According to a recent report, seniors are spending more money than ever on entertainment: The National Center for Policy Analysis states that spending on entertainment by 65 to 74 year olds grew by almost 10% annually since 1990. One of the entertainment options especially favored by many seniors is camping, whether RV- or tent-focused. Seniors who are considering embarking on a camping trip can benefit from the tips below.
Many seniors, especially those who have not ever tent camped or have not done so in many years, worry that it may be too difficult and/or uncomfortable. While good old-fashioned tent camping is a bit rougher than staying in a hotel room, it also is both easier and more accommodating than it used to be. It’s also a form of camping that many grandchildren find exciting and enjoyable, so it may be worth considering, depending on how spry the senior in question may be.
A few tips to remember:
- Air mattresses are a sleeper’s best friend. A sleeping bag on top of an air mattress makes the ground a much more comfortable bed. Just make sure you remember to get an appropriate air pump for inflating it.
- Tents are easier to put up. The current crop of tents are much easier to put up than those from a few decades ago. However, tents still require some fairly nimble fingers; if arthritis or other issues make gripping difficult, a little assistance may be required.
- Go larger. The inexperienced camper may think that a camper tent labeled as appropriate for two campers may be all he or she needs; don’t believe it. A two-camper tent is usually barely big enough for two sleeping bags, period. Look for larger options so that there’s room for air mattresses, sleeping bags, lanterns, backpacks and whatever form of luggage may be required.
- Check with the campground on tent requirements. Before camping, see what kind of requirements the chosen campground may have in terms of tents. Some sites limit the size or number of tents that can be placed on any one site.
- Determine the food storage policy. Many campsites require that food be kept on site only during the time that it is being prepared and eaten; at all other times, it must be kept stored in a car or truck. Keep this in mind when selecting a site: many seniors may be better off with a campground that allows parking directly on one’s campsite, thus avoiding long trips to the car and back.
RV camping is the preferred mode of camping for many seniors; it enables them to experience the fresh air of the outdoors without requiring the trouble of putting up a tent or sleeping outside. Many grandchildren also love the “house on wheels” concept and think it’s a great way to camp.
Those interested in RV camping can benefit from these tips:
- You can rent. Many seniors don’t consider RV camping because they don’t own an RV; however, RVs can be rented, so seniors without RVs may want to look into this option.
- Plan ahead. RVs take up a lot of room, so plan your trip well in advance to make sure that you get a campsite that is prepared to accommodate the RV. Also, planning in advance can help a camper find better rates; always make sure to ask if a senior rate is available.
- Consider the driving. Maneuvering an RV can be a bit challenging. It’s always important to be in best driving mode but especially so when handling an RV. Make sure that the driver gets plenty of sleep the night before starting out, and make plenty of rest stops, especially if the driver feels a bit drowsy. It’s best to pick destinations that are not so far away as to place too big a strain on the driver.
- Use moth balls. Spider and other insects can make their way into an RV through the propane lines that connect to the water heater and the refrigerator. Placing moth balls in near these appliances can discourage unwanted visitors.
- Think about water and electricity. Many RV campsites include water and electricity hook-ups; these add to the cost of the campsite, but many campers find the convenience is worth the cost.