Embrace a camping trip with your kids
The woods are calling, and you want nothing more to answer that call. The sound of birds singing you awake in the morning, and the sight of uninterrupted stars above you at night. The pop of wood in the campfire and the taste of s’mores on your lips. There’s a lot to love about camping, and though it takes a little bit to master, once it’s in your blood, it’s there to stay. Every camping trip will have its own unique challenges, but camping with kids doesn’t have to be one of them.
Focus on hygiene
There are times kids seem like walking Petrie dishes of bacteria. There’s no telling what they’ve stuck their hands in, knelt on, or trudged through on their great exploratory adventures. Because of this, be prepared for cleanliness.
No matter who’s camping with you, it’s always a good idea to bring wet wipes for quick cleanups. Hand sanitizer can also do the trick to kill off whatever stowaways they bring back to camp with them. If more in-depth cleaning is required, go full on with a cleaning station. This could be something as simple as a place to wash hands and feet, or a portable shower or tub.
Give them chores
Camping is an experience for everyone, and nothing will make kids feel more involved than giving them tasks to help the grownups. There may be a little resistance, but you know your kids, and you know what they enjoy doing.
If one of your children loves helping in the kitchen, enlist their aid in making dinner. If one of your kids likes exploring, make a game out of gathering wood. There is a near endless list of little tasks to do around the campsite to engage your children and invite fun along with it.
Pack only what you need
Unlike a road trip, camping is slightly different. We camp to reconnect with nature, so disconnect from electronics! If your children can’t go the few days of camping without their phone or tablet, restrict how much time they’re allowed to spend on it.
But camping isn’t a punishment, so be sure you have other fun adventures planned to keep them entertained. Only you know what you have planned for your camping trip, so think about what you’ll need for each activity, and pack those items to take along with you. Don’t go crazy with the packing list since you’re going to have to carry your backpack to and from the campsite.
Ouch, that hurt
Bumps and bruises happen. Allergies happen. Some kids have special medical needs. You can’t expect every first aid kit to have precisely what you need in it, so make your own to take with you. Some kids are more dexterous than others, but some are prone to cuts. Stock up on the medicines and supplies that you go through most, and make sure they make their way into your kit.
Plan your activities
Do your children love crafts? Pack what you’ll need to use elements of nature in your creations. Do your children love hiking? Find a great trail and make some memories. Don’t just assume what your kids would like to do. They’re part of the adventure too, and if you want to disconnect from technology, have them help you plan, so they’re just as excited about the trip as you are.
Well, obviously there will be bedtime, but relax with that a bit. Let them stay up and enjoy the fire a little longer than they would at home. Make them part of the nighttime activities, the stories, the stargazing, and definitely ample amounts of s’mores. The truth is, by the time you get done with all the awesome activities you’ve done through the day, your kids will probably fall asleep sooner than you imagined possible.
There’s no shame in throwing in the towel if camping with kids gets over your head. There’s always next time. But while you’re driving away from the campsite, make sure you don’t hit any debris. Nothing will make a great camping experience bad – or a bad one worse – than a flat tire. Make sure you’re safe from flats and wheel damage with our tire and wheel protection plan!