As the weather gets warmer, and the kids slowly get out of school, people begin to pack their backpacks and lace up their hiking boots. It's time to go camping! Lock up the house and put that "Gone Fishing" sign on the door.
Where to Go
The first thing you'll need is to know is where you are going, unless wandering aimlessly in the woods is your thing (which should only be done by experienced campers with proper equipment and food supplies). Here are some ideas for where to go camping or hiking.
* '''Your own backyard''': If you live in a suburban or rural environment, often times the backyard is a great place to camp out or go hiking (if you have an especially large and wooded backyard). Kids who may be too young to handle camping without a nearby bathroom or their trusty nightlight would be better off camping out in their backyard. Try building a small campfire and roasting marshmallows with your children, or tell scary (but not too scary!) ghost stories.
* '''A local or state park''': Often times local parks allow camping. There are usually signs posted at the parks that specify if camping is allowed. Usually, during the summer months, the parks that allow camping are easy to spot: they're the parks with hundreds of tents pitched already!
* '''National parks, hiking trails, or mountains''': Feeling adventurous? Try taking a trip to popular national hiking and camping spots, such as Palmetto Trail in Charleston, South Carolina.
* '''Global backpacking''': If you have the means, try trekking the globe! Backpack across Europe, see the Great Wall, and go to the outdoor markets in India. Just be sure to bring some comfortable lounge pants and shirts for extra comfort in a faraway land.
What You'll Need
On or Off the Trail
Check out this gear that's great on or off the trail.
Outdoor GPS Devices
A little 21st century technology can make your hiking/camping experience safer and much more enjoyable. Today's handheld devices offer a myriad of awesome features you wouldn't even think of. Save the locations of cool spots and take pictures to document your travels with multi-functional GPS units. All of the units below are waterproof and proven durable.
When venturing the great outdoors, you are bound to get pretty dirty--but this doesn't mean your SUV or Jeep has to be! With these heavy-duty floor mats, you can get as sloppy as you wish, without ruining your car upholstery.
* Fishing: Fishing is an excellent wilderness activity. Read up on the types of fish and supplies you'll need.
* Hunting: Great for any outdoor excursion, this guide will give you the ins and outs of buying hunting gear. Make sure to read up on hunting regulations in your area before packing a rifle.
* Camping Backpacks: Great suggestions for backpacking gear and travel packs!
* Hiking Boots: The quickest spoiler for a great hike is sore feet. Buy a pair of hiking boots that is perfect for your needs.
* Travel Essentials: If you're considering global backpacking, read this guide for the essentials.
* Tents: Unless you prefer sleeping directly under the stars, this is the place to start your search for the perfect tent.
* Sleeping Bags: Stay warm all night long with these sleeping bag suggestions.
Camping and Hiking
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