In a world where technology is in abundance, it can be an amazing experience for you and your family to step away from your electronics and get back in touch with nature. One great way to do this for a more extended period of time is to take a vacation that includes camping. While you may have to travel a bit to get to the perfect camping spot, many people can find areas to pitch a tent relatively close to their home. However, camping with kids can be tough even if you only have to go a short distance. So to help make your experience one to remember for all the right reasons, here are three ways you can make camping with kids easier.
Do A Test Run First
If you’ve never gone camping with your kids before, you may be nervous as to how they’ll react in that environment. To help you be as prepared as possible, Laura Fenton, a contributor to Parents.com, recommends doing a test run in your backyard or lawn before you try actual camping. This will allow your kids to get a feel for what it’s like to sleep in a tent outdoors and to see what a campsite might look like once it’s set up. Additionally, with the help of backyard camping, you can teach kids about basic safety protocols they should follow during camping in the wilderness. That may include, fire safety in case you are planning to have a campfire (learn about firewood care and purchase on Firewood Farm or similar sites), night safety, how to stay safe from bears and wild animals, etc. Doing a test run will also allow you to see if there are things you’ve forgotten or ways you can improve the experience once you’re out in the real wilderness.
Setting The Scene for Sleep
While spending the day playing in the forest or by a lake or stream might be a lot of fun for your kids, it’s the sleeping arrangements that often worry most parents. Without getting enough sleep, both kids and parents can get very cranky. Knowing this, it’s important to do all you can to set the scene for sleep. To do this, Kate Rope, a contributor to RealSimple.com, recommends getting a tent that will comfortably fit everyone in your family, as well as all your stuff, without feeling too cramped. You should also try to get a tent with two doors so no one has to get stepped on if someone else has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Consider investing in quality sleeping pads so everyone can rest comfortably, and bring your pillows from home so your sleeping quarters in the tent are similar to the ones at home.
Teach Them To Be Safe
When you’re out in the wilderness, the last thing you want is to be facing some kind of emergency. For this reason, it’s crucial that you teach your kids how to be safe when you’re camping. Set rules about being near the fire, speaking to strangers, getting close to animals, and going off on their own. As an extra precaution, REI.com recommends giving each child a whistle that they’re to keep with them at all times and only blow if they feel they’re in danger or get lost from your group.
If you want to take your kids camping but are nervous about how challenging it might be, use the tips mentioned above to make the experience fun and simple.