I spent the last week camping at Penninsula State Park in Fish Creek, one of the largest State Parks in Wisconsin .
I decided to dive head first into the pop-up camper market a year ago after years of tent camping. Like many camper owners from pop-ups on up, I decided I'd slept on the ground long enough. If these adventures were going to continue, it was going to be on a more advanced level.
Every trip gets a little easier as we get more comfortable with the many functions of our new purchase. While we don't have air conditioning, our camper has just about everything else. Things like a microwave oven, stereo/CD, raised counters so you're not bending over at counter level while preparing meals and a furnace.
Of course my wife still complains because she writes out the monthly payment year-round, while we don't use it for about six months out of the year. I try of course to encourage her to do more spring and fall camping because we do have a furnace that keeps you toasty at night, but so far, she wants nothing to do with it.
Once you get the hang of putting up and taking down, these campers are a breeze. But for a guy who rarely reads directions, such as myself, you have to make sure the step by step process is done in the right order, or you might rip a hole in the thick canvas that makes up a part of the camper. How do I know this? Well naturally, by the hole that is now covered with duck tape near the kitchen table.
Once the setup is complete, it's time to relax. I highly recommend a lawn chair that kicks back, or a hammock nicely fitted between two big trees. Grab a book and a cold one and ignore your kids for awhile.
When looking for activities, bike trails, hiking trails, beaches, they're all fantastic. But I have one WARNING. Bring the bug spray. We were lucky last week. There was just enough of a breeze to keep the bugs away most of the time. We're headed back out this weekend and I just can't imagine being quite that fortunate two weeks in a row.
Camping is a time to relax, explore the outdoors, get some exercise or whatever. Everybody has their own reasons for taking on this popular activity. But most of all, once you get the equipment, whether it be a tent, popup or an even larger unit, it's reletively in-expensive. The Wisconsin State Park system is fabulous too. They're well kept up and the daily rates are a drop in the bucket.
If you find yourself cancelling vacations because of the high gas prices, give camping a thought. You can plan your own menu, avoid the high priced restaurants if you want and still get away, which is what everyone needs to do.
It's also a time your family will always remember and will talk about forever!
P.S. Don't forget the SMORES!