Back to Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - June 15, 2005)
Cmon in camping is comfy for baby
Natural landscape is disappearing at an alarming
rate as pastoral farmlands are transformed for commercial and real estate usage,
undeveloped land parcels are being urbanized and beaches are converted as privately
owned with little or no public access.
|Photo by Rick Tremmel
|Baby Boomers take to camping
in style and comfort.
Shopping malls have trees and skylights, flora plantings, food courts, glitz and
glitter, as well, hotels on the beach strip boast private outdoor pools and
manicured gardens, but people are seeking refuge away from the lights, glitter,
silk plants and bar stools.
Camping outdoors under the starry night sky, marshmallows on a stick around the
warm glow of a cozy camp fire, and the scent of smoke in your hair and hot coffee
warming the still, soft, gray morn is becoming a craze. Baby boomers are getting
back to nature.
According to 2001 to 2002 market statistics, rising orders for RVs have
prompted RV manufacturers to hire additional workers, open new assembly lines,
expand existing plants, and construct new facilities. RVs are at a premium.
Three season tent sales are up. While Sporting Goods Sales in general through
chains fell 2.8 percent, technical lumbar packs grew 36 percent in units sold.
RV wholesale shipments increased 16.1 percent, tent sales fell 3.8 percent while
three-season tents (62 percent of all tents sold) increased 11.8 percent.
Equipment sales, representing nearly half of total dollar sales in chains, were up
Daypacks increased 47 percent in units. Sports sandals were up 16 percent in
But I havent been camping since my old Girl Scout days, a friend
recently shared. Im just not real sure what to do anymore or what we
You need Camping 101, I said with a smile. She grinned, Well,
write the column and send me a copy.
Camping 101: What are the essentials? Shelter, Bedding, Cooking Equipment, Clean
Water and Food Storage. Lets briefly discuss Shelter and Bedding.
The first consideration: What kind of camping do you desire? Are you interested in
backpacking into a remote location or for long distances? If so, weight is your
primary concern. Backpackers are minimalists. Every inch and every ounce counts.
Are you planning a family base camp? For how many?
How long? What time of year? Maybe you have a pickup and youre planning to
use the bed of the truck as home. Perhaps a pop-up tent trailer is an
option. These are your most basic considerations and are priority when purchasing
Lets assume for this trip the kids are coming along. Take a brief look at
tents. Tents come in all sizes and are suited for variable weather situations. A
family first outing will most likely be best suited in a 3-season tent with
multiple rooms with a screened area.
Since families tend to set up in one area once, setup and breakdown time is not of
prime consideration, as neither is weight. The family camper is looking for
convenience, comfort, endurance and affordability. Your tent is not the place to
scrimp on the budget. Its the only thing between you and a summer
thunderstorm or worse hail, an unexpected snowfall or a barrage of
Tents: Bathtub seamless bottom is best rather than seams contacting
Its important that the tent fly covers most of the tent when in
place for maximum protection.
Make certain the tent design allows for ample moisture venting so that youre
not awakening to an indoor pool in the morning.
The door of the tent should be D-Style not Roll-Down that eventually fills with
dirt, water and tears from people tripping over it.
No matter what the manufacturer promises, always go over exposed seams with seam
sealant for added protection against leaks.
Include a tarp and enough rope to stretch a tarp over the tent during really bad
storms to protect from damaging debris falling upon the tent.
Bedding: Cots, foam and inflatable pads have been the essentials of the past, but
inflatable mattresses of variable sizes are the new improved alternative for base
Establish bedding needs based upon weather temperatures but while base camping
with family also consider comfort. Traditionally sleeping bags were standard
equipment, but soft flannel fitted sheets and a warm cuddly duvet might make for a
more comfortable, like home, experience for a summer camp-out.
There is nothing anywhere written that deems a camping experience be one of
roughing it. The goal of the experience is to be outdoors in nature and
at peace with nature.
Over the next few weeks well explore in-depth camping tips and purchasing
equipment from buying a tent to purchasing a sleeping bag, how to build a great
campfire, how to cook a gourmet meal on a propane stove, backpacking-lite, and
where are some of the best places to go to help you encounter the camping craze
while getting comfortable, back to nature.
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.