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  #1  
March 29th, 2010, 07:14 AM
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DH and I have been talking about it and we would really like to try camping. Anyone here go camping? I checked tent prices and !! Holy smokes!! a good tent is expensive. I told DH we should try and save for a used pop up instead.

So... anyone here camp? Any advice on equipment?
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  #2  
March 29th, 2010, 07:48 AM
UrbanMomma's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Camping...as in sleep and eat outside....no. no camping for me. Have fun though.
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  #3  
March 29th, 2010, 07:59 AM
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We camp all.the.time. Tent camp - we have 2 tents, though we may add a third this year. I have a camp stove also so we don't have to cook over a fire all the time. Love it. Cheap, fun, healthy. Love camping.
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  #4  
March 29th, 2010, 08:04 AM
Just_Marie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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We camp lots, but we don't tent-we have a hardside trailer that sleeps 9-we love it! We could use a bigger one, though-maybe in 5 years. Hotdogs and marshmallows and the smell of wood smoke, I love camping! Oh, and don't forget about me keeping the little ones out of the firepit and the babies sucking on old cig butts and sunflower shells
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  #5  
March 29th, 2010, 10:40 AM
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Well it's too late for this year - but sometimes you can find super good deals at the end of the summer on tents.

We got our tent from my in-laws...who apparently bought it with their Marlboro points, lol. It's a good tent...not really big enough for us anymore though. I like it because it kind of pops up on it's own and then I stake it to the ground.
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  #6  
March 29th, 2010, 12:50 PM
shari626's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would looooovvveee to go camping. I have never been tent camping, but I would love a travel trailer for camping. Dh isn't too into camping though. I wish I could talk him into it though.
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  #7  
March 29th, 2010, 04:33 PM
Repti.Mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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DH wants to use my dads camper ( he has a seasonal site at a campground) but I'm not so sure. I don't know if anyone is going to sleep, i'm kinda anal about cleaning, and I'm sure I will turn into a big beech.... ugh.. I don't want to dissapoint him though, and make him not want to do ANYTHING this summer.
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  #8  
March 29th, 2010, 04:47 PM
Just_Marie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I found that Nolan was so busy camping, that he slept very soundly-I imagine the other three will be the same this year
I guess our first camping trip of the year will be in May when we fly to LA, rent a motorhome and do Disney. I can't wait!!
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  #9  
March 29th, 2010, 05:22 PM
Momtothe6thpower's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Ugh...camping

I've done quite a bit of tent camping. We used to do these big huge canoe trips every year and camp out the night before then float the river all the next day. It's all fun and games until it's actually time to sleep, then it's really uncomfortable, for me anyways. Make sure you take an air mattress!
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  #10  
March 29th, 2010, 09:05 PM
dalynnrmc's Avatar pronounced (day-lynn)
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We're HUGE campers here - we're scouters. We have 5 tents and are planning to purchase another this season.

For a beginner, with no one there to kind of mentor you along, I probably wouldn't suggest tent camping. Rent, or get a pop-up, or something like that and get used to what it takes to live without the comforts of home for a weekend before you invest in a tent. You'll use it once, decide you hate it, and never go back... and that is such a shame! (On the other hand, if you have some experienced camping friends to go camping with a couple of times your first times out, that's a different story!!)


I do recommend a camping stove, propane operated coleman-style. Especially for newbies, you don't want to be trying to get a fire started and depending on that for supper if you've never done a wood fire. You'll end up at the McDonald's.

Washable dishes. Rinse them off in the running water spigot provided; if you go to a state or national park, they'll have running water at the camp sites. Paper *seems* like a good idea... until you meet the wildlife.

Bring something heavy to set on top of the cooler. Racoons have opposable thumbs and I guarantee you *will* get into the cooler.

Fill a couple of milk jugs or soda bottles about 4/5 full of water and freeze them. These go in the cooler first, and will keep your bagged ice frozen longer.

Bring lots and lots of bottled water. Keeping hyrdated is ultra important, and harder to do when you're outside 20 hours a day for 3 days than you think it is. If you don't have to go to the bathroom every 2-3 hours, you aren't drinking enough water!!

If you take M&M's, put them in a ziploc bag before putting them in the cooler. M&M bags are not water proof.

Plan your meals ahead of time, and think about what you'll need to cook them with. Breakfast tacos (aka breakfast burritos - eggs, meat, tortillas, cheese, salsa) are an easy, filling breakfast. You'll need a skillet and spatula for that! Taco salad is another good meal that's easy enough to do while camping. Hot dogs and burgers are staples, but you don't have to eat nothing but those for three days.


Instant is good. Instant coffee, instant hot chocolate, instant oatmeal. Drink mixes to dump into your bottle of water, like Crystal Lite. Instant is your best friend. Don't forget the pitcher to boil water in and pour from!


SUNSCREEN and a hat. Toilet paper. Always bring your own toilet paper. (Not that state park tp is bad, just... sometimes they run out!!) Bug spray, allergy meds - both the oral and the topical sort. Rubbing alcohol and band-aids.

Fishing pole and tackle? Check the state laws; in TX you don't need a fishing license to fish at a state park as long as you're standing on the bank (aka not in a boat).

Park fun things to do - frisbees, kites, cards. We're scouts so we don't bring electronic devices camping... but families probably do.

A bird/fish/wildlife/plants guide to the area is always nice.




If you DO get a tent, pay attention to a few things:
--tall tents are for warmer weather. They let the air circulate.
--short tents are for cooler weather, and you'll sweat at night if it's too warm outside.
--some tents have a vent window, and some have an electrical outlet hole.
--put it UP before you leave. Really. And no, it never fits back in the box like it came out. We bought a duffel bag for our big one.

