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The Best Family Camping Tips and Tricks? Camping with young children can be fun! Remember to plan, invite another family, leave toys at home, and plan age-appropriate activities.
Camping can be an enjoyable experience for families with young children. Most kids are surprisingly adaptable, and happily accept a tent or trailer as their temporary home.
The Best Family Camping Tips and Tricks
More sensitive children may need a little more preparation and flexibility from their parents. Here are a few things to consider that can help make a family camping trip a successful one.
Plan a Family Camping Trip in Advance
Childless couples might be able to drop everything and go camping at a moment’s notice, but families will usually need more time to prepare, especially those with young children.
Planning a family camping trip carefully and well in advance means that it will be more likely that everyone’s needs and abilities will be taken into account and planned for. Take into consideration things such as sleep/wake times, long car journeys to reach the campsite, and having hikes, beaches, and other amenities nearby.
Choose a family-friendly campsite. If available, walk-in campsites are often quieter and more family-friendly than a campground full of RVs and people drinking.
Consider Camping With Another Family
Sharing the work of planning, packing, and preparing meals to take some of the burdens off the adults, and the kids can entertain each other by having friends along to play with. If babies or young toddlers need to spend time napping in the tent each day, having more adults available means each person can take a “nap watch” shift once every couple of days while the others go on an outing.
This helps avoid the situation where one parent regularly misses out on activities, or the whole family waiting for the little one to nap.
Camping Tips and Tricks: Leave the Toys at Home
Young children are often happier to play in and around nature at a campsite than with plastic toys they already play with at home. Most toys brought from home often end up forgotten at the bottom of the trunk or shoved in the tent’s corner.
The one exception to this rule is to remember any special loveys or bedtime stories. If the kids must bring toys, choose ones that easily “translate” to a campsite, such as trucks, dolls, buckets, and shovels. Anything with lots of pieces is better left at home.
Keep Activities Age-Appropriate
The activities and outings that will be possible when going on a family camping trip will depend a lot on the children’s age. If there will be a child who tires when walking a lot but is too heavy to carry, choose short hikes that are easy and rewarding.
Couples with a baby or toddler who is young enough to carry may still be able to take on more challenging hikes, but be sure to remember to plan on taking breaks more frequently.
Going camping as a family with young children is possible and can be very enjoyable! By planning the trip in advance, camping with another family, leaving most of the usual toys at home, and keeping expectations about activities and hikes appropriate to the children’s age, the family camping trip can be a great success!