A favorite summertime activity for a lot of people is camping. There’s something to be said about spending a few days in the great outdoors and roughing it—but are we really roughing it? We do a lot of camping and I’ll be honest—I don’t see too many people roughing it in tents anymore. Most people who venture to a campground do it with some form of modern camper. Last year we traded in our very large, older fifth wheel trailer for something smaller, since our kids had grown up. We ended up with a 24 ft. travel trailer with many nice features—some nicer than what I have in my house. Our new camper has Bluetooth technology, quartz countertops, flat screen TVs, LED lighting, an outdoor kitchen, etc., etc. All of the modern conveniences a person would need for a weekend of “roughing it” in the woods. Camping can be a fun, inexpensive way to have a mini-vacation, right? Wrong. Depending on where you camp at and what amenities are offered, you can actually pay as much for a campsite per night as you could for a cheap hotel room. Then you factor in such things as fuel to get your camper where you’re staying, propane for the grill, special toilet paper and chemicals for the toilets, insect repellant or citronella candles, picnic supplies, and the list goes on and on, and maybe now you have spent enough to stay in a really nice hotel. There is also a lot of packing to do, and trips back and forth from the house to the camper loading it up with supplies, but I’ve learned to try to keep our camper stocked as if it were a second house. When we decide to go, I basically only have to throw in some food, our clothes, and our dogs of course! Everything else I need should already be in the camper. If you like to camp and ride ATVs, there’s a great campground close to the Wheeling area known as Four Seasons Resort in West Finley, Pennsylvania, with over 35 miles of marked ATV trails. My husband will be pulling the camper, and I’ll be pulling the trailer with the side-by-side in a few weeks for a fun weekend of camping and riding the trails. There is a lot of expense and preparation to camping, but don’t let that keep you from doing it. Who doesn’t like taking a walk in the woods, cooking over an open fire, or sitting back in your camp chair with a relaxing beverage by the campfire at night chatting with friends and maybe roasting a few marshmallows? Camping can be a very fun and relaxing way to get away from it all and take some time off and everyone should try it at least once. I know I’m looking forward to several weekends of camping this summer! http://www.campfourseasonsresort.com/Image courtesy of Sheila Cottrell.