Camping trips can be a great weekend activity with family and friends. However, there are some particular challenges when camping with toddlers or older children. Here are some things you should keep in mind when camping with kids that will make the trip much more enjoyable both for you and for the children who find themselves suddenly disconnected from the conveniences of modern living.
For the most part, camping is still intended to be an outdoor experience. Whether beach camping or mountain camping, there is a good chance that tents will be used. This means that the supply of electricity and the use of electronic gadgets may be somewhat limited. This means many toys will be unsuitable for the environment or are likely to exhaust the batteries before the trip is over. For this reason, camping with kids means taking along lots of extra batteries. This will help to keep the outdoor friendly toys such as walkie talkies and handheld games working and a great way for the kids to occupy their time when they are tired of hiking, swimming and fishing.
While adults may be comfortable using a sleeping bag, children may prefer something with a little more padding. For this reason, it is a good idea to take along an air mattress when camping with children. The mattress can be filled with air after the tents are set up and outfitted with the kids’ favorite pillows and bedding. This approach helps to make the camping experience easier for young children, as it means bringing a part of home along for the weekend.
Anyone who has engaged in camping with kids know they can go through a lot of clothing in just a couple of days. Kids may fall into the lake, step in mud puddles, or snag clothing on bushes and vines while hiking through the woods. For this reason, it is a good idea to take along extra clothing that can be on hand if needed. Along with extra clothing, it is a good idea to take along items that can be layered to provide warmth during the crisp and cool mornings, but incrementally shed as the day begins to grow hotter.
Camps of all types deal with the reality of insects. Young children especially may find the insects to be a problem. Take along an insect repellent that can be sprayed on the skin, and your children will be much happier. Along the same lines, camping with kids demands that a first aid kit and some type of antibacterial soap be along for the trip. Kids are always likely to collect scrapes and scratches during the weekend. Aspirin, bandages, and medicines to treat scratches and insect bites will make the trip more pleasant for everyone involved.
Since camping with kids removes most children from their normal recreational activities, there is a need to provide something a little different and interesting. One idea is to take along picture books that identify the flora and fauna of the camp area. Using a magnifying glass, kids can spend hours investigating various types of trees, bushes, and other plants. They may also come across small bugs that they can observe in more detail by using the magnifying glass.
While adults can usually manage with water to make coffee and tea during the camping trip, kids usually need something else. Take along juice boxes and bottled water for their enjoyment. The liquids can be stored in a cooler and kept at a desirable temperature, making them ideal for relieving thirst after a morning fishing or hiking around the campgrounds.
Camping with kids involves covering all the usual bases while also providing some additional creature comforts and necessities that are specifically child related. Make a checklist of what you should take for your child and make sure to have all the items within easy reach when and as they are required.