Ads 468x60px

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Camping with children - Part 1

I just got back from my first camping trip of the season so this is a good time to write about camping with children.  A daunting undertaking but with patience and planning, doable.

Although the picture of a happy family enjoying the beauties of nature and bonding over a campfire and sleeping under the stars looks so idyllic, there are some realities you need to consider first.

 Most important is safety.  Campfires, woodsy trails, wildlife...all these and more can all be potentially dangerous.  The younger the children, the more vigilant you are going to need to be.  Even though you have tents to set up and food to prepare, you can never lose sight of your little ones.  It doesn't take long for one to wander off...or stumble too near the campfire...or pick a pretty leaf that happens to be poisonous.

This little guy has been going camping all his life!
So, having said that, there are ways to ease your family into camping.  What I would suggest first is to have several backyard campouts where you learn how to set up camp quickly and efficiently, introduce your children to sleeping outside in sleeping bags and tents, and learn how to cook over a fire or camp stove.  Backyard camping gives you plenty of camping experiences without the isolation.  When you start out slow, your kids are in a safer environment (they're not going to get lost!) and they get familiar with safety rules.  During this time, you can also build up your camping equipment so you will be prepared for more involved trips in the future.

I wouldn't even attempt to try a bigger camping trip until the kids consistently obey your directions and show that they respect safety rules.  THEN, I'd try someplace close with good facilities and see how that works.  I'd keep introducing new things in baby steps.

If you go slow and use your children's maturity as your guide, you'll be able to handle increasingly more complex and diverse trips until you are a regular camping family!

PS.  Another good thing about backyard camping is you can use your own bathroom and not have to rely on porta-potties or worse!  :)


  1. Oh my goodness that's the cutest picture of you! :-) And I love the pic you got of Reed and me...I'm stealing it now. haha

  2. You're welcome to steal any picture you long as I can steal the ones you took :)