This country is filled with a multitude of stunning nature reserves and national parks, yet every year more people opt out of communing with nature and opt into sterile hotels. It is time to get back to basics and a fun-filled camping trip is just the way to go. Read on for tips and hints on how to have a great time in the great outdoors.

Pack a few shovels if there are children with you on your trip. Kids love nothing better than digging in the dirt, and having the right accessories is crucial. If you have room, bring a bucket too. The children will happily entertain themselves in the dirt while you unpack, set up camp and do everything that you need to do.

Don’t worry about over-packing for the kids. Camping is messy business. Dirt and dust are like magnets for children. This means you should prepare to have dirty children. Be sure to pack some extra clothes for your kids in case this happens. Be ready for anything.

If you are going camping with your pets or children, you need to take a few extra precautions. Try to teach your kids the basics of camping safety. They need to know what to do if they get lost and should each have a small survival kit. Make sure you have leashes for any pets and make sure they are current with all vaccinations.

If you are interested in camping, and you are new to the activity, then you should never start out alone. It can be quite dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing, so it is important to bring along an experienced friend to help you learn the ropes.

When you are heading out for that long awaited camping trip, don’t forget to take along your cell phone. You may be tempted to leave all the texting and calls behind, but your cell phone can be one of your most important safety lifelines in the event of an emergency. Make sure it is fully charged and keep it protected from the elements in a plastic bag or waterproof case.

Camping often sounds like a great deal of fun, and it is; however it does require some special preparation. Before going camping for the first time, make sure you have done some research on tents, food and wildlife survival. It can make the difference between a great trip and a dangerous one.

Be prepared for colder weather than expected when choosing a sleeping bag to bring on your camping trip. Always choose a sleeping bag rated for a temperature range just below what you’re expecting, even in the summertime. Also, sleeping bags made with synthetic fibers will dry out faster if it rains unexpectedly, but natural fiber sleeping bags will be lighter to carry.

So the next time you have some vacation days to enjoy, make sure you give air conditioning and cable television a big miss. Instead choose to enjoy seeing the natural beauty of the world around us. Camping does not have to mean discomfort, but it can mean a whole lot of family fun!