Many of us develop a love of camping as a result of family camping trips when we were young. Therefore, it’s no secret why those of us who enjoyed such trips as children yearn to take our own children on camping excursions. Kids grow up quite fast these days, and taking family camping trips is a great way to make memories together and even bring back the memories from your own childhood trips. Camping with children requires a lot of patience, awareness, and preparation, however, and today I’ve outlined several ways to make your family camping trip an enjoyable experience for everybody.
One way to start making those memories before you even leave the house is to allow your children to be involved with the planning and preparation process. You can do this by having them help plan where to go, what to see, and what activities to enjoy while you’re there. Also, bring them along when you go grocery shopping for the trip. They’ll have a blast deciding on what meals to make while you’re camping (they might even want to help cook during the trip). Lastly, see if they want to help gather the gear and pack everything for the trip. I guarantee that feeling needed and being given more responsibilities will make them feel great and will also go a long way towards making your trip memorable early on.
It’s a good idea to gather the family together for a practice camp-out in your backyard one night, in order to prepare everyone for a night out in the woods. This is a great opportunity to teach your children how to use some of the gear, pitch the tent, and even try some contained outdoor cooking. I would also suggest exposing your children to the outdoors in smaller ways throughout the year. Take them on short hikes through nearby woods, nature center, or a local park and teach them about nature by showing them what plants to avoid, how to Leave No Trace, how to practice safety, how to gather firewood, and any other outdoors aspect you can think of.
Kids have a short attention span when it comes to many things in life. This is a fact. It is because of this that parents’ need to find ways to convey the wonder, beauty, and excitement of the outdoors to their children in ways that will enable them to feel as such and share those feelings. This can be done with activities that often go overlooked while camping. For instance, finding and identifying animal tracks, making out constellations at night, and even helping them keep a journal of the trip each day will help keep their interests peaked and make the trip that much more enjoyable for everyone. Also, bring activities to enjoy in the tent, just in case it rains.
Sharing our love for the outdoors with children and watching as they learn and grow and share that love is one of the best things about being a parent. Be sure to bring patience, have fun, and out of all your gear, the most important thing to bring is that camera. The memories you make on camping trips will be ones you’ll want to enjoy for years and nothing does that better than a great camera. Good luck and have fun! I hope the tips I’ve mentioned help make your family camping trip go smoothly and memorable!