Camping with kids! (and how babywearing helps!)
The nights are warm, and a part deep inside of you yearns to sleep under the stars, and give your kids the experience you had as a child of doing just that. You think, Yes! Let's go camping! But unfortunately, the next immediate thought is: oh no, how do I do that with young children? This could be a nightmare and, just as soon as the thought came, you're trying to talk yourself out of it. DON'T! Camping with kids can be easy AND fun, for all involved! Our friend Skylar is a single mom who takes her 4 children ages 3-8 camping all the time. Here are some tips to give you an idea of how she does it AND loves it!
Camping with Kids, where to begin?
A quick example "car-camping essentials" list:
You may think you need fancy camping equipment and lots of it. This is not the case! When we "car camp" (camping where you pull up in your car, to your campsite), we pack light and bring the necessities and that's it!
-Air mattress(es) or sleeping pad(s) (this is mostly for me, if the ground is soft enough, my kids are happy in just their sleeping bags!)
-And most importantly, a sense of adventure!
Camping improves relationships!
I've seen it in my family. Something about quality time in nature is magical. Fighting stops, and a sense of exploration takes over. I encourage my kids to help with as much as possible as far as setting up camp. Teamwork is ever present, whether that's getting the easy pop up tent set up, or gathering kindling for the fire.
That also goes for my relationship with my kids. I'm more patient in nature, more grounded. Meltdowns still exists, but something about the calming scenery make them better. Well that, and having my Kinderpack readily available. Sometimes the big kid falls and gets a scrape, but you still need to play with the big-ER kid too!
The food is delicious too...
Something about fire roasted hotdogs and marshmallows just fills the stomach and the soul. Sometimes we go easy and use dehydrated meals so all we have to do is boil water. Sometimes I get extra fancy and meal plan foil packet dinners. Usually its Hot dogs. And of course inevitably, the baby needs to have cuddles while I'm trying to make dinner. That is, a universal constant, indoors our outdoors.
My kids seem to be less picky while camping. Hot dogs, baked beans, and watermelon? Sounds good mom! And it is good, mmmm.
And who can forget the most important food of camping: SMORES! My kids favorite part. The older kids roast marshmallows with such concentration and determination, while the younger kids watch in awe and ask "Burn mine!"
The magic of it all!
One common concern I hear is "I wonder if my kids will be bored?" In this technological age, it can indeed be a concern! But children love experiencing new things. Checking out the creek for mountain bugs. Playing hide and seek where there's infinite hiding spaces. One of my favorite activities is a simple card game!
Depending upon where you live, you just might even come into contact with wildlife. Everything from a brave squirrel trying to steal some human food, up to our family's favorite: a moose! Its a great teaching experience for children to understand that wild animals are just that; wild. We need to recognize we are visiting THIER home, and need to give them space.
The most important thing...
After everything winds down, I like to sit by the smoldering fire and reflect on the day. Camping is some of the best quality time I have with my kids. I cherish every trip we go on. I love that its a fairly cheap family activity, yet rich with substance. I see the happiness on my kids faces, and I know that any stress there is in making the trip successful, is well worth it.
-Share your camping tips and adventures with us! Tag us on social media with #MyKinderpackAdventures for a chance to win monthly prizes.