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Camping With Kids

Camping With Kids

Ah, the wild outdoors. There’s nothing like the feeling of freedom as you hit the road, everything you need for a week in the wilderness packed up in the car and the exhilaration of unknown adventures ahead. Camping with kids can include these things, but it will probably take more preparation and twice as long to get there.

Being prepared for camping as a family and remembering to pack your sense of humour will make it more enjoyable for everyone.

Planning a camping trip with kids

While some families may be able to pull off a spontaneous camping trip with very little advance notice, most will need at least a couple of weeks to plan ahead.

Double-check your camping supplies, do a trial run with the tent and make sure there aren’t any leaks in the air mattress. Not only will this help you make sure you don’t forget to bring a lighter, it will also help young kids become more comfortable with the idea of being inside a tent in the first place.

Stay flexible with family routines and sleep

Sleeping anywhere new can make it difficult for many people to get to sleep or get back to sleep easily after waking up in the night, but toddlers and preschoolers are especially sensitive to changes in family routines.

Sleeping outdoors in a tent also poses other challenges, such as excess evening light, noise from other campers and unfamiliar bedding. Be prepared for late nights and early mornings with a selection of quiet activities, snacks and an attitude of understanding and flexibility.

Choose your camping destination wisely

The perfect camping destination will vary from family to family according to the ages of the children, the activities each family member wants to do, and how far everyone is willing and able to ride in the car to get there and back.

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If it’s your first camping trip with a baby or toddler, start somewhere an hour or two away from home so if you need to pack it all in at dawn and drive home, you can do so relatively easily.

Worth the effort

While camping with kids can feel like twice the work of just staying home, the quiet beauty of the beach at dawn, the crackle of a campfire or the chance to simply experience life outside the city is a gift that kids and adults benefit from in so many ways. Camping with kids can take you out of your everyday comfort zone, and that’s a good thing. Really!

Michelle Carchrae is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom to two girls. With a serious love for Vancouver and an equally serious need to get out of the house with two young kids, Michelle searches out the best kid and parent friendly places to go. Michelle also writes about parenting at her blog, The Parent Vortex.

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