Title: The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures and Connect Kids to Nature
Author: Helen Olsson
Publication Year: 2012
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Review: The great achievement of this book is that it makes you believe that camping with kids is not only entirely doable, but something that you might actually want to do. I have never been camping with my kids (ages 1 and 3), but I’ve really wanted to try it for a while given that I live in the mountains about 5 miles from several campgrounds. However, something has always held me back (bears, mountain lions, ticks, screaming children, etc.). Without this book I probably would not actually attempt camping for at least a few years. However, after reading this book I’ve already made arrangements to borrow a tent, camp stove, and lantern. While I still have the same fears mentioned above, I now am convinced that the risks are not as big as I might have assumed and heavily outweighed by all the benefits.
However, while I enjoyed this book, it’s not the sort of thing I feel the need to hang on to. She mentions several specific products, most of which we don’t need and I would rather do my own product research anyway. Also, there is not a lot of advice that I feel is critical enough that would warrant purchasing my own copy. However, I will be writing down (actually taking pictures of) several of the supplied lists (packing checklists, camping books for kids, etc.) before returning the book to the library.
(Update: Due to an outbreak of the bubonic plague among squirrels and fleas at our local campgrounds, my camping plans have been thwarted once again. However, we’re still planning to camp in the backyard soon and save real campground camping for next summer.) (Personal Rating: 7/10)