I know camping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it is SO worthwhile making the effort to camp with kids. Even if all you can manage is a camping trip to the backyard you can still make wonderful memories.
You don’t need fancy equipment to have a good time. It’s the simple stuff that the kids will remember. Toasting marshmallows, getting up close with nature, spotting wildlife from the campsite, getting dirty, making up games and unplugging. It is such a nice way to be together as a family with no commitments or screens to get in the way.
Here are a few of my top tips:
Write yourself of list of everything you’ll need so you can mark it off as you pack. Nothing worse than setting up camp and realising you’ve left something essential like a torch or food behind.
As tempting as it is to pack light, remember that kids will get dirty and often that means wet. It isn’t always easy to get dry or have a shower so pack plenty of spare clothes.
Gumboots and raincoats are a must (even when it is warmer weather we pack ours as a spell of rain can mean wet kids which is fun for a short while but then wet kids turn into grumpy kids).
Limit screen time to maximise what nature has to offer (you’ll probably be forced to anyway if you are camping without power!). We find the kids don’t even think about screens whenever we are camping. It is so fun to see them creating their own fun with rocks, sticks, sand and dirt.
Pack lots of snacks! Busy, active, exploring kids means hungry kids! We always pack a big bag of fruit and heaps of biscuit type snacks. I also usually make a batch of banana muffins and some cookies. None of this needs refrigeration. I try not to worry too much about what they are eating while we camp. My priority is having fun and taking easy food that doesn’t need much preparation. A big esky is a must!
Have FUN! Let go. Embrace nature.
Finally, start small. Just go over a weekend. Get a taste and see how everyone goes. You can build up to a longer trip once you get a feel for what you will need and if you like it!
When they get asked about a fond memory or favourite way to spend time my children nearly always say camping and spending time with their family. It is such an affordable and hugely rewarding thing to do as a family.
So off you go – make some memories! But don’t forget your French Soda!
We'd love to know where you enjoy visiting. If you have a favourite family-friendly camping spot, please share it in the comments.