Taking kids on your camping trips can be a wonderful experience. But no matter if this is your first camping trip ever or if you’re a seasoned camper, spending days in nature with your little ones in tow can be challenging. Luckily, with these few tips, your entire family will have an unforgettable tent camping trip without any (or too many) tears.
Organise your gear
You don’t want to spend the entire first day rummaging through luggage and making a mess. Instead, organize your gear well and you will get to access everything as soon as you get to camp. Your safest bet is plastic containers for cooking supplies and tote bags for sleeping bags and other equipment. Make sure to keep everything used for sleeping in one bag, your cooking gear in another and so on. If you roll into a campsite later than planned, this will literally be a lifesaver.
Have a practice run
If this is your kids’ first outdoor sleeping experience, make sure to have a trial run. Take your gear to your backyard and let the kids hang out in the tent and spend the night outside. This will get them comfortable and familiar with a new sleeping environment. Make your house off-limits (safe for bathroom breaks) and keep home comforts at the minimum. This also gives you an opportunity to try out new quality camping tents which you can find if you click here, and see how they function, so when you get to your site, you’ll get to set everything up quickly and efficiently. If everything goes fine in your backyard, you’re ready for the real thing.
Dress in layers
Consult the weather forecast and pack your clothes accordingly. Make sure to pack a rain jacket and a few things to layer. Even if the weather is sunny and warm, once the sun sets, you can expect a significant temperature drop. With layers, you can take something off or put something on and be ready for any temperature. If your babies are very young, keep them especially warm, since they don’t move that much. And don’t forget to pack your winter hats—these will come in very handy once the temps drop.
Set up a washing station
Every campsite needs a good washing up station. In order to set everything up, it’s best to grab a single or double jug with an open/close pout. These can be found in camping gear stores or even in big box stores. Also, don’t forget to pack a washing basin where you can step into and wash your dirty feet.
Do it like Hobbits
One breakfast? How about two? Having a second breakfast is especially useful for youngsters who wake up super fussy and can’t wait until you finish preparing breakfast on your tiny stove. Think something small like a bowl of cereal or an energy bar that will stop little bellies from growling for the new 45 minutes it will take you to prepare a proper meal.
Pack one toy per kid
Every kid can bring their favourite toy with them, but that’s it. This will leave the room for open-ended outdoor play and various family activities. You will be amazed at how well kids can entertain themselves at the campground. Digging in the sand, catching bugs, collecting leaves, skipping stones or simply exploring the area will provide them with many hours of play. If you decide to go with more than one toy per kid, choose something that will complement their outdoor activities like a ball, kite, Frisbee, binoculars and such.
Follow your rituals
Kids are creatures of habit and they can get really nervous if everything changes all of a sudden. So, try to stick to your usual routines, especially in the morning and evening. Stick to your bedtime rituals and take regular naps to ensure everyone has a fuss-free experience in nature.
Everyone should participate
Even toddlers can help with setting up the table or tidying up the tent. Older children can help with food preparation, fetching the water or getting the poles ready for pitching the tent. It’s a great way to teach your kids responsibility and teamwork. If you’re staying for longer, rotate the chores so no one gets bored. Making your camping trip with the kids a learning experience for all.
Planning and prep will ensure everyone has a fun, relaxing and stress-free trip, from your toddlers to you and your teens. Cherish your outdoor memories and let nature take care of you. Have a smooth and merry camping trip!