Camping means different things to different people. For some, it is going out with a camper and practically all of the comforts of home.
For others, it is the total another extreme of going out and sleeping under the stars (if you’re lucky, otherwise it’s sleeping in the midst of a rainstorm, and foraging for your food). This article falls somewhere in the middle.
The best way to go on a family camping trip is, in my opinion, to plan ahead. Talk it over as a family, plan what you are going to want and need to make this camping trip both a real family adventure and a pleasurable experience.
One of the things you will want to decide is where you are going to camp. I would recommend an established campground. You would have the security of knowing that they have done their best to keep the area maintained to be as safe as possible.
Things such as snake bites or wandering wildlife can really put a dampener on a family camping adventure. In choosing the campground, you will also want to look into what kind of activities, if any, they offer or are offered in the nearby vicinity.
Once you have chosen the ideal location, you will then want to begin to plan what to take with you. You need to choose a tent that will be right for your family.
Shop around; see what is offered and what the best features are. Some tents offer ease in setting up, which is a big plus for some of us, while others require tent stakes and ropes.
If you plan to use sleeping bags, you will be wise to remember that an adult size sleeping bag, does not necessarily mean one size fits all.
Do you want some sort of mattresses under the sleeping bags or do you plan on sleeping right on the floor of the tent? How about lighting? You will probably want some sort of large battery operated lamp for your tent.
You should also supply each camper with their own flashlight, in case any get separated from other members of the family on trips to and from the bathroom facilities.
Food is another important factor. You need to consider what you will be taking for food and what you will need in way of storage for it, such as an ice chest, etc.
Most camping areas have a cooking area. Do you want to bring your own grill or use the outside cookers which may mean waiting your turn? Don’t forget to take the can opener if the food that you are taking with you will require one.
One of the most frustrating things on a camping trip can be holding a can of beans in your hand and trying to figure how to get through the metal that is separating you and your family from your supper.
Don’t forget cooking and eating utensils. Eating with your fingers can be fun with the right foods, but can also tend to get really messy.
Remember to take extra clothing along. If the weather is colder or hotter than you had planned on, you just may be glad that you did that. Don’t forget a first aid kit for any unfortunate minor injuries.
Bring activities that can be enjoyed inside the tent as well as those for outside, such as books, games, etc., in case inclement weather makes you want to be inside.
Plan for everything that could go wrong, and then be grateful and glad when all goes well.
Think about asking other family members or friends to go camping at the same time. Sometimes this can lead to double the fun, or sometimes not. This is something that you will have to decide for yourself.
Make it a family adventure that all will enjoy and possibly want to repeat another time. Above all, have a fun-filled family camping experience!