There are a good many people who love camping, be it for a weekend away or for a more extended vacation. Yet mention taking kids along, and they wonder how a couple of kids can make a camping trip into something that is supposed to be fun and relaxing.
With a little preparation and forethought, a camping trip can be both, and you will find, your kids can enjoy the experience in the wilderness just as much as you.
Selecting the Right Camp Site
This can be one of the most important decisions you can make in your camping expedition. Camping deep in the wilderness might seem like fun to you, yet when kids have to hike to get to the site, it could be a different story altogether.
If you are new to the experience, you should choose a campsite that is established in a state or national park. This can mean you have amenities handy. Running water being a prime example. Toilets are another thing, and children might frown upon the idea of diving into the middle of a bush when they want the bathroom.
Even if your campsite has running water, it might be a distance from where you have pitched your tent. A large water container with a faucet connected can be set up as a hand washing station, this will make sure your kids are not hunkering down for lunch with an excuse not to wash their hands.
Being prepared can give you a head start on having a fun and relaxing trip. There are a few things of what to bring camping that will make things less stressful.
- First aid kit – well stocked
- A large enough tent with rain fly and ground cloth (Kids need extra space)
- Sleeping bags suited for the temperature and size of your kids
- Camping mattresses – Can be foams or airbeds.
- Rain Gear – ponchos for everyone
- Flashlights and Extra batteries
- Camping stove and Camping Lantern plus fuel (can use solar-powered lanterns)
- Camping cooking set including can openers
- Water carriers and Waterproof containers
- Sunblock and Insect repellent
All of these should be half of the battle, and next, you have to think of entertainment.
Kids can embrace the outdoors as long as they are stimulated so a couple of nature books and magnifying glasses can help them to become involved.
A few active games can keep your kids busy while you work your way through a good book (don’t forget to pack a good book). Throw a football and a Frisbee into the vehicle, and you can have your kids running around.
Slacklining can be another winner, and it will help your kids learn a new skill. All you need are a couple of sturdy trees around 30ft apart. This webbing should make it a little easier for your kids to walk along while balancing. You will have to do a bit of hand-holding at the start, and you might find yourself wanting a go once the kids will let you.
Building and Bonding
One of the central points of any good campsite will be your campfire, and getting your kids to help is a sure fire way they will enjoy sitting around it telling stories, just make sure there are no spooky ghost stories if your kids are young.
You can also involve your kids in helping with some of the chores. Having them help with the cooking can make it an experience rather than something they have to do. Grilling sausages over an open campfire can be the thing to get those taste buds watering in time for dinner.
And after that, there is the marshmallow toasting to be done and a bucket full of S’Mores to satisfy those sweet teeth
Your child’s safety while camping is of prime importance, so if you give them a whistle they can hang around their neck. If they venture off and get lost, they know how quickly to get your attention. Nighttime can be a problem when its pitch black, so a couple of glow sticks they can wave around will let you know where they are.
Camping with kids doesn’t have to be stressful. It can be relaxing as long as you plan well in advance. If you have a site which is close to some other outdoorsy type activities, you might find that your kids can go off with friends or other campers kids and enjoy a bit of kayaking or bike riding (age and size dependent).
This can leave you really relaxed and give you a chance to get that book finished you have been reading.
Author Bio – Chris Cole is the writer and editor for Nature Sport Central. A website dedicated to enjoying all the outdoors has to offer and promote a healthy outdoor lifestyle. You also find Chris on social media – Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.