Friday, June 5, 2009

Camping with grandchildren

Camping with grandchildren

Take your grandchildren camping? Okay, maybe it won't be as rustic as the kids imagine, but who's to say you can't bring an RV along just for a few creature comforts we seniors need. Toss tents in the storage area for the kids if they MUST rough it to feel like they are really camping. But don't make the mistake we made of thinking you can drive a tent peg through Florida limestone with a tack hammer.

Actually, an RV is something of a necessity for softer elders camping here in Florida, especially in the summer. Have you ever been attacked by mosquitoes so big they have to stop to refuel in mid-air?

Things to consider:

If you camp close to home base you can leave if it gets too rough.

Go south in the winter, go north in the summer.

If you must go south in the summer, make sure swimming is in the plan it's the only sure way to stay cool.

Things to take along:

  • Camera
  • Sunblock
  • Basic tool box
  • Matches
  • Flashlights
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Swim suits and towels
  • Rope or clothes line (believe me you will find use for this) and clothes pins
  • Bags (preferable netting)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Emergency foods like cereal bars
  • Soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Less clothing than you think you will need
  • More water bottles than you think you will need
  • Cooking utensils
  • Fishing/hunting equipment
  • Maps & charts

First aid kit:

  • Band-aids
  • Pain-free antiseptic wash
  • Sunburn treatment with aloe
  • Bleach (spot it on fire ant bites)
  • Nail polish (spot it on redbug bites)
  • Skeeter stick (spot it on mosquito bites)
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Antacids

Plan B:

Quietly map out nearby motels and find out their rates and availability

Check with any relatives who live nearby to see if you can camp at their house. Promise the kids an amusement park if they will leave NOW.

I was fortunate enough to go camping every summer from the age of 5 to 12 because my mother managed to work for a camp every summer thereby earning my tuition and a bit of extra cash for the coming school year's clothes. If you can find a deal like that to give your grandchildren the wonderful experience of really camping, by all means go for it.

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