If you have decided to venture out into the wilderness with your children on a camping expedition, you have to be prepared. That’s what it’s all about. Camping with kids will tax your mind, so to keep it fun and relaxing, here are a few pointers on your camping essentials list.
It might not sound like a tip of something to cram in your vehicle to keep the kids entertained, yet friends of the family and their kids can do just that. It’s much easier for a group of children to keep themselves occupied rather than you pulling your hair out trying to think of a morning activity that they’ll enjoy.
It might be a few weeks away, yet it’s never too early to start organizing your things for your camping trip. This can save plenty of frustration, so, get out your tent and check for holes and make sure you have all your tent pegs, etc. You should also check you have everything else you need for your trip, there’s nothing worse than finding out you have no can opener or something worse.
As you’re busy organizing your things, it can also be an ideal time to plan that menu. Kids are the fussiest eaters at the best of times, so adapting your menu now will save heartbreak and help you know what foods you are gonna have to take along.
Camping Bins and Coolers
This goes here, and that goes there. Make use of bins to separate all your gear. This can be a godsend on the day you leave. You know how hard it is when you move home to find what you need, camping’s no different, apart from you being in the middle of nowhere.
Designated bins for your camping trip also make it easier to transport your things and to load the car. They can also help in the eventuality of a downpour. If it rains, you have less worry about things getting wet. Matches for the campfire being the best example.
Get industrial strength bins and your good to go. Cram one full of the kid’s favorite toys and one for non-perishable foods, just remember to leave the lid on when you arrive, who knows what pesky varmints are around to take advantage of a free bag of chips.
Coolers are another item that can save you a mountain of time. If you’re only away for a weekend pack the cooler meal by meal. This will save you that heartache when it’s time to cook. Unless you have a plug-in cooler, pack a couple of gallons of frozen water in with your food. This will keep it cool, and you can use it as drinking water once it has thawed.
A quick tip – ice cubes melt faster than a large block. If you have access to more than one cooler, you can split these into breakfast meals and dinner and lunch meals, so, you’ll have no rooting for the milk when the kids want cereals. One good bit of advice is to prepare some of your meals at home. These can be wrapped in foil and warmed by the campfire.
Unless you already have one, and you are new to the camping scene, choosing a tent can be a little daunting. Sleeps 4 might sound big enough, yet having a kid or two wanting to run around might not be the wisest choice.
Choosing a tent that is double the size of your family can ease the pain for your kids and for you. You also have the option of purchasing a smaller tent and keeping this just for an area where your kids can play and relax. Once their bin of toys is out of the way, it can save a lot of stress and a lot of broken toys when you have stood on one.
Once you’ve got your tent, you have to decide the best way of sleeping. Get it wrong, and your kids are gonna give you hell. Get it right, and they will be as cozy as anything. Mattresses are one of your saving graces and there many air-inflatable ones that will fit the job. Just aim for one that is insulated to prevent the cold seeping upward. Sleeping bags are the next.
If your kids have a habit of sleeping with you, make sure you get a double sized, then they are able to snuggle to their heart’s content. If they are sleeping alone, make sure you get them a kid’s size to fit. Having one that is too big allows cold air to get trapped and they will be cold.
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Chris Cole writes at Nature Sport Central, a website dedicated to enjoying all the outdoors has to offer and promote a healthy outdoor lifestyle.