Fun Activity Ideas To Keep Everyone Busy While Camping

If you are a camper, you know how fun and relaxing it is. We do it to get away from the real world and to spend time with people with the same mindset. For adults, we are happy sitting around with a cup of coffee in the morning and hanging out by the fire with a beer at night. If you have kids, you are probably aware where I’m coming from on this post. Kids are not as “relaxed” as us adults and to be truthful, I bet you have gotten a little bored during the day. So in this post, we are going to go over some ideas of things to do while camping.

Depending on the type of camping you do, this list can differ. We will cover some ideas for both tent/hiking camping trips along with RV campers like we are.

While RV Camping

If you are like us and RV camp, you may have a yearly campsite like us or travel and hit state parks. Either way, there are some things that you can do to keep the kids engaged and the adults happy as well.

Take advantage of what the park has to offer

Most campgrounds has activities they offer. You may be surprised when I say this but it true, most campers do not take advantage of most things at the campground.

Pool

I would have to say that 90% of parks has a pool. If camping during the summer, use it. Take the kids up every day for at least an hour or two. If the adults don’t want to swim, you can get some sun and relax. Some placed like our campground has a covered area where adults sit and have a couple of drinks while just chatting. We even have a TV where we can watch the game or race while the kids swim. The point is to let the kids have some fun too.

Crafts/Park Activities

Most RV parks and even state parks have an activity list you can get when checking in. These list all the activities going on that week. Like above, most people don’t even look at it. Yes, most are kid oriented but not all. Check it out and get involved. It gives you a chance to meet new people while the kids are doing the same.

A couple times a year we venture out and stay at a Jellystone park. They have a ton of crafts and activities all day long. If you have kids, you may want to see if there is a campground near you.

Metal Detecting

This can really be done if RV camping or tent/hiking as long as you have room to carry it. Metal detecting is not only fun for the kids, it is also really fun for adults. Who doesn’t like a good treasure hunt.

People lose things all the time while camping from rings to coins. Why not spend a little relaxing time searching for it?

If you are near woods, I can almost guarantee that not many if any has canvased with a metal detector. Metal detecting isn’t thought of much when thinking camping. I’m here to tell you that it is fun. If you happen to be camping a beach, it is really fun. People lose all types of stuff at the beach. It doesn’t have to be an ocean beach either, any place with sand and swimmers is almost a guarantee find.

The one thing I will mention about any type of metal detecting is to make sure you get at least a mid-range metal detector. Do not get a toy unless you want something for young kids to do while “helping” you. I suggest checking out metaldetectorlist.com, they have some good recommendations.

Scavenger Hunt

You remember as kid when adults put together a scavenger hunt for you and friends? They are just as fun today as they were back then. One of the upsides to this idea is you can do it yourself without needing the park set it up.

Your kids will meet friends while camping, why not invite those kids and their parents?

Have a bunch of fun adults? Why not put together an adult scavenger hunt? I have done these and they are fun. Nothing like tipsy adults running around acting goofy while looking for some hard to find items.

Fishing

This is kind of a no brainer but if there is water around while camping, go fishing… Kids love to fish and it is easy. Grad some worms and just go. I’m sure dad will be just as happy to get a line in the water. I suggest reading our post on the best kids fishing poles.

While Hike Camping

Finding things to do while backpack camping is a little tougher. It depends on what you are into and what equipment you can take with you. However, here are a couple ideas you may not have thought about.

Enjoy Nature

Well, this is pretty obvious but think about it a little. There are other things in nature besides the view of rolling hills. Take a pair of binoculars and watch the birds. You will see many birds that you not see in populated areas. You may even see a Bald Eagle and they are BEUTIFUL!

Search For Antlers and Wildlife Markings

If you are out hiking, why not keep an eye out for deer antlers? They can be made into beautiful art and you are not killing a deer to get them. Deer shed their antlers yearly, they are all over the place, it just takes looking out for them.

Mushroom Hunt

Do you know your mushrooms? If not, pick up a small pocket mushroom guide and keep it on you while hiking. Some mushrooms are expensive and as good as steak. Many people do this every year, why not take the opportunity to find your dinner while out?

Ginseng Hunt

Have you priced Ginseng lately? It is ridiculous! If you find some that is aged, you can take them with you and make some really good money. One this that I will say it to make sure they are in season and make sure they are big enough to harvest.

Ginseng takes years and years to mature and there are some pretty stiff penalties for people not following the rules. Like above, you can get small pocket books on Ginseng, where to look, local laws, etc. But please just make sure they are in season.

Conclusion

No matter if you are RV or backpacking, the point is to stay busy and make sure everyone enjoys their self. You want your kids to remember good times while camping and want them to do the same with their kids when they get older.

 

Setting Yourself Up For Hunting Success

Photo by: M&R Glasgo

Hunting season is just around the corner. Heck, squirrel season has already started here in Indiana. Many people grab their gear and hit the woods with little prep. They will be the first to complain that nothing was moving around.

