A camping trip in the great outdoors is a wonderful opportunity to bond with family, discover abundant wildlife and experience the beauty of nature.
It’s also a great way to get some exercise and create golden memories your kids will remember well into their adulthood.
But before you pack your suitcase, pitch your tent and stock the cooler, here are some important family camping tips you need to know to ensure a safe, satisfying and memorable holiday.
Without further adieu, let’s get to it!
1. Plan Your Camping Trip Way in Advance
You’ll want to plan six to twelve months in advance when choosing the campsite for your family holiday. During the peak season, the best campsites will fill up fast.
Waiting until the last minute could result in disappointment, and you might have to settle for a second or third or tenth choice, so make sure to book your stay as soon as possible.
When researching the best campsites for your family holiday, you’ll find a plethora of camping options in various locations and natural settings that offer a host of activities and accommodations.
A good website to visit is Campsited. It provides a wide variety of campsite choices from camping to glamping throughout the U.K., Ireland and Europe.
2. Do A Practice Run in the Backyard
If this is the first time you’ve taken your family on a camping holiday, you can always do a practice camping holiday in the backyard–or do one just for fun.
Teach your kids how to pitch a tent, build a campfire and how to prepare for the real thing.
3. Take a First Aid Kit
One of the most important items on your family camping checklist is a first aid kit to prepare for any insect bites or unexpected minor cuts or bruises that can result from camping in nature.
Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need in your first aid kit.
- Antiseptic wipes
- Rubbing alcohol
- Anti-bacterial ointment
- Tweezers for splinters
- Antihistamine for allergic reactions
- Non-stick sterile pads
- Adhesive pads in a variety of sizes
- Compound tincture of benzoin
With your first aid kit on hand, you’ll be back to the fun in no time.
4. Pack for the Weather
When camping outdoors, be sure to plan for the weather. There’s nothing worse than being unprepared for Mother Nature’s challenges.
Checking the weather report is a good idea, but remember that it’s not 100 percent reliable. Be ready for unexpected weather conditions by having the right gear to keep you dry and comfortable.
Layer up for warm days and cool nights and don’t forget your raincoats and totes.
5. Stock Up with the Right Foods and Beverages
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. It’s important to be hydrated, especially in warm weather or when out in nature for extended periods.
If you’re hiking you can get a backpack that has a water reservoir built right in which makes for easy access during your climb.
Nuts are nutritional and provide lots of protein and you can buy them at most grocery stores.
Bring a cooler packed with ice if you don’t have access to a refrigerator. And don’t forget juice boxes made from real juice for the kids!
Canned foods don’t require refrigeration and are always good to bring along or you can buy them at the nearest store. Tuna fish and canned salmon provide good nutrition, but don’t forget to bring a can opener!
6. Bring the Right Items for Play Activities
While the natural surroundings will provide extended entertainment, games, and activities to keep the kids occupied when you’re relaxing at the campsite after a long day of exploring the terrain.
Bring along a couple of packs of playing cards. For a history lesson, play Hide and Seek With the Kings and Queens.
Board games like Trivial Pursuit, Harry Potter, Scrabble, Candyland, and Monopoly are always a big hit with families. Bring Legos for the little ones.
7. Get Artistic with Nature
Creating art and photography is a great way to remember nature. You can put your children’s artwork on the refrigerator or even frame it when you get home.
Here are some art supplies to bring to help you get creative.
- Finger paints and paper
- Drawing and sketching pad
- Colored pencils
- Drawing pencils
- Washable magic markers
- Pastels (oil pastels are less messy)
- Digital camera and power chord
Post your photos of your family camping trip on social media for some likes and shares.
8. Bring Another Family Along
When it comes to camping, the more can be the merrier.
Invite another family from the neighborhood, your children’s school friends or go camping with extended family members.
Camping is also a great choice for a family reunion. Your kids will have so much fun with their friends and cousins.
9. Bring items to protect your family’s skin from the elements
Mother nature can be harsh on the skin as she emits strong UV rays even when the sun doesn’t feel hot and strong. Bring a bottle of sunscreen and apply it before you go outside.
Make sure to thoroughly apply sunscreen to exposed skin areas and put plenty on you and your family’s faces.
In dense, wooded areas such as nature trails can be buggy, so bring along insect spray to ward off those nasty critters.
10. How to Build A Campfire Like A Pro
One of the most important family camping tips is how to build a campfire. Building a campfire with the kids can be a fun activity, especially if you’re planning on going fishing and cooking your catch!
A campfire is also a good source of warmth and the perfect setting for spooky ghost stories!
Have your kids join you to prepare your campfire by collecting twigs and branches for kindling. Why not make it a family activity!
Select wood that is dry and snaps easily. Here are some other great tips for building a blazing campfire. For a safe campfire experience, put out your fire 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime.
Family Camping Tips Roundup
Now you have some great family camping tips and know what to do and what brings for a safe, enjoyable holiday your family will remember far into the future.