Camping with children is a treasured childhood activity that promises fun for kids and adults alike, and if you are thinking of doing it for the first time then there are a few tips you can follow to help make it as easy as possible.
Camping with children can be complicated and frustrating when things go wrong, but getting outside with a young family doesn’t need to be stressful. Following a few easy rules can be all you need to guarantee a happy experience for everyone involved.
These are the five most important tips to help ensure that your next trip into the wilderness goes smoothly.
Most miserable camping scenarios can be avoided with the right preparation. Begin by choosing your camping site carefully and making reservations, if necessary. A good site is dry, sheltered from the wind and within easy walking distance of fun attractions. Consider also how primitively you wish to spend your vacation; some families prefer to live off of what they can carry, while others enjoy the convenience of a campervan holiday. Make a list of items you will need and check each entry off as you pack. Here is an ultimate camping checklist to help you. Even if it seems unlikely to rain or grow cold, bring warm, waterproof clothing just in case.
Setting out early in the morning gives kids a sense of purpose and guarantees they will still have plenty of energy when you arrive. Fumbling around in the dark with grumpy, hungry children who have yet to see any fun is the worst way to begin camping and can set a sour mood for the rest of your stay. Establishing camp in the daylight is easier, and once you are finished there should still be time to run down to the lake or hike in the woods before turning in for the holiday’s first campfire.
Camping is all about taking kids away from their regular environment and letting them explore nature. Use this as a teaching opportunity by asking children to help with camp chores such as collecting firewood or by showing them how to identify native plants and animals. Try to limit their exposure to phones and other gadgets during this time and focus instead on creating as many new memories as possible.
Keep it Simple
Children get tired quickly and need frequent chances to stop and rest before moving on to another activity. Fatigue and hunger are the primary causes of tantrums while camping, so remember to pace yourselves and keep snacks to hand. Allowing for some unstructured time throughout the day also gives families a chance to unwind and pursue their own interests without feeling driven to see and do everything the campsite has to offer.
Prepare for Surprises
Finally, every parent knows that you can only plan so much with small children on vacation. Be ready for scraped knees, sudden rain showers, sightseeing detours or any number of other surprises that can pop up while camping. If you and your children keep an open mind and are willing to change course, these unexpected diversions can lead to exciting new adventures and amusing stories that will be told around campfires for years to come.
Picture Credits: Inspired Camping