Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Camping Tips

Camping with children can bring you back to the simplicity of nature. It increases your awareness of your surroundings and can refresh your appreciation for the many things that so often go unnoticed. Many things are learned and experienced for the first time during each day in the life of a child. Patience is almost unavoidable. It is so important to take the time to enjoy the journey of these new experiences with your child. In nature there are so many amazing things to discover. Camping can be a wonderful adventure. Just think--the birds and animals, the plants and trees, the rocks, the streams and ponds, the insects, the sounds, the weather, the wildflowers, and the many activities that can provide so much excitement. The possibilities are endless! By planning successful, enjoyable camping trips when your children are young, you will set them on the path to a lifetime of outdoor adventures.



**Get the kids interested in the trip by getting them involved. Build their excitement and anticipation.

Plan the camping trip together

Decide on places to go - consider interests, outdoor experience and children's ages.

Pick activities to do

Plan and shop for your meals

Prepare and pack the equipment and supplies



Try a backyard campout before you go for the first time

Teach the kids how to set up a tent

Try some outdoor cooking

Experience a night outdoors in sleeping bags

Show them how to use some camping equipment

Plan a few activities

Search the sky for constellations

Listen to the many night sounds

Don't forget the special nighttime snacks

Try to experience outdoor activities with your kids

Get them familiar with the outdoors in order to eliminate their fears

Teach them about safety and to respect nature

Teach outdoor skills and outdoor ethics

Camp chores are actually fun for kids. They love collecting firewood, filling water containers, hammering in tent stacks, camp cooking etc.

Make the camp chores extra fun -- have contests for gathering the most kindling, best camp cooking, most organized gear, fastest clean-up etc.

Take a small day hike in the woods at a local park

Visit a nature center

Go fishing at a local pond or stream

Take an evening walk

Go on a picnic

Read related books

Have a scavenger hunt

Go on a flashlight walk

**Take the necessary gear and supplies

Extra clothing and shoes--the kids will get wet and extremely dirty

Warm clothing--it may get chilly especially in the evening/dress in layers

Insect repellent--consider time-release formulas

Sunscreen--they'll be outside all day

First aid kit--for those little accidents

Rain gear--keep them dry and warm

Toys, games, activities--you want to keep them busy

Check out Want to Play a Game?

Familiar bedtime items--pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, dolls etc

Flashlight/glow sticks--to help relieve nighttime fears

Snacks--all this activity is going to make them hungry

Drinks--avoid dehydration due to heat and activity level

**Create memories

Bring a camera with plenty of film/flash/extra batteries

Disposable type are excellent for outdoor activities

Give each child their own disposable camera

Keep a journal

Describe details about your trip and the activities you did

Document special moments

Include photos

Have each family member write about their experience

Save crafts etc.

Keeping an Outdoor Adventure Photo Journal

**Plan alternative activities

For bad weather

To avoid boredom during down times

If they dislike a certain planned activity

**Respect campground quiet hours



**Make your travel fun

Don't travel a great distance--stop frequently

Make your trips short -- maybe two or three nights

Take toys and activities to keep them busy

Play car games--license plates, sign abc's, singing etc

Take plenty of snacks

Build their excitement and anticipation
 
posted by Summer at 8:49 AM, |

3 Comments:

I love to camp but unfortunately here on the farm we don't have much time to camp. I do love the farm though, every day is like a nature day here.
I heart camping! We are only going this summer if Lani is walking! I do not want to bring a crawling baby in the dirt and pine needles:) She also hates the dirt so I would be carrying her the whole time!! not fun!
I love camping as well. I haven't done much of it in recent years, but I hope to do more this summer and hopefully in future years. It will be great for the family to spend some time together livin the simple life.