First-Time Camping: the Basics

A first-time camping trip, like any new endeavor, may seem intimidating to some; but it actually isn’t that daunting if you keep it simple. The availability of online resources makes it possible to find the info you need to plan this adventure quickly. Odessa American offers tips for those who have never experienced a stay in the great outdoors.

The first step is to decide where you want to go and research the campgrounds in the area. Look for ratings, so you can avoid blaring stereos or places that are poorly maintained. Reserve your spot well in advance of your trip.

State and national parks offer multiple advantages that include gorgeous scenery, showers and restrooms as well as areas to boat, fish and hike. In addition, they have designated quiet hours and are often patrolled by rangers at night.

If you’ve never camped before, start out with the basics of a tent, sleeping bags and a few cooking supplies. Once you decide you want to continue the activity, you can invest in equipment that will make your trip more comfortable and pleasant. You may want to patronize some outdoor outfitting retailers that offer gear rentals along with camping classes.

While many people love tent camping, it may not be for everyone, especially novices. Those who want to enjoy nature and fresh air can rent a cabin that comes equipped with beds, a stove and a refrigerator.

Whether you stay in a tent or a cabin, you are likely to discover, as so many have, that camping is a joy. Spending time with family in a peaceful setting is an unbeatable formula for relaxation and renewal.

Check our Access Camping website frequently for tips.


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Tips for Camping With Dogs

It can be difficult to leave the beloved family dog behind when embarking on a camping trip, yet not all dogs are good candidates for this activity. In deciding whether or not to take your pet along, first check the criteria below to see if he would enjoy it. If his temperament appears to be suitable for camping, make some preparations to be sure he is safe and happy throughout the trip. The information is provided by Mother Nature Network.

Is Your Dog a Good Candidate?

Ask yourself if your pet is easily excitable, highly vocal or dislikes being tied on a leash. If any of these sounds like him, it would be best not to bring him along. In addition, if he tends to wander or looks for opportunities to escape, he wouldn’t make a good companion for the trip.

Start Slowly to Help Your Dog Adjust

Before you make the trip, take your dog on nature hikes in your area to get him accustomed to wildlife and other people. Also, see how he responds to being tied up or crated while you are nearby. After a little practice, Rover may be ready for camping.


Check your destination campground to see if dogs are allowed. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations, and apply tick and flea medication. Have a vet put a microchip in him, so you’ll be more likely to get him back if he becomes separated from you. Pack the following:

  • 6-foot walking leash
  • 10- to 20-foot leash for tying
  • Harness and collar
  • Food and water
  • Poop bags
  • First aid kit
  • Dog bed

During the trip, keep the dog hydrated and make sure he is supervised at all times. Also, keep him warm at night and make sure he doesn’t overexert. Aside from the usual tags on his collar, add a temporary tag with your cell number and campsite information.

Visit our Access Camping website regularly for tips.


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Tips for Camping With Kids

Away from electronics and all the distractions of modern life, camping offers an unbeatable way for families to relax and connect. It’s also an opportunity to help children discover the pleasures of the great outdoors. The Boston Globe provides the tips below to make it a more enjoyable experience for all.

  • Test the waters before investing money in camping equipment. Borrow or rent a tent, stove and other items. While most people love camping, it’s not for everyone. You may find that a better option for your family would be to rent a cabin by a lake.
  • For a first camping trip, choose a campground with amenities like a swimming pool, hiking trails and bike rentals in addition to restrooms and showers.
  • Sleep comfortably by bringing along a self-inflating sleeping pad and favorite pillows from home.
  • Get the kids involved by assigning them things to do to pitch in and help.
  • Take measures to keep everyone safe.  Pack a first aid kit, and check for broken glass and poison once you arrive at your campsite. Give the kids whistles to wear in case they are separated or become lost. Don’t leave a fire unattended, and make sure it is completely out before going to bed.
  • Don’t over schedule activities, but try some that you may not normally do at home. These can include looking for constellations guided by an astronomy book or playing board games.

