Why Family Camping Is a Great Idea
Most families love spending time outdoors so use these family camping ideas to have a great time.
When I was growing up I remember my parents would take us camping. It started out being a chore with all the packing and organising, and there was a lot of complaining from us kids.
You know how it is! As kids you aren’t thinking about the fun you’ll have, just the work required to get there.
My parents always had fun family camping ideas that allowed us to have a great time.
Family Camping Can Be Fun
It wasn’t something we did every weekend, but we did it often enough that I considered it a regular family activity.
I absolutely loved it once we got to the camp site and we could run around.
We had a huge tent that took a whole family effort to set up, but was always fun. Our parents allowed us to pick out our own sleeping bag before the trip.
We ate hot dogs and got to play outside with our parents all weekend. These are great family camping ideas and what is there not to love about the outdoors?
Aside from having to help load and unload the car it was a really easy time. I thought camping was just about one of the most simple trips you could take as a family.
One of the best things is you get to eat out under the stars. Best of all is you don’t need fancy clothes, in fact old ones are better.
Another family camping idea is you don’t have to go far to find a campsite. And once you get the site set up, you can play outside all weekend.
Looking back I can see how much it must have taken my parents to get ready for a camping trip. Especially with four kids.
Useful Family Camping Ideas
A relaxing weekend getaway can quickly leave you pulling your hair out and wondering how you will even make it out the door in the first place.
Before you vow to never, ever, ever take your children camping again use these fun family camping ideas.
They are sure to help make your weekend getaway less stressful.
1. Do a test run with your tent.
This family camping idea lets you decide if this type of vacation is right for you.
Set up camp in the backyard and have everyone sleep in the tent to see how it goes. Get the family involved with the planning and set-up.
We suggest you do a full dry-run with cooking and packing to see how it goes.
It lets you iron all the bugs out before you are miles away from home.
2. Unpack while it is still light.
There is nothing worse then setting up a tent with only a flashlight to see. Instead of setting up as the sun goes down try and unpack as soon as you arrive and start setting up camp.
Try to time when you leave to allow you to arrive in the daylight and get set up.
There is nothing worse than trying to keep up with kids and set up a tent in the dark.
3. Keep food simple.
Don’t over complicate your meals. Not only do you have limited appliances but you also don’t want the stress of cooking crazy meals. This is esepcially true if you arrive later in the day for your first night. Kids get cranky when they are hungry – and so do adults!
A great tip for that first night is to have a meal already prepared that you just have to heat up. That way you can spend the first day setting up the campsite knowing that dinner is already sorted.
Another great idea is to have a meal plan prepared before you get on the road. This way you know what you are having each night and don’t have to worry about it. It also makes shopping before your camping trip a lot easier!
One of the best family camping ideas is to have fun with your food! Things such as Hot dogs cooked over the fire or a delicious barbeque are easy to cook and enjoyable to eat!
Just always think keep meals quick and simple.
4. Stick to your usual routine (as much as possible).
Obviously, you are on vacation and away from home so sticking to your exact routine won’t be possible. Plus it can be fun for kids to have a late night on occasion.
But, for the most aim for a bedtime as close to their normal one as possible. You definitely don’t want many late nights in a row as in my experience sleep deprived kids are not fun on a camping trip (or at any time for that matter).
Keeping a regular schedule will keep everyone in a good mood and make your return home much easier.
5. Don’t bring all the devices.
Sure, you will need your cell phones for emergencies but now is a great time to leave the tablets, ipads and other devices at home.
Apart from the fact that they will most likely get lost, stolen, or damaged while out in the wilderness, a family camping trip is a great opportunity for a technology detox! Not just for the kids but for the parents too!
We rely too much on technology for entertainment and have in a way lost the ability to connect with each other at a personal level. A family camping trip is the perfect time to re-connect, have fun and spend time as a family.
Use these family camping ideas as a time for family bonding and getting outdoors!
6. Don’t overpack.
This can be difficult when you have kids. Of course, you want to pack a weekend full of outfits plus something for every type of weather imaginable. Not to mention the toys and sport activities that you hope will keep the kids enterntained.
Of course you want to pack enough clothes for the trip and an extra one just in case. But do try and stick to just the necessities when it comes to clothes and toiletries.
As for games and toys remember its a good thing when kids need to use their imagination and camping in the outdoors is the perfect opportunity for kids to free play. So pack a couple of toys/sporting goods but not too many.
7. Don’t over plan.
Most importantly, don’t over plan and jam pack the weekend with a variety of activities and exericises – it is not a bootcamp.
Remember this is a time to relax, connect and enjoy being together as a family. The last thing you want to do is make it feel like another day where everything is structured and in routine.
Have fun! Kids will be kids. And, with being outdoors, trails, and campground activities, there will be plenty to keep everyone busy.
Getting away from it all is something the whole family can enjoy. If you plan your trip and get the whole family involved camping can be something you do regularly.
We hope we have given you some good family camping ideas here.
If you would like to read more camping ideas click here.
For other vacation ideas with kids read our related article.
Manuel is our resident proud stay at home Dad of 2 young children – 3yo and 16 months! Manuel used to be a journalist for his local newspaper but with his wife climbing the corporate ladder they decided that Manuel would quit his job and stay home with the kids – which he describes as “the best thing that has ever happened to me!”. Manuel loves being the stay at home parent and navigating the world of stay at home Dads and the stereotypes that come with that.