Camping sometimes gets a bad rap with parents. Not all parents enjoy sleeping in a tent with hyperactive kids and there are plenty of families who try camping once and declare “never again!”. However, camping can be enormous fun – both for parents and their offspring. For starters, it’s a great opportunity to unplug from technology and get back to nature. And for another, camping is usually a lot cheaper than booking a five-star break to Disneyworld. Although, if you can’t stand the idea of sleeping on the cold, hard ground, check out secrethotels.org for some great hotel deals. Your partner can take the kids camping while you live it up in a swanky hotel.
If you are wondering whether to book a camping trip this year, read on for some helpful tips.
Large Campsite or Camping in the Great Outdoors
Rocking up to a large, commercial campsite with a large family tent is very different to pitching a small two-man tent on the side of a mountain, 20-miles from the nearest outpost. Just because you fancy a “back to nature” experience, don’t assume your kids will love the idea. The younger your kids are, the more sensible it is to head to a large family campsite with all the facilities you would expect – at least until everyone is comfortable sleeping outside.
Family campsites in scenic areas often have on-site bars, showers, play areas, picnic tables, and activities for families. This is a good starting point if you are new to camping. It gives everyone a chance to get used to the idea of camping without sacrificing too many luxuries. The kids have somewhere safe to play and you can take a hot shower.
A Large Family Tent
Younger kids will need to share your tent. However, they don’t need to sleep right next to you. Look for family tents with separate sleeping areas. If you are taking older kids, ask them if they would prefer to sleep in their own tent. If they do, you can pitch it next to the main tent. They will be happy with the extra privacy and so will you.
Since your kids probably won’t settle too well, at least at first, make sure their sleeping bag is warm enough and they have a foam pad to sleep on. Buy an appropriate sleeping bag for the weather conditions. If it’s hot, you won’t need a thick, down sleeping bag, but if you are taking your teenagers on a fishing trip somewhere remote and it’s likely to drop below zero at night, warm sleeping bags are a must-have.
Food and Drink
One of the best parts about camping is that you can cook food on a campfire. Your kids will love the idea of toasted marshmallows and baked potatoes cooked on a campfire, but they might not be so enamored with canned stew and other camping rations. Always take a selection of snacks and food items you know they will eat. Eating cold baked beans and apples won’t kill them for a few days.
Lastly, monitor the weather before you head off into the great outdoors. Nobody will have fun if rain and wind is forecast.