How I usually cook my dinner. MEET the woman who was so fed up of living payday to payday that she left her job and life in New Zealand to move more than seven-and-a-half-thousand-miles away to live a sustainable life out of the back of a van. Reservations agent, Yvette Morrissey (28), also known as the Wayfaring Kiwi, moved to Canada in November 2016 after finding herself single, with no savings and feeling overworked earlier that year. Yvette sold all her belongings, including her beloved horse Blue, saving almost four-thousand-pounds in just three months. Yvette currently lives in Banff, Alberta, Canada whilst holding down a full-time job. In her spare time, she hits the road in her Ford E150 to explore the local area. Yvette Morrissey /

Camping is easily one of the most popular pastimes here in the United States. According to the statistics, more than 40.5 million Americans went camping in 2016, which is on the rise from years past. People love that it gives you a chance to explore and experience the country first-hand, all while being a relatively affordable way to travel. You have the freedom to create your own itinerary and schedule, and really go at your own pace.

If you’ve decided that camping is on the cards for you and your family, and you want to give it a try, there are some tips worth noting. These will help ensure your adventures are packed full of fun, are interesting for everyone, and of course safe.

Invest in All the Important Camping Gear

A big part of camping is first getting to your destination. While there are some campsites that aren’t exactly remote, many of the best ones across the country will require you to head off the beaten path. With that in mind, having a vehicle that can handle tough roads is essential. You’ll also want to be sure it offers more than enough space for all the gear you’ll need to pack.

As for the actual “gear”, this is where things can get a bit crazy. If you start with the basics, it will be a little less overwhelming, and you can then build on your gear from there. The basics include a family-sized tent and tent stakes, sleeping bags and sleeping pads, camping chairs, flashlights and lanterns, a large cooler, cooking utensils and dishes, first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, your camping stove and fuel, and a couple frying pans and saucepans.

Plan Your Meals in Advance

Another tip is to make sure you plan your meals in advance. Food storage and preparation can be difficult when you’re out in the woods. You need to think about how you will keep items that need to be kept cold the entire duration of the trip; how to store food in a way that animals can’t get into it; and how you will prepare, cook, serve, and then clean up after a meal.

There are plenty of sites online that offer sample camping menus that you can browse and take inspiration from.

When it comes to beverages, fresh drinking water should be the top priority, so make sure to pack more than enough.

Research the Site in Advance

It’s also a good idea to spend some time researching potential campsites in advance. Look for on-site activities that would appeal to the kids, and proximity to services such as a grocery store, local sightseeing, medical care, and a gas station.

Pack Entertainment for the Kids

Finally, while the camping trip may seem exciting enough to you, kids are kids and they get bored. Prepare by packing some toys and activities that will keep them entertained and happy.

Each of these tips will help ensure that your family camping trip is a fabulous one.