Check out Access Camping website frequently for info and tips.


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Innovative Company Offers Comfortable Camping

We’ve heard of hotels that offer glamping, a glamorous version of the camping experience, in their rooms or on their property. Now, an enterprising company in Virginia, Solid Ground Shelters, brings the camping experience to customers at the destination of their choice – in comfort and style, reports The Daily Progress.

The concept involves setting up a tent with all the necessities as well as some comforts and conveniences at the location you designate. Whether you want to camp in your backyard, in a traditional campground or at a music festival, they take care of all the work. Cofounder Jason Johnson says the concept is already fairly popular in Europe, so they are introducing it to the U.S. market.

This “outside hotel” involves setting up a tent equipped with a real mattress and nice bed linens along with a table and chairs. II also includes frills like fresh flowers and fixings for s’mores. The idea is to enable people to enjoy the great outdoors without any hassles. It isn’t for everyone, but there is a segment of the camping populace who would find it very appealing.

Visit our Access Camping website for all the latest news.


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Tips for a Better Camping Trip

You can get the most of your camping trip with some preplanning that will make the experience more comfortable, pleasurable and safe. Charles Bridwell of Advance-Monticellonion offers the tips below.

Anything that gives you a good night’s sleep is worthwhile. For better rest, try sleeping on a self-inflating air mattress rather than a sleeping bag.

A tasty meal can enhance the enjoyment of any endeavor, so put some thought into planning the best meals possible. If you’re backpacking, you can have a hot meal with freeze-dried food. Otherwise, imagine how good a juicy steak would taste grilled over hot coals. Likewise, some freshly-caught fish, coated with meal and fried in a skillet with a pat of butter, will taste amazing.

Make the trip memorable with good times by the campfire. Pack the fixings for hot dogs and s’mores, and bring along a guitar.

Keep safe by listening to weather reports and seeking shelter when needed. In addition, bring along a first aid kit, cell phone, pocket flashlight, compass, GPS and maps. Always let someone know where you’re going and when to expect you back. Take along plenty of water, and don’t go on a hike without carrying water bottles.

Check out Access Camping website frequently for tips.


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Experience Bike Camping

Glamping, a camping experience with more of the comforts of home, is much in the news these days. However, some camping purists feel that the best outdoor experiences come from the opposite approach, which is cutting back to the basics. For this, all you need is a sturdy bicycle and a few essentials.

Ann Wessel of the St. Cloud Times interviewed Tony Ross, an enthusiast of bike camping, who recommends taking a lightweight backpacking tent, sleeping bag, hatchet, folding saw, food and water. He advises staying at a state park for campers who want the convenience of available firewood and water, but he advocates staying at a state forest for those who prefer simplicity and rustic conditions.

Ross says that for the sake of being prepared, try out your camping-related endeavors ahead of time. For example, if you plan to cook a meal over a camp stove, try it at home first.

In addition, practice riding your bike that is carrying the extra weight of your camping gear. Learn to balance the bike by distributing the added weight evenly and putting the heaviest items nearest the ground.

The bike camping experience may not be glamorous, but it definitely has its rewards. A stay in the poshest hotel cannot compare to a trip in the great outdoors where you can breathe in clean air and gaze at a panorama of starry hosts spread across the black velvet of the night sky. Also, a gourmet meal at a fancy restaurant can’t hold a candle to the tantalizing aroma and delicious taste of food cooked over a campfire.

Visit our Access Camping website frequently for the latest industry news.


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Thinking of Buying a Campground? Find Out if It’s Right for You

Do you love camping and have considered buying a campground to provide a livelihood for yourself? Before you take the big plunge, you may want to attend a seminar in Nashville on May 3 and 4 conducted by KOA. The workshop will provide a chance to see a campground’s inner workings and an opportunity to acquire hands-on learning as well as an occasion to get a clearer picture about what is involved in the ownership and operation of the venture.

