Whether it’s for a weekend getaway or a staycation at your backyard, camping may serve as a breather for anyone. It’s refreshing for the adults who have been busy at work for quite a while. While we all have to be serious during work hours, most of us would be up for an adventure if we got the chance, right? I went to an adult zipline recently, and let me tell you, it was amazing!
Camping in your garden could give a sense of adventure to the kids, who had been longing to do something extraordinary. However, while it sounds a whole lot of fun, it may end up being a disaster if not planned quite well. Therefore, here are a few things to ponder on when camping with children:
HOW LONG SHOULD YOUR ‘TRIP’ BE?
If you consider your kids’ ages, how many days do you think is appropriate for this camping trip?
Could you camp every night for a whole week out in the backyard? Or is one night more than enough? Start planning the whole camping extravaganza once you’ve settled this.
CAMPING IN YOUR GARDEN VS. AT A CAMPING GROUND
While some of us might be happy to camp in the backyard, you might want to go a bit further. However, there is much more to consider when you decide to camp miles away from home. The last time I went camping with my kids was for a bit of an adventure. I remember looking for a zipline for kids near me, but there wasn’t one – so we decided to drive for a while and camp near an adventure park in Victoria. It’s a given that it would take lesser packing if you are just within the vicinity; let alone if you will just do it at your backyard. On the other hand, a camping site may need to be assessed as a source of water, vector infestations, and safety hazards. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to check the weather too, and whether you have access to emergency assistance. I would not advise camping if you have a new-born or an infant since bathroom amenities are very limited when camping.
HOW TO STAY SANITARY WHEN CAMPING
This is one of the things that may be challenging when camping, since access to running water may not exist (unless you’re near a river). While travelling, there’ll be limited access to decent toilets, soap and water – to even wash your hands. Camping in a tent usually doesn’t include any bathroom privileges. Your only chance may be to access a public bathroom or go somewhere by the bushes. Either way, you will be needing ways to sanitize. Consider bringing wet wipes (a lot of ‘em), hand sanitizers, hand soaps and towels.
STAYING COMFORTABLE WHEN CAMPING
To have a goodnight’s sleep, comfortable camping beds should be accommodating enough. Cushions may be too luxurious but aren’t impossible to bring. By using bubble jackets, this may just be solved instantly since you just have to cover the pillow with it. In addition to the comfort and warmth, it will provide everybody, these jackets could just serve you its original purpose during the day on a cold season’s time. Hitting two birds with one stone!
HOW TO SOLVE THE FOOD DILEMMA
When camping with kids, a little bit of adjustment in terms of what to feed them efficiently and healthily would be needed. To ensure that they get enough carbohydrates to keep them heated up and energized, it may be good to have a solid source of carbs. Instant mac n’ cheese or an instant cup of noodles at hand isn’t bad. It’s easy and fast to prepare. This lessens the complications and you can assign your older children to do this on their own. Our little ones could use s’mores at night (in the form of marshmallows) and hotdogs.
Add to the list the 3-in-1 coffee sachets and bags of tea for the adults. Canned sardines and oatmeal are good and handy choices too. They are easy to prepare but they are packed with nutrients that could get you going. Pack some fruits and biscuits for the little ones for when they need snacks. Water may turn out scarce most of the time during your trip. So, better pack a whole lot of it too.
Make sure all the tents are in good condition. Check that there are no holes and that they are sturdy enough to endure rain and wind.
It would be smart to bring mosquito repellants and sunscreen as the outdoors can be rough: lots of sunshine and bugs! You don’t want to get sunburned or bit (and your kids definitely won’t like it!).
Bring appropriate clothing. Bring hats that could protect you from direct sunlight, and jackets if it gets a bit cold at night. Boots or at least sneakers or rubber shoes that won’t give you unnecessary blisters from uncomfortable shoes. Lastly, you have to bring along a first-aid kit and any special medication including a medical apparatus that your kid may need. Like asthmatics need their nebulizers with them and hypoglycemics may need special candy bars. Consider their allergies and the vaccines they have had and have not.
WHAT ENTERTAINMENT TO BRING
While you fulfil the first ones on the list, don’t forget to bring something to entertain your little ones too. Toy guns, a deck of cards, a telescope or a guide on how to make fire without lighters are all fun to bring along. Any itinerary that could keep them from getting bored or that can help make them curious would be perfect. Make sure that they are engaged in activities. Storytelling by the bonfire is also another fun idea. Hiking and outdoor activities like bird watching with binoculars may all be taken as part of the adventure.
Time to get organised! Make the most out of this and it may just be one of the best things you can do together with your kids. Enjoy!