People are often surprised when they find out we are long term tent campers. Long term tent campers with kids! It's common to see campers fall in love with the outdoor lifestyle then quickly upgrade to an RV. We get it, RVs are amazing! But we are absolutely convinced there are still lots of great reasons to tent camp:

1. COST! - It's easy to see that a tent is, without a doubt, the cheapest way to camp. Once your basics are purchased the only other expense you'll have is the campground fee. And even then, maybe not - a quick Google search will reveal tons of free places to park your tent for the night. Cost is huge a reason we still tent camp. HUGE!

2. LOTS OF OPTIONS - You can put a tent anywhere! Anywhere you're allowed to, of course. Can you park a 40 foot fifth wheel under a pine tree? Nope. But you can put a tent under a tree and even at an RV site! One of our favorite campsites is an RV pad at Chatfield State Park.

3. YOU DON'T NEED A NEW CAR! - One time an old Honda Accord was my chariot to the campground! You don't need an SUV or a truck. There's nothing to tow and no need to get a loan.

4. A QUICK GETAWAY - Do you ever say to yourself - I just need a change of scenery? We do! ALL THE TIME! That is why we always have all our camping supplies together and ready to go. When the warm weather hits we're ready to get the heck out of Dodge. A change of scenery is only an online campground reservation and a short car ride away. Once we're at the campground we can have camp set up and ready to go in less than an hour and we're off to have fun!

5. FAMILY INVOLVEMENT - In our family it isn't only about Mom and Dad's chores while the kids go watch a movie. Everyone plays a role. Our boys help us pack suitcases and plan meals. They unload the car and give input on where the tent should go. They look forward to setting out their own sleeping bags and deciding which spot of the tent is theirs. It is so important for the kids to be involved in most of the decisions and they always have so much more fun when their opinions are heard.

6. GET BACK TO NATURE - There's nothing quite as relaxing as falling asleep to the sound of crickets and a babbling stream. Day to day lives keep us inside - offices, homes, stores and cars keep us separated from nature. Stepping back into Mother Nature's glory not only brings back a long lost appreciation for our surroundings, but it also renews your soul. When was the last time you saw every star glittering in the night sky?

7. EXPLORE - Camping is the perfect excuse to explore national parks, state parks, museums, monuments, hiking trails, lakes, and new towns. Camping trips have brought us to amazing sights like Mt. Rushmore. We've discovered hidden gems like the High Plains Museum where we got to see the first patented helicopter in America (this was extra fun for our future engineer child). And experienced the amazing tastes of Ft. Collins, CO.

8. ESCAPE THE NOISE - Are you or your kids glued to your electronics? Does being without your iPad make you nervous? This isn't normal. Use that cell phone for something better than a game or Facebook update, use it to take pictures of your family having fun together and creating memories.

9. A SMALL COMMITMENT - Are you maybe slightly interested in seeing what this camping thing is all about? But you don't want to go all in? With a small purchase (or even borrowing a few things) you can get your feet wet and see how much fun camping can be!! Stay tuned for our bare bones camping list and see what you can do without when you're just starting out.

10. IT CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT IT TO BE! Want to rough it? Grab your pack and head out to the backcountry! Do bugs, dirt, and trees sounds like a nightmare rather than fun? Go glamping. Do you want to have a different kind of vacation? Find a privately owned campground that suits what you're looking for. Our favorites are KOA campgrounds, especially with kids!!

So go on! Get outside and start making memories!!

Then come on back and share your number one favorite thing about camping in the comments below!