In this article for those readers who have children we want to give several tips on how to best prepare for going camping with the youngsters. Babies and small children are not by nature used to the camping environment and thus it is important that at all times they feel safe and at home. Moreover, if anything happens, you need to have everything you may need readily available, be it a thermometer or a teddy bear. Follow the tips in this article and your kids will grow up to be great and enthusiastic campers!
One kid, one bag
No matter how many kids you are taking with, try to make a point out of having each child have his or her own little bag unless they are too young to walk. Children don’t like heavy lifting but they do like to feel trusted. Letting each of them have their own little bag will create a sense of pride and responsibility that can go a long way! Encourage them to pack away something they definitely want to take with them such as a toy. Alternatively, suggest using the bag for the collection of funky rocks and seeds. Besides the little bag that each kid can carry, and do make sure it doesn’t get too heavy for them, you can pack the other necessities in one larger bag that one of the adults can carry.
Plan, Plan, Plan
As you can read in our article for the perfect camping trip, planning is probably the most important element to a fun and fulfilling camping trip. When you are with children, this is even more important. You may be flexible enough to accept that you forgot your favorite book at home…but would your kids do the same? When taking the youngsters for camping the first time especially, it is vital that they feel at ease and at home. Do make a point out of, within reasonable limits, bringing along things that can help the child enjoy camping away from home. Of course, you can make list and ask the children to give you suggestions as to what they want to have with them on the trip. Take into consideration factors such as the weather, the season, the location and the health and dietary requirements of the children.
When it comes to packing, for most of us it is tempting to take EVERYTHING with. This is when a sense of priority must kick in. There are necessary things, and there are fun but not so necessary things. As long as all the things you NEED get taken with, you should make sure to take some comfort elements with as well. For instance, do take a first aid kit with some basic medication for fever, headaches, throat ache and disinfectant and Band-Aid for cuts and scratches. Pack appropriate clothing for each child and think: LAYERS! Children are very sensitive to temperature changes and it is best to have the option of putting on a cardigan or taking off an undershirt rather than having two layers of extremely different clothes such as a T-shirt and a winter coat.
Fun and comfort
When all the important adult stuff made its way into the bag, it is time to toss in the cards, the magazines and the fluffy toys! Take along a blanket that you can lay out for everyone to sit on if you anticipate good weather. Sitting on cold stones or the ground is not healthy for children. Take along a ball or a butterfly net! The point of camping is to have fun. Oh, and definitely take along a pack of marshmallows if you are planning to have a campfire. Use this opportunity to bond as a family. Tell stories, have big laughs and enjoy each other’s company. For many of us, campfire memories have remained the most vivid and fond childhood experiences to date, and we are sure your kids are no different!
While having fun should be the aim of the camping trip, definitely keep in mind that you are the adult with responsibility for the kids. Know the area before you let the youngsters wander off into the woods. Teach them about the correct way to behave around animals and how to stay out of trouble. Always let them know where you will be found and do not leave until they have returned. In the beginning, it is perhaps most comforting for the child to sleep in the same tent as the parents. Try investing in a larger, family sized tent such as the Coleman 8-Person Tent. Do not assume your children know about camping safety, make it your goal to educate them as much as possible without sounding too overbearing.
Camping is a lot of fun when it is done right. Please follow our simple advices so that you can just focus on having a good time. We wish you a safe camping out in nature!