A slowing economy, hot summer temperatures and high gas prices might keep your choices for a vacation closer to home – our home, Michigan. These concerns are prodding consumers to look toward their tents, pop-ups and recreational vehicles to get away from it all for a lower-cost family vacation. Never the less – the fun factor is huge!

Advance reservations at state campgrounds are a good idea as they have been up 23 percent over last year, the second straight year of increases after a long decline. State parks are on track this year with great conditions, awesome locations, rural or with amenities, quiet time and lots of activities, along with lakes, trees and sun to fulfill desires for a dreamy vacation get-away.

Do your research – look for a location or area of interest and you will find an amazing park that will serve your needs and wants. Public and private campgrounds also are adding amenities such as Wi-Fi, giving you the ability to do what you could do at a fine hotel, in your own home or keep in touch with your office. Some campgrounds are offering comfortable rental RVs, untraditional camping entertainment options, outdoor bowling, sand lagoons, dune buggies, boating and cozy or populated downtown shopping areas.

The Summit Sports Stores and campgear.com are two extreme resources to complete your camping necessities. The small chain of Summit Sports Stores in Metro Detroit has begun selling camping gear this year, also they are promoting high-tech, lightweight gadgets and options to offer the smoothest campground outing for all. One is Coleman's LED Quad Lantern, a bright single unit that separates into four separate lanterns for those late-night bathroom treks – that speaks to most of us. There is an emphasis on easy-to-use gear and in-store instruction, said Fidel Carino, manager at Summit Sports in Brighton. "We're not going to send you out there without knowing how to use the equipment," Carino said, you will be good to go. To bring growth back to the camping equipment market, a younger generation of parents must be inspired to take up the activity with their children,"

Most people can go camping for a week-long trip that would cost under $300 – allowing you to have the conveniences of home, great food, beautiful scenery, out door exposure and wonderful company. The state's Recreation Passport program lets drivers pay an annual $10 fee when they renew their license plates instead of paying a daily or yearly park fee and related discounts from participating businesses have given camping a boost as well.

For most of us, a vacation is a get away from stress and your normal daily routine; away from technology and putting away laptops and cell phones for a bit (you will have these conveniences for emergency resources).


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