Outdoors family time is always something beautiful. If well-planned, it will remain a cherished memory for you and your children many years later.
British naturalist Gerald Durell, wrote one of my favorite childhood books, My Family and Other Animals. It is an account of the experiences he had as a child while living with his parents in the Greek Island of Corfu. I remember enjoying his various outdoor encounters, especially with the wildlife creatures in the area. Today, I never pass up any opportunity to make my own children experience the same love for nature.
But camping in the outdoors requires considerable planning effort. Especially when you are with much younger children. You not only want it to be safe, but an experience they will enjoy without getting bored before the end of the trip. The following tips should guide you.
- Are you going to use a tent, cabin or RV?
This determines how much preparation you will be making. If you have a younger family or are still camping newbies, a cabin is a good way to start. RVs can get claustrophobic at times and the logistics are more demanding. Whereas, a log cabin feels homier with all the essential amenities. However, to ensure the whole outdoor experience is not lost by staying indoors, plan all major activities to be performed outside. As you become more experienced, a tent camp will be more exciting.
- Checkout the campground activities
The whole camping experience is based on your activities. If your children get bored, then the aim is defeated. So, you when planning a camping trip, get an exciting itinerary on ground. Consider activities such as shirts dying, lake swimming, fishing, animal watching and so on. If you are camping at an establishment, they will probably have a schedule of activities in place at a reasonable rate.
- Travel with the right amenities
Depending on your camp location, your sleeping, bathroom, hike equipment and other amenities matter. Splash pads, bounce pads, playgrounds and proximity to clean bathroom will contribute to the convenience of the trip. First aid equipment is extremely important. If you are camping in the open, avoid taking your home mattresses with you. It may sound odd, but some families do this.
According to Vy Nguyen CEO of Brentwood Home, “There is a high risk of exposing your mattress to critters and other potential dangers when you lay them outside,” he says. Instead, sleeping bags and other camping sleep gear are ideal.
- Plan your foods before the trip
What are your cooking plans? Are you taking processed food or are you going to cook outdoors like the real forest dwellers? I suggest both. Take proper food along with you, as well as a camp gas. But on some nights, opt to cook the traditional way- on a spit roast or an outdoor stove. It makes the experience more wholesome.
The extent of the camping expedition should be strongly based on the experience and tolerance levels of your children. In the beginning, it may require shorter days- maybe a weekend. But as your children grow and become more experienced, your camping conditions can get more natural and for longer periods. Happy camping.