Doing any kind of outdoor activity with kids is definitely a challenge first and fun later. Like adults, kids don’t really understand or know what’s dangerous or harmful for them and what’s not. Guiding them outdoors becomes a little tough because they are curious about the new environment they are in and want to be free to explore it.
However, what you can do is be prepared for camping with kids. Surviving camping with kids doesn’t just involve the right things to pack (although, that’s a major part of it), it also involves keeping certain things in mind at the camping site.
1. What to Pack
When it comes to packing things to survive camping with your kids, you can need almost everything that it’s in your home, at the camping site. However, carrying your entire home in a rucksack is not possible so here’s a list of essentials that you MUST pack and not forget.
- Extra pair of clothes
- First aid kit
- Wipes, tissues and toilet roll
- Warm bedding and nightwear
- A door mat or floor towel
- Lots of energy bars
- Chocolates for the times they hurt themselves or just crave something sweet
- A small bike or sports equipment for them to play with
- Some board games
- Lots of food, juices and water
2. Camping Gear
Don’t compromise on buying a large sized family camping tent because you’re definitely going to need it. Kids need all the space to toss, turn and sleep. Make sure there is space for separate rooms for the kids and the adults because you don’t want the kids messing up your space with their toys. One thing that you must ensure is to keep your pocket knife or camping knife away from the easy reach of children. You can either lock it away in a bag or just keep it with you at all times so that the kids don’t end up playing with it and hurting themselves. Do invest in torches for each of your kids. Each camper should have at least one torch, these come in very handy in emergencies.
3. Set Some Rules
It’s important to set some rules for the kids to follow, if you want to survive your camping trip with them peacefully.
- They are not to venture out alone into the woods without an adult.
- They are not to eat any plant or shrubs even the ones that look like cherries.
- They should always take off their shoes outside the tent and wipe their shoes on the doormat.
- They should never leave any food outside, explain to them the reason behind it i.e. food can attract bears and hence bear attacks.
- Teach them how to go to the bathroom and use the washing station.
- Give them a brief about camping safety
4. Activities and Games For Children
Children are meant to play around and have fun anywhere they can and anywhere they are. This makes it important to be prepared with some activities and games for them at the camping site.
Here are some of the activities and games that children can enjoy.
- Reading books
- Sports like football, cricket, frisbee and kite flying
- Treasure hunt
- Board games like chess, scrabble, monopoly etc.
You can even get the kids busy with games on your phones and tablets but avoid that and get the children in the habit of enjoying nature and people more than screens.
5. Safety Measures
Safety is extremely important when it comes to surviving camping with kids. Apart from ensuring that they don’t play with sharp and dangerous camping knives, it’s also important to ensure that they don’t get themselves involved in dangerous situations.
Ensure that the kids are not left without supervision at any point during the camping. Make sure you zip up your tent and secure it at night so that the kids don’t venture out alone. Also, make sure you don’t leave any food outside for the bears to smell, hang them in a bag far away from your tents.
Keep the kids away from the bonfire and always supervise the barbeque, if you plan on doing one.
6. Don’t Forget To Have Fun
Don’t just think about how much your kids are running around and screaming all the time, do that with them and become a part of their adventure. You’re bound to enjoy your camping trip more if you have fun WITH your kids rather than just worry about supervising them. Join in on their little adventures, discoveries and use your camping trip to teach your kids about the nature.
Take your camping trip as a learning experience for yourself as well as your kids. You learn how to handle little ones and their curiosities, while the little ones learn about nature and experience a new adventure activity.