The time has come for your big camping trip and it’s important to make sure that you have everything ready before you go. When bringing children there are certain things that are important to remember and teach them. We’ve broken them down into five categories. Here are the 5 things you need to know when camping with kids.
1How To Stay Safe
When it comes to camping with or without children safety is the most important thing to know. Camping can be dangerous especially if you are headed into the wilderness. There are wild animals, possible accidents, and other possible hazards. The only way to be safe is to educate yourself on the dangers that could await you and making sure you know how to avoid them.
It’s your job to maintain your tires and get the proper replacements when it comes to driving to your campground but there are certain safety tips that you should know and teach to all of the children before you head out on your trip.
Use The Buddy System
There is safety in numbers. Assign buddies and if you don’t have the numbers to do that then make sure everyone knows to never go anywhere alone and alway tell someone if going away from the campsite.
Know Where You Can Go
Make sure everyone knows the boundaries of the campsite and where it is safe and unsafe to go. Setting rules is always a good idea.
Teach Them to Identify Poisonous Plants
Wonderful memories are what you want to bring home from your camping trip, not a terribly contagious rash. Then you want to make sure your kids, or any children that will be coming with you, how to identify and look for poison oak and poison ivy.
Watch Out For Water
Large bodies of water are fun and typically a focal point of camping but nearly 4,000 people a year drown. Educate kids on water safety before you go and don’t forget your buddy!
How To Flee From Wild Animals
We all love animals but they don’t always love us. There are certain animals in the wild you and your kids need to watch out for. For example, bears. If you see baby bears, as cute as they are, it’s time to high tail it out of there because Mamma isn’t far behind and she won’t be happy. Bears are extremely dangerous so know about them if you’re going to an area where they live.
Bison are also interesting to see but can react quickly and hurt someone. Deer too. Do yourself a favor and learn the area you will be camping in and speak to a ranger about wild animals and keeping yourself safe.
2What You Want To Get Out Of It
Camping is a personal experience with nature and only you want to know why this is the trip you are sharing with these kids. Is it an educational voyage? Are you trying to get them to stop looking at their devices? Maybe your family needs a relaxing vacation and nature is what you all enjoy. Know your personal situation and go from there.
3How To Start a Fire and Put It Out
We live in the wonderful age of lighters and propane tanks but, if you let your mind wander to a time when there was no fire. Or at least humans didn’t know how to start it yet. What was it like when it was dark and cold with no bonfire to keep the community warm? Do you think technological advances have saved us from this situation? Think again.
Tanks fail, lighters run out of liquid, batteries fail, and a myriad of other issues can come up so, when you are out in the wilderness, it’s important to know all the vital life skills needed in case of an emergency and starting a fire is at the top of that list. Before you run out and start learning to rub two sticks together like our cavemen ancestors there is an easier way.
Today you can find some fire starting kits and waterproof lighters to keep in your vehicle in case of emergency. With the power, that fire gives us, as starters we need to assume the responsibility that comes with it. There are nearly 72,000 wildfires in the United States every year and they keep getting worse. Don’t let your kids or yourself be the cause.
4How To Read a Compass
You shouldn’t only teach your kids how to read a compass but you should get one for everyone. Sure, most smartphones today come with an “app for that” but have you ever known your phone to stop working when you needed it the most? We have and it’s quite scary to think of anyone, a child or adult, unable to know what direction to head in when they are lost in the woods.
A compass is easy to use. Just know that when you head west, to get back you make sure you are going east. Just remember that the needle will always point to the North. A compass will let you know what direction that is with the simple magic of magnets.
5How To Have Fun
This step is just as important as any other. While we want everyone to be safe and secure while out in the wild the whole idea is to have a great experience. That won’t be possible if you spend your time worried about every little thing. Leave the fancy cooking at home and pack some fun meals like hot dogs to roast over the fire and marshmallows.
We have some fun meals to plan for this camping trip and plenty of advice on what you need to pack with you to keep everyone happy. There is plenty to do when camping with kids including scavenger hunts, sports, fishing, hiking, taking a tour of the park, camping olympics, and even simply sitting out at night and pointing out the constellations.
Camping trips are the type of vacations memories are made of and a chance to reconnect with nature is nourishing for the soul. The key is to be safe, know what you’re doing, and most of all have a good time.