Camping with children can be a great family experience. Follow these nine tips to make sure that your first trip with the kids will be one that everyone will want to repeat.
Stay close to home
Children quickly become bored on long journeys, and as the focus of this trip is to enjoy the camping, keep the traveling to a minimum. Book a space at a campground within 30-minutes of home. This also means that if something does go wrong you can get back home quickly.
Make it short
For the first camping trip, one night is sufficient. This will give everyone a taste of future pleasures, and a chance to discover forgotten necessities.
Make meals easy
While cooking over a campfire can be great fun, the reality of getting everyone fed with as little hassle as possible should be the priority on the maiden trip. Consider packing a large cooler with sandwiches, salads, and snacks, to be consumed when hunger strikes. Take along cereals and fruits for breakfast. The kids will enjoy the break from the regular mealtime routine. A portable camping stove is essential if you need to heat milk for babies or for coffee in the morning. You can also prepare a meal beforehand, freeze it, and then just heat it up.
Keep things simple
Don’t plan sightseeing trips or great explorations. Focus everyone’s energy on setting up camp and enjoying the new sensation of life outdoors. Explore around the campground and familiarize yourselves with where the bathrooms are.
Invest in a good tent
Even for the first trip, do purchase an adequate tent. Make sure it is tall enough to stand up in and ideally has a couple of separate bedrooms and sufficient space for everyone. Do a practice assembly before leaving home to make sure all the parts are there and that you understand how to erect it.
Bring plenty of light
LED headlamps are great, and kids love wearing them. Also, bring a couple of other lanterns that can be hung inside the tent and outside for ambient light.
Bring toys and games
Make sure that each child has one very special toy to give them comfort and support in what is a new and challenging experience. Plan games to play as a family, like guessing games, miming, or cards. Avoid board games with lots of pieces which can get lost in the dark. Take advantage of some time away from electronic devices.
Be prepared for rain
Bring waterproof coats and boots. It can be preferable to get outside and stomp around in the puddles than to try and entertain kids in a tent in the rain!
Make sure that everyone sleeps comfortably
Air mattresses and sleeping bags are a sound investment. They greatly enhance the chances that everyone will get a good night’s sleep and enjoy their camping experience.