For over 30 years my family has been making annual trips to Vermont to go camping in the late Fall. Over the years it has grown from being just four of us (my Mom, Dad, Sister, and me) to over a dozen people, family and close friends.
I know a lot of people on instructables are into backpack camping, so they have to be careful about the weight of what they are bringing since they have to carry it in and out.
Odds are these tips won't be of much help to you.
Our annual trip is by no means considered lightweight. But we bring the things that make the camping trip fun and comfortable.
updates to step 3 and step 4
added step 7
update to step 4
update to step 4
added a link to the recipe for Mom's Beef Stew in step 4
Step 1: Lean-to Tarp
The state park has really nice Lean-to sites available. A Lean-to is really nice for getting you up off the ground and providing protection from the elements. The only down side is that the entire front side is open to the elements.
For years we would nail a tarp up to the front of the lean to using the grommets on the tarp. If it was nice out we would string the tarp out to make an awning over the picnic table (we would move the table over to in front of the lean-to).
If the weather got really nasty, or if we were turning in for the night, we would drop the tarp down to cover the front of the lean to. The tarp helps to retain heat, as well as keeping out any nasty weather.
A few years ago we picked up a 10' square pop up tent. Since We started using that over the table, we have not needed to use the tarp as an awning.
In order to make it easier to get in an out of the lean-to during the day I came up with a new way of setting up the tarp.
By stringing a length of rope across the front of the lean-to and inserting shower curtain rings into each of the grommets in the tarp. It makes it very easy to slide the tarp off to one side during the day so it is out of the way, and then slide it back into place at night.