Some kids love camping, some kids hate camping. Whether they grow to love it or hate it can be influenced by their first few experiences, so it’s important to make sure it all goes smoothly. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind to ensure that your first real camping trip with your kids is a great success!
Kids usually love the novelty of a sleeping bag or camping blanket but the first time they use one might be a bit foreign to them. They can restrict your movement and may require some practice for some kids to be able to open from the inside. Introduce your child to the sleeping bag in the comfort of their own bed for the first few uses. This will make things more comfortable in it when they’re really camping.
Their own torch
Darkness can be one of the things children fear the most and camping overnight can involve a lot of time in the dark. Torch Technology has come a long way in recent years. There’s a great deal of more energy-efficient rechargeable LED torches on the market now by brands such as LED Lenser. These don’t require piles of AA or D cell batteries to operate, so if the child leaves their torch on by accident, it’s not a big loss.
Give them the torch a while before you start going camping so that they get used to it and use it when they need to get up in the middle of the night and things like that. This will help them build up their confidence in using a torch in the dark.
Talk up the experience
Although your child might be excited to go camping, you need to really talk up the experience so you can convince them that they’re having fun even if they get scared. Do this for days or weeks beforehand to really get them looking forward to it.
Practice in your yard
If you have a backyard with grass, it is the perfect place to try camping out in an actual tent for the first time. This will get your child used to the colder temperatures, the sounds of suburban nature and the if things go sour, you don’t have to travel more than a few metres to return home.
When practising camping in your yard, you should also set up a little campfire. Teach your child the basics of fire safety, such as keeping a bucket of water handy. Fire safety is very important when camping and if anything goes wrong, a garden hose to put it out or first aid won’t be too far away.
Cooking on a campfire is one of the most memorable parts of camping. You can find thousands of recipes for campfire cooking online, many of which are easy enough that kids can help out too. Popular campfire foods for kids include sausages and stews. However, if you want something the kids can get involved in creating their own mini pizzas can be fun.
If you get the kids to buy into the cooking process, it means they can learn more and you don’t have to worry about what they’re up to whilst you’re cooking. If you’re lucky it might encourage them to help out around the kitchen!
Finish the night off with some smores or roasted marshmallows on the campfire. Kids love these and you can use these as motivation for their first real camping trip in the wilderness.
Time to go!
One thing you might want to keep as a surprise is the toilet situation when you’re camping in the wild. You probably don’t want to dig holes in your yard when you’ve got a toilet metres away inside. After trying all the things above, your child should be ready for the great outdoors!