Thursday, August 11, 2011

Take the Kids Camping, Enjoy Them!

This weekend the weather is supposed to be nice with temperatures in the lower 90's and a low in the mid 60's.  I am considering going camping since we have not been yet this year.  The boys have been telling me they want to go camping and fishing and I have hesitated due to the 100 plus temperatures with lows in the 80's.

If we go I just want to do a short camping/fishing trip to Anthony lake.  It is only $7.00 a night to camp there and looks like you could do some good bank fishing.  Anthony lake is only 25 miles away so we won't be breaking the bank to get there.  Once we get there we'll eat hot dogs over the fire and chips like the old days.

When I was growing up Dad taught me a lot about the wilderness and other things he learned in boy scouts and growing up.

I want my boys to enjoy the outdoors the same way I do.  Here are some of the things I will be teaching them.

There are several different ways to build fires.  In order to get them to light the first time you have to stack them properly.  Fires require air, as well as wood to burn.  Fire also burns up and needs air at the bottom when starting.  The best fires I have seen are built like a Tee Pee or a Pyramid.  Both start out with a wide base and get narrower towards the top.  They also allow air to enter through the bottom.  With those designs you also need some type of fire starter in the middle of the structure.  Wadded paper and small twigs work well.  The trick is to get the fire going with one match.  Dad used to only bring 1 match camping.  I was always careful to get that fire started.

Once the fire is started I can show the boys what to do with it.  They can boil an egg or water in a plastic cup directly in the fire, then use forked sticks to take the plastic cup out.  I can have them shave a hot dog stick and cook with it.  We can cook things in tin foil directly in the coals.

The boys love to help put up the tent.  It used to be a lot slower with them helping, but that is one of the biggest parts of camping.  Now they tell me what needs to go where and are a big help with getting camp set up.  The more you teach them the more fun they will have and the less work you will have for yourself.

Once camp is set up and the fire is going I can show them the constellations, tell ghost stories, roast s'mores, skip rocks, show them the different types of bugs, trees etc.  There are also camping games that the boys will be starting to get into such as scavenger hunts, washers, and tic tac toe in the dirt with a stick.

Camping will give them good memories of time spent with their families.  I look back and laugh at the worst camping trips we had when I was a kid.  The best ones I want to repeat.  Each time I go camping I build memories, and memories of camping with my family make me happy!

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