Time to dust off that tent, rummage for some chairs, and buy an excessive amount of sunscreen and ice blocks - it’s family camping season! We couldn’t be more excited – but we know all too well that that keeping smiles on dials, avoiding tantrums and protecting the peace is always that much harder away from home – especially in the great outdoors. Don’t let the thought scare you away though! Once you have the essentials narrowed down, parenthood and camping are easy. Plus, it’s where you’ll create the fondest memories as a family. Trust us. Whether you’re seasoned campers or exposing your family to the outdoors for the first time, we’ve put together a list of lifesaving must-haves for your trip.
Camping chairs for the little ones
We will admit that choosing a camping chair is no simple task. From beach and fishing specific, to recliners, foot rests and wine holders – there’s just too many options! How do you choose?! Something to keep in mind when camping with kids is getting them excited and involved before you depart. A great way to do this is letting them choose their own camping chair – becoming their own responsibility (they’ll love it). Start by doing some research and giving them a range of options to select from. This way they will have an item to put together themselves and feel as if they’re helping set up the campsite. It’s a win-win!
The back pack
Like we mentioned before, letting your child pick out their very own backpack and teaching them what to pack for the ‘big trip’ will result in a higher interest in the camping trip. Hello, Dora the Explorer. From a water bottle, sunscreen, snacks, band aids, and even a headlamp – jump on this chance to bring their adventure shows to life and make them feel more involved in the experience!
Ah, the dreaded bed time. More often than not, this can be the most challenging part of camping. The key to sleeping in a new environment all comes down to comfort and familiarity. We’d advise choosing an air mattress with a level surface or thick, self-inflating mat to create a comfortable and supportive space similar to home. It also helps to bring along their favourite toy or blanket to make them feel more at home in the great outdoors. If all else fails, cram each day with so many activities they’ll be out by 8 – score.
Whether you’re heading to the beach or it’s playtime on site, it’s super-important to ensure your kids are protected from the sun. Often forgotten in the flurry of packing but trust us when we say this needs to go straight to the top of your packing list. A lightweight and easy to set up shade is the perfect choice to hide out from the sun, plus the puncture resistant in-built floor will ensure puzzle and game pieces aren’t lost in the grass or sand and little toes are protected from the sting of pesky green ants.
Create fun activities
So, you’ve finally made it! Use this opportunity to not only relax but make endless memories and keep your little ones busy. From packing puzzles and board games, snorkel gear and water sports, to looking for wildlife on trails - planning ahead with a number of activities around your campsite will reduce the chance of any “Mum, Dad, I'm bored!”.