By Dan Zarlenga,
Missouri Dept of Conservation
St. LOUIS, MO.—There’s never been a better time to take a “staycation” than now. One very accessible, inexpensive, and fun family outing is a camping trip. But for those new to camping, the initial startup might seem intimidating.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is presenting a free online program to make getting a start with camping easy. MDC naturalists will present Beginning Camping Thursday, Aug. 13 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. for ages 10 and up. It’s especially tailored for novice campers and designed to take the mystery out of spending a night in the woods.
From getting out early to beat the crowds on the trails and rivers, to staying up at night counting the stars, camping is a great way to get out and discover nature. It also creates lasting family memories.
The class will explore all the important aspects, starting with places to camp in the St. Louis region. Participants will learn about different types of tents and how to set up a campsite, along with some special considerations when camping in areas where bears might live. Of course, campers need something to sleep in, and the program will also cover the various kinds of sleeping bags available.
Finally, the class will look at it techniques for preparing meals in the great outdoors, from cooking over an open campfire to using a propane stove. Outdoor safety considerations will also be explored, like identifying poisonous plants and mushrooms, and venomous snakes.
Beginning Camping is a free virtual program, but advanced online registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZXB. Attendees will receive an invitation and program link by email from WebEx the day of the program.