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The Perfect Canoe Trip Without the Hassle

Aug 17, 2007
The problem with a family camping trip is that it takes so much time, energy and money getting ready to go, and then you get home frazzled, broke and faced with the incredible chore of unpacking. It doesn't have to be like that. Take a look at some tips for vacations that are so easy you'll be ready to make every warm weekend a family vacation weekend.

The problem with many family camping trips is the tendency to want everything to be perfect. There's so much work involved that it outweighs the fun of the trip. With that in mind, scale down your plans and your expectations and get ready for the perfect camping trip.

Canoes are great for family outings. Think you can't canoe because you have smaller children or someone in the family who doesn't swim? The notion that all canoes tip over easily is a myth. You can find some very sturdy canoes that are stable in the water and resist tipping. They're lightweight so that a couple of adults can easily load them on top of a car and slide them into the water. They still have the canoe design so they're easy to paddle. You need nothing more than that canoe and a couple of paddles, much easier than loading up a big boat, pulling a trailer and dealing with gas cans for the motor.

Sound simple? That's because it is, and the rest of your camping trip can be almost as easy.

Just because you have several kids doesn't mean you have to have a huge family tent that takes up tons of space and requires all hands to help pitch it. Check out the simple pup tents from your local retailer. Pitch two or three tents and use them like bedrooms. Most kids will view the tents as an adventure and a flashlight will usually provide them with the needed sense of security.

While gas lanterns are okay, check out the battery-powered models. They turn on and off easily and you'll easily get a weekend from a single set of batteries. Or choose one that can be recharged on a cigarette lighter for extended use.

The companies producing camping supplies have met the demands for air mattresses. You'll find many options that can plug into the cigarette lighter to inflate very comfortable mattresses. If back pain isn't an issue, consider the cheap air mattresses used as floatation toys. Kids can play in the water during the day and dry them off for tent use at night.

One of the simultaneous joys and trials of camping is food. While food cooked over an open flame is great, keep it simple for the weekend retreat. Choose chili, pork and beans and other foods that can be warmed in the can by sitting it next to the campfire. Sandwiches and snacks that can be eaten cold means no one is responsible for cooking time. It's supposed to be vacation time for everyone - not everyone except mom.
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For more information about canoe trips, visit The Canoe Spot
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