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Camping All Out :: Keep this in Mind if You’re Sleeping Outside

Size up when buying a tent: Choose a six-person for a family of four.

A dome tent gives you more head room; straight-walled tents have more shoulder room.

Set the tent on a ground cloth one inch shorter than its perimeter.

For kids, choose an all-synthetic bag that’s good to 40 degrees(fine for summer). A rectangular bag with a full-length zipper can be opened and used as a group coverlet. Keep flaps open as much as possible for ventilation; your warmth comes from the sleeping bag. A self-inflating foam core pad will be less clammy than an air mattress.

Some state parks no longer allow you to build open fires, says Jamie Abish of New York’s family-owned Tent & Trails, an outdoor clothing and equipment store. If regulations put the kibosh on your barbecue, a simple propane-fueled camp stove won’t cramp your hot-dogs- and marshmallows-on-sticks routine, and is a godsend for mornings when you want to boil water for coffee—fast.

Freeze hot dogs and sausages at home and pack them in the cooler while still frozen. By the time you’re ready to cook the next night they’ll have thawed some but will still be safe to eat.

Use space-saving Ziploc bags for everything from soap and dish sponges to the brown sugar and raisins for sprinkling on oatmeal.

Stringing up a tarp near your tent will give your gang a place to hang out when it rains. Tie nylon rope between two trees and use as it a clothesline for wet towels and swimsuits.

For night exploring, use a headlamp instead of a flashlight.

Go camping with another family, or let your kids bring a friend or two. Share the chores—and the adventure.

click here http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/happy-camping

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