Edit ModuleShow Tags

I Can Camp


Published:

I can camp. Well, sort of.

Most of my experiences are actually childhood memories, where the tent assembly took seven times longer than it should, "meals" were granola bars and skittles, and the overnight setting was my own backyard. I also may have woken up once with the tent on the ground all around me (and my tent-mate safe and dry indoors!) after a mild storm.

As a young adult, I "tried" again. "Tried" being the imperative word, considering our entire group's lack of consideration that our Yosemite campground was at a much higher altitude than the sunny, Midwestern college campus we just left. COLDEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE.

Too bad we didn't know about The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources's I Can Camp program. (In fact, they have all sorts of "I Can" programs, but I'll stick with this one for now.)

It's a great way to learn the basics of camping among experts, especially if you don't already own all the gear, but are considering. The program provides the tents, air mattresses, cooking gear, and more, and leaders will show you how to assemble, cook tasty meals, start a fire, and of course, camp safely. Ask any of your "how do I..." or "what should I..." questions and they'll happily answer.

This "overnight workshop" (one or two nights) isn't all learning though; it's still a fun trip. You get to explore and experience nature like any other camping experience, with hiking, fishing, biking, canoeing, or geocaching often available.

The one-night program costs $40 for a group of up to six, and two nights for $60. That includes a vehicle pass, the use of camping equipment, plus all instruction and activities. The annual Minnesota State Parks permit may be purchased for an additional $20.

The complete schedule of various locations and available dates can be found online; register fast, they're filling up. Groups will be given a six-person tent. Animals not allowed; and infants and toddlers not recommended. Check the website for a handy packing list and answers to other commonly asked questions.

73 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas are waiting; with one little step you can gain the confidence to camp on your own next time—and not wake up to a collapsed tent.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks

Weekend Activities to Satisfy Your Inner-Child

Check out these weekend activities that will have you feeling like a kid again.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: April

Sue Z.'s picks for philanthropic food events in April will have you supporting women chefs, sipping crafty cocktails, and celebrating Cookie Cart's 30th birthday

A Day Trip to Waconia

Enjoy great views, dining, and craft beverage destinations in this West Metro lakeside town

11 Easter Egg Hunts: From Flashlights to Geocaching

Yes, there's an annual adults-only Easter egg hunt in Rochester—and another for dogs, and another with geocaching, and another that drops them out of the sky. Check out more of the best egg hunts around Minnesota.

Rock Climbing in Minnesota

Rock on this spring at climbing gyms and favorite outdoor spots around Minnesota

5 Natural Wonders in Minnesota

Mother Nature takes the best selfies

Bad Axe Throwing Opens Minneapolis Location

Axe throwing makes its debut in Northeast Minneapolis—and it's not as dangerous as it sounds

Visit Award-Winning Minnesota Distilleries

Tattersall Distilling, J. Carver Distillery, and RockFilter Distillery are all worth the trip

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: March

Sue Z. picks Cochon555 as her philanthropic food event this month

5 Must-See Minnesota Public Gardens

Visiting these botanical wonders are sure to make your daisy
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags