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Family Camping – Are You Ready?

Summer is just around the corner and if you’re like me, you’ve got Go Camping on your summer bucket list.
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Since the last time I remember really camping was before I had kids, I thought I’d brush up on family camping tips.

Here’s a quick list to help get ready for family camping.

Know why you’re camping.    Can you answer this for yourself and for each family member?  It’s all about managing expectations.  Getting away from it all and Spending quality family time may not be the same thing.  Are you Bonding with nature or Seeing the sights?

Share the load.  Get everyone involved in planning the trip.  Kids can help pick a spot or choose an activity.   Involve everyone in the packing and the clean up.  More involvement builds more excitement, and may even reduce whining.  Even toddlers can help move rocks or pick up sticks at the campsite.

Plan your meals.  Whether you’re a great meal planner at home or not, being able to plan adequate food for a family camping trip is essential. Don’t forget to include enough water and snacks to last through travel time and hiking time.

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Make a list.  What do you put on a camping checklist?  Gear to pack, clothes to wear, food to eat, road trip supplies – you could make a list of your lists. Don’t sweat it if you forget something.  Chances are you’ll be making it memorable by making do.

Bring a support team.  No, I don’t mean a chef and a trainer. Invite another family to double the fun and share the work. Your kids will have buddies and you might actually be in one of the photos.

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Be realistic.  Taking 15-month old twins to a glacier field for a 3-day outing may not actually work.  (Some how, my brother and I survived this glacier with my dad!)

For young campers, practicing at home is a great way to train for a family camping trip.  Building a tent and sleeping outside are skills you’ll want to every person to have.  Knowing how far you can go will also keep you safe and happy.

Looks like we’ll be testing our camping skills this weekend…in the back yard.

Add to my list – Turn off automatic sprinklers.  Pack pencils and maps.  After we try geocaching in our neighborhood, we’ll try tackling our Family Camping Plan for Memorial Day weekend. Want to join us?

What are your tips for family camping?



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