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Go Camping

So you want to go camping? The Internet can't help you gather firewood or get that tent to stay up, but there are many resources to help you plan your trip, find a campground, make reservations and buy equipment. Two great general sites that will let you do all these things are CampNet America and the Great Outdoor Recreation Pages. Perhaps you know exactly what you are looking for. A place near Omaha to plug in your RV? Maybe a backcountry permit in Yellowstone Park? All the answers are just around the corner with these excellent camping resources.

Planning your trip

There are many Web sites to help you research your trip and find that perfect campsite. Most national parks feature excellent camping facilities, and you can even make online reservations. Also check out the National Recreation Reservation Service, which gives you access to 1,700 different locations managed by the USDA Forest Service and the US Army Corps of Engineers, plus many state parks. KOA Kampgrounds offer campers consistent quality in prime locations across the country. Their Web site provides information on locations and amenities of campgrounds across the country.

Camping in comfort

Recreation vehicle, or RV camping has become increasingly popular in recent years. A study released by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reports that one out of every 10 vehicle-owning households in the U.S. owns an RV. There are many different sizes, styles and price ranges to choose from in this $15.8-billion-a-year industry. If you are thinking about buying an RV, the RVIA's facts and news has everything you need to know about types of RVs. Or, visit a few of the major RV manufacturers like Winnebego Industries, Monaco Coach and Rexhall Industries.




If you already enjoy RV traveling, you need to visit Woodall's, an excellent site for everything RV. Check out their suggested RV Camping Hot Spots. There are also several magazines dedicated to the RV lifestyle. Two of them with good Web sites are Trailer Life and MotorHome. Finally, a very handy site is The RV Doctor, where you can ask questions and get tips on maintaining your vehicle.

Be prepared

From the backpacker to the RV owner, all campers need quality equipment for survival in the great outdoors. Youcan research and purchase everything from parkas to pocket knives online. Start by visiting LL Bean and Land's End, two catalog companies that offer outdoor clothing and equipment. Those interested in pitching a tent in the snow should check out L.L. Bean's camping guide. Coleman is a leading manufacturer of camping stoves and many other types of equipment. Retailer REI sells high-end gear.

Once you get there

After a long day enjoying mother nature, it's time to eat a hearty meal and settle around the campfire. Becky, a grad student and scout leader in Canada, has compiled a list of campfire songs, skits and stories. Camp-A-Roo offers great tips and for camping with kids. Without access to your well-stocked kitchen, cooking while camping can sometimes be an adventure in itself. Fortunately, the folks at FamilyFun have put together some great family recipes. Try them out, and don't forget the marshmallows!




 
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