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Family Fun Finder: fall is a perfect time to go camping

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 9:15 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - This weekend is Labor Day, known as the unofficial end of summer.

And while many of the traditional summer activities are over for the season, there’s no reason to put your camping stuff away just yet.

We’re talking camping in this edition of our Family Fun Finder.

Camping is one of my kids’ favorite things to do.

They love the outdoors, the total attention from their parents.. and of course the food.

And while we tend to think we can’t camp after school starts, the North Dakota tourism department says there are still plenty of good camping weekends left.

These are some of our favorite summertime memories. The time spent camping; sleeping in a tent, cooking over a campfire, enjoying nature and enjoying each other’s company.

We’ve been taking our kids camping for what feels like forever. They love to tell stories about camping trips from when they were younger. It’s an inexpensive, easy way to spend some quality time together.

As babies, my kids loved the water: swimming, splashing, boating and fishing.

Now, the youngest two are 14 and 11 and while they still love the water, they also love campgrounds with lots of activities to keep them busy and to help them meet new people.

For me, that means relaxing with a good book in the hot summer sun. But, we may need to rethink our camping season. The state tourism department says fall is a great time to camp.

“You get these cool mornings. It’s a lot quieter,” said Mike Jensen, North Dakota Tourism Department outdoor promotions director. “You’re not at the busiest time of the year. I really enjoy fall camping because you can go hiking on trails and not worry about it being 100 degrees that day. You have just perfect weather in the fall.”

Of course, fall camping requires a slight change in what we pack. You’ll want more blankets and instead of swimsuits, you’ll need a little warmer wardrobe.

“You need to pack long pants, long shirts,” said Jensen. “Bug spray is another thing. There’s West Nile virus cases out there right now so make sure you’re still wearing appropriate bug spray, even though we don’t have as many mosquitoes as we normally have this this fall. Sunscreen is another thing that a lot of people will say, ‘It’s fall, it’s not going to be 100 degrees I don’t need it.’ Then they’ll burn just the same as they do in the summertime.”

As for the best places to camp this fall, Jensen says it’s pretty similar to the list of best places to camp in the summer. The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a popular fall camping destination, along with state parks in every corner of the state. Some easy parks for people in Bismarck and Mandan: Sibley and Fort Lincoln.

“That’s the easy button for me. Because you have everything from a historical attraction, the park, the hiking trails and it’s a beautiful campground.”

And if nothing else, take a lesson from little Lucy Sisk, who knows that a night in the tent, evein if it’s in your own backyard, is a fun adventure the whole family can enjoy even after summer is over.

For more ideas, visit ndtourism.com.. click on “Things To Do” and then “Road Trips.”

There are enough ideas there to keep you busy year round.

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