Most family activities are scattered across the board. The children are involved in different sports and school activities. But there is one activity that can draw everyone together, and that is the family camping trip. Your children may resist the idea of a family camping trip, but you can win them over by involving them in the preparation for the trip.
1-Pick out a few campgrounds or camping areas that you think might be of interest to the whole family.
Get everyone involved in choosing the final one. Take into consideration the interests of your children. Do you have avid swimmers or fishermen in your family? You could choose a campground near a lake or stream. Do you have some squeamish members? You might want to look for a campground that has good toilet and shower facilities. If you have young children, consider a camp that has a playground, or a swimming pool.
2-Work together to create a menu for the trip.
The more your family members are involved in the decision making, the more they have invested in the trip. Make checklists for all the ingredients you will need, as well as the camping gear. Preparation is the key.
3-Decide on what kind of camping gear you need.
If you are a group of four or less, a dome tent may suffice. However, if you have five or six in your family, (don’t forget the family pet), you will need a big tent such as the Coleman Weathermaster 3 room tent. This is a roomy tent with two interior rooms and a screened outside room. Some kind of portable cooking grill is also nice. Meals will be cooked a lot more quickly and you can still have a campfire at night.
4-It’s a good idea to plan some activities for the daytime.
Hiking is a good group activity. Be sure to include outdoor education too. Get some field guides to birds, flowers or trees. A good pair of binoculars, such as the Nikon Monarch binoculars, will increase your enjoyment as you search for birds or other wildlife. You can plan nature scavenger hunts. Just be sure not to destroy any living vegetation. Practice Leave No Trace ethics.
5-Take a digital camera and take plenty of pictures.
You can make a scrapbook or a collage when you get home. Keep a written account of your trip. Have each child write their own journal. My family did this when we went on a six week camping trip across the country. Those pictures and journals are a family treasure today.
If you practice these common sense suggestions, I can guarantee that your family will have a wonderful time and your children will be asking, “When can we go again?”.
About the author
Stephanie Trementozzi is the publisher of her own Website
, which contains many helpful blogs on outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. She also reviews outdoor products, such as Nikon binoculars. She lives near Shenandoah National Park and enjoys its many hiking trails and waterfalls.