Camping With Kids: 5 Tips For An Enjoyable Experience

Nature can benefit both children and adults. If your family is growing, now is a good time to think about going camping as a family. Digging in the dirt, lighting campfires, admiring star-strewn skies at night, and listening to the owls’ calls are all activities that children of all ages can enjoy in nature.

The trip will also teach them to appreciate and connect with their natural environment early on, allowing them to make better decisions in the future. However, if you do not plan well, it will not be a bed of roses. The much-anticipated memorable experience can quickly turn into a nightmare when your children request to return home due to one or more issues, such as poor sleep, mosquito bites, hunger, boredom, or a cold.

Here are 5 helpful tips to make your family trip fun to avoid encountering such stressful situations..

5 Family Camping Tips

1. Prepare ahead of time

Avoid stressful situations by planning ahead of time for a family camping trip. Consider your destination and select a campsite that is suitable for families. The location should be wind-protected, dry, and close to amusement parks and playgrounds.

Your family’s needs should also be taken into consideration when selecting the best campgrounds. Do you want your children to be able to enjoy the outdoors or have access to modern conveniences while they’re out there? On subsequent trips, start with a location with more amenities and then progress to more remote, adventurous areas. If you still intend to go dispersed camping, consider purchasing a pop up shower tent. This will provide you and your children with immediate private space for bathroom and potty use.

When planning, do not forget about your children. In order to choose the best location for them, ask them what they want to do and see during their trip. Recommendations from other families who have taken their children on excursions can also be useful during the planning process.

2. Pack the necessary items for your family

Nothing is more aggravating than arriving at your campsite and realizing you are missing some essentials. To avoid forgetting anything, make a list of what you’ll need and check it off as you stuff it into your backpack.

Here are a few packing ideas:

Camping gear

Prepare your camping gear, starting with the right tent size for your family. Try renting a bunch of small tents or multi room tent if you have a big family with different age groups. It can be difficult to set up a large tent, especially if you are not used to it. Nevertheless, start practicing setting up your tents at home before going to your campsite. Conversely, you should aim for a black out tent if you are a light sleeper who doesn’t want to be awakaned by the sunlight.

Also required are sleeping bags and camping cookware. Categorize your supplies as you place them in cardboard boxes or clear plastic bins to avoid wasting time at the campsite trying to find what you need.

Bring your kids’ favorite snacks and foods

If the food and snacks provided while camping does not satisfy the children, it will be difficult to keep them focused on other activities. Make menu and packing decisions with your children in mind. Make ready-to-eat snacks a priority so they can eat something on the road or at the campsite whenever they get hungry.

Food choices should also be easy to prepare and clean up.

Bring along favorite toys for entertainment

Though you should keep toys to a bare minimum, having some will help to ensure that the kids are never bored. Bring along toys that will complement your outdoor activities while entertaining the kids. Consider the following toy suggestions:

Coloring books and water pens
Case for Bug Catchers
Magnifying glasses
Card games
Squirt guns

To manage stress, make absolutely sure your tent has a children’s playroom or consider setting up an extra tent for them to play in. This saves you time and the hassle of having to clean up toys before the kids go to bed.

Pack appropriate clothing for the weather and activities.

Before leaving for your campsite, always double-check the weather forecast. Understand the extremes of temperature and pack accordingly. It would be beneficial to dress the children in layers so that they could remove or put on clothing as the temperature changed. Pack rain jackets as well as enough blankets and sleeping bags to keep them warm and comfortable at night. It should be noted that children will not have a good time the next day if they have a bad night’s sleep.

Other essential supplies include:

First-aid kit in its entirety
Lotion for insect repellent
Anti-bug sunscreen and safe mineral
Water and beverages
3. Research on activities to make sure kids don’t get bored during the trip

The activities you plan may determine whether or not your children enjoy the trip. Based on your planned activities, the camping site you select should have all amenities. Kids get bored easily just sitting around the campsite, so plan a variety of activities to help them gain experience.

Consider the following fun campsite activities:

Hiking along simple nature trails
Involving children in the collection of firewood and the construction of fires
Involving children in pitching the tent
Allowing them to assist in the preparation of dinner
Telling stories around the campfire
demonstrating how to make s’mores
Playground activities
Set aside time to teach your children about camping and nature. For instance, how to respect wildlife, identify native living things, and properly dispose of trash.

N/B: Once you’ve arrived at the campsite, look for activities that the kids will enjoy and take advantage of them.

4. Keep it simple and adaptable

When children become tired, they lose interest quickly. Unfortunately, children get tired easily, and forcing them to see and do everything you planned will not help. So, take it easy on yourself and give them some unstructured time to relax and pursue their passions. This way, you can figure out what they enjoy doing and concentrate on that.

Because you’re camping, don’t disrupt the kids’ routines. Stick to their bedtime routine, as simple as it may seem, to keep your children from becoming stressed. Even when camping, if it’s reading bedtime stories, brushing their teeth, or putting on their pajamas, let them do it.

5. Prepare for any difficulties that may arise

You can only plan so much when your children are on vacation, and stuff could still go completely wrong. If you want them to enjoy the trip, be ready for surprises and challenges. Maintain a positive attitude in all situations, and your kids will follow suit.

Be flexible to adjust your plans if things don’t go according to plan. If it rains, for example, and you had planned to hike or swim, be prepared to cancel those plans and replace them with something less stressful for the kids.

Finally, keep safety in mind at all times. Before you go camping, go over safety precautions with your children. For instance, what they should do if they get lost or if they are camping in remote areas. Give everyone a whistle and instruct them on how to use it. To improve nighttime safety, you could also use glow sticks.

Final Thoughts

Whether or not your children enjoy a family camping trip is determined by how well you plan and are prepared to change in the case of unforeseen challenges and unexpected events. It all starts with picking a family-friendly campground, researching activities that the kids will enjoy, packing the right camping gear, keeping things simple, and keeping a positive attitude regardless of the circumstances. Take these suggestions into consideration and have a great time camping with your kids!

About the author:

Name: Ally Mash

Bio: Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through Adventures Pursuit. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.

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