Few Tips for Successful Camping With Children
Although camping can sometimes seem like an activity that requires a lot of preparation, it all pays off the moment you arrive at the camping site.
A lot of family fun, quality time spent outdoors and family memories to remember are guaranteed.
In order for the camping to be fun and as easier as possible, we have made a short guide with the list of things that You will surely need during camping.
1. Find your camping location
Thanks to the modern technologies, searching for the suitable camping location may start much sooner than camping trip itself. When choosing, be sure to take into account the features of potential camping location and potential activities you and your family are looking for – fishing, hiking, learning about the nature and similar.
Good camping location should offer opportunity for all planned activities, and be as safe as possible. In most situations, camping means sleeping in a tent, RV, truck, boat or similar – some people adore such activities, while some prefer to sleep in the bed at home or hotel.
2. Include children in planning your camping trip
Don't forget to plan with the kids - show them photos of the camping location, Google maps location, let them choose the games they may bring with them, explain them their obligations and duties and let them pack their own belongings (of course, under your supervision).
In addition to enjoying being part of the planning of the holiday, children will create a habit of planning and organization.
3. Equip yourself
No matter what type of camping activities you prefer, some basic camping equipment is mandatory.
Do not forget the tent, matches, insect repellent, scented mosquito candles, flashlights, sunscreen, rain equipment, knives, bear repellent sprays (if required or recommended by local authorities), fishing gear, cameras and similar. If you forget some of the most basic gear at home, you probably cannot buy it after coming to the camping location.
4. Make a list
It is very important to make a list of required items and follow it to the letter.
Write down everything you remember the moment you remember it - that reduces the likelihood of forgetting something. When making such list, include your family - maybe they'll remember something you've forgotten.
Depending on the means of travel, amount of gear that may be carries can be sometimes rather limited. On the other hand, when going with the larger boat, RV or similar, feel free to carry practically everything you may consider necessary.
5. Familiarize the children with the camping site and the rules of conduct
Although the trip to the camping site may be unpredictable, try to arrive well before the dark.
This way you will have enough time to set up the tent(s) and check the area around the camp, prepare location for fire (if open fire is allowed), and similar.
When you are settled, repeat the rules of conduct to the children and especially to the adults not used to camping – watching it on TV is one thing, actual camping is totally another thing. For example, take a walk together and find out where the best fishing locations may be, where are the areas where dangerous animals may wait hidden, check viewpoints and similar.
6. Cook quickly and easily
Forget about the long afternoon cooking lunches. For camping, choose meals that are quick and easy to make like barbecue, and if possible include lots of vegetables and salads, with some fruits included from time to time.
Children should also take part in food preparation – actually, it is recommended to include the kids in such activities since it make them learn something, it will make their camping more interesting, etc.
Just in case, be sure to carry some canned food (canned meat in combination with cooked pasta can be done in 10-15 minutes and make people satiated for hours) and ready-to-eat meals as well – better safe than sorry.
Protein and energy bars are also a good choice – when hungry, they provide nutrients and energy that will keep both adults and children going for hours.
7. Check the surrounding areas
Camping doesn't just mean staying in the camp. Be sure to visit the nearby areas either by foot, by car/truck, boat, kayak and similar.
When taking such short trips, be sure to always put required gear in the backpacks, including food, water, water purifying tablets, flashlights, reserve dry clothing, bear repellent spray, GPS, fire starters, matches and similar.
8. Organize various fun activities
Organize various activities in the camp that will occupy your children's time – swimming, fishing, hiking, exploring the nature, etc. Show the kids how to start the fire using nothing but items found in nature and similar.
Also, offering them a small reward (chocolate anybody?) can be very motivating – who will catch the biggest fish, who will first start a fire, who will find the north first, who will be the most accurate with a bow and arrow (or stone, hatchet, spear, knife etc. – under supervision of adults, of course) and similar. Possibilities are endless, just your imagination.
9. What if it rains?
This is a question that probably every parent asks themselves when camping with the kids. It is very important to turn the rainy day into fun as much as possible - just open your own box of board and similar games you brought from home.
On the other hand, some activities can be done outside the camp even during the rain. Just be sure to stay safe – visibility is reduced, things get slippery, orientation is harder, hypothermia kicks in much quicker etc.
10. Returning home
All nice things come to an end, so does camping with the family. When returning back to the civilization, be sure to leave your camping site just like it was the when you came – pick everything, garbage included and clean the camping site.
Long Story Short: When camping alone or with your family, the most important thing is to stay safe. Don’t underestimate the Mother Nature and always think ahead. Wolfs, bobcats, bears and similar animals may look cute on TV, but those animals are used to fight for almost every bite of food they had in their lives – don’t underestimate them in any way.
Whatever you do when camping, hiking, fishing etc. it is your own responsibility to keep yourself and your family safe.