that’s going to hold up over time.”
Costco member Brian Cox, product
manager for Costco supplier Lightspeed
Outdoors, which produces camping and
beach gear, encourages campers to take
some time to practice using their equipment before leaving on their trip. “We see
it all the time, with questions coming into
our customer service department,” he says,
noting people call asking what the extra
tent fabric—the rain fly—is for or why
their air pump doesn’t work (they forgot
the batteries). A practice run lets campers
work through these issues from home.
The best way to keep the littlest family
members entertained is to be prepared.
“Plan ahead,” Sicco advises. “What activi-
ties do you like to do as a family? What will
you do if it rains? Have a backup plan.”
She encourages giving kids nature
journals or doing scavenger hunts to get
them out and exploring. I Spy games,
songs, coloring, making friendship brace-
lets, bubbles, board and card games, and
;reside stories are also fun options, she
says. And be sure to check out junior
ranger programs, guided nature hikes and
camp;re talks, if they’re available.
Cox encourages parents to host a practice camping trip in the backyard before
venturing away from home. “It’s not dark,
and everyone’s not tired and grumpy from
a six-hour car ride, and everyone gets
accustomed to it,” he says.
Coleman’s new Coleman—Get Outdoors app o;ers additional camping tips,
tricks and how-tos. It is available as a free
download from the Apple App Store and
from Google Play.
However your family enjoys camping,
be sure to keep safety in mind. (See the
safety-related story on page ;;.) A safe trip
is a fun trip. C
Kristen Pope ( kepope.com) is a Jackson,
Wyoming–based freelance writer and editor
who specializes in outdoor adventure,
science, conservation and travel.
DO A LITTLE research and learn about
where you’re going ahead of time. Will
you need to bring bear spray? Are the
bugs out this time of year? Is it likely to
Bring the right equipment. Make
sure the gear you’re bringing is suited
for the particular place you’re going.
Check that your sleeping bags are warm
enough for the weather and double-check that everything works correctly
before leaving home. It’s no fun to get to
the campsite and realize your air mattress has a big hole in it.
Be ready for the weather. Consult
the forecast and plan for the weather,
but also prepare for the unexpected. Be
sure to bring rain gear (including a rain
jacket or poncho, rain pants, waterproof
boots and a rain hat), but also be ready
for the sun with sunscreen, sunglasses
and a wide-brimmed hat. Bringing layers
and adding or subtracting based on the
weather is often helpful.
Plan your meals ahead of time. A
little planning can make your mealtime
experience better. Know exactly what
you’ll eat for each meal and consider
doing some of the prep work (like chopping vegetables) ahead of time. Make sure
you have all the ingredients you’ll need, as
well as the tools to do the job. Consider
everything from salt and pepper to pots,
pans, cooking knives, tongs, flippers,
utensils, can openers and corkscrews.
Give everyone a job. Make everyone
feel involved with camping by assigning
tasks. Even young kids can help put
things away, tidy up a campsite or set
the table for mealtime.
Have backup plans. Don’t let a
change in the weather derail your plans.
If inclement weather keeps you from
canoeing or hiking a ridgeline, have a
backup plan. Spend the afternoon at a
park visitors center, read books or play
board games in the tent.
Safety first. When camping, always
keep safety in mind. Be aware of natural
hazards like water, rockfalls, lightning,
falling trees and wildlife. Ask rangers
about known hazards in the area, and
be sure to check for ticks each day.—KP
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here to learn about Coleman’s
dark tent. (See page 10 for details.)