With summer soon approaching, we’re all looking forward to warming weather and outdoor adventures. Families are sure to be grateful for the upcoming season, as the weather will provide a much-needed reprieve from the last year of isolation at home.
Rather than staying stuck inside every hour of the day, why not take your kids out camping? If you’ve never gone camping with your children, it’s sure to make for an excellent experience. The fresh air, flowing streams, the smell of tree sap. There’s so much to appreciate about camping in the great outdoors.
But how can you and your family stay safe while camping, all without sacrificing the fun of it all? Bring along kids’ medical alert bracelets, the right snacks, and some of their favorite toys and we’re talking about a fun time sleeping in the woods.
1. Practice beforehand
You can’t cut corners when it comes to camping. An unruly child is only going to heighten your chances of saying, “Enough of this. I just want this to be done with.” Suddenly, you’ve got a tent that won’t stand straight and water leaking onto your face after a heavy rain passes overnight.
Prepare your kids for the adventure by getting them acquainted with the camping basics. The best thing is you can do it right in your own backyard. Pitch a tent, make a fire, cook some hot dogs and s’mores — whatever you think will set the mood and get them excited for the real thing. You can even test the waters by having a backyard slumber party to see if they’re ready.
2. Pack no-fuss food
If there’s anything your kids are sure to complain about, it will be the food options available. Pack whatever they’re sure to love. If you’re bringing just spit roasting materials, we’re talking hot dogs, corn, s’mores, and the works. If you bring a cast iron pan, you can cook some hamburgers with cheese, steaks, potatoes, and more.
3. Bring along the right toys
The great outdoors is excellent, but you might just find the kids getting bored with nothing to do. You’re going to want to pack the right toys to make sure you have something to keep them busy if they ever grow antsy. Just leave the electronics at home.
4. Get your gear in order
Make sure you have everything you need before you leave the house. You don’t want to be smacking your head when you get to the campsite, realizing you forgot the flashlights in the garage.
5. Consider what you want to do
A camping trip shouldn’t exclusively be camping. Think about why you want to go camping, as well as what you’d like to do with your kids — whether it’s swimming, hiking, birdwatching or fly fishing. This will help decide what region you want to go to.
6. Find a suitable campground
Once you know what it is you want to do with your kids, you’ll want to start searching for a campground. Do your research, as you want a place that will meet your needs while being accessible to your family. Also, check to see if animals are welcome if you plan on bringing a pet along.
7. Dress your kids accordingly
You’re going to want to make sure your kids are properly dressed for the weather, too. That includes double layers for cool to cold weather as well as a rain jacket and rain boots for wet, muddy weather.
And don’t forget to provide them some extra protection. A medical alert bracelet can keep them safe in the event that they wander off and get injured, have a medical emergency, or get lost. Anyone who finds them can get in touch with you or local law enforcement to ensure your child remains safe.
8. Add something fun
Spooky stories by the campfire? A game of foraging? Fishing by the creek? Do what you can to make the trip a little more fun than simply setting up camp and digging in for the night.
9. Stay positive
Sudden rainstorm comes rolling in? A sudden hailstorm you never would have expected? Gusty wind that knocked your tent out of whack at night? Don’t let random events ruin your trip. Things are bound to change, and you should always find a way to make the most of them. Consider it a good lesson for your child to see.
10. Get your kids to help out
Don’t let your kids just watch. Ask them for help, whether it’s arranging the wood for the fire, helping you knock in stakes for the tents, or getting all of your sleeping bags in order.
11. Remain flexible
Things happen: another family joins your campground, the campground itself has no vacancy or a wild animal decides to wander through your campsite, showing you who owns the place. Understand that your plans will change. You’re going into nature after all, one thing we have no control over. Roll with the punches and make the most of whatever you’re given.
12. Make sure to explore
Don’t call it quits once you get to your campground for the day. Take the time to explore the area surrounding your campground. It will teach your kids about how you’re integrating into nature, not simply using it as an escape from your daily lives.
13. Reevaluate for next time
Take the time to consider what went wrong and right after you’re done with the trip. It’s a great way to ensure that you improve your methods next time. No camping trip will go exactly as you planned, but you can always improve, ensuring you remain safe and that your kids have more and more fun.