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River Falls camping veterans tell all for new explorers

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life River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Year round, in sun, storm or rain, campers can be found huddled around campfires or sprawled out in the sun. When it comes to spending time with Mother Nature, there are some definite do's and don'ts.

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For two groups of campers at Hoffman Park who meet on a yearly basis to share campfire marshmallows and company, Gary and Debbie Cottrell, and Jim and Diana Border, camping has turned into a lifestyle.

The Borders camp during the week to avoid crowds. They have traveled across the country in their small camper, which Diana called a "step above a tent."

The Cottrells have a bigger camper than the Borders, but still like reconnecting with nature.

Unless it is storming, they said they don't spend much time inside enjoying its modern amenities, like the television, even when camping with their four grandchildren.

Here are some tips both couples offered:

DO play outside

DO cook outside

DO be prepared

DO plan the experience

DO NOT be disrespectful

Hoffman Park is a first-come-first serve, 15-site camping area that charges $15 a night per space that averages 300 camping parties a season.

"A lot of the people who come here are probably retired people," said Cindi Danke, city of River Falls recreation coordinator. "You do get the families that come out, sometimes they are from town and they just want to have the camping experience."

She said people camping at Hoffman Park are friendly to one another and excited to meet the other campers.

For more information about camping at Hoffman Park, visit contact Danke at 715-425-0924.

See the July 11 edition of the Journal for the full article.

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