(BPT) - With winter in the rearview and warm weather finally here, millions of Americans have come out of hibernation and are looking to breathe in the fresh summer air. This year marks the centennial celebration of America's National Parks and according to AAA, gas prices are at their lowest in 12 years, so there is no better time for Americans to head outdoors.
In addition, AAA states that the most popular types of vacations for families planning to travel this summer are road trips (69 percent), national parks (49 percent) and theme parks (42 percent).
With more families exploring nature's most beautiful locations, Gander Mountain offers some helpful tips to keep in mind before you hit the road to ensure you are prepared with both the right information and the proper equipment to fully enjoy the great outdoors this summer.
Practice pitching.Grab a camping tent big enough for the entire family and make sure to practice putting it up in your backyard to allow for a hassle-free setup once you get to your camping site.
Energize with a treat.Pack chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers and let Mother Nature provide the skewers for free. No camping trip is complete until you make the perfect s'more around the campfire. Or keep it simple with an on-the-go energy bar to keep your level of energy up.
Avoid the itch.Bug spray is a camping essential, so consider a "deep woods" option for better protection. If spray isn't your preferred option, citronella candles and torches repel those pesky insects. Spend time relaxing under the stars without worrying about mosquito bites.
Safety first.Have a first aid/survival kit with you at all times, even if you are just going on a day hike. Prepare for all types of weather as it could change in an instant. Consider dressing in layers so you can respond easily as temperatures can change rapidly.
Pack for adventure.Make sure to pack the gear needed for any adventure. From the proper fishing rod, reel and bait, to a fire starter, kayak, or cooler - be prepared to make the most of whatever comes your way.
Plan ahead.Seek out the advice of professionals who know the outdoors and have local knowledge and experience with the products you plan to purchase. Dedicated outdoor retailers like Gander Mountain have experts on hand to help answer all of your questions and make sure you're ready to take on the great outdoors.
For more tips, advice and the latest and greatest outdoor gear and accessories, visit www.GanderMountain.com.