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Family Camping - Outdoor Camping Gear

Do you love high-tech camping? Is low-tech camping more your style? Check out the camping gear my family is packing this summer!

Do you take your family camping to "get away from it all?" As in, getting away from email, cell phones, television and other technology?

Before you banish all technology, take a look at some sweet outdoor camping gear--both high- and low-tech--that will make your family camping trip even more awesome.

Geocaching - If your kids dream of being modern-day pirates, then Geocaching is for you. Every little box on the map marks The Spot. All you need is a map and a GPS device and you'll have stories to share.


Star Gazing - Take an old-fashioned paper map, or bring along the Star Walk app and you'll know every constellation in the sky.

Worried about taking an expensive GPS or smartphone on a camping trip? Don't forget to pack a Pelican. These slick containers are water resistant, dust proof and crush proof. The new i1015 is just the right size for your device and even has a little ear bud connector so the case stays shut.

My dad has always carried his camera in a Pelican, well, at least since he dropped his "nice" camera in the Virgin River the first time we hiked The Narrows.

Pelican i1015_phone

Water Gathering - Speaking of water, have your kids ever filtered their own water? I still remember the first time I drank the clear, 99.97% germ-free water pumped from a green, slimy puddle on the side of a trail. Wow. Simple lesson - Water is precious. Plus, pumping water is a great way to start a discussion on conservation. I keep my 18-yr old MSR MiniWorks Water Filter in my car. You never know!

Cooking - Much of the time camping is spent cooking. Preparing a meal, cooking it, cleaning up and starting over again. Now that I'm transitioning from a pure backpacking, "carry it with you" style to a car camping, "pack it with you" style, I've realized how many more cooking tools I can add to my list.

So long, WhisperLite! Bring on the Camp Chef Two-Burner Oven, the Heavy Duty Grill or a Coleman Propane Grill, all taunting me as I visited Costco last week. How do I justify replacing the low-tech classics of hot dog sticks and tin foil (as in tin foil dinners)? Our household stove vote is still being tallied. I am not afraid of influencing the vote by passing along your heart-felt praise or disdain on any of these stoves.

Camp Cooking Dream
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I'm not sure if I love camping or shopping for camping gear more. Technology is always changing, bringing ever cooler gadgets to the outdoors. I have learned over the years that you don't always need fancy gear to have fun. But the right gear can turn a camping trip into a life-time memory.

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Oh, here's one more thing for the list - the kitchen sink!

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What's your favorite piece of camping gear?

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