The Pocket Guide to Camping Review


Pitch your tent, build a cozy campfire, cook up some dinner, and tell some rollicking good campfire tales! This must-have guide gives kids everything they need for the perfect camping trip.

The Pocket Guide to Camping is available from Amazon for $9.99.


This review was written by my other half, Father Geek.

Humor columnist, Dave Barry, was quoted in saying that “camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.” This quote, while meant to be satirical, also has a great kernel of truth to it. Camping is not easy, not always fun, and hardly ever clean. But this is based on the “norm” of the individual who is camping in the first place. For example, I bet the everyday individual who is camping doesn’t have an outhouse in their backyard at home. On an interesting side note, I actually do.

Camping is an art form, but more importantly, a state of mind. To camp successfully, you must be highly adaptable and prepared. If you are not, then it simply won’t matter how expensive your gear is or how awesome the camp site. Your camping experience will suffer and you will be miserable.

To be highly adaptable is something that cannot be taught, sadly. It is a Zen state of mind. An attitude. To be highly adaptable is to be confident that the only true norm and constant in the universe is Murphy’s Law, which simply states “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” This is the very essence of Camping 101. It simply does not matter how many meteorologist tell you it won’t rain, if you are in a tent, expect a downpour.

While this might sound altogether horrible, we must ponder for a moment why so many people around the world leave the comfort of their Central Air and flushable toilets to embark on 2 or more days worth of being uncomfortable, biting insects, and toilets that are nothing more than a hole in the ground. Obviously, there is something to it, and being a “camper” myself, I believe I know the secret. Camping allows you to shake off of the everyday trappings of convenience to get back to something more visceral and simple. A call back to nature and a time where men and women worked, lived, and died side-by-side with Nature instead of visiting it in parks or the Zoo. In truth, it is an escape of the constant rush of the world that sweeps us ever forward through traffic, deadlines, and meetings. When you camp, your only clock is the Sun and your only objective is to live in the moment.

If this sounds like an altogether impossible venture, I have good news. You are not alone. I am acquainted with a number of individuals who know what a tent and a sleeping bag is only because they have read about it or saw it on TV or in a movie. Individuals who live in big cities like New York, Hong Kong, and Paris might not have an inkling what a camp stove is or a S’more.

For those individuals who want to camp, but never have, or for individuals who simply want to learn more about what should be done and expected, there are books, magazines, and even videos that introduce, explain, and help answer the “Do’s” and “Do Not’s” of camping. Despite having many, many hours of “tent time” under my camping belt, I still find these materials useful. If you recall, the second part of being a successful camper is being prepared. Reading about camping is a great way to get your head in the right mind set and think about what you need to bring and do before you venture off into the Wilderness.

I was recently passed a copy of “The Pocket Guide to Camping”, by Linda White and Katherine L. White. Linda and Katherine are a mother/daughter team who have authored books for children on camping and the outdoors. This, their latest book, does an outstanding job of walking the reader through all the camping steps. Packing, preparing, pitching the tent, safety, cooking, and outdoor activities. It’s all here! Through prose, checklists, visual examples, and even recipes, the authors gently take the hand of the reader and guide them through the in’s and out’s of camping, what to expect, what to prepare for, and how to maximize the fun of a family camping trip.

What this book does well, and better than most, is condense without over simplifying. Camping need not be an ordeal and the book communicates that well. Camping is fun and the authors give the reader all that they need to strike out on their own with confidence.

Included in the book are sections where the reader in encouraged to record their own camping experience. This was a deft way of bringing the reader ever closer to the purpose of the book which is to prepare the reader to experience their camping on a personal level rather than just going through the motions. In fact, I would even venture to go so far as to suggest that this book puts the reader on the path of achieving that necessary state of being highly adaptable by providing moments for the reader to slow down, reflect, and appreciate the moment.

I, an avid camper, find great merit in this book. It has some great recipes for cooking, some fun activities for the family, great tips on packing food and supplies, and songs to be sung at the evening campfire.

I highly recommend this book as a gift for newbie campers, for outdoor enthusiast, and veteran campers alike. Check out the book and get out your hiking boots and canteen. There’s a big a beautiful wilderness out there waiting for you to explore it, and with “The Pocket Guide to Camping”, you can go forth secure in the knowledge that you are prepared.

Happy camping!


I received the above mentioned book for review purposes, all opinions are my own.

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