Experiences, anecdotes, tips, how-tos, hiking, nature, motherhood, memories.

Adventures in Camping with Kids

Camping with kids is like pitching a tent upside down. Both are bound to fill with laughter and raindrops.

--Victoria Marie

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

5 Steps to the Perfect Family Camping Trip

The crew's ready to help
Step 1:  Start planning your trip before the campgrounds open for the season.  Meet with the family to get everyone’s input.  Determine the type of camping experience your family wants, a family campground with lots of amenities or a primitive campsite with no electricity or showers. 
Consider everyone’s abilities at this stage of your planning; hiking, rafting, horseback riding, town festivals, and amusement parks.  Don’t forget to include the ability to travel for long distances in a car/van.

Step 2:  Gather details about things to do in the states, parks, or areas that you plan to visit; brochures, websites, and tour books from travel clubs.  Don’t forget to factor in driving distances and travel times.  Time zones or ferry schedules need to be considered in addition to the amount of driving time per day if you have a long haul to make.  Rest stops are crucial for tired drivers, children who need to use the restroom, or having an unhurried picnic lunch.  

Step 3:  Check your camping equipment to be sure you have what is needed to make the type of camping experience desired.  Families can stay at larger campgrounds with cabins available.  Some cabins have barbeques to use for meals.  All you need are sleeping bags, towels, and kitchen utensils in addition to personal items. 

Step 4:  Once you have a vacation plan and the dates for the trip, begin reserving your campground site(s).  If you are camping in several places during your vacation, remember to consider breaking camp and travel time and distance and alert your next campground of your possible arrival time so they hold your campsite for you, especially if you’ll be getting in late.

Step 5:  Packing.  Get everyone involved to build excitement and family experience.  Make check lists for kitchen, bedding, clothing, food, and toiletry.  Don’t forget the bug spray, sun screen, hats, and raincoats.  Load the vehicle and/or camper prior to the day of departure, except for perishables.  Bring any reservation material you have made, a global positioning device [GPS] and maps.  Always bring current maps of the areas you will be driving through or staying in. 

Then enjoy your family camping experience.  Make the memories that count.