Camping is a cherished childhood memory for many people; make it a time to remember for your children as well! Follow these tips on planning the best family camping trip that you and the kids will love.
What Kind of Trip?
Will you be camping in a tent? Sleeping in a yurt? Renting an RV? Are the kids old enough for a portage trip? There are many different ways to camp during the summer with campers of every skill level.
If you and the kids are big outdoorsy people, then you will be able to make a good time of any campsite. However, if camping is more of a fun, occasional summer idea, try one of these family-friendly campsites with great amenities and playgrounds for you to relax after a hike while the kids can continue to play.
What to Pack
Set yourself up for success by packing all the right things to make your camping experience a great one. Think about season, type of camping, location and age of campers. Be sure not to forget:
- Easy-dressing clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Don’t forget layers!
- First aid kit, hand sanitizer, and lots of kid-friendly sunscreen and bug spray.
- Books, cards and games in case it’s raining or the kids need a moment to themselves.
- Lanterns and flashlights.
- Sleeping bags right for the season.
- Fire foods like marshmallows, hotdogs and popcorn.
- Your kid’s favourite sleeping pillow or stuffed animal and any other comforts from home.
- Tents—one big enough for you to sleep with young children, or a separate tent for older kids who want to experience the camping life on their own.
Sitting down to meals around the picnic table, on a blanket at the beach, or around the campfire will provide some of the best memories of your camping trip. Try to make meals ahead for easy meal prep, so you can spend less time cooking and more time making memories on your trip. Toss nuts, dried fruit and M&Ms into a bag for some quick trail mix and chop veggies into sticks for a quick snack or to throw into a recipe. Check out this website for some quick and easy camping meal ideas.
There will already be lots of hiking, swimming and exploring to do, but you can make the experience even more fun by planning a few fun camping activities before you go.
- Stargazing: bring along a book of constellations that your kids can find in the sky.
- Animal Tracks: become seasoned trackers on your hikes by teaching your kids how to recognize animal tracks and marks.
- Flashlight Tag: for older kids, give the “it” person a flashlight. While they count, everyone else hides. The “it” person then looks around for the hiding players who can switch spots. If the “it” person catches them by shining the flashlight on them, that person becomes “it.”