5 TIPS FOR STRESS-FREE FAMILY CAMPING
Camping can be very exciting for children. For them to have a memorable experience, though, parents have to do a lot of planning and preparation. If you’re not prepared, this could mean a very stressful weekend for you. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to make the camping trip fun for everyone involved. Here are my five tips to ensure a stress-free family camping experience.
CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION WISELY
As much as you want to visit iconic or popular camping locations, it might be better to stay somewhere that’s near and easily accessible. Keep your travel time to a minimum, so the children won’t become restless, and you won’t have to keep answering the question, ‘Are we there yet’? Your kids might be too young to appreciate these landmarks anyway. In the end, it won’t matter where you went; the kids will remember how much fun they had.
Speaking of which, you should also pick a campground that has a lot of amenities such as electricity, running water and bathrooms. Roughing it out might not be suitable for young children. Your chosen location must also have access to different activities such as swimming and kayaking as well as a playground area. Make a reservation as soon as possible as there will be a lot of other families camping as well.
PACK EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU’LL NEED
‘Pack light’ is still the golden standard when it comes to camping. However, you have to account for your children’s specific needs. This might mean bringing more than your usual camping gear. Have a detailed checklist to make sure you don’t forget to pack anything.
For maximum comfort, bring a large tent with extra space. For example, a six-person capacity tent will be better for a family of four. You won’t feel too cramped inside. If you can, choose a popup tent so you won’t have to spend too much time setting it up. Inside, you can have air mattresses and a lot of pillows and blankets from home. These will ensure that your kids will be comfortable and have a good night’s sleep.
Other essential items include a complete first aid kit, sunscreen, bug repellent and baby wipes. Bring enough clothes that are appropriate for the weather as well as some extra items to account for unexpected changes in temperature.
If your kids are old enough, you can assign them some responsibilities. This will also hype them up for your camping trip.
AN ORGANISED CAMPSITE
With all the things you’ll be bringing, it’s important to have an organised campsite. You can store your items in transparent plastic containers and have everything appropriately labelled. Kids tend to ask for a lot of things, so this will make it easier to spot something and grab it. You don’t want to waste a lot of time just searching for items. Have separate containers for snacks, ingredients, toys, clothes, toiletries and camping gear. Also, have a cooler for drinks and another one for perishable food items.
If you have younger kids to look after, you might not be able to devote much time to cooking and cleaning. You also want to spend more of your time on your planned activities. As such, stick to simple and easy-to-prepare meals. Do most of the food prep at home.
You don’t have to come up with new recipes. Just stick to the meals that your kids are guaranteed to eat. In between meals, have pre-packaged snacks and juice boxes for your kids to enjoy. As for the adults, make sure to bring enough coffee to power through the entire day.
Aside from your usual camping activities, you also need small-scale activities to keep your kids preoccupied during downtime. This will be helpful if you’re busy preparing meals or you need some time to rest. Card games, scavenger hunts, activity books and a few of their favourite toys will help keep them entertained for a few hours.
If they can handle it, you can also ask them to help out with small chores.
As a parent, you want to provide your kids with the best kind of family camping experience. You have to do a lot of planning, and this can be a very stressful ordeal. Keep in mind that the experience must be fun for the adults, as well. Keep in mind these five tips for a stress-free family camping experience. If things don’t go according to plan, don’t worry about it and just have fun. You are bound to create memorable moments that your children will remember in the years to come.
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