Wet clothes, cold feet, and crying from the moment you set up the tent; camping with children should be one of those parenting challenges that earn you a medal at the end. If you’ve arrived at the campsite to this kind of spectacle, you’re definitely not alone – and with the number of exhausted parents who have gone through it before you, there’s no need to throw in the towel quite yet.
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Just make your children love camping as much as you do with these genius tips. They won’t make the whining and complaining stop right away, but it will certainly be a lot more pleasant by the next time you head into the woods.
Do a test run
Children actually love camping already. Just think of it; they’ll happily build a fort out of chairs and duvets, insisting on staying there until someone needs the chair, and nag you blue about being allowed to camp outside in the garden. Although they love the thought of nature and freedom, the reality of camping can be very different from how they picture it, and it’s not as simple to run inside when it gets unpleasant outside.
Do a test run by camping in the garden before you head off on your adventure. It’s not really to make the kids get used to camping as they’ll probably love it in any way – the test run is for you, as a parent, to be prepared for an actual trip.
Make a note of everything you think could be useful, and when your children want you to get something for them inside, remind them that this is the kind of stuff you won’t be able to do on your trip.
Avoid harsh weather
When you’re planning the actual camping adventure, you should steer clear of any weekend with predictions of poor weather conditions. Although nobody enjoys a camping trip that’s washed away by the rain or carried away by the wind, nobody will find it as despicable as your children – and when their moods go downhill, the parents are quick to follow.
Head off on a weekend when the weather should be relatively stable and sunny, and find a campsite close to home so that you’re able to get back in case of an emergency. It will give you some peace of mind as well, knowing that you’re not hours away from civilization.
In case of rain during the night, you should have a large tent that is sturdy enough to handle it. Start by having a look at a couple of tent reviews; this site has created a detailed list of the best tents for four to six people and should be ideal for your family trip.
Involve the kids
When the biggest danger to a harmonious family camping is whining and complaining about being bored, you should put them to work straight away. You can easily get them excited and involved by asking for their inputs on camping sites, listening to their opinions for activities, and talking about the great places you can eat.
When they get a bit cranky, remind them of all the fun stuff you’ve planned, and make sure you pack a lot of toys and puzzles for them to stay busy with. After a few successful camping trips, your kids will long back to nature in no time – and you’ll have happy camping companions for life.