If you're reading this blog it means your days of hitting the road last minute (and with the bare minimum) are long gone. Camping with kids is exciting, stressful, often tiring and rewarding all at the same time. It requires more planning and preparation than it did before the little ones came along, but it's worth every minute of it because some of your child's fondest memories will come from those outdoor adventures, as will yours.
We understand the importance of family time, so we've come up with a few pre-camping tips to help reduce those stress levels, ensure you're well-prepared and to get you on the road sooner!
Plan Ahead: Site Surroundings
One of the most important things you can do before taking off on a family adventure is to really plan ahead. Once you've chosen your holiday destination, it's a great idea to research the area - find out what's around. From activity points and campsite bathroom amenities, to the closest emergency facilities. When you're far from home it's essential to be completely prepared for anything!
Before You Go: Packing and Meal Prep
Give the kids the responsibility of packing their own camping gear, (SEE: Free printable packing list and activity sheet), as this will help encourage them to get excited about the trip if they weren't already! The Chameleon Pack and Goanna Pack are smaller-sized bags, making them perfect for the little ones to pack a few of their favourite outdoor toys and activities. Note: Don't forget to take a few indoor games for those potential rainy days too.
Though part of the novelty of camping is being able to catch your own dinner and cook up a campfire storm, if you're not familiar with cooking over the fire, camping with kids may not be the time to try out a new culinary meal. Pre-planning simple meals you know your children already like will save you in time and stress if your freshly caught barramundi doesn't quite turn out! A little tip: You can never have too many snacks!
It's a great idea to set up camp relatively close to the campground bathroom amenities as children have a tendency to need to 'go' at the most inconvenient times. This will help prevent trekking with the little ones through the bush at all hours of the night.
Set Up: What Gear to Take
If you plan on camping in peak insect season, it may be worth setting up a screened gazebo area. This provides a protected, outdoor enclosure from the bugs as well as shade and additional shelter if the weather turns. The Screen House Inner Kit or Tent Inner Kit are great options and can easily be attached to your gazebo.
Remember to breathe and have fun!
You've pre-planned, packed, arrived and set up, which means the hardest part is over! Family camping trips create lasting memories for you and your children so it's important to remember to embrace the time away and have fun. Try to squeeze in a little RNR while you're at it - a hammock is the perfect retreat!