Pitching ideas for camping

By Annette Verdejo |Staff Writer|

Despite a previous and horrible experience, a city girl, armed with bug spray and a vague knowledge of camping sets out to gain some insight.

An issue with camping in general is information, people like my father and uncle have little to no information on camping. Their idea is simply a tent with an ice chest and some fire wood, so how does everyone else camp? I know that not everyone uses what I affectionately call the “Verdejo method.”

The last time I went camping, I went to Sequoia National Park and it was very beautiful until the sun went down. When the sun sets, the bugs and wilderness came out.

Imagine a 14-year-old girl with about a million bugs bites, bloodshot eyes from not sleeping and a very cranky attitude. Yeah, that was yours truly. After that experience, I vowed that I would not return to the wilderness.

After reliving the horrible memories that was my Sequoia trip, I dragged my outdoor savvy father to the local outdoors shop and told him to give me the low down on camping. After browsing the aisles of Sport Chalet and talking to their sales personnel for about an hour, I came to the conclusion that camping had evolved since I had experienced my adventure.

So according to my old man, camping is a simple activity, “a sport for lazy people who can’t run.”

Note:  My father, Alex Verdejo, is a man’s man; he will throw down over a game of ping pong if he thinks you cheated, so naturally I thought he would enjoy camping, I was very mistaken. My dad is not a fan of sports such as fishing, hiking and other things that are associated with camping, but nonetheless he agreed to help me out.

He and my brother told me that even though I experienced the wrong side of camping when I was 14, there are many different ways to do it and they both assured me that I would be ok if I chose to brave the outdoors again.

Before any person decides to embark into the wild, they should first choose their location. We’re lucky that we live in California, because we have several good locations.

San Clemente is one of the somewhat local beaches that offers beach camping. Each of the camp sites has a fire ring, picnic table and shade Ramada, with water nearby. The RV area in the family campground has water, electrical and sewage hookups as stated by daytrippen.com.

For mountain camping, I’d definitely recommend Sequoia, regardless of my personal experience. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and there’s lots of activities.

For those dirt biking Coyotes, I’d recommend hitching up your trailer and heading out to Glamis.

Whatever your decision may be, always make sure that if you’re going to a national park to check their website for any kind of registration policy. Most camp grounds require a reservation if you’re planning to stay there. Also, make sure you’re fully equipped for any kind of emergency; bring a first aid kid to any outdoor destination.

For more information, I’d recommend visiting daytrippen.com, reserveamerica.com and parks.ca.gov.




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