Summer is around the corner, meaning you may be planning what family activities you will be doing with your kids this year. If one of your summer family activities involves taking the kids camping, you’ll want to make sure that you’re properly prepared.
Take the spring months to both plan out your summer camping trip, as well as any camping activities, and prepare your kids for what camping will be like, especially if this will be their first family camping trip. Camping can be an intimidating experience for kids, but if done right, you’ll be able to create some memorable family time and have the little ones asking when the next camping trip will be.
Tips on Planning a Kids Camping Trip
There are some general factors to consider before proceeding to take your kid’s camping. Planning is the best way to ensure that both you and your kids have the best camping experience.
Here are some tips on how to prepare to bring your kid’s camping:
Pick a kid-friendly campsite: This is the first step in ensuring that your kids have the safest and most enjoyable camping experience. Take a careful look at facilities to determine where your kids would be most comfortable. You want to choose a campground that’s as convenient for your children as possible. If this will be your kids’ first experience camping, avoid taking them camping in the wild. Try and take them somewhere more modern and regulated, such as a national park.
Do a Test Run: It’s important to have your kids aware of what camping is before bringing them to an unfamiliar setting. The best way to do that is to do a test run close to home or even at home. Put a tent in your backyard or your living room and spend the night in it with your kids. If you’re not 100% sure that your kids would even enjoy camping, do a test run before you start planning the trip. This is a great way to gauge how your kid reacts to a night in a tent away from home and to explain to them what to expect when they’re doing the real thing. If you’re a new parent planning on bringing a baby camping, this may be a good way to help you determine whether you’d be able to handle camping with your little one.
Make sure to plan camping activities and use this as a learning opportunity: There’s a lot that your kids can learn from camping. They can explore nature, discover different animals, and even learn to make certain crafts. You can have camping be both fun and educational experience by teaching them skills that they’d be able to apply at home. Some great activities you can do with your kids including:
- Plan a scavenger hunt
- Tell campfire stories
- Have them help you assemble and disassemble the tent
- Have them start creating a nature’s guidebook
Bring entertainment: You don’t necessarily have to plan every minute of your camping trip, but kids can get bored quickly, so it’s a good idea to bring toys to keep them entertained. There are a number of kids’ camp sets available, such as this PicassoTiles 20 Piece Camping Gear Tools Adventure Set that has enough gadgets to keep your child entertained throughout the entire trip. Some other examples of toys to bring are:
- Soccer ball or football
- Squirt guns
- Magnifying glasses
What to Bring
When you bring your kids camping, it’s especially important to make sure you don’t forget anything important. You’ll want to create a packing list to ensure that you bring all of your kids’ essentials with you. Other than the camping tent, this list should include:
- Sleeping gear–This could include a sleeping bag, air mattress, or both. If you bring an air mattress, don’t forget the pump. Bring anything else that you think your kids would need to feel comfortable, such as pillows.
- Water jugs – Make sure that you pack an adequate amount of water for your trip.
- First aid kit
- Weather appropriate clothing – This includes good footwear. Layers are the best option when camping. You’ll also want to pack rain gear if the weather isn’t calling for blue skies. Also, pack more socks than days out.
- A dry bag –This will be important for dirty laundry or wet gear.
- Toiletries – Toothbrushes, soap, and baby wipes, if your kids are in diapers, are a must.
This list is in no way comprehensive, and you may find that your family may have different needs while camping. For example, you may need a nightlight if your kid is afraid of the dark. Doing a test run will help make it apparent what camping gear your kids may need.
While you don’t want to forget essentials, you should also avoid overpacking. Keeping up with your kids will be a lot already, so you don’t want to add more items to keep track of. Camping is an opportunity to show your kids that they don’t need all of the stuff they have at home and have them understand what essential items are versus the toys that they love.
Tips for Food
When it comes to packing food for your family’s camping trip, make a list of kid-friendly camping recipes. Hot dogs are a classic but there are many other easy options to make when it comes to camp food. Make sure that you have a good propane stove, such as the Coleman Gas Camping Stove, and you’ll be able to make kid-friendly foods, like:
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Campfire nachos
- Campfire pizza
- Campfire-roasted apples
Many of these recipes involve minimal prep, minimal ingredients, and can be made quickly. Try and choose recipes that get the kids involved to make every camping activity a family experience.
Bringing your kids camping may seem like a daunting experience, but with enough planning and preparation, you can introduce your kids to camping in a way that will seem familiar and even exciting to them. These camping tips will make your kids’ first camping trip a memorable experience for the entire family.