With the weather cooling off, now is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with your kids. A camping trip is a great activity for parents and children to enjoy together because it creates the opportunity for family bonding, as well as the chance to experience something new and explore nature together. If your family is new to camping in the great outdoors, pay close attention to the following tips to help you plan a memorable trip… and perhaps, start a new family tradition!
Keep It Simple
For first-timers, REI recommends starting small with an overnight trip. Newbies to the outdoors may benefit for a practice run camping in the backyard, while very young kids may feel more comfortable if you pitch a tent indoors to allow them to get used to the different environment. You should also consider taking a half-day trip to a lake, park, or forest to see how your kids will react to spending a longer amount of time outdoors. This is a great way to spur enthusiasm for an upcoming trip.
What to Pack
When deciding what food to take along, keep to these rules, named by Women’s Adventure Magazine, in mind:
- Remove all unnecessary packaging from food items before you leave the house, and transfer food to containers or baggies for lighter packing.
- Pack food in the portions that you’ll need so that you don’t end up tossing food out.
- Label everything.
- Bring small packets of condiments like mustard and ketchup.
Make sure you take some fun things along with the essentials, like toys and games to keep kids busy while you’re preparing meals. REI suggests taking along a paddleball set because it’s a great game for all ages that can become quite addictive. Also, animal-shaped flashlights are fun because they will light up the tent with fun colors and shapes before bedtime, inspiring your kids’ imaginations with creative stories and games!
Of course, the best trips are those free of accidents. Follow this advice from PBS Parents to keep everyone safe during your camping trip:
- Never let young children wander off alone and always accompany them to the bathroom.
- Carry a flashlight at night.
- Learn basic skills before you go, such as how to pitch your tent and build a fire.
Finally, be sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothing to avoid sunburn. Remember, you can find durable and protective sunglasses for your kids on our website.
Does your family enjoy camping or are you planning your first camping adventure? Please share any tips you have for camping with kids in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!