Camping can be one of the most relaxing, memorable adventures you can share with your family this year. Or, it can be one of the most stressful. The secret to a good time is plenty of preparation and patience. Today, we want to help you with the camping prep so your next trip is one to remember (in a good way!)
Pick Your Campsite and Try to Avoid Crowds
You don’t want to pick just any old campsite. Keep in mind location and amenities. Do you need a permit? Do you want to camp near your vehicle, or be more remote and hike in a way? Are campsite bathrooms an option? Are there fire pits for campfires? Is there garbage collection or do you need to pack your waste out?
Picking the type of camping experience you want the family to have will impact the plan. If this is your first time camping with the entire family, especially with kids, we recommend planning a fairly lowkey excursion closer to civilization. The more amenities at the campsite, the easier life will be.
Choose Your Tent
Sure, your family is close, but sometimes you need a little space too. Keep that in mind when you’re picking out a family camping tent. The nice thing about large family camping tents, such as the Coleman Jenny Lake 8-Person Camping Tent, is that they have plenty of room inside for you and the fam. You and the family can chill, play games, or escape an afternoon rain shower. On the other hand, the nice thing about getting a couple of smaller tents, like the Wenzel Shenanigan 5-Person Teepee Tent, is that you’ll have a little more privacy.
Plan for Food (and water)
If you want to get adventurous, you can bring along your own camp cookware and whip up a homemade meal around the campfire. If that’s a little too daunting for your first family camping trip, taking some ready-to-go deli food and snacks from the local grocery store will keep you and the kids satisfied. Keep it all cold in a cooler and you’ll have plenty of fresh food all day long.
Bring plenty of water too, especially if you’re hiking or doing a lot of activities in the sun or at higher elevations. If there isn’t a clean water source at your campsite, you’ll want to bring along plenty of bottled water. Rather than brining a case of disposable bottles of water, consider picking up reusable bottles, or even a larger water jug.
Sleeping Bags and Pads
When picking sleeping bags, be sure to pay attention to the temperature rating. When you’re camping in the early or late season, temperatures may still dip below freezing at night and in the early morning. To stay comfy (and safe), pick a bag that’s rated to withstand temperatures you expect to encounter. Also, don’t forget a camping air mattressor sleeping pad. A lot of heat is lost through the ground. So not only will an air bed or inflatable sleeping pad be FAR more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, but it will keep you warmer too.
Trust us. If you’re spending over 24 hours in the woods with the kiddos, you’re going to need coffee. Sure, you could boil some water and make instant coffee, but we prefer fresher coffee with an easy-to-carry French Press.
Keep the Kids Occupied
Sure, a quiet afternoon hiking in the woods or fishing might sound good to you, but maybe not to your kiddos. Keep your little ones from perishing of boredom with plenty of games and activities. Throwing in some soccer balls or stacking blocks yard games are great options. Or, if you really want your kids to build character, you could always have them play with rocks and sticks like you did in the good old days.
Remember to leave no trace! Make sure you leave your campsite in even better condition than you found it by picking up and properly disposing of all your trash. You can even get the kiddos to help by turning it into a fun game. Most trash collected wins. Picking up after yourself is not just the right thing to do for the local wildlife, but it will make the camping experience better for the next family that comes to experience the outdoors.
More questions about our tents and camping gear? Give us a call 24/7 at 833-777-3382, email us at [email protected], or chat with an expert down below. Be the first to know about new products and can’t-miss promotions by signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page.