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Hunting For Alternative Accommodations

November 6, 2010 by · 8 Comments 


When my husband and I first started camping as a family, one of the first things we did was rent a platform tent in Washington’s Dosewallips State Park.

We only had two children at the time. Our daughter was about 2 1/2 years old. Our son, who is now a teenager, was merely five months old. I was still treading into camping rather gingerly and this seemed like a great way to get my toes wet. I had been doing some research and heard that yurts, rustic cabins, and platform tents were becoming very popular. I had also learned that Washington State was just developing their alternative camping accommodations. Oregon State Parks, on the other hand, had been building their alternative accommodations for some time. They were proving to be wildly popular.

Intuitively, I knew it made sense to give these alternative accommodations a try. Even though my hubby had camped quite a bit, I had not. I was a bit overwhelmed by the thought of packing tents, poles, cookware, diapers, binkies, and bottles. So, I figured I’d have to pack less if at least my structure was ready for me when I got there. Luckily, I was right, because it was a pretty simple operation to organize and pull off with babes in tow.

Aside from being a convenient alternative to tents, our platform tent featured heat, a futon, a bunk bed, and a table. When we arrived at our platform tent that April weekend many years ago, I was impressed with the size and the warmth. My son’s portable crib fit inside beautifully, and there was plenty of room to spare. My daughter had space to romp. I was happy because the heater offered a little extra comfort. Cooking was not allowed inside the tent, but we easily managed at the site’s fire ring and on the picnic table.

So, I guess my advice is this: Even if you are an experienced camper, it is worth being aware of the alternative camping accommodations that are out there. Yurts, teepees, platform tents and cabins are a little more expensive than basic campsites, but they offer a lot of added value for families who are treading into the wonderful world of camping. They are great for folks who want to camp but don’t yet want to invest in the whole kit and kaboodle. They are also great for hesitant urbanites who aren’t sure they want to pitch a tent and sleep on the ground. And, they are a nice option for singles who want to camp but also want the added security of knowing that they can lock the door at night.

For additional information check out this link from Oregon State Parks.


8 Responses to “Hunting For Alternative Accommodations”
  1. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Melissa,
    This was a very nice informative piece.. Thank you.. WHERE’S THE RECIPES, GIRL??

  2. Melissa A. Trainer says:

    Butterbean Carpenter,
    Thank you for the comment and feedback. As for the recipes, I’m workin’ on it!!!
    What type of recipes are you looking for?

  3. Patti Faustini says:

    Hey Melissa, I’m a major league Newbie RVer, even though I grew up around them. This is the first one where I’m in charge, not mom and dad. I love using a crockpot and think it should work well in our baby Jayco Travel Trailer. Do you know any breakfast crock pot recipes? I love the idea of setting the crock pot on at bedtime and waking up to breakfast done. Also, I’m thinking an electric skillet would be a good RV kitchen purchase. Thoughts? thanks, Patti

  4. Melissa Trainer says:

    Welcome aboard! I use my crockpot all the time at home, but I have never used my crockpot in my camper. My travel trailer kitchen is a bit too small and when there are three children and a husband poking around in the kitchen galley, I was always afraid someone would get burned. An electric skillet could work well if you have enough counter space and you can keep the cord clear of clumsy feet!!!…Do you have a stove too? If so, I find that cast iron works great too…Thanks for posting the comments. I really enjoyed hearing from you. I will try to post some food related stuff and tips this week. Feeding the family on the road is always part of the adventure!! Missy Trainer

  5. Patti Faustini says:

    Hi Missy, and thanks for your response. I ran right out to check space. My crock pot sits right down in the actual sink, so it should be somewhat safe from the charging bulls, I mean…husband and teenage son.

    Also, It looks like we have do space for an electric skillet…but you have heightened my awareness of family crashes, so I’ll be very careful. I recall my mom in the ’60′s using an electric skillet both inside and outside of our RV’s which is probably where I got the idea. thank you. I’ll let you know how we do.

  6. Patti
    Thanks for the questions and the comments. Your electric skillet comments got me thinking about skillet dinners. I grew up in the 1960 and 1970s and skillet dinners were a big thing back then. I think an electric skillet would work fine in your camper and it would work great outside the camper too. Have you checked out the Minute Rice and Campbells websites? There are some very good skillet dinner recipes over there. Also, I was inspired to write a Skillet dinner post over on my Al Dente blog. Check that out and let me know if you have more questions. He Man Spanish Rice is one of my children’s favorite skillet dinners…the men in your life might like that vintage recipe from Campbell’s!
    Regards, Missy Trainer

  7. The child tax credit is available for married couples filing jointly with a reported gross income of below 13,000, although again, it should be noted that income limits for both single and married parents are revised frequently. With this credit, it is possible to receive up to 1,000 per child.


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