Go Camping With Your Kids This Summer, Even In Your Backyard

With the current state of the economy, many of us may be skipping big vacations or expensive outdoors trips this summer. But quality time with family may be closer, and cheaper, than you think.

In this clip from the Today Show, a representative from the Great American Backyard Campout explains that getting the kids outside is not only important, but much easier than people may think.

David Mizejewski from the National Wildlife Federation explains that the Great American Backyard Campout is a summer-long campaign to get kids and families to rediscover the outdoors.

According to the video, children spend about eight hours per day indoors, in front of electronic media. Mizejewski says, “Things are really out of balance.” By encouraging families to go camping, even in their own backyard, he hopes kids will start spending less time in front of the television.

Given the high cost of camping equipment, Mizejewski explains that even a simple backyard campsite can help show kids the fun of the outdoors. He recommends REI, which also rents equipment for those not ready to make a big investment in camping equipment.

No tent? No problem! Home Made Simple offers advice on how to make your own tent with just a rope and blanket.

The Today Show also offers an article on how to get kids outdoors and make the most of the experience. For example, think like a kid -- focus less on the view and more on the cool cricket.

Camping in the city poses a bigger challenge, butWNYC explains how lucky New York City residents get the chance to go camping in the city's most famous parks.

While some hardcore campers may question a night in your backyard, and many criticize camping in luxury, or "glamping," at least your kids are outside and spending some time with nature.