Kids nowadays, spend most of their time in front of the screen. Unlike 10 years ago, even the parents are afraid of letting their kids out of the home for too long. The constant buzz of bad news on the television has made every parent paranoid.
However, it is important that parents understand the importance of outdoor activities in the complete development of their child. It is your responsibility as a parent to introduce your child to mountains and forests, and take them on hikes and camping trips.
But keep in mind, camping with kids requires a whole different level of preparation. Children are more prone to the elements than adults, and require special attention during camping trips. However, no job is too difficult with enough preparation. Follow these tips to make sure your kids are not only safe during their first camping trip, but are actually having fun:
Most people end up packing a lot of extra baggage, justifying it with an imaginative “just in case” scenario. On the other hand, there are those who aren’t prepared for the weather. Keep in mind, you need to pack for all kind of weather, but you don’t have to pack enough clothes for a week. It is always possible to re-wear a couple of pairs of clothes.
Involve the kids
Kids get bored very quickly these days, especially when they are forced to stay away from their beloved screens. Involving them in camping activities is a good way to make sure the kids are always having fun. However, it is important to know the age appropriateness of a task. For instance, a four to five year old can pick twigs and dry leaves for the fire. Similarly, an eight year old can help you light a fire. Keep in mind, letting your kids come close to your damascus chef knife is an extremely bad idea, which might result in serious injuries.
As adults, we are more efficient at these tasks, but it is important to think about what the children need, and they need involvement.
Carry high-powered snacks
Choosing your snacks carefully is critical to the success of a camping trip with kids. Even if your child is a picky eater, the outdoors WILL make them hungry, and in turn, cranky. Moreover, aerated drinks and chips are not going to help your cause. Fast food is going to make the kids, and yourself lazy, and laziness has no place in the great outdoors.
On the other hand, packing high-powered, light snacks can go a long way when it comes to avoiding a breakdown in the middle of a hike. Snacks like Granola bars and Gummy Bears are great to keep your energy levels amped up for the activities.
Practice camping in your backyard
Many outdoor experts advise that you should do a practice camping session in your backyard before you go for the real thing. This way, you will be able to anticipate the behaviour of your kids, and would know exactly what you need to pack for the trip.
If you feel like going an extra mile, consider taking a wilderness first aid course. It is a weekend long course, and will enable you to respond to basic injuries that one may encounter in the wilderness.