Family anecdotes, camping tips, how-tos, hiking with children, nature, motherhood, memories.

Adventures in Camping with Five Kids

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

--Victoria Marie Lees

Showing posts with label star gazing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label star gazing. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Camping with Five Kids in Autumn


            Autumn is my favorite season. I love the crisp air and the host of brilliant color on deciduous tree leaves. It’s the best time to go camping. For one thing, the kids—and parents—don’t complain about the heat. It’s a perfect time to spend a long weekend camping with the family in the mountains or forests. Most of the crowds have thinned out at state or national parks. It’s quieter. Peaceful. And fun!  
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In the Catskill Mountains in New
York, we found an interesting
hike.

            Now it’s true that the Lees crew usually makes their own fun, both at camp and hiking in the forests, but campgrounds and park rangers offer much to see and do in autumn. We’ve learned about the changing of the season in nature; trees, fish, mammals. We’ve made apple dolls and painted pumpkins. Just because the pool is closed up doesn’t mean the fun’s over at family friendly campgroundsMany campgrounds offer crafts, haunted mazes and hay rides, and costume parades. Remember to talk to your children about the haunted stuff, that it’s fake and just meant to scare people, to be sure there won’t be any nightmares. I waited until my twins, my youngest, were about 9 or 10 before we participated in the haunted stuff as a family.

               
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Overlook Mountain trail
had a surprise, an abandoned
hotel with golden birch trees
growing in it.
Campfires are more inviting in autumn because of the warmth they bring. Weenie roasts and s’more toastings abound at campgrounds. It’s important to begin a campfire before everyone gets too tired after a day of adventure hiking or horseback riding or playing at parks. And you want to allow the kids to assist. Always monitor children around fires. The reason to start a campfire early is because it takes time for the fire to get to coals which make it easier to roast hot dog pieces, I always cut them up in hunks, or marshmallows.

            Then there’s that beautiful night sky! Autumn is a great time to watch the stars pop out at night. There are fewer bugs around because of the cooler temperatures. We usually dress warmly with sweatshirts and long pants and lay out under the night sky with blankets in fields or at the playgrounds, wherever we find the wide open sky. Now we have those star apps the kids like to look at to understand the constellations. I use Star TrackerLite. We recently watched the International Space Station come into view for a few minutes as it headed northeast across the night sky here in New Jersey. 

            Like any camping trip, you need to remember to pack for the weather. Dress in layers for warmth when hiking; wear bed clothing designed to retain body heat at night and sleep in sleeping bags appropriate for cooler temperatures. We have both 20 degree and sub-zero sleeping bags; good in 20 degree or zero degree weather. And always bring rain coats. The quilted ones are great for cooler temperatures.            

            The whole reason to go camping with the family is to enjoy each other’s company while traveling and seeing this beautiful world of ours. Have fun on your next camping adventure, no matter the season. Feel free to share your favorite season or family activities. Just leave a note in the comments section here at Camping with Five Kids. It would be truly appreciated. Enjoy your adventure!