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The down and dirty guide to camping with kids : how to plan memorable family adventures and connect kids to nature
Olsson, Helen.

Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston, Mass. : Roost Books, 2012.
Physical Description:
xviii, 254 pages : color illustrations ; 21 cm
pt. 1. Getting started. Planning your trip -- Gearing up -- pt. 2. In the field. The campsite -- Camp grub -- pt. 3. Activities and adventures. Outdoor recreation -- Campsite boredom busters -- Camp arts and crafts -- pt. 4. Hygiene, first aid, and safety. Daily hygiene : staying clean in a world of dirt -- Aches, pains, pesky plants, and bugs -- General safety in the great outdoors.
Outlines economical options for family camping vacations, sharing irreverent, anecdotal, and practical guidelines for families with young children while explaining how to select gear and address needs with a minimum of stress.
Bibliography Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Pub Date:


Home Location
Material Type
Shelf Number
Central - Houston Public Library Adult Non-fiction Book 796.54 O52
Mancuso - Houston Public Library Adult Non-fiction Book 796.54 O52
Jungman - Houston Public Library Adult Non-fiction Book 796.54 O52
Hillendahl - Houston Public Library Adult Non-fiction Book 796.54 O52
Heights - Houston Public Library Adult Non-fiction Book 796.54 O52

On Order



Plan your family camping adventure!

Whether you're a first-time camper or a veteran backpacker befuddled by the challenges of carting a brood--and all the requisite gear--into the great outdoors, here you'll find all the tips and tools you need to plan the perfect nature adventure with your family. Humorous and irreverent, yet always authoritative, this guide to camping with kids, from babies through pre-teens, is filled with checklists, smart tips, recipes, games, activities, and art projects.

Helen Olsson, a seasoned camper and mother of three, shares lessons learned over the years of nature outings with her own family. Learn the basics of family camping, from choosing a destination and packing gear to setting up a campsite and keeping little ones safe. Create the perfect camp menu with simple and tasty recipe ideas. Discover foolproof tips and tactics for keeping kids happy and entertained while hiking. Explore nature through clever and creative camp arts and craft projects. This guide is your game plan to unplugging from the digital world and connecting your kids to nature. Whether it's roasting marshmallows around a crackling campfire or stretching out on a camp mat to gaze at the stars, the memories you'll be making will last a lifetime.

Author Notes

Helen Olsson is a freelance travel and skiing writer and a regular contributor to the New York Times Travel and Escapes sections, where she writes about family outdoor and adventure travel. Among the camping trips she's chronicled are llama-trekking in Colorado's backcountry and a canoe-and-kayak trip in the Niobrara River Valley of Nebraska--both taken with three children under nine. Visit her at

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

For some, camping is balm for a withered soul; others would rather get a root canal. No doubt about it, however, kids love camping and at some point, they'll likely demand an organized trip to the woods. For the uninitiated-or else panicked-Boulder-based freelance writer and New York Times contributor Olsson offers this thorough and accessible guide that covers all the bases. The text is best for beginners since she refers to camping as mostly weekend car trips in fair weather. Yet within that context, each page is loaded with helpful tips and information. Olsson covers such topics as trip planning, gearing up, organizing the campsite, boredom busters, and first aid and safety. The text includes sidebars, "Smart Tips," and handy checklists throughout, which make it visually appealing and easy to consult. From slathering cotton balls in petroleum jelly as firestarters (love it!) to freezing stews ahead of time and letting them double as ice packs, Olsson has you covered. VERDICT As more and more families avoid the high costs of traveling by staying close to home, camping has greater appeal than ever before. This would make a lovely addition to a display on summer adventures and is enthusiastically recommended for all public libraries. Bring on the dirt. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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