I always laugh in my head when I see one of my buddies in oil drenched coveralls they worn to work coming back empty handed. What do expect if you just grab your gun and hit the woods unprepared, wearing what you came home from work in!

Here we are going to cover some things that will help you set yourself up for success the next time you hit the woods no matter what you are after.

Scouting

Some know this but most either don’t think about it or are too lazy to do it. I can’t stress this step enough if you are serious about hunting. Scouting your area starts at least a month before the season starts. It doesn’t matter if you are hunting deer or squirrel, you need to know where they are.

Just taking walks through the woods can teach you a lot of what’s going on, what is around and what you can expect to find. From seeing squirrel running around to finding paths of deer tracks to heavy food sources.

Once you find what you think is a good spot, throw up a trail camera and see what is hanging out or passing through.

Gun/Bow

It doesn’t matter if your using a gun or bow when hunting, this is the same for both. You need to practice shooting, adjust sights and shoot from multiple angles.

Guns

A lot of people do not have the land to shoot, so they just grab the old shotgun from the closet on the way out the door. Why is not good? Because things like sights do get out of adjustment over time when shot. If using a scope, why would you trust it if you are not testing it to make sure it is still accurate?

Even when you are using open iron sites, things get bumped and get out of whack. Besides those points, do you know that different types of shells shoot different? Using a Remington slug will shoot different than a riffled slug.

Always, always shoot your gun before you go out, every year. If you do not have the property to shoot, there are ranges. Most indoor ranges allow most calibers.

Bows

Same as above, sights get out of whack and need to be adjusted. It is also recommended to shoot from higher positions like a deck shooting down at a target. Most people shoot level when practicing but, shooting at a downward angle from a stand is different from shooting straight. I can guarantee you that the sights will need to be adjusted.

Practicing with your bow before the season starts will give you a chance to see if it needs to be tuned up or your strings replaced. Breaking a string or finding a cracked limb in the field could be a dangerous situation.

Correct Clothing

Here is another area that people don’t think about much. Just picking something up from Walmart because it looks cool or it is camo is not the right type of thinking. Think about what season it is and what your surroundings will be in your spot.

You want to blend in with what is around you. Are you sitting in a tree with leaves still on it? My favorite is the pants and jacket with leafs cut out on it. What about winter, are you wearing green camo sitting in the snow? Look for something with white camo. The site Under The Open Sky has a good list of their choices of best hunting jackets you can check out.

When it comes to boots, again, know your weather and season. Heavy boots are good if it is dead winter but they are heavy and bulky. Hiking boots may work but not good insulation and not water proof. You want good ankle support.

Scents/Sounds

I find that a lot of my buddies us scents and calls the wrong way and it drives me crazy.

For the love of the loving Lord, know the season you are in. Are the deer in your area in Rut? If not, don’t use scent, you are probably hurting your chances of luring anything in! Also do not rattle unless you are in the Rut. If a Buck is not out looking to get some tail (pun intended), they will avoid other bucks fighting. Bucks do not usually fight, only when fighting for that special someone.

During the Rut, I have found dripping some FRESH doe urine on the back of my boots before walking to my stand works great. Some will say to never put doe urine on you or you will get attacked by a buck but I have never had that problem. They may run into your scent and follow your path right to your stand.

That brings up another good point, throw your last year urine out and buy fresh. Same year urine works best and you can usually find a local hunting shot that carries it. Sure, a year or two old urine can work but why not use fresh?

Here is a good article on how to correctly use deer scent.

Here is a good read on the language of smalls from BuckMaster.

Hit The Woods Early

This is probably my biggest complaint about hunting public land.

Animals are most active early morning and late evening. Get to your spot an hour before sunrise. It gives you time to settle in, stop sweating from the hike in and the path you took to get rid of your scent.

When deer hunting I get to my parking by 4:45am and I’m in my stand by 5:30 set and ready. It never fails to have hunter come walking in right at sunrise and spooking everything. It of course pays at time if they push the deer to you but that’s not hunting to me.

When hunting small game, early is usually still better. Maybe not 4:45am early but you want to be in the woods where the game is when they are most active.

Hauling Out

Lastly, be prepared to get anything you kill out of the woods. If you are lucky enough to be able to use a quad, good for you. Most public land doesn’t allow any motorized vehicles on the land with good reason.

Have your rope, sled or dolly with you in your truck. I personally know more than one people that have left deer laying because it was too much work to get out. That is not only wasteful, it really is a jerk move.

Because I know most hunters are lazy, I go a mile deep into the woods to place my stand. That’s a long drag with a buddy, would take me hours by myself. I keep a drag sled in my truck. After field dressing, I will walk back and get the sled.

Please share your thoughts of ways that you prepare for hunting season. The list above is the way I personally prepare. I’m sure there are things I can learn from you!