Camping is a wonderful activity. You get to break free of the trappings of a happy home life filled with smartphones and mindless pastimes and take a deep dive into the bold beauty of the wilderness. The trees, birds, lakes, streams, and fresh liveliness of it all is ultimately one of the most rejuvenating ways you can spend your time. You know this, but do your children?
It is exciting beyond belief to share your love of nature with others. If your kids have never been camping before, they’re in for a magical adventure. It’s no wonder, then, that 99% of campers say that they are either likely or very likely to go again next year. So, if you are planning your first ever family camping trip, you are going to need a few items to help make it the experience of a lifetime. This is your professional family camper checklist.
For your children’s first foray into the wilderness, you might consider either renting a cabin or buying an RV. It will help to ease them into the transition between high tech home life the primitive peace of the natural world. Plus, it will make life easier for you too.
Bring a tent or two along just in case your kids want to brave a night out in the woods. They will warm up to the idea eventually, so be prepared.
- Sleeping Bags
You could always bring blankets, but sleeping bags just get you in the mood for camping. Plus, they save space and will keep you warm on the chilly nights.
- Fishing Poles
If you’re going camping on a lake, know the fishing license requirements in your state. Most states don’t require children to have one, but adults must. Bring a tackle box, enough poles to go around, and stake out the local live bait shop on your way into the campgrounds.
It is definitely impressive if you can light a fire without matches, but let's face it, it’s the 21st century. Though you should bring a butane torch to get the fire going quickly if you need to, bring matches to teach your children how to start a fire safely. (Age appropriate, of course.)
- First Aid
If you’re going to be letting your kids play with fire, bring a First Aid Kit. This is a lesson in being prepared that any parent should teach their kid, especially in the wilderness.
- Knife, Rope, Duct Tape, Hose
The essential tools you need. For the hose, make sure to get one certified for potable drinking water. They’re typically 10-50 feet long and white or blue in color.
- An Intrepid Spirit
Bringing your family camping should not only get them excited but you as well. Embrace the explorative nature of camping. Find wild new places on long hikes through the woods. Most importantly have fun and be safe.
Kelsey R. is a writer and an avid world traveler. When she’s not writing or listening to 80s music, you can find her exploring different countries, taking selfies with her dog Lady, and in constant search for the perfect brownie recipe.