First time campers?

nipsey russell

New Member
Sep 15, 2014
25
7
3
Philly Burbs
Hi, so i havent really ever camped before and was thinking of taking my kids (6 and 9) out camping for one night to try it out with them. Wondering if someone could recommend a spot that would be good for first timers in tents in the PB? Having hiked Carranza to Apple Pie Hill a few times i was thinking of the BaToNa campground. Thoughts? I'd like someplace easy to car camp, where its pretty, and where there wont be tons of people around and we can go out on some hikes....but also can bail out easy if the kids melt down or weather doesnt cooperate. Also, it would be great to have a fire ring with a built in grill (or even just a grill) so i can cook without investing in other equipment.

Also if anyone wants to chip in on first time camping advice, feel free!
Eg: i have 2 tents, but not much else. Can i get away with just sleeping bags and no pads for one night as we try it out? What are the must haves?
How does one get what they need for a fire to the site?

Sorry if these are silly questions!
 
Feb 1, 2016
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Camden County, NJ
Batona is a nice campground and provides a true pinelands experience. A downside is that it is somewhat remote and if you need to leave to get something its a bit of a drive to the nearest location. You may want to consider Atsion Family campground at Atsion Lake. Across the lake is the Atsion Recreation center with a lifeguard who monitors the beach/lake. Flushing toilets onsite. At the campground, there are fire rings and picnic tables onsite. Down the road a 1/2 mile is the Atsion Ranger Station, they have detailed info available on local trails and places to see. A few miles up the road is a great Piney restaurant called Pic a Lilli. There are farm stands on Route 206 (several miles down the road) and a convenience store on Jackson Road (route 534). Bottom line at that location you can find all the comforts of home (food, bathrooms, etc) and yet still camp. Only negative is the occasional sound of traffic. Balanced against camping lakefront or nearly so. As far as what you need to bring it is all about how comfortable you want to be. If you don't want to invest in sleeping pads...bring a heavy winter blanket and fold it underneath your sleeping bags as a pad. Check the forecast night temps. If its 60 or above you may find yourself sleeping on top of your bag. Please buy or find your firewood locally (there is a stand on Atsion Road ) near the Goshen Pond campsite entrance to help prevent against spreading invasive insects. I would also suggest bringing a board game or playing cards or similar. Plenty of daytime activities to tire the kids out (swimming, hiking, kayaking, etc)...kayaks/canoes can be rented at the lake via Cowboy Mikes Canoe Rental or if you want to explore the local Batsto or Mullica Rivers a few hundred yards away is pinelands adventures www.pinelandsadventures.org
 
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nipsey russell

New Member
Sep 15, 2014
25
7
3
Philly Burbs
Thanks, PBA! Great info. I may be philly-based, but i consider the pines almost a second home after spending some time there over the past few years, so i have already dragged the kids to the Pic-a-lilli a couple times and we've been to Atsion. Thing is i dont like people, so i prefer to swim in less public spots (worth a potential ticket?). Will look into Atsion family Campground asap.
 

kayak karl

Explorer
Sep 18, 2008
495
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Swedesboro, NJ
We camp at Bass river with the kids. My daughter needed a mirror in bathroom :). If you want the solitude hit the AT south of NJ. Can camp where you want.
 

imkms

Explorer
Feb 18, 2008
450
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SJ and SW FL
Try Godfrey Bridge, Over the last 40 years I've camped there dozens of times and took my kids when they were young. You can swim in the Wading or take a 2 mile ride to Harrisville and swim. The kids especially like the camp store located across the bridge (5 minute walk from Godfrey Bridge) where they sell candy, ice cream and other things. Each site has a table and a fire ring and some of them are quite large. Just pick one farthest away from other campers and you should be fine. Lot of hardwood trees in the area so you can find wood or buy at the camp store. Canoeing is also available for rent at the private campground.
 
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SuperChooch

Explorer
Aug 26, 2011
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Batona is good- Remote, very quiet, but not much there. Bass River is great for families: lake, playgrounds, BBQ, beach, but a little further if you are from Philly. PBA mentioned the Atsion Family Sites, which are also good, but an option that might be better given your criteria is the Goshen Pond sites right next door. They are more remote, less busy, but pretty much still as close to civilization as the Atsion family sites.
 

Gerania

Explorer
May 18, 2004
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Marlton
Strep was seriously going around recently.

The first time we camped as a family, we went to Atsion. It was so hot, half the campsites were empty. The lake beach was packed, so we went to the Pic for a couple of hours to cool off.
 
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Jersey Jeff

Explorer
Jun 22, 2012
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Godfrey is great for hot summer days. We spend hours in the river sitting, tubing and jumping off the rope swing. As imkms noted, there is a commercial campground next door with snacks, ice cream and various items. It's one of the few campgrounds with picnic tables, which is a big help.
 

sgtdave4321

New Member
Mar 7, 2016
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Garden State
We did a Batona Trail hike last year. We stopped at Batona Camp for a meal break. There was a lot of vehicle traffic and a Boy Scout Troop came into Camp in Multiple Vehicles. I dont know how hard it is to get to Batona Camp by vehicle, but I got there on foor and I thought it was remote until all the trucks arrived. I would think that Atsion is a good starter camping trip as there are some comforts close if needed.