Let’s face it:
Camping, especially with young children, can be a lot of work. And because it’s tedious, not all parents willingly take their kids whenever they go camping.
If you are one of these parents, here are five tips for family camping you can use to make camping less stressful and more enjoyable for you and your little ones.
Tip #1: Make a List and Use It
Sit down and make a list of all the necessary things you need to bring to your camping trip. It can be helpful to break the list down into categories to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Start with the essentials first, like the tent, food and camping tools. Once you’ve covered the essentials, you can go to the extras, such as batteries and rain gears.
If you camp often, you can save your list on the computer so you can just print it out each time you are packing for a trip. Following a list can help eliminate the worrying and stress that come with forgotten tools and meals.
Tip #2: Plan your Menu
If food is important at home, it is even more important when camping. Since you and your family will be burning more calories than usual, you need to make sure no one gets hungry along the way. You also need to pack plenty of water avoid dehydration.
When planning your menu, keep in mind to double check everything. You won’t have easy access to stores when you go camping, so make sure you have everything you need. It’s also a good idea to include snacks in your menu since kids can really get cranky when they’re hungry.
Tip #3: Bring “Tools” That Can Make Tasks Easier
Perhaps, one of the most stressful things about camping is keeping an eye on your little ones. Since there are a lot of things you need to do while you’re still setting up, it can be difficult to keep a tab on them.
One of your best solutions is to keep your children busy as you set up. Bring along a few toys that your small children can play with while you set up your tent or cook dinner. You can also keep them preoccupied by giving them their own mini-camping tools.
For example, you can bring along your child’s toy hammer so that they can “help” you set up your tent. You can also give them cooking toys so that they can “cook” right next to you. This way, you can finish your tasks without having to worry about your children leaving our sight.
Tip #4: Have a Plan for the Day but be Flexible
Before heading straight to camping, it’s a good idea if you can create a plan. Planning can give you a clearer idea of what you need to do for a specific day.
To ensure that your kids will enjoy the activities, it’s a good idea if you can ask them what they want, like the activities they prefer, snacks they want to eat and places they want to go. Making sure that they have a say in the plans and get to do what they are interested in is essential if you want to them to maintain a positive attitude throughout the trip.
While having a plan is important, so is being flexible. If some of the activities you include in your plan aren’t feasible, be open to suggestions instead of pursuing them further. It will only make your camping a lot stressful for everyone.
Tip #5: Have Activities for “Down Time”
Travelling can be exhausting, especially for kids. Because of this, it’s important that you also have a good plan on how you’ll spend your periods of downtime with them.
You can bring some books that you know your children can enjoy. You can also take a few of their toys with you for the trip. Ensuring that your kids have something to do while resting can help keep the stress level of everyone down.
Introducing your kids to camping while they’re still young can seem like an overwhelming task. However, over time, you’ll be glad you made the effort. Camping comes with a lot of benefits, including encouraging a better appreciation of nature and even life.
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Author: Winona Shang
Winona Shang is a full time engineer who loves traveling and camping. She travels the world with only one goal – to prove that she doesn’t need a fortune to make her dreams happen.