Camping is an activity the entire family can enjoy. If it’s the kids’ first camping trip, get them geared up by describing all the fun things associated with the great outdoors. Mark the date of your upcoming adventure on the calendar so everyone will have something to look forward to. To ensure your family camping trip is a success, a little planning is in order. Here are some tips and ideas to get you started:
The clothing you wear while camping can make a big difference in your comfort level. Choose apparel that’s soft, breathable, and allows for freedom of movement. You’ll also want to be prepared for the elements with appropriate outerwear and footwear. There are multiple outfit ideas to consider for the whole family, such as:
Women: If you’re camping in warm weather, start with a lightweight top made from Supima cotton. Women’s Bermuda shorts or capri pants are a good option for keeping your legs cool. Pack a flannel shirt to layer over your top for extra warmth after the sun goes down. Another option is a comfy hoodie, which you can wear with jeans or sweatpants. Cool-weather camping calls for heavier fabrics and more layers — wear a flannel shirt or sweatshirt over a turtleneck with women’s jeans or chinos. In any climate, you’ll want to wear sturdy hiking boots — as will everyone else in your group. Water shoes are good to bring if you plan to hit the lake during your camping trip.
Men: There are ample camping outfits for men also, including cotton T-shirts, performance polos, and relaxed-fit cargo shorts with plenty of pockets. Denim is always a good choice when camping — whether you opt for skinny jeans with stretch, straight-leg classic fit jeans, or a pair with a relaxed fit. A durable pair of performance chinos is another type of pant to consider for camping. There are men’s hoodies and sweatshirts in regular and big and tall sizes, including sherpa-lined styles for cool-weather wear.
Kids: The same guidelines that apply to adults can be applied when choosing camping outfits for the kids. Boys’ polos are always a good choice — especially when they have performance features such as moisture-wicking, antimicrobial fabric. T-shirts are also comfortable for camping, with flannel shirts or sweatshirts on top. Girls can wear leggings or jeggings and tunics for all-day comfort, or opt for jeans, a T-shirt, and a flannel.
It’s a good idea to pack everyone a change of clothes, along with loungewear for bedtime. While you don’t want to overpack and end up with a lot to carry, it’s important to have backup outfits for each family member just in case.
Sleeping bags are also essential to comfort when camping. Whether you’re staying in a tent or under the stars, you’ll need sleeping bags for the whole family that are suited to the climate. When shopping, you’ll find sleeping bags geared toward winter, and those that are appropriate for spring, summer, and fall.
Many sleeping bags come insulated with down for warmth and loft, but there are also synthetic options available. They come in sizes for kids and adults, and most are equipped with a zipper closure. If there’s any possibility of rain — and there usually is — look for sleeping bags crafted from a water-resistant material.
Give the kids personalized sleeping bags and a personalized pillow to help them stay comfortable while camping. You also may want to pack their favorite throw blanket for them to cuddle with at bedtime.
There are lots of things the family can do when camping. The available activities depend on your location — some camping areas may have swimming areas while others may be near a scenic hiking trail. At the campsite, you can sit around the fire telling stories or play cards. Roasting marshmallows is a traditional camping activity that everyone can appreciate. To make s’mores, sandwich a freshly roasted marshmallow and chocolate square in between two graham crackers.
Other camping activities include sketching or photographing nature and scenery. Get creative and come up with fun things to do that pique your children’s interest. Let each member of the family contribute an idea so that everyone can do something they want.
You don’t have to take the family to a campsite in the woods to enjoy the camping experience. Set up a tent in the backyard if space permits and enjoy most of the same activities as you would in the wilderness. A fire pit is a great way to simulate a campfire, and it works just as well for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. The great thing about backyard camping is that if the family tires of the adventure, home is only a few feet away.
Now that you know how to start planning a family camping trip, it’s time to plan yours. The most important thing is family togetherness, so don’t get caught up in the details and have fun with it!