In case you can’t tell, our family loves camping. We often run into many people who say how they would love to get out and take their family camping but they have come to believe certain things about camping that are keeping them away. Below are 9 common myths that we hear from “would be” campers about why they are scared to give camping a try and why these myths aren’t necessarily true.
You Have To Drive Hours Away To Find A Great Campground
When we were younger and our family was smaller, we loved traveling to far off exotic places (South Dakota) to go camping. Over the years though, our family has grown and packing 7 people into a car and driving for hours is nobodies idea of fun. Thankfully we have found that some of our all time favorite campgrounds are less than an hour away from the city (some even less). If you are around the Minneapolis area check out Ham Lake Campground (great beach and petting zoo), Baker Park (great beach), William O’brien (awesome state park), Willow River (has an amazing waterfall) and that is just a few.
You Can’t Bring Your Electronics
Ok, this might be a hot topic for some people who think that electronics do not belong camping, but we believe that if it makes you enjoy camping more, then go for it (also they are great for rainy days). We recently tried out the SunBell solar light and phone charger and loved this thing. It is a great charger for your phone during the day and a lantern / flashlight at night all while running off solar power. If you do bring your electronics, make sure you have a nice waterproof case or safe place to keep them when not in use.
Camping is only as expensive as you want it to be. With some good planning and a little Craigslist shopping you can easily start camping for a very modest budget of $100-$200. A cheap tent, a couple of sleeping bags, chairs and cooking utensils and you’re ready to go. We recommend to start as cheap as possible, only invest in your camping gear after you have determined if you truly like to camp or not (it’s not for everyone). We also have a great camping checklist and recommended gear page for our readers.
I Can Only Eat Boring Food
Your menu is only limited to your imagination and your time. We’ve had camping trips where we’ve cooked ribs, pies, cakes, stews and much more. But there is also something to be said for simple meals while camping and enjoying your free time. We’ve had camping trips where we’ve stuck with cereal and ordered pizza (if we’re close to a city). Check out all our camping recipes for more wonderful food ideas (like pie iron pizza calzones).
Camping Is Uncomfortable (or at least it should be)
This topic really deserves it’s own post. If camping were uncomfortable, we wouldn’t be campers. One of our goals on Beyond The Tent is to show our readers just how comfortable camping can be. We’ve used incredible sleeping bags from Sierra Designs that are some of the most comfortable i’ve ever laid in, we have sleeping pads and hammocks that rival any good couch and we always make sure to bring a comfort or two from home with us such as an ipad for the kids (if they get a bit worn out or bored) and some fun yard games to keep the kids busy.
You’ll Have To Poo In The Woods (and wipe with leaves)
In Minnesota, our state parks have some of the nicest public restrooms and showers you’ve ever seen. If you stay in a state park or similar, expect at the very least acceptable rest rooms. As for private campgrounds, we have seen both ends from the absolutely unusable to the “feels like home” bathrooms. If you rent or own a camper, you may even have the luxury of using your own bathroom.
If you plan on doing some serious camping such as camping in the boundary waters in Northern Minnesota, then yes, you will be pooing in a hole in the ground.
You May Be Attacked By Bears
Bear attacks are extremely rare. You have far better odds of dying while eating a hot dog than by being attacked by a bear. Bears don’t want to be bothered by you just as much as you don’t want to be bothered by them. Kelly actually wrote a great post on how to keep bears away for those of you who want to be a little extra cautious.
I Might Freeze At Night
It’s true it can get a bit chillier through the night. With the help of wool socks, thermo wear clothing, sleeping pad and a zero degree down Mummy style sleeping bag you should be nice and toasty all night long. You might find yourself having the issue of being too warm and in that case you can remove your layered attire as you see fit.
You May be Attacked By Big Foot
Ok, this one isn’t a myth, you may actually be attacked by Bigfoot.