If you’ve never taken your kids camping, now is the time to start! Introducing kids to the great outdoors is such a great way to instill a lifelong love of adventure while also instilling great memories and an appreciation for our planet.
You don’t have to go far from home to find a great place to camp (many parents start out in their very own backyards), but if you want to venture a little farther from home, consider taking your kids to a campground or for some wilderness camping at a local, national park. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get ready for a fun weekend away with the kids!
Check all your equipment, if you have some. Make sure everything is in good working order. If you have a tent, set it up in the yard to let it “air out” and spray it with the hose a few times to check for leaks. If you don’t have a tent and are willing to invest in one, make sure you get one size bigger than you think you need. More room is okay, but less is not. If you have four people in your family, opt for a six person tent, which will allow room for stuff you need in the tent like your bags.
Make a list of the clothing and activity items each person will need. You’ll need clothes for daytime, evening activities, sleepwear, and proper footwear. A site like Climb Fit can give you the rundown of climbing shoes, and there are plenty of others to research hiking shoes and other kinds of footwear. Don’t forget to pack footwear that will let your feet breathe when you are just sitting around the campsite, so no one gets stinky or sore feet.
Next, make a list of all the food you’ll need for your camping weekend away with the kids, so you can shop for what you need. Some of the best meals you and your kids will ever have will be cooked over an open campfire. Try to keep it simple for your first time out: the kids will be more excited about doing things than what they are going to eat.
Cereal and pastries are easy for breakfast, sandwiches and subs are easy meals for lunch, and hotdogs and hamburgers are perfect for dinner. Grab some fruit and vegetable trays at the grocery store, and you’ve got a balanced meal on the go.
Don’t forget to pack some treats for the evening while everyone is sitting around the campfire. Pack plenty of water and other beverages and don’t forget to pack the ingredients for S’mores – they are a must for any first time camping adventure!
Finally, before you head out on the open road with the kids, be sure to pack their favorite stuffed animals, a blanket they like, or any other item they need to fall asleep. The fresh air will make them tired, but creature comforts are important for a first-time adventure like camping.
And don’t worry about devices like iPads or cell phones. Your kids will be having too much fun to worry about them anyway. A lot of parents try to ban them all together, but they are great in the morning during the preparation of breakfast, or before bed, so kids can read a book on their device.
Don’t sweat the small stuff and your weekend away with the kids will be one to remember!
About the author: Brad Richardson writes for Littlest Bookshelf and Knowtechie. From writing content to talking on Twitter, he spends most of his time online. When he isn’t online, Brad enjoys playing video games, traveling and baking in the kitchen.