Family Camping: Lakeside in Vermont
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.
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.
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.
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.