Family camping certainly can build closer relationships between parents and kids. They provide memories and share experiences that will live with them far into their future. Of course sometimes it can be a challenge too. There are many ways to camp and my wife will tell you if we’re going camping she wants the RV to come with us.

But, I’ll be talking about what some people call “tent camping.” It’s an inexpensive way to start camping and for some kids and families the best way to experience camp life. There are some great resources for camping gear:

Sierra Trading Post
Alps Mountaineering Pineridge Wilderness Tent – 8-Person, 3-Season, 3-Room $169.96

Summit Camping Gear
Coleman Montana Big Sky™ Elite Tent sleeps 7   $189.95

From family tents to bivy sacks, we have the brands you want: REI, Big Agnes, The North Face, Kelty and more. The Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 deluxe car camping/basecamp tent will withstand 4-season weather conditions and features a main area that sleeps 6 and a smaller area that sleeps 2.   Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 Tent $499.95

a great Eureka! Grand Manan 9 Tent $259.97

An  Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent $119.99

Budget Travel recently ran an article called Camping with Your Kids (Painlessly) in it they mentioned activities for your kids breaking down the ages, activities and parks:

7-10 year olds
Riding horses and mules. Outings can be booked at Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.; Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Ky. (same-day reservations only); Palo Duro Canyon State Park, in the Texas panhandle; and Glacier National Park, Mont., among other parks.

11-14 year olds
Caving. A guide leads you through narrow, pre-explored passages, where lamplight reveals unusual insects and rock formations. Available in Mammoth Cave National Park, Ky.; Sequoia National Park, Calif.; and Wind Cave National Park, S.D.

15-18 year olds
White-water rafting. Build your teen’s confidence by tapping into his or her thrill-seeking side. Call your local park to find out if it has beginnerlevel rapids, such as the one on the southern (a.k.a. upper) part of New River Gorge, W.Va.

Visit Budget Travel for the full article and information on other activities like snorkeling, wilderness skill training, mountain climbing, cross-country skiing,

According to Frommers: “having a vacation that isn’t going to break the budget. That may be why this year more families are thinking about heading to the campgrounds. (Probably because you can score a campsite for under $20 a night.) “Camping has become cool,” says Christine Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, a not-for-profit organization charged with encouraging young people to get outdoors. She notes that reservations for campsites and sales for camping gear are up. In just one month, REI ( reported family tent sales were up almost 30 percent from 2008.

And many appear to be first-time campers. “We’ve had the highest growth of first-time campers in 18 years,” reports Jim Rogers, CEO of the 450-plus KOA Campgrounds ( the world’s largest system of family campgrounds.

To encourage the trend, The National Park Service (, which also offers plenty of campground activities, has announced one more free-entrance weekend left (Aug. 15 to 16).”

There are plenty of options too for those who want the experience the outdoors without all the work. Everyone from the Sierra Club ( to REI to Backroads ( to the Appalachian Mountain Club ( offer a variety of well-priced organized camping trips and activities designed for families (even with young children) led by those experienced in introducing kids to the outdoors.

Read more at Frommers

And in the end if you just want an easy camping experience and don’t mind any rodents. There’s always Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Resort. There I’ve said it. You’ll find me extolling Disney World and anything Disney throughout my blogs. I just can’t help it. I’m a Disney kids at heart.

Campsites range from 25 to 65 feet in length and differ in amenities; each has a maximum occupancy of 10 Guests. All include privacy, water, cable television and electrical hook-ups, a picnic table and a charcoal grill. High-speed internet access is available for an additional charge. With the exception of Tent/Pop-up Campsites, all locations also include sewer hook-up. Groups of 20 or more may reserve the tents-only Creekside Meadow campsite.

Of course, there are Air-Conditioned Comfort Stations, private bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities. Ok so you’re not quite roughing it. But, that comes back to my wife and the RV.

Camping is fun. Plan it and go. And remember – things happen. They only add to the unforgettable experience of camping. There’s a world out there. Go to it.

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