Tips for a Successful Family Camping Trip

Matt Orlando
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No age is too soon to start taking your kids camping. The sooner you begin letting them sleep under the stars, the more likely they’ll enjoy the great outdoors. If you want your children to start spending time with you around the campfire as soon as possible, check out these tips for taking your kids on their first camping trip.

Practice Camping at Home

One of the best ways for anyone to practice camping for the first time is to perform a trial run in the backyard. Let your kids practice putting up the tent and spending the night in your yard to see if they’re ready for the real thing. This way, you’ll also get a chance to see what shape your equipment is in. You may have to figure out how to fix a broken a zipper on your tent.

Choose a Good Place To Camp

If your kids are nervous about being away from home, choose a campsite near your house. By camping someplace local, you can easily return home if your kids are unable to stay the full trip. Your kids may prefer a campsite that has restrooms with showers. Try to find a campsite that offers fun activities that will keep your kids entertained, such as:

  • Playgrounds
  • Hiking trails
  • Boat rental
  • Fishing

Let Your Kids Help

Make a checklist of everything you need to pack and do to make your camping trip successful. Try to involve your kids in every step. They can help you pack and set up once you get to the campground. Being involved in these responsibilities early builds skills and teaches your kids the basics of camping.

Pro Tip: Organize your camping gear—such as cooking utensils, sleeping bags, and flashlights—in clear bins for easier access. Avoid wasting time searching for what you need.

Bring Familiar Items

Unfamiliar situations are bound to make your kids feel uneasy. Be prepared with items from home to comfort them. Pack their favorite foods even if you plan on cooking special camp food. Packing a few of your child’s favorite snacks will help keep them grounded. Let them bring their blankets and pillows from home to keep in the tent for a cozy sleeping environment. Touches of home will help them sleep at night when the joys of camping might disappear for young kids.

Be Flexible With Your Kids

Anytime you’re putting your kids through a new situation, it is important to be flexible and give them some slack. Every day and situation is new for them in some way or another, and you can help your kids by understanding each scenario. Be prepared for your kids to want to spend the entire camping trip in the tent or RV and know that next time may be different.”

While the same tips for taking your kids on their first camping trip may not work for everyone, you’ll only find out what works for your family once you begin. You may need to edit your plan as the trip progresses, but if you do it with heart and soul, your kids will simply enjoy the time they get to spend with you.