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11/11/13

The Great Outdoors: Summer is over, but the outdoor fun has just begun

So long sunshine, hello hibernation.
That mantra isn't mandatory when it comes to the summertime sun lover choosing to sit indoors as soon as the leaves start falling off the trees and the temperature takes a turn, in their mind, for the worse.
Chilly air and catching rays don't go hand in hand with this demographic, and you'll be lucky to get a mere peak outside until Spring rolls around again. This group prefers to stay indoors and isn't exactly open to the idea of skiing, climbing, camping or other outdoor fall and winter activities.
Too bad for them.
Even though the beaches are closed and no one outside of a Polar Bears Club member is taking a dip, this doesn't necessarily mean that your days of fun ended at the stroke of midnight on Labor Day. Truthfully, the fall is a fantastic time to enjoy the outside, now devoid of the heat and humidity, two aspects that undoubtedly hamper the summer.

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With the crisp nighttime air, clear skies and plenty of relaxation, camping especially lends itself to fall, but isn't always met with overwhelming enthusiasm or a groundswell of support from the family when the topic is broached.
Much the same way Bon Jovi gave "love a bad name," camping has been saddled with one stereotype after another. The ones who love going will swear by it; the ones who haven't tried it probably will just swear that they'll never go.
Sleeping on the ground.
Bugs buzzing around you at every turn.
Wild animals sharing your campsite.
Hiking miles and miles just to find humanity.
Sounds like someone has been watching too many movies. Today's camping, and camping supplies for that matter, are incredibly refined and sophisticated. Gone are uncomfortable sleeping bags, rickety tent and the "woods" doubling as your bathroom.
Leave that for the animals; you're better off doing a little research and finding a campsite that has adequate facilities for personal hygiene, most of which can be found at common camping places such as parks that allow you to pitch your tent without feeling tentative.
If you're camping together as a family, mom and dad certainly won't mind trading in a pricey hotel for the comfort of the great outdoors, which typically carries a price tag that puts you in a much better mood.
As far as sleeping and eating goes, you'll rest comfortably knowing technology takes over in these categories. Sleeping bags are thick, lustrous and incredibly well made, hardly the ones you used a child that typically were devoid of any padding.
Cooking over a campfire is what gives camping its distinction, but that doesn't mean there aren't ample items that make this a little more enjoyable and comfortable than rubbing two sticks together in search of fire.
Perusing for the perfect camping products isn't quite as simple as hitting the mall or simply searching the web for "camping" as your keyword. You'd be wise to search out a retailer or outdoor entity like Eastern Mountain Sports that specializes in all things outdoors and has a real penchant for customer service and informed, enlightened staff. "At Eastern Mountain Sports, we're here to help adventurers of all experience levels to have more fun outside in all kinds of weather," says Jim Darroch, Brand Communications Manager at Eastern Mountain Sports. "With less crowds, no bugs and gorgeous scenery, fall and winter are some of the most enjoyable seasons of the year and we've got all the gear, apparel and expert advice you need to take on any cold weather adventure with confidence."
You're already barely dipping your toe in the camping water; the last thing you want is a pseudo outdoors or sporting goods store scaring you off completely with a true lack of knowledge.
The trick to camping isn't completely ignoring it, but instead tailoring it to your likes or dislikes. No one is suggesting that the trip be a testament to your skills "roughing it," but rather bridging the vacationing gap between summer and fall.
Suddenly that same group of people that typically headed "south" for winter have taken a dramatic U-turn.

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