A camping trip with the family is a lot of fun! Exploring nature together, cooking meals on open fire, grilling marshmallows while listening to stories and finally sleeping in a tent, exhausted but happy – what could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot. Here’s a few fundamentals you need to consider when camping with kids – our tips for the perfect weekend in the wild:
Practice Makes Perfect Campers
Practice camping at home. Pitch a tent in your backyard and let your kids hang out in and around the tent. Complete a few practice nights before actually heading out into nature. You’ll learn some valuable lessons in a safe environment…
Involve The Kids In Every Possible Way
Involve the kids in every step of the adventure. Start with packing their backpacks together (our popular Kids Hydration Packs are lightweight and a good way to get used to a backpack). Explain which items are important to pack and why not the entire teddy-bear family can come along. On the campground, let them help pitch the tent, even if that makes it all much less efficient. Collect wood together for the campfire, cook together, and so on. This way, you also playfully teach them important lessons about how to behave respectfully and carefully in nature.
Digital Detox For The Entire Family
Unplug your kids from the constant influx of information, online games, TV and other content. While your kids might miss their daily Bob the Builder session on that iPad in the beginning, they will soon find a thousand exciting things to explore, build and play with in nature. Join in the fun and build fairy houses, observe bugs and their relentless work, chase sunbeams and splash in the little river nearby. And don’t forget star-gazing – there’s hardly a better way to fall in love with nature than looking at the stars. Just like your kids, you will feel re-energized after a few hours off your cellphone.
How To Dress: Layering is Key
Always check the weather forecast and accordingly pack rain clothes if there’s a chance of rain. Besides that, layering is crucial to be prepared for changing conditions and temperatures during the day. Don’t overpack and keep it simple. Good looks are not what counts on the campground, but comfort and functionality. And embrace the dirt – getting muddy and dusty is part of the game while camping. For footwear we obviously recommend sandals – our fast-drying comfortable kids sandals are perfect for any terrain!
First Family Camping Trip: Camp at a Resort
Don’t be overambitious. The first few times, camp at a camping resort with basic facilities such as toilets and showers. Once you and your kids are comfortable and accustomed to camping and you feel up for the additional challenge, try camping in the wild.
Take Time to Educate Your Kids
There’s so much to learn from (and about) nature. The most important lesson to teach children is not to leave any trace in nature. But there’s so much more: how to navigate in the wild (without a smartphone); how to build a campfire; how to bake snake-bread (and grill marshmallows); where animals live; where the moon sleeps during the day; and a thousand more things you’ve never thought about and you will not have an immediate answer for, when your kids ask you.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to start writing that packing list and to get ready for the next weekend in the woods. Your kids will love it! And don’t panic if not everything goes according to plan – as we said: practice makes perfect, and there’s always a next weekend to do better.