Our first family camping trip recently popped up in my Facebook memories and it made me chuckle. We’ve had a lot of fun since that first trip. Camping in various states, making new friends, and exploring new places. I remember being worried about all the “what ifs…” and stressing over all of the logistics the days before that trip.
Camping as a family can be an amazing way to escape the craziness of day-to-day life. But, being out in the wilderness with kiddos can be a big undertaking, and here are some ways our family has found to keep camping fun — and not scary.
- Pack lots of food and water – I know, this may be an obvious one, but I always pack a ton of extra food and water for the “just in case”. I bring lots of different types of snacks for every scenario from “my toddler suddenly hates yogurt” to “we’re stranded here for three extra days.”
- Keep a first aid kit handy – Especially if you’re little one is just learning how to walk (like my youngest was our first trip) there will be falls, and there will likely be scraped knees. It won’t ruin the camping trip, but it sure helps to have a few Paw Patrol band-aids on hand.
- Have a backup plan – If it starts raining, or they start screaming all night, or you just get freaked out — where is the closest hotel? We always bring radios so we can call for help should we need it and in case our cell phones run out of battery or if we are out of cell service.
- Don’t venture too far – When we first started camping I always insisted that we stay at campgrounds with lots of people around and a ranger or two. It just made me feel safer. As we all have gotten more comfortable, I prefer to camp far away from people, but I think campgrounds are a great way to enjoy nature as a family.
- Start with one night – We have since done several longer camping trips, but when we started we generally kept to one-night trips. You can do anything for one night, right?
Our kiddos love camping and some of my favorite family memories have been made during our camping trips. I’d love to hear about your families camping experiences or any questions you have before planning the first trip!