Holland michigan campgrounds

More Americans are heeding the call of the great outdoors–that’s according to research marking an increase of 2.5 million campers between 2010 and 2011. So for those of you who have never been tent camping, here are some points to consider.
Find a Mentor Face it: you’re no Bear Grylls. It might seem alpha-type to grab a bowie knife and head off into the mountains, but being caught unprepared in the wild can lead to serious existential crises, even death. Don’t be that local news item. If 42.5 million Americans went camping in 2011, you might know one of them. Go around the office and find the coworker who tacks up pictures with foliage in the background. Everyone likes to feel like an expert in something, and friends are brought along on tent camping trips 70% of the time. The odds are in your favor.
Be Prepared There is little in life more restorative than waking to the gentle rustle of leaves in a breeze; but then there is also Lyme disease, heat stroke, and bears. Even if you opt for cabin or RV camping, nature can still strike. Some of the most common things people forget to bring include no-brainers: sunscreen, insect repellent, a first aid kit, towels, et cetera. Making the most of tent camping requires leaving technology behind. However, 93% of campers go hiking, and this is when you’re most likely to twist an ankle or become lost. So bring your phone, but keep it off until you absolutely need to send an SOS. If you continue to check Facebook and Buzzfeed, the battery might go kaput at the worst possible moment.

Research Before you go, look up the number of animal sightings; remind yourself what poison oak, ivy, and sumac look like (variations exist for region and season). Also, where you pitch your tent is a balancing act between elements. It should be in a spot with generous shade yet not directly under a tree. You should be in walking distance to water, yet not so close that the site will flood in the event of a heavy rain. Camping the old fashioned way is a noticeably cost-effective vacation and there are numerous directories for local campground locations and national parks.
Be Respectful This should go without saying, but maintain a clutter-free space (again, bears). Also, camping sites will have other campers present. Roughly 70% of camping in the US occurs in a public campground. This is a great opportunity to be neighborly –say hello. Yes, we all camp to get away from our hectic lives, but brief human connections in the wilderness are likely to be some of the profoundest and most meaningful you might experience. Besides, if your neighbor has been doing the tent camping thing for a while, he or she will be eager to share more than a few personal insights, not to mention some great stories.

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