snap-lock lid and handles. Purchase plastic bins to hold food that doesn't require refrigeration.

The best luggage for camping is a cloth bag like as a hockey bag or back packs. They handle and pack easy. Roll your cloths up, it works better for packing.

        Buy two tarps one to use as a ground sheet underneath your tent and one to shelter the tent in the case of rain. 
        Bring some rope for a makeshift clothesline. 
         A nighttime lantern is always handy, especially for trips to the bathroom. 
         You'll also need a basic survival kit, a cell phone, and a flashlight in case of emergencies.
         If you're going on a trip that lasts more than two nights and three days, bring biodegradable soap and shampoo. Do not wash in the river or springs, biodegradables need dirt to degrade, so it could stay in the water for a long time. 
          When considering extra items to bring, try to think of functional items that fit your lifestyle, such as sunscreen, bug spray, a pair of extra sandals, and a doormat for entry to your tent. Browse the aisles of the sporting goods section to determine what other items would be good to bring along. 

Camping With Kids

      There’s just no better way to spend time with your kids than doing it in the great outdoors. It is a great way to bring families close together and to teach younger children about the wonders of the natural world. It is so important to take the time to enjoy the journey of these new experiences with your child. In nature there are so many amazing things to discover.
      When ​you are planning for an overnight trip or a longer trip, the planning and prep work are just about the same. Preparation is essential for any outdoor adventure. Planning ahead is one way to make sure you have a successful, and enjoyable camping trips.
      Get the kids interested in the trip by getting them involved in the planning. It will build their excitement and anticipation, when your children are young, and you will set them on the path to a lifetime of outdoor adventures. Below are some tips I put together to help start your planning.

Plan the camping trip together

  • Decide on places to go – consider interests, outdoor experience and children’s ages.
  • Pick activities to do
  • Plan and shop for your meals
  • Prepare and pack the equipment and supplies

Try a backyard campout before you go for the first time

  • Teach the kids how to set up a tent
  • Try some outdoor cooking
  • Experience a night outdoors in sleeping bags
  • Show them how to use some camping equipment
  • Plan a few activities
  • Search the sky for constellations
  • Listen to the many night sounds
  • Don’t forget the special nighttime snacks

Try to experience outdoor activities with your kids

  • Get them familiar with the outdoors in order to eliminate their fears
  • Teach them about safety and to respect nature
  • Teach outdoor skills and outdoor ethics
  • Camp chores are actually fun for kids. They love collecting firewood, filling water containers, hammering in tent stacks, camp cooking etc.
  • Make the camp chores extra fun – have contests for gathering the most kindling, best camp cooking, most organized gear
  • Take a small day hike in the woods at a local park
  • Visit a nature center
  • Go fishing at a local pond or stream
  • Take an evening walk
  • Go on a picnic
  • Read related books
  • Have a scavenger hunt
  • Go on a flashlight walk

Take the necessary gear and supplies

  • Extra clothing and shoes – the kids will get wet and extremely dirty
  • Warm clothing – it may get chilly especially in the evening/dress in layers
  • Insect repellent – consider time-release formulas
  • Sunscreen – they’ll be outside all day
  • First aid kit – for those little accidents
  • Rain gear – keep them dry and warm
  • Toys, games, activities – you want to keep them busy
  • Check out Want to Play a Game?
  • Familiar bedtime items – pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, dolls etc
  • Flashlight/glow sticks – to help relieve nighttime fears
  • Snacks – all this activity is going to make them hungry
  • Drinks – avoid dehydration due to heat and activity level

Create memories

  • Bring a camera with plenty of film/flash/extra batteries
  • Disposable type are excellent for outdoor activities
  • Give each child their own disposable camera
  • Capture your memories with video
  • Keep a journal
  • Describe details about your trip and the activities you did
  • Document special moments
  • Include photos
  • Have each family member write about their experience
  • Save crafts etc.
  • Personalized Jigsaw Puzzles
  • eeping an Outdoor Adventure Photo Journal

Plan alternative activities

  • For bad weather
  • To avoid boredom during down times
  • If they dislike a certain planned activity

Make your travel fun

  • Don’t travel a great distance – stop frequently
  • Make your trips short – maybe two or three nights
  • Take toys and activities to keep them busy
  • Play car games – license plates, sign abc’s, singing etc
  • Take plenty of snacks
  • Build their excitement and anticipation

A few tips on camping with an infant – Submitted by K. Molina

  • Use jar baby food. It’s easy to pack. Be sure to buy the smaller jars to cut down on leftovers or waste.
  • Buy a brand of baby cereal that has the formula or whole milk already in it…just add a little bottled water.
  • Portion out the cereal in small plastic ziplock bags…just add water.
  • Buy formula ready-to-drink in cans… you don’t have to add water.
  • Buy 2% milk in tetra packs that don’t need to be refrigerated until they’re open

Buy toys at the dollar store. They will keep your kids occupied in the car and at the campsite…simply throw them away if they get too dirty to take home.

       gear you'll need  

Camping requires equipment, and the basic equipment is the same for seasoned experts or  those just starting out. While there is plenty of high-quality camping equipment to make your stay outdoors a luxury affair, most of these items aren't necessary, especially for beginners. Choose good quality equipment, but don't blow your budget buying the most expensive gear. Remember that costly doesn’t always mean top quality.

  Here is some of basic 

America's #1 Recreational Activity


​​​​​Camping For Beginners 

If you have never been camping, let me tell you that it involves some major thought and preparation. If you've never been camping before and have a yearning to try the activity out, you may be pleasantly surprised with the experience. Camping may even become a regular activity you carry out on weekends or during your yearly vacation. If you have children, camping is a wonderful experience that teaches them quite a lot about making do with very little. Check out our ‘Kid’s Page

Camping is one of the better way to enjoy the great outdoors. One of the first thing you should do is become familiar/refamiliar with the basic camp​ing gear that you will need. One way is to go camping with a seasoned camper. You can quickly learn from them. Basically, you need a shelter, which could be a tent, cabin, or RV, and you need a bed, which could be a combination of sleeping bags and pads, cots, air mattresses, and comforters, and you need to eat, which may or may not require cooking utensils.