Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping With Kids

The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping With Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures & Connect Kids to Nature
By Helen Olsson
Roost Books, 2012. 254 pgs. Nonfiction

This is a great camping guide with a focus on caring for your kids in the wilderness.  It has sections on what gear you'll need, food to prepare (including recipes), hygiene and safety, as well as many ideas for crafts, games, and activities.  Each section comes with checklists so you can make sure you've remembered to pack everything, and the book is scattered with helpful "smart tips" that the author has picked up from experience - such as keeping a pair of sandals by the tent door for any midnight trips to the bathroom.  "Nobody, especially a six-year-old, wants to be tying laces in the dead of night."

I originally only intended to peruse this book and scan the sections that I was interested in.  But the author's friendly and playful voice lured me in until I ended up reading it from cover to cover, even laughing out loud a few times.  "You want the kitchen to be as far from the tent as possible (within reason), because you don't want your tent smelling like blueberry cobbler.  Bears love blueberry cobbler."  There is a lot of good insight and experience here specific to camping with kids that you won't get from a normal camping book, and it's fun to read to boot.


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