This is a collaborative post, thanks to Lucy McVernon
You may think that staying sane, and actually enjoying yourself while camping with the kids is impossible. After all, they can be hard enough to parent when you are tucked up nice and safe in your own house. Let alone miles away from home, out in the middle of nowhere with hardly any amenities. However, we are living proof that this doesn’t have to be the case. That you can, indeed, have a fantastic and enjoyable family holiday while camping! In fact, our top tips for doing so are what you will find in the post below.
One of the most significant decisions you can make when taking the kids camping is what type of accommodation to stay in. Of course, most people think that campaign means staying in a tent, which kids do cope with very well in as it happened. However, there are plenty more options to consider now. Some of which can make your entire experience a lot more comfortable and easier to manage when you have your whole family with you.
One such option is to use a camper or a caravan. The difference between the two being that a camper has a cab and engine built-in, while a caravan cannot propel itself and must be hooked up to the back of a vehicle to travel.
Of course, the main advantages of using either of these options is that you have a guaranteed warm, dry place for everyone to sleep each night, with proper beds. Then there is the access to gas, water, and electricity. Something that can make all the difference if your kids can’t go long periods without charging up their tablets! Caravans and campers also have the advantage of providing an inbuilt cooking area as well, which can be a massive boon for a family with plenty of hungry mouths to feed.
The great thing about using caravans or campers for your family camping trips is that there a wide variety to choose from. Something that means you can find one that’ll just about suit every family’s needs. In fact, you can choose a vehicle like these off road caravans if you are more into exploring the rugged countryside and getting into the outback. While if you are happy to stay on dedicated campsites, you can go for one that is isn’t built quite as rigorously instead.
Another significant issue when camping with kids is safety. In fact, it’s essential that you supervise them in a responsible way when you get to your destination. It’s also vital that you also educate them on potential dangers they could run into as well. After all, you will be in a public space, usually in nature somewhere, and that means anything from stranger danger to slips and falls, to issues with wildlife can present themselves.
Some parents even choose to go one step further and provide their little ones with a tracking device that allows them to check where they are at all times. This being something that can give that extra layer of peace of mind.
Grub is a big part of any family trip, and that is most certainly the case when you’re camping. In fact, it’s often the time where you get together as family, rest, and exchange stories from the day.
Of course, for anyone on kitchen duty, making preparing and cooking family meals safely as easy as possible is the prime concern. Happily, there are camping stove setups will allow you to cook for an entire family with ease. Even if you aren’t staying in a camper or caravan.
Then there is that old Aussie favourite the BBQ, which can make a fabulous option for cooking whether you are staying on a site or out in the wilderness. After all, you can use a charcoal version if you don’t have access to a gas line hook-up.
Although, whatever you don’t deny your kids the experience of cooking, at least once, on an open fire. There is just something about watching the dance of the flames and listening to the crackle of the fat dripping from sausages that is so hypnotic. Oh, and smelling the delicious aroma that wafts through the air when cooking on an open flame is an experience your kids won’t want to miss either.
Of course, safety will always be a concern here. Therefore do make sure your kids are always supervised while you have the camp firing burning, and that you cover it over safely afterward as well. Don’t forget the marshmallows and ghost stories for when the sun goes down either. For many kids, this can be the best part of their entire trip!
Do you know what has the potential to ruin a camping trip with the kids before it has even got going? Them following you around all the time and moaning that they are bored. With that in mind, it is always worth thinking carefully about activities that will keep the kids happy during the trip.
One idea is to pick a site that has facilities for children on offer, such as a swimming pool and playground. Alternatively, you can set your kids challenges such as finding and taking pictures of particular bugs, plants, and leaves. Something they can use to create projects and inspire artwork too.
It doesn’t hurt to pack a few essentials such as footballs, bats and balls, and even bikes too. Activities that can help keep them off their electronic device and amused for hours.
In summary, there are four main areas you need to consider when camping as a family. The first is the type of accommodation you will use, something that can make your experience much more comfortable.
The second is your children’s safety in the areas you have decided to camp. The third is how you will cook for the family, and whether to include an open fire experience.
While the last one is the activities, you will provide to keep the kids amused and happy during the day. Of course, getting this final issue right means they will sleep better at night too. Something that will allow the grown-ups to enjoy a glass of wine in peace in the evening, and will undoubtedly make sure every family member is a happy camper.