Americans love to camp. It makes a lot of sense because it is a cost effective way to plan family vacations. When children are introduced to camping when they are young, they are much more likely to take to it. Recent survey show that at least 85% of adults who enjoy camping went on their first camping trip before they were 15 years old. At least 57% of these campers reported engaging in outdoor activities that are associated with camping when they were young. That number drops to 25% for people who do not like to go camping. If you want to get your children interested in camping, before you head out to one of the shady campsites around the country, there are things you can do to make the experience better for everyone.
- Go on a practice trip. Tent camping is the most popular kind of camping. If you want to take your children on a tent camping trip, you may want to do a dry run in your back yard before you head out to any of the shady campsites. Spend a weekend sleeping in a tent and doing things in your backyard. If you have a fire pit, cook out over the fire. If you do not have that, you can use your barbecue. Use this time to get used to sleeping in a sleeping bag and to the noises you may hear in nature.
- Find the right family campgrounds. There are shady campsites in every state in the country and because of this, there are all kinds of family camping vacation spots to choose from. Get your children involved in the process of deciding how far away you would like to go and what activities you would like to do. You can do research online and share it with them. The more input you get from your children, the more they will feel part of the decision making process. You may be surprised by what kinds of events interest them. At least 87% of campers say they like to engage in multiple activities so many family campgrounds offer a number of activities for campers. There are also a number of campgrounds that include splash parks so they are always popular with younger children.
- Plan your meals. Hungry campers are never happy campers. Plan out three meals a day and then some healthy snacks. You can buy or make trail mix to bring with you and granola bars. Cut up vegetables to eat as crudites or cook while you are on your trip. Take potatoes and pre-cook them. You can put your partially cooked aluminum foil and finish cooking them in your campfire. Remember to bring your chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows to make s’mores for everyone, they are popular with kids of all ages.
- Bring enough water. You should actually bring more than you think you will need. Experts say that by the time you feel thirsty, you are starting to be dehydrated. When you are active, you need more water. Most campers are more active when they are out hiking and doing all the things campers do.
- Plan indoor activities. It may rain when you are on your camping trip. No matter how much planning you do as you are getting ready, rain happens. You can let this derail your trip or you can plan for it. Bring games and talk to the staff of the campgrounds to see what they recommend families do if it rains. Games are also fun to play at night after you eat dinner and are relaxing after a day on the lake.
- Bring the right first aid kit. Check your first aid kit. You should make sure you have enough band aids and bandages. Even at shady campsites, you need lots of sunscreen and aloe vera. Remember to apply the sunscreen often throughout the day. No one wants a bad sunburn during a camping trip.
Getting young children interested in camping can be a lot of fun for everyone. These kinds of trips are great to bring people together while they are engaging in healthy and fun activities. You will have experiences that make for fun family memories.