It's time for the family camping trip, but are you prepared to give your kids an experience that is both fun and safe? Camping can the most memorable part of childhood. I've put together some tips to make your next camping trip safe and fun for everyone, including the grown-ups.
Camping trips are all about fun and family bonding. There are tons of things to do, as a family, while camping. Kids get excited by when they have a lot of things to look forward to, be prepared with a long list of activities to do in the wilderness. Here is a short list of suggested activities to keep your kids happy and occupied:
Hiking is the most common thing to do while camping in the woods. Taking part in nature can be more than just enjoying the view, it can be a great place to learn about plants and animals. You can purchase books about birds, plants and animal tracks, so your kids can identify what the species they find. A pair of binoculars will keep a child occupied for days. Alternatively, if your kids have a cell phone or digital camera, have them take pictures of the different birds and animal tracks for identification later. Keep paper and crayons, markers and pencils at your base camp so your kids can draw what they see in the woods.
Teaching your kids to fish can be one of the most rewarding lessons of their childhood. I learned to fish from my father when I was ten and thirty years later we still fish together. Buy them their own fishing rod before you go, if possible, and a book about the fish. Make sure to check local age requirements for a fishing license.
Many activities are available for kids during the day. Besides Hiking and fishing, there is canoeing, swimming and mountain biking. Part of camping fun is learning wilderness survival, like building a campfire or recognizing poison ivy. When I was a kid I had fun just trying to skip stones and collect rocks.
In the evenings, and during poor weather, plan for tent activities like ghost stories, sing-a-longs and card games. Remember to bring marshmallows, graham crackers, hot chocolate and of course chocolate bars for S'Mores. Be sure to leave the hand held games at home or you may not get much outdoor activity!
Whatever types of activities you choose, the most important part of a family camping trip is keeping your kids safe. Keep your children safe by teaching them these basic tips for outdoor safety.
. A flashlight enables you to find your kids in the dark. It can also keep very young kids from being scared by the noises at night. Flashlights are also fun for smaller kids. Tip: hook flashlights to their belt hooks.
. Teach children about staying put if they feel lost. Make sure you explain that they will be found faster if they're standing in the same place.
. A cell phone or whistle is ideal for young children and teenagers. Voices can get hoarse, but a whistle blows just as loud as long as you need it. It's easier to calm a child if you can talk to them on their cell phone.
. Learning can be fun as well as keep your kids safe. Teaching your children how to build a fire from sticks or moss is a great way to bond. Older kids can carry matches or a lighter in their pockets.
. There are pocket foil blankets available online for everyone to carry.
. The best way to ensure your kids are safe is to tell them to stay in the campgrounds until they are comfortable finding their way around.
Have a safe and fun camping trip and don't forget your cameras!
Camping works up a healthy appetite. After all, campers spend long hours hiking, setting up tents, gathering firewood and preparing camp sites. Campers, then, need the right camping food to keep themselves at full strength during their trips.
There are certain camping food favorites sure to keep all of your campers happy. Bring these top camping foods along, and you'll be the most popular camper on your trip.
First, start with the basics. There's something about hot dogs and hamburgers when you're camping. These hearty outdoors fundamentals just taste better when you're eating them under the stars.
They're also easy to prepare, which is a definite plus during camping trips. And because they're hearty, campers will quell their appetites when eating them.
You might also bring along ingredients for foil-wrapped meals. These, again, are easy to prepare. Simply wrap some potatoes or vegetables in tin foil, add butter, salt, barbecue sauce or other seasonings and place them on a hot grill. The tinfoil will hold in both the heat and the flavor of these dishes.
And when your foil-wrapped delicacies are done? There's little cleanup afterwards. Just throw away the foil and you're basically done. Again, this is a plus after a long tiring day of camping.
Of course, what's a camping trip without a traditional camping dessert or two? One of the favorites are s'mores. Again, these are ideal camping foods because they require little work and even less cleanup afterwards.
The traditional s'mores recipe is a model of simplicity: Simply take two graham crackers, place a stick of chocolate and a marshmallow between them, and heat them over a fire. Watch carefully, so that the marshmallow filling doesn't melt. Once it's good and gooey, remove the s'more from the campfire and enjoy.
Eating s'mores isn't the healthiest aspect of camping. But it might be the most enjoyable. It's also a longstanding tradition that your kids will love.
Plain old toasted marshmallows are also fine examples of camping food. Toasting marshmallows, like toasting s'mores, is also a fun way to wrap up a day of camping. What camping trip is complete without toasted marshmallows, campfire songs and ghost stories?
You might also try roasting a hotdog or two over the fire, too. Hotdogs deserve to be roasted over a fire, instead of boiled in water or zapped in a microwave oven, once in a while.
Remember, camping food isn't about serving up gourmet meals. The best camping food is easy to make, quick to clean up and hearty. And, most important of all, it's fun.