If you’re like most parents, the thought of camping with your kids probably fills you with a mixture of excitement and dread. On the one hand, it’s a great opportunity to bond with your children and create lasting memories. On the other hand, it can be a lot of work to keep them entertained and comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. The key to a successful camping trip with kids is to be prepared. Here are 10 tips to help you make the most of your next camping adventure with your little ones.
If this is your first time camping with kids, it’s best to start small. Look for campgrounds that are close to home and have amenities like flush toilets and showers. You can always upgrade to a more rustic location once you’ve gotten a few trips under your belt. You’ll want to make sure that the site is appropriate for the type of camping you’re planning to do. If you’re intending to camp in a tent, for example, you’ll need to find a level spot that’s large enough to accommodate your tent.
Choose a campsite that’s close to the activities you’re planning to enjoy. If you’re hoping to go hiking or fishing, find a site that’s situated near trails or waterways. You also need to take into account the time of year when choosing a campsite. During the summer months, you’ll want to find a site that’s situated in a shady spot; during the winter months, on the other hand, you’ll want to find a site that’s exposed to sunlight.
Nobody likes being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of hungry, cranky kids. And while it may be tempting to pack your RV to the brim with every conceivable camping accessory, it’s important to resist the urge. Overpacking not only makes it more difficult to get around, but it also increases the risk of losing important items. Plus, all that extra gear means more opportunities for something to break. When camping with kids, remember that less is often more. Stick to the essentials and leave the rest at home. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation without being bogged down by unnecessary clutter.
Sit down with your kids before your trip and ask them what they’d like to do while you’re away from home. This will help prevent bored and antsy children when you’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors.
Give everyone freedom to select what they want. One way to do this is to let each child select their own sleeping spot. For instance, if you’re using a rooftop tent such as those from iKamper, they can each choose which side they want to sleep on. You can also let them help plan activities for the trip. This could involve choosing hikes, selecting places to visit, and planning meals.
Camping is all about simplifying, so don’t try to recreate complicated meals in the woods. Stick to simple favorites that can be cooked over a fire or on a portable stove.
Nothing is worse than having one flashlight for the whole family and having it constantly stolen by younger siblings. Give each child their own flashlight to carry with them at all times.
It’s important to take some time each day to relax and unwind, especially if you’re camping with young children who need naps or quiet time daily.
Sure, it might be tempting to let your kids zone out in front of a tablet or phone when they get bored, but there are so many other options for keeping them entertained while camping. Bring along board games, cards, and puzzles for those downtime moments.
One of the best parts about camping is getting outside and being active. Make sure you carve out time each day for activities like hiking, swimming, and fishing.
Car roof tents with a hard cover will protect them from the elements and keep them safe while you’re away from the campsite. Make sure to pack plenty of food and water, as well as first-aid supplies. With the right gear, you can camp anywhere with confidence knowing that your children will be safe and comfortable.
10. Be Flexible
Things will inevitably go wrong while you’re away from home, so it’s important to roll with the punches. A little bit of flexibility will go a long way towards making your camping trip with kids enjoyable for everyone involved.
Camping with kids can be a lot of fun, but only if you’re prepared. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your next family camping trip is memorable for all the right reasons.