Nothing’s better than sitting around the campfire with your family, roasting s’mores and telling ghost stories. Whether there are fond memories made of family fun and outdoor adventures or unpleasant memories made from your kids throwing fits because their feet hurt and the mosquitos are biting, your family camping trip will definitely be remembered. To make sure your camping trip is a success, take a look at these camping trip do’s and don’ts.
Find the Right Site
Your campsite should be chosen with several factors in mind. Do you want to hike a mile or more to get there? Should it be close to a river or a lake? Do you want it to be remote enough that there aren’t other campers around? Would you be more comfortable if there was a bathroom and running water available? Once you do your research on the right site for you and your family, make sure to call ahead and make a reservation! You don’t want to risk making it all the way there to find out there aren’t any campsites available.
No one wants to be stuck in the wilderness all night long with a flashlight that doesn’t work and a sleeping bag that’s not warm enough. So before you leave your house to embark on this outdoor adventure, there are a few things you’ll need that are easy to forget:
- A fully-stocked first aid kit
- A rain fly for your tent, a tarp for the ground and rain coats for the whole family (even if the forecast calls for clear skies)
- A sleeping pad (just a sleeping bag is not as comfortable as you’d think)
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- A lighter and spare matches
- A camping stove and fuel
- Plenty of water
- Insect repellant
- Extra food
- Lots of warm clothes regardless of the weather forecast
Check the Forecast
A little rain might not hurt anybody, but imagine trying to keep the whole family entertained when everyone’s socks are drenched and you can’t leave your tent. If the forecast calls for heavy rain, thunder and lightning or heavy winds, you should weigh the pros and cons of the camping trip . . . Maybe moving the trip to another weekend would be beneficial!
Leave Electronics at Home
Even if you get phone signal at your campsite, make sure the whole family leaves the electronics at home, or at least locked in your car. Being in nature without the daily distractions of smartphones or iPads allows for everyone to enjoy each other’s company and appreciate the simplicity of nature.
Do It All Yourself
Designate responsibilities to the whole family. Camping is about experiencing nature, and it’s a great way for your kids to learn the basics of living in the outdoors. Make sure everyone sets up their own sleeping bag, cleans their own dishes and helps collect firewood. It’s not always easy for kids, but having a do-it-yourself attitude in the outdoors can be very rewarding!
There’s no need to plan every hour of your day. Let your kids adventure and explore. Trek through the woods or meander through streams and waterfalls. Not everything exciting or beautiful can be found on Google. Have an open mind about your weekend in the wilderness!
Forget the Treats
No camping trip is complete without s’mores and trail mix. When you are living in the outdoors, any treat becomes even more delicious. If you plan on walking quite a bit, remember that hunger and hiking don’t go together. Trail mix with any kind of nuts, dried fruit and chocolate is a delicious and satiating treat that’ll put a little pep in your step along the trail. Most importantly, don’t forget the Hershey’s chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers that’ll get everyone excited to sit around the campfire together.
As long as you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy some quality family time in the wilderness. With a little luck, your family camping trip could even become a tradition!