Packing for a camping trip is easier with a list of items needed. You need not just tents and sleeping bags, sunscreen, sunglasses, but bug spray and a first aid kit. It can also be very helpful to have a map of the camping area and a compass can make navigation easier. You may have a GPS system on your phone but if there is no electricity what are you going to do if your phone battery goes dead? Learn to use the compass and map before going camping. Learning how to use the compass and orienteering is a great way to spend some time in anticipation of the camping trip. Talking with your family and sharing camping stories is also a fun activity to pass the time before the trip. Carry a whistle in case someone gets lost near the camping site.
Around the campCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loimere/2508545100/
Walk around your campsite as soon as possible and find bathrooms, public showers, playgrounds and the camp ground host. This will help you familiarize yourself with the new environment. Noting landmarks to help locate the tent and mark on a map of the region also contributes to the orientation process. Children should never leave the campsite without permission of an adult. If you are in one of the many Campsites where you do not need to pay then you may not have any facilities and will be on your own.
Running around a campground is quite dangerous because of all the material lying around, but horseplay around a blazing fire is especially dangerous. Litter, leaves, sticks, or anything else in the fire can be a potential hazard because it can cause the fire to flare or send hot sparks flying in the air.
Children should not leave food in the open where it can attract bears, raccoons or other wild animals, and they should never try to approach a wild animal. Wild animals may look cute and are often more afraid of people than people are of them, but this cannot make them dangerous if they feel the need to protect themselves. This is especially true in the spring when the animals are mothers protect their babies. Emptying the trash can and often do not keep food in the tent will help to avoid unexpected visits of wild animals trying to find food.
Picking plants in the woods and eating can be dangerous. Many are toxic and can cause stomach upset or diarrhea worse. Knowing how to identify and stay away from the poison ivy will get eliminate itching rash oils of the plant. Poison ivy has three leaves, and at certain times of the year, white berries. Repeat "leaves of three, whatever" is a fun way to remember to stay away from poison ivy.
Ticks are small bugs that can get on animals and humans. These pests carry germs and diseases and cause disease if they remain in the body for a long period. Checking organs of ticks should be a daily event. Help each other may be necessary, and some places where they like to hide the body are difficult to see. Spots to check are behind the knees and ears, in the groin area and underarms. Checking pets that you brought with you camping is also necessary that ticks like to hide in the fur of animals too. Remove ticks is a job for adults.
Games and Stories
It is vital that you help ensure that your children have fun. If the kids have good time camping then they will want to go camping again. Oftentimes kids can create enough games on their own and find enough activities to keep themselves very occupied for the duration of the camping trip; however there may be times when you should create distractions for your kids.
Camping is supposed to be a time to help bring your family closer so do no leave the kids to themselves. Take the time to play games with your kids, go hiking, play nature games looking for cool natural remnants, and to tell ghost stories around the campfire.
There is nothing quite like sitting around the campfire swapping ghost stories with your children. It can also be a great time for you and your spouse to bond. After the kids go to sleep it can be very romantic to hang out with your spouse around the fire pit as you rekindle your passions for each other.
Some parents are afraid to let their kids go camping with them because of all the potential dangers such as wild bears and poison ivy. Yes camping in the wild has potential dangers but so does living in the City. Look at all the urban crime that occurs including child kidnapping, murder, and rape. All of these crimes have more potential to occur in the City then the rural campsites out in Mother Nature’s playground.
Take 2 Tents
If you have children you will want to take 2 tents. You should have one tent for you and your spouse and the other tent for the children. If your children are wild and rambunctious then it may be better off to let them have their own tent. Of course they may get spooked and come sleep in your tent anyways. One of the coolest things about young boys is they often love to build a “fort” or a hideout. When you take them camping and let them have their own tent they often get very excited with the prospect.
The key to camping is to have fun. Your family may love to go hiking so you can focus on nature hikes. Your family may also prefer to lounge around as opposed to going on nature jokes. There is nothing wrong with this either as long as you and your family are having fun out camping. No matter what your family likes to do, it is vital you bring plenty of food. You also need to pack the marshmallows for toasting around the campfire.