Camping is a perfect summer activity, a great way to connect with nature and spend time with your family. Statistics show that 40.5 million people aged six years old camp at least once in a year. There is no doubt then that camping is one of the most relaxing activities. When you forget to bring extra toilet paper, batteries, and bug sprays, however, things could quickly go haywire. Worse, if there are kids tagging along. Before pitching a tent in the woods with your kiddos, check these tips for hints on how to keep things interesting, fun, and safe for everyone.
Make organization easy
It is vital to organize your supplies before leaving home. Imagine this. Do you want to spend your half-day rampaging through items looking for your toothpaste instead of using that time having fun with the family? Get clear tubs and label them. Categorize your items according to where you plan to use them, or the time of day you will need them. For instance, you can put in one container all the toys and books. For clothes, you can pack them according to the time of day they will be used.
Orient your family to make it a habit to return a specific item to its proper tub. This way, it will be easy for other family members to look for it. Make sure, too, your kitchen tabs, especially those with food, remain clean to prevent diseases and food poisoning.
Prep snacks and meals before you leave
As much as possible, do your preparation at home. Cooking in the woods can be fun, but surely, you wouldn’t want to bring on the trip your chopping boards, utensils, and peeling gadgets. Chop and marinate your meat, then freeze them in a separate zip-bag. It is also prudent to bring with you snacks to tame children should they look for food and you aren’t done yet with the cooking. Always have a cooler to keep your food cold and fresh. You can carry both pre-packaged food and individually prepared snacks. Divide them into servings that your kids can grab and eat on the go without wasting.
Make sleeping arrangements early
Sleeping arrangements can be stressful if you don’t plan carefully. If you have a small baby, better to pack a sleeping crib and an extra sheet to throw on top, so bugs are kept at bay. If camping with school-aged kids, a double camping cot will do just fine. Teens will be fine in a sleeping bag on top of a mat, but you can add an extra layer of comfort by using a soft yoga mat.
If your extended family plans to join, make sure the camping tents for families and groups you will use has enough space to accommodate everyone. A small tent makes sleeping intolerable as people squeeze for space. A ten-person sleeping tent will easily host three queen-sized airbags or ten adults on sleeping bags, leaving enough room for everyone to be cozy for the night. Lightweight materials such as titanium and aluminum have reduced the weight and bulkiness you would expect with such huge tents.
Avoid clutter if you want your camping to be a relaxing one. Everything you pack should be necessary. Pack items that can double up as useful camping tools to reduce your luggage and packing nightmare. For instance, instead of carrying loads of ice bags, freeze plastic water bottles and let them slowly melt as they cool your food. Water will also keep everyone hydrated, which is vital.
Plastic blow-up mattresses will reduce the number of sleeping bags you need to carry while making sure your kiddos float on the lake as they enjoy the water. You can use your hanging shoe organizer to store kitchen supplies such as spices and cooking tools instead of buying a camping kitchen set. The only thing we warn against improvising is bug sprays. Your little ones will be uncomfortable, cranky, and distressed if they have tons of bug bites on them. Your trip may even be cut short, so have the right gear for this.
Bring enough toys
Kids still need the familiarity they are used to. While you are excited to explore the outdoors and show them all the fun things they can do, your little ones might enjoy a calm afternoon playing with their toy trucks instead. Bring at least two favorite toys for each kid. Also, carry some board games for a little family competition. To decide which toys to take with you, look around where you will be camping. A swimsuit and water toys are perfect if you are camping near a lake or creek. A good pair of binoculars, magnifying glass, bug keeper, and butterfly net may also come in handy. Remember to carry a few books for bedtime stories, too, especially if your little ones are used to this habit before hitting the sack.
Remember, the idea is to have fun and relax. Carry a few luxury items such as a good hammock, water shoes to prevent stubbed toes, hydration packs, and head lambs for everyone. Also, make sure you have duct tape with you to hold your flashlight, act as an emergency band-aid, and much more. Don’t stress over every little thing, instead remain focused on having fun.