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Family Camping: Lakeside in Vermont

Family Camping: Lakeside in Vermont
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Make a to-do list

1. Hang the clothesline.
2. Fetch water for the dog.
3. Set up the beds.
4. Collect firewood.
5. Sweep out the camper.
6. Organize a field kitchen.


Provides lots of space to dry bathing suits and towels, wet bedding (if you don’t heed the next tip), and some privacy if you’ve got chummy neighbors.

Tent 101

We had a downpour our first night in Poultney. My sister’s family was snug in their pop-up and ours in our tent.

Here’s how to stay dry:

1. First, find a good location. It doesn’t hurt to pitch your tent under a tree; branches help keep you dry should the weather turn foul.

2. Next, lay down a plastic ground cloth that’s only as big as the floor of your tent, with no edges sticking out. (Otherwise, they’ll catch the rain and drain it right under your sleeping area.)

3. Then, using rope, “fly” a sheet of plastic or waterproof nylon above your tent and beyond its edges, but not touching the tent.


No need for sleeping bags if you don’t have them. Take pillows and comforters right off the beds at home—they’re much more comfortable, and they probably need a good washing anyway.

Campfire Area

Pack one folding chair for every person in your group. Buy or collect firewood while it’s still light, so you’re not foraging in the dark. In our family, we’re particular about our marshmallow roasting sticks, so get those squared away during daylight hours as well.

Fire Tips

To grill your farmers’ market bounty, you’ll need a hot bed of coals. A wood fire is nice, but most state parks have standing charcoal grills for campers’ use, too. If you want to take some of the thrill (read: risk) out of grilling, use charcoal.


Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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One Response to Family Camping: Lakeside in Vermont

  1. Karen Frieder April 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    We began camping in state parks last year, mostly in Florida. Very often, they do not permit tying anything to the trees and specifically prohibit clotheslines. Please check with park authorities before putting anything in or on the campsite vegetation!

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