The First Rule of Camp Club


rules of camping
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I’m going to tell you a little secret. You may or may not already know this secret, but if you don’t know, you definitely should.

Camping is a quiet activity.
 
 
There. I said it. It’s out there. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you make the awesome decision to go camping, the first rule of camp club is BE QUIET, so that your fellow campers can also enjoy their trip.

If you are WAYYYYY out in the bush, and there is literally no one around for MILES, then by all means, make as much noise as you like. Party it up until the wee hours! The world is your oyster!

But if you are close enough to your neighbour’s campsite, that you could probably carry on a full conversation without needing to get closer to them in order to hear them speak, please show some courtesy and tone it down.

Children are probably the biggest challenge… because when kids are little, let’s be honest, folks, they don’t care about anyone other than themselves, right? A two year old is going to throw a tantrum, regardless of their environment, if they aren’t happy. If that is the case, follow the tips I offer in a previous post: http://bit.ly/1My22li. I am confident that I can help tame the beasts!
nature and relaxation

The purpose of camping is to get away from everything, and enjoy the sounds of nature.

If you bring your dog, a fellow camper’s ONLY request of you is to please make sure the dog is well-trained and well-behaved. If this is not the case with your dog, put the dog in a kennel.

Even if your fellow campers don’t say anything about it, it doesn’t mean your dog isn’t annoying the heck out of them with the whining and barking. Yes. I know. I’m not a dog person at all, but I do understand. Your dog is part of the family. You can’t possibly NOT go without them. But yes. You can. Paying some attention to your camper neighbours will clue you in on the kind of job you’re doing. Glares are usually a dead giveaway that you could improve. One word. Kennel.

I may get some heat for this post, but it’s about respect. Really. It’s not just your vacation. Your fellow campers deserve to enjoy their trip as well, so if bringing extra toys and dog treats doesn’t work, maybe paying some attention to your dog’s needs will help keep them on the down low, so that everyone’s trip is a happy one.

Getting away from it all means exactly that. And most people try to get away from the noise too. Being a quiet camper will win you major points, and maybe some friends in the camping world!

Are there other rules that I may have missed? Please feel free to share!
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5 Things to do When You Camp

5things

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There is often a toss-up between wanting to do a lot when you’re camping, and wanting to do nothing.

We’ve had camping trips where I literally fell asleep on three different beaches! Sometimes you don’t realize how drained you are until you’re there and everything is unpacked. You have a bite to eat, and you suddenly cannot keep your eyes open a minute longer.

We’ve also had camping trips where it’s been literally one physical activity after another, and it can be so exhilarating! (I believe the saying goes, “sleep when you’re dead”.)

To make your trip enjoyable and relaxing, be sure not to forget to do these five things:

Our favourite place to camp!

Our favourite place to camp!

5. Hiking

Most public campgrounds have trails specifically for hiking, or you can explore on your own, depending on how well you know the area, and if you have a GPS or a map with you. Make sure to bring bottled water, something to snack on, and definitely your camera, because photo ops are literally everywhere. Scenic nature shots and wildlife photos are just waiting for you.

4. Biking

Some trails are good for biking, and some are definitely too rugged. Be sure to plan ahead and plan accordingly. Biking along some simple trails at a leisurely pace soothes the soul, and offers the same kinds of photo ops as hiking. Really notice your surroundings… pay attention to the sound of the wind through the pines, breathe in that fresh air and enjoy your ride.

The best way to travel!

The best way to travel!

3. Canoeing/Kayaking

If hiking and biking are just not peaceful enough for you, pick one of these activities and head for the water. Check ahead of time to see if there are any rental facilities nearby, if you aren’t able to borrow from a friend. You can paddle at whatever pace you desire, and because the activity is such a quiet one, the chances of seeing wildlife are that much greater than being on a bike or stepping on twigs on a trail. Some animals to watch for could include herons, beavers, frogs, turtles, ducks and geese, to name a few, but you may get lucky and see something even more awesome!

Nothing's better than the sun on your skin and sand in between your toes!

Nothing’s better than the sun on your skin and sand in between your toes!

2. Visit the Beach

When my family and I go camping, we make sure to block out one entire day for the beach. Look at the weather forecast and try to plan it around any days that include rain. We bring beach toys, a picnic blanket, towels, snacks, sunscreen and the camera and we make a day of it. Laying on the beach, soaking up the sun’s warmth while keeping an eye on the kids building their castles and moats. Just make sure to keep reapplying that sunscreen and drinking water!

1. Napping

Seriously, is this NOT what vacation is all about? A couple of hours of shut-eye in the middle of the day, whenever you feel like it, just makes your entire vacation feel that much more successful, because you have actually RESTED. If you and your spouse can’t nap at the same time, see if you can work it so one takes the kids for an hour while the other naps, and switch when the nap is over. Who needs a spa day when you can nap in the fresh air?

I feel like our trip is a huge success when we’ve ticked all of these activities off of our unspoken list. We come back feeling pretty refreshed from our vacation!

Do you think I missed anything? Please leave your ideas in the comments!

Why Camp?

Why Camp? Explore your options!

Why Camp? Explore your options!

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Each year, the day we come back from camping is the day we start the countdown for the following year!

So why camp? What is so great about it that a non-camper should try it, at least once?

I believe the main reason to camp are to enjoy nature, to relax, view wildlife in a natural environment, and to gain a sincere appreciation for modern conveniences (absence makes the heart grow fonder!). But HOW does one camp?

There are soooo many forms and ways to camp that if one doesn’t work for you, another probably will. I think to some people, “camping” means no showers, catching your own food and sleeping on the ground. While, yes, there IS that form of camping, that is for extreme-campers. Being loyal to Algonquin Park, my husband and I see that as “interior-camping”, where you need to bring everything you camp with and make sure it fits into a canoe, because you’re going DEEP into the bush, where there are no options for you if you forgot something.
Paddling is so peaceful!

Paddling is so peaceful!

There is car-camping, which is what my family and I do. We don’t ‘sleep on the ground’, we have an air mattress, and while it’s not the best thing in the world to sleep on, for one week, we can manage. We camp in a campground that offers showers and laundry facilities, and also has a store (where everything is a lot more expensive than anywhere else). It’s not quite roughing it but it’s not necessarily glamorous either.

If these options don’t work for you, you can buy or borrow a small tent trailer, which offers actual beds, a table and dining benches, and depending on the trailer, other modern conveniences, such as a fridge, stove, storage, etc.

And of course, if you want to take home with you when you leave home for your vacation, you can camp in an actual camper. Some models offer showers, microwaves, air conditioning, satellite, etc. These kinds of vehicles can be QUITE expensive, but to some, they are worth every penny.

Gazing into a campfire right before bed... there is nothing like it!

Gazing into a campfire right before bed… there is nothing like it!

Despite all of the options, the entire point of camping is not how you camp, it’s all about the experiences you have while you’re there, and who you camp with. Camping is great for family bonding, and educating children on the importance of taking a break and enjoying nature. Nature is extremely relaxing, and it’s proven that exposure to nature can reduce stress and blood pressure.

Feel free to share your comments on your love for camping!