Camping with kids can be great fun. It not only revives the fondest memories of your childhood, it also makes you get closer to the simplicity of nature. It creates a better awareness about the surroundings, while refreshing your appreciation for the various things that are usually ignored by adults. Also, there are many things that kids learn through experience in everyday life. Camping can be one of the most wonderful experiences of a child’s life. They come across many new things that instigate them to question and learn. Curiosity is the best teacher!
33 Essential Tips for Camping with Kids
Proper planning can make your camping trip more fruitful and fun filled. Camping allows parents to spend quality time with their kids. Here are some tips and a to-do list to make your camping perfect, fun filled and hassle free.
Plan more outdoor activities
Make your child familiar with outdoors by planning more outdoor activities. This would help to eliminate their fears while teaching them about safety. They would also learn to respect nature.
For first time campers, it is best to do rehearsal through a backyard campout. Teach your kids to set up a tent, try your hands on outdoor cooking, sleep in sleeping bags and similar things you might come across on a camping trip.
Make the kids participate in planning the trip
You can ask your older kids to list down the essentials for camping. You can also ask for some good ideas to make camping a fun trip.
Keep it short
Try to keep it short if you are going for camping the first time. Make it no more than a short overnight trip. This can give you an experience for long camping trips.
Try to stay local
It can get tedious to travel by roads with kids. Try to find a campground that is at a distance of not more than an hour from your place. Make sure during the drive, kids are occupied with games, books and non-messy snacks.
It is true camping requires you to carry a lot of stuff. But, it is not as much as you fear. Avoid carrying a ton of toys for your children. Carry only the useful ones, the ones they can’t live without, like their favorite teddy or blanket.
First aid kit
Don’t forget to carry a first aid kit for small bruises or injuries. Also, make sure it is equipped with fever pills and syrup, mosquito repellent, Band-Aid, plaster, bandages, cotton and gauze.
While many of you might find campfire cooking real fun, there are others who find it boring and complicated. Well, if you are going for just an overnight trip, you can skip the whole process of cooking. Carry dry snacks to keep yourself sustained and energy bars and cut veggies and fruits and nuts to snack on.
Arrangements for sleep and potty
If you have kids who wear diapers, it is important to give serious consideration to sleep and potty needs of these kids. Pack some extra diapers and wipes. Also make alternative arrangements for sleep as the tents are really hot during the day.
Plan alternative activities
Have a ready list of alternative activities that would help keep boredom at bay in case of bad weather, down times, or if kids don’t like a certain activities.
Carry along a camera to capture the funniest moments on your trip. This would help you create some fond memories with your kids after you return home.
Don’t forget the essential gear and supplies
Make sure to carry along the essential gear and supplies. These include things like extra shoes and clothing, warm clothing, sunscreen, insect repellent, familiar bedtime items and more. Download Free Camping List Here.
Plan campfire games
Campfire is the heart of camping. Have a list ready with some real fun games that can be played around bonfire. Don’t forget those marshmallows to roast on the bonfire!
After it gets dark, do some stargazing with your kids. Try to spot a shooting star. It is real fun! It may require you to brush up your knowledge, but this effort would be worthwhile.
Brighten up your tents
Take along some fluorescent lights for your tents. Charge them during the day to make them twinkle beautifully during the night. This would make it easier for your kids to spot their tents.
Remember to carry plenty of outdoor games
Be sure to bring along outdoor games to add to the fun element of camping. Some good examples are Frisbee, balls, limbo poles and rope, twister, giant jenna and swing ball.
Plan some activities for kids while setting up camp
Carry along activities that kids can do while you are busy setting up the tent and making other arrangements. This will keep them busy and allow you to do important tasks unhindered.
Freeze water or juice
Freeze gallons of water or juice cartons. These can be used in your cool box in the form of ice packs. Also, you’ll have access to clean water (or juice) after games and other camp activities.
Use an empty (waste) egg carton to put ready to light charcoal. This is necessary to boost your BBQ or campfire easily and quickly. An egg carton is easily transportable.
Tin for toilet paper
First, remember to carry sufficient toilet paper. Then be sure to carry along a tin for toilet paper. An empty coffee tin is a good option.
Carry foam floor tiles
Take along sets of interlocking foam floor tiles. These can be used to put down on the tent floor to add padding to the sleeping floor rather than placing your sleeping bag on the ground directly.
Make a lantern or carry a torch
A torch is something extremely essential for camping trips. You can also ask the kids to make a lantern to boost the fun factor. Don’t forget to bring along spare batteries for the torch.
Carry a shoe organizer
A shoe organizer is a good option to put bits and cutlery for kitchen while camping. So, it’s a handy item to bring along with you.
Carry scavenger hunts
Let your kids have a go at scavenger hunts while you are setting up at the camp. This would keep them amused and out of your hair!
Make your travel fun
You can make your camping experience real fun through contests like who maintains the tidiest tent or who can collect maximum firewood or who gets ready first in the morning.
Besides the above mentioned to-do list, here are some easy and handy meal ideas to make camping more fun-filled.
This is the simplest recipe that can be used for camping meals. Prepare some pancake batter. Fill it into baggies and tie the end. Just make a hole and use it like a piping bag to get the batter onto the frying pan when you want to.
Meat and veggie kebabs
Grill some semi-cooked kebabs on BBQ. For meat, chicken, pork, or beef are good options. For veggie kebabs, you can add mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes.
While on a camping trip, you can prepare mini burgers that can be cooked easily over a grill. Also, these are easier to eat for kids.
You will need a tin foil tray. Place the tortilla chips, topped with refried beans or black beans. Sprinkle taco seasoning mix, grated cheese and tomato salsa. Your meal is ready.
Spider hot dogs
Take out the hot dogs you are carrying along. You will need a knife and a few roasting sticks. Cut each end of hotdog into four parts, leaving the middle uncut. Put your roasting stick through the hot dog. You can grill it or roast over the fire, as per your taste.
Grilled mini pizzas
Carry along mini pizza bases. Top the base with tomato sauce, choice of toppings and seasonings to have a yummy pizza
This is another delicious meal that can be prepared on a camping trip. You can carry pre-baked potatoes with you before leaving for the trip. Slice the potatoes horizontally and stuff with cheese and bacon or ham in every cut. Coat it with a little butter and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Wrap in a foil and put it on the BBQ. Your potato boats are ready!
Bananas with Chocolate
This is an all time favorite BBQ of many families. It is easy to prepare and also has a heavenly taste. Just slit the banana and stuff it with chocolate. Wrap it in a foil and put on the BBQ. Yummy!!
Camping trips with kids can be fun and help you make a lifetime of memories. The key to a successful camping trip lies in planning. If you list everything you need to do and bring along, you just can’t go wrong. Use these tips to have a safe and enjoyable trip and let us know how it went.