Tips for Family Camping With Kids This Summer
Discover the best tips for family camping this vacation season to ensure you give your kids an unforgettable nature-filled family time experience of their lives.
Summer holidays are almost here finally, and many of us will be heading off on summer vacations over the next few months. And for those of you who love nature and the outdoors, tent camping will be the best option to have a perfect family summer holiday.
Tent camping is one of the inexpensive ways to enjoy an ideal family summer holiday. It gives you the freedom to enjoy a home-away-from-home and experience memorable family time.
To help you celebrate family camping this summer, we compiled top tips to consider when tent camping with kids:
Campsites and holiday parks usually fill up quickly especially during summer. It’s important to plan campsite reservations in advance so as to avoid last minute rush and disappointments. Make sure your car is camping-ready as you’ll need to load it with precious family members, as well as last minute odds and ends before the drive to your campsite.
Prepare your family
Before you take your family camping in the woods this summer, prepare for the changing environment out there so they can cope. Try sleeping with your kids in a tent in the backyard first and take note of the things you’ll need on a full-blown family camping trip.
Ensure you have the main camping equipment and camping supplies before you leave for your holiday.
Borrow or buy a tent
Even if you’re planning to stay for a night or two, a tent that allows you to stand in will be a better accommodation for weather that is less than enjoyable outdoors. Being able to stand will ensure the whole tent camping experience is more comfortable and fun for your kids. Many tents offer separate compartments with hanging dividers which is ideal as kids like to have their own little sleeping pods. Mom and dad can even have their own little privacy this way.
Don’t forget some newspaper and a lighter or matches, or a piece of flint to get your fires started. If you have room throw in a few pieces of dry wood from home. This will all fit nicely in an old pillow case and keep the car clean.
Whether you’re a read-by-the-lantern kind of family or just flashlight lovers ensure these night lights are in good working order with any extra fuel or batteries required before packing these camping essentials.
Prepare for a good night sleep
Over the many years that we’ve camped as a family we’ve discovered we get a much better night sleep if we put a cotton bed sheet from home inside our sleeping bags, especially now that our sleeping bags have been well used. They decrease the amount of perspiration inside the sleeping bags during the damp nights, take up very little room when packing and take only minutes to freshen up on the clothes line the next day.
A long rope is a must!
In the old days when it was just the two of us we used to cover our car in our sleeping bags to air out the next day, hand our dish cloths and towels from the antenna and bumper. Once the family grew it became a necessity to have a place to hang wet clothes, towels, dish cloths and many sleeping bags during the day to air out after a damp night of camping on the ground. A good sized rope allows you to tie ends to two trees for a superb clothesline.
Raccoons will find you
Not only does the common little masked marvel know how to find you and your food, but their hand little mind and fingers know exactly how to access what’s inside a cooler or tote. Pick up a plastic tote to store your dry food and if possible, store your coolers and totes of food at night inside your vehicle’s trunk. If not, find a heavy rock to place on top or tie a bungee cord around each.
TRUE STORY: We took a plastic container of gummy worms on a family camping trip one year and forgot them on the picnic table when we went to bed. The raccoons helped themselves to these sugary treats, but they left all the green and yellow gummy worms in the container and only ate the red and orange. We’re still amusedJ
Pack for all kinds of weather
Although it’s hot during the day, evenings can be cool and sometimes damp. Pack enough hot weather clothes, kids camping gear, rain gear, as well as extra cold weather clothing gear like fleece pullovers, easy slip on warm footwear for night trips to the bathroom, and extra blankets or sleeping bags.
Ensure that you pack enough camping essentials for an ultimate family camping experience.
Set up camp when there’s light
Once you’ve arrived at your campsite, unpack your camping equipment and set up camp during the day when there’s still light. Assign the kids some roles like gathering kindling or pumping up air mattresses so they can feel involved. Start by scoping out the camp area to find nearby water taps and washrooms. Set up the tent and beds first followed by the eating area before getting right on making a campfire for an enjoyable family time.
Allow your kids to have their favorite toys
Because you’re taking your children to an unfamiliar ground, they’ll need something to keep them busy and grounded. Allow your young ones to take their teddies and a few toys with them to the camp so they feel comfortable.
A few surprises turn frowns upside down
It doesn’t take long for kids to get bored so it’s nice to have a few surprises up your sleeve. You can pick up a few inexpensive new toys for the kids to keep them entertained during your family camping holiday so you as parents can continue to enjoy some relaxing time too.
Kids crafts and kits, as well as games allow the entire family to play, learn and laugh together.
Keep these surprise toys, games and craft kits hidden in a pillow case so they are quick and easy to pull out individually when the time is right.
Make sure this bag of treats is the last thing you load into the car in case of any travelling delays along the way so you can pull out a surprise if needed before arriving to your camp site.
And if you are all having so much fun on the family camping trip that you don’t need any extra surprises from your bag of treats, take them home and put them away for next year or for birthday gifts, Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers.
You can find a few fabulous toys and crafts in our Amazon store, Up On Retail.
Enjoy your family camping vacation this summer!