A camping trip can represent the peak of summer fun—provided you’re prepared. Here are four ways to give your family the camping trip of a lifetime.
1. Get the right gear
First, understand how far camp gear has come.
- Tents these days are completely waterproof and sleeping pads can be as comfy as mattresses.
- Camp chairs sit beautifully and pack tight.
- There are endless gadgets and garments to keep you warm and amused out there.
2. Plan to play every day
There’s a simple key to planning a successful camping roadie: Think like a kid.
- Epic sight-seeing is fine, for a while, but to kids, camping is about playing in new places and eating fun foods, period.
- It’s where kids learn to tend a fire and catch a fish for the first time, or swim under the full moon.
- Remember, too, that while children love a beach, they like a pool just as much—which is why clever campsite operators often make them a centrepiece.
- Don’t forget the toys, either. A rubber dinghy makes an instant pirate ship, an inflatable stand-up paddle board is a portable raft.
- Consider bocce or horseshoes, and when the rain inevitably falls, classic table games like cribbage and crokinole easily relocate the fun to the picnic table.
Staying dry is essential, though.
- Make sure you have an artfully suspended tarp that is big enough to shelter your makeshift kitchen, table, and enough space to do a proper sun dance.
3. Spread the workload fairly
Another camping deterrent is running the domestic details of your mobile household.
- The trick is to enlist everyone in camp to do various chores, be it cleaning or gathering firewood.
- Cooking over an open fire can be a supremely fun kid task—like cavemen!—so think about bringing cookware like a three-legged Dutch oven, grill racks, wienie sticks and plenty of aluminum foil.
- Encourage everyone to come up with clever tricks to lighten the workload, like using cheap, burnable paper plates that nest inside a sturdy Frisbee.
4. Choose your location wisely
Camping is also about satisfying wanderlust.
- Think twice before locking into a campsite that you don’t already know and love.
- Sure, you’ll probably need to make camping reservations in high season, but finding a freshly vacated site is often no more than a thunderstorm away.
- Pressing onward to new shores becomes part of the adventure.
If you got put-off of camping somewhere along the line, perhaps it’s time to get back on that horse and get your family out for a wonderful camping trip this summer!