About sleeping bags:
--Check the box - sleeping bags are rated for different temperatures. If a bag only goes to 40 degrees, you will freeze your toes off if it gets down to 28 at night. (Not that I'd know.... ) By the same token, if the bag is a 0-40 bag, you will sweat yourself into shock if the temp doesn't drop below 60 at night. Pay attention!
--You get what you pay for. Cheap bags fall apart the first or second time they're used. LOOK at the bag, pull it out of the box and check the seams, and how well the zipper is sewn in.
-- We don't bother with the silly things. We take a thick blanket to sleep on and a sheet (in summer) or light blanket (in winter) as covers. They roll up smaller than sleeping bags, taking up less room when you pack up, and are MUCH easier to wash out when you return home. (As a side note, if we were camping under 40 degrees on a regular basis, I'd totally get a 0-40 rated bag. Really.)
-- Don't forget pillows! The stupid air-up things are a waste of time, money, energy, and even the plastic they're made of. Take your own! They take up more room, but SO SO worth it.


Invest in 3 rubbermaid containers with lids. One for dry food stuffs, one for hardware stuffs like pots and pans and flashlights and butane lighters and paper towels, and one for the bedding materials (if you aren't using sleeping bags). The wet/cold foods will be in the cooler. We have two coolers - one for food and one for drinks - so that the kids don't continuously get into the food container trying to get sodas. Makes a difference in temp how many times the thing is opened, and keeping the temp down is best for the meat.



And that was probably WAY more info than you wanted. LOL We do this often - we've started 3 scouting groups from the ground and coached newbie campers once a season for the past 2 1/2 years, so I have some of this info just at the front of my brain. Feel free to contact me if you want more, or have questions or anything! (Not sure how much longer we'll have net as we're moving within the next 30 days, but you can try! On April 10 I'll have a buddy in my DDC who will have my contact info if you want it.)


Have fun!! Camping is super fun, and a great passtime for families, not to mention it's one of the lowest cost things you can do for entertainment. Last year our family vacation was camping for a week - the kids loved it!!
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  #11  
March 29th, 2010, 10:44 PM
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Wow that was informative. I have never camped and not sure I ever will but I am bookmarking this post just in case...that was really some amazing info - Thanks!
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  #12  
March 30th, 2010, 05:29 AM
huckleberry312's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We have done the tent thing and it was rough. Trying to get the kids to sleep at night was almost impossible. After that we went and bought a travel trailer. Our payments are $200 a month..yes for a long time. Our loan is 9 yrs. It was well worth it though. Our trailer sleeps 9 people comfortably. We also have use of a fridge, oven, stove and bathroom. We usually use the park showers only because hot water doesn't last, but it is enough to fill a small tub for the little ones to bath. I can tolerate camping as long as I have the extras.
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  #13  
March 30th, 2010, 10:32 AM
Kristina's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Looks like you have a lot of great info can't really think of anything to add except bug spray lots of it We are really big campers too.
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  #14  
March 30th, 2010, 03:20 PM
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We LOVE to camp....we started out tenting...now we are wanting to buy a pop up...for now we rent a camper at the site we go to (my family has a resort membership)...
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  #15  
April 6th, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Dalynn - Thanks!! This was extremely helpful
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  #16  
April 7th, 2010, 02:05 PM
momoftwinsand1's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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WE just got back from campingtoday. We love it, we tent camp. but I will say we bring some luxury items. I have a mini fridge and small microwave we take and we have a dvd player we take. It keeps evryone happy which keeps me happy. I have never had a problem getting my kids to nap or sleep for the night. They are so worn out that they go right to sleep.
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  #17  
April 7th, 2010, 02:18 PM
KrazE's Avatar ShutTheFrontDoor
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I'd rather pierce my girly parts with a rusty nail then go camping

Seriously
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  #18  
April 7th, 2010, 07:25 PM
dalynnrmc's Avatar pronounced (day-lynn)
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You're very welcome. I knew it was overboard when I did it, and way more than what you were asking, but it all just kinda spilled out. LOL

We have 5 tents and hubby hopes to buy a 6th this season.

We have 2 kid-sized tents. Sometimes kids sleep in them, and sometimes we use them as supply tents. Don't ever keep your food in the same tent where you sleep, for wildlife's sake.

We have 2 mid-sized tents, the dome style that sleep 5 according to the package. We usually sleep dh and I plus our suitcase in these, or it's great for about 3 pre-teen boys.

We have one large 2-room tent. The stupid curtain thing that is supposed to make it 2 rooms is a stupid waste of cloth. It's good space though, and all 5 of us can sleep in it - even when I insist on the queen air mattress. (I have back issues and often need an air mattress or more support than the guys do. We plan to buy a twin-sized air mattress that self-inflates, just for me - small for space's sake.)


Hubby wants to buy a "huge" 3-room tent. The kind with actual rooms, and not just a piece of cloth. He said one side for kids, one for adults, and a "stuff" area in the middle. I also like the ones like that which have the mosquito net porch looking things on the front. We live in prime mosquito country, and those things actually work. Being scouters, we camp with lots of other people several times a year and have had the chance to check out a few tents. We like these!


And I guess that's all the info you asked for in the first place. We'd also love a pop-up if the chance came available for us to get one. We feel that it's small enough to not totally outdo the camping experience, but large enough to accomodate our growing family and still work for comfort for my back and any little babies. (Though ours have gone camping starting at just over a year old, all but my oldest.) We'd love it so that we can go camping for LONGER trips - a week or longer. My back can't currently handle longer than 2 nights without an air mattress, 3 or 4 with one... except on our vacation last year we bought a double-thick air mattress and I did fine for 5 nights.



As of right now, I'm taking a break from packing! I figure that I'll lose computer/internet Saturday night and be gone for about a month. See you soon and have fun!
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