Topics will include KOA franchising, pricing models and understanding the industry along with the buying and selling process. Guest speakers will talk about financing and insuring a campground, and KOA campground owners will discuss their experiences and answer questions.

The cost is $275 per couple or $175 per person. To make reservations call 800-548-7239. Hotels within two miles of the KOA include Best Western Suites on Music City Circle, Comfort Inn Opryland Area and Fairfield Inn & Suites at Opryland.

Before making this momentous decision, get information from other sources, too. While this seminar should be helpful, it’s best to also seek input from neutral parties.

Check our Access Camping website frequently for industry news.


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Upscale Hotels Feature Faux Camping

Some love the idea of camping but are less than enthusiastic about the prospect of roughing it. The Huffington Post reports several upscale hotels are offering rooms that provide a simulation of the camping experience that caters to this segment of the populace. If you prefer glamping over camping, a hotel can set you up with a small tent, lantern and s’mores; but the deal also includes sumptuous bedding and French pastries. It’s an ultra-luxurious version of camping that has been dubbed “faux camping.” Next time the glamping bug bites, you may want to book a room in one of these hotels.

Ritz Carlton

A number of Ritz Carlton hotels in the country offer guests 4-star in-room camping. The package comes with a tent, teddy bear, featherbed and s’mores kit, which can be used in the resort’s fire pits.

Hotel at the Loa Angeles Athletic Club

The Urban Camping package features a tented bed with quirky light fixtures and animal throws for parents while providing teepees for the kids.

Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa

This resort will let you camp outdoors in one of their cabanas that are furnished with a mini fridge, TV, fire pit and views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Hotel Palomar

A downtown San Diego establishment, this hotel has a Kids Kamp package that includes meals at the restaurant, a tent and activity backpack.

Houstonian Hotel and Spa

The Kids Campout Package comes with a room tent, cushioned mats and sleeping bags as well as a stuffed raccoon and glow-in-the-dark stars.

Visit our Access Camping website regularly for the latest industry news.


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Tent Camping Still Going Strong

You see so many motorhomes in campgrounds and on the road that you may sometimes wonder if the popularity of tent camping is waning. The answer is not at all, according to Hartt Wixom of The Spectrum and Daily News, a Utah newspaper. Upon visiting Zion National Park campground, he noted tents of all colors and shapes outnumbered the RVs. Backpackers will always need tents, and aside from this group, a portion of the camping populace will likely continue to prefer tents over motorhomes.

Based on Wixom’s experience, he offered tips for tent camping:

  • Choose Springbar styles because they are easy to set up and stay up. Another nice feature is they don’t have a cumbersome center pole.
  • Select a tent with tucked under canvas seems rather than seems that turn up. This can prevent leaks that lead to soggy bedrolls.
  • Since most of the cold comes from the ground, use a tent cot to stay warmer.
  • As tent camping involves a little more work, the endeavor is a great way to teach children responsibility. Delegate and divide the duties, putting each child in charge of a task. This enables every member of the family to feel like they make an important contribution to the success of the camping trip.

Check our Access Camping website frequently for tips.


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RV Propane Safety Tips

Sometimes you hear chilling reports in the news of a propane explosion that destroys a motorhome. In light of the danger, it’s important to take certain safety precautions. Never use a propane stove or oven to heat your motorhome because tragically, this practice causes fatalities every year. Make sure your fire extinguishers are fully charged and that you know how to use them in case of an emergency.

In addition to these tips, the Recreational Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation and Camping provide the guidelines below:

  • Have a certified technician perform a timed pressure drop test every year.
  • Periodically check containers and line connections to ensure they are tight.
  • Propane-burning appliances should be cleaned and serviced once each camping season.
  • Check propane tank fittings and connections to see if they are secure.
  • Position the containers in such a way that the open part of the container guard faces the trailer. This measure protects it from flying rocks and debris.
  • Check the propane detector every month. Note the “replace by” date as well.
  • Turn off your propane tanks before traveling.

Visit our Access Camping website regularly for safety tips and information.



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