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The smiles say it all. Make it fun and they will learn without even knowing it.


Coleman features modern LED lights, charging centers for your personal electronics and a propane coffee maker that brews a pot of coffee, as good as homemade.


fishing, shooting, hunting, camping, hiking or even just a drive in the coun- try and a picnic. It doesn’t take kids long to get used to being in the woods. The first time I took my kids fish- ing, my daughter was nervous about touching a slimy worm or a scaly fish. But within the hour she was begging me to let her touch the fish before we threw them back! Camping is a great way to teach


kids how to rough it while still having fun. I’m not talking about the $80K fifth-wheel trailer with a microwave and satellite TV. I’m talking about a tent and a sleeping bag. You would be surprised how little gear you re- ally need to spend a couple nights in the woods. Start out slow and go to a campground with improved camp- sites. These will have permanent fire


pits at your campsite and a restroom nearby. A good campground will have plenty of things to do such as camp- ing, fishing and plenty of open space for playing. This is also a great time to get the kids to do chores without real- izing it. Put them in charge of certain things like packing or setting up parts of the campsite. They will do it eager- ly and usually without complaint.


Gear Essentials You don’t need to spend a for-


tune or buy a lot of gear to be able to go camping for a few days. But be warned, once you start it is easy to get hooked! There will be plenty of new cool gear you just have to have! Cole- man is probably the world’s leader in camping and outdoor gear. If they don’t make it, you probably don’t


need it. They have one of the user- friendliest websites I’ve ever seen and you can quickly get a feel for what you need, like and want. Coleman is also one of those brands you take for granted. You don’t realize how many Coleman things you already own. I’ve had the same Coleman stove and lan- tern for 20 years and they still work great; the quality is that good! Start off by getting a good tent.


Coleman has a large selection of fam- ily tents at very reasonable prices. My new favorite is the Instant Tent. The largest one will sleep up to eight people and has room for two queen size air mattresses. The cool thing about this tent is the poles are built in. Coleman advertises a setup time of 1 minute and even first timers will find that goal attainable. The Instant


It doesn’t take much to get outdoors. A decent vehicle and a little gear and you are camping!


78 REALITY CHECK • 2012 SPECIAL EDITION


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