I have always loved to travel and the idea of getting away is something I always look forward to. Nothing beats great week long vacations like going to the beach or a big city. But big vacations are rare for most families due to cost – and they can be stressful, as you fill your days with sightseeing and try to plan for possible travel complications.
Camping with kids over a weekend is a great thing to do in between big vacations. We have a number of state parks within a couple of hours of where we live that offer great camping sites. Many also have wonderful hiking available, or beach access to swim, fish or boat.
Parents who have never camped before might ask, “Why in the world would I want to sleep outside in a tent with bugs and go to the bathroom in a latrine?” Here are some reasons why you should consider camping with kids.
Camping with kids forces you to unplug.
Camping with kids gets your family back to nature and forces you to unplug. Want to talk to your child without him or her texting at the same time? Need to step away from your work email? Camping gives you the gift of authentic, engaged moments with your family. Who would have thought that in our crazy digital culture, a simple board game or card game could still be truly enjoyed by the whole family? It happens – when you step away from the devices.
Everything (and everybody) slows down.
While camping with our kids, we can be gone for only 48 hours, but we feel as if we have been gone for twice as long. Everything just slows down. We’re a lot more relaxed. The simplicity of enjoying nature and the camaraderie of sitting around a campfire are the types of family memories that last a lifetime.
Kids’ imaginations run free.
You’ll be shocked at how kids can entertain themselves without electronic devices. They’ll use the resources in nature and their own creativity to pass the time and have fun. It’s even better if you can bring another family along. Watch how their imaginations go crazy!!
You can work around the cramped quarters, bugs and lack of plumbing.
Seek out campsites that have at least one area with indoor plumbing bathrooms and showers. They’re not like a 5 star hotel, but they go a long way in making camping with kids a bit less rough. It also helps to have a large tent. We just purchased one which is almost 150 square feet with standing room throughout the whole tent, so the whole family is comfortable, dry and protected from critters.
Camping with our kids has been one of the best ways for our family to reconnect and make memories. So don’t be afraid – if the weather looks nice, go enjoy Mother Nature to her fullest and create those long lasting memories. Happy Camping!!
You can get great camping safety tips from our partner, Safe Kids Worldwide.
Brandon Johnson has been in Field Sales with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care for over 8 years. He lives in Illinois and has been married to his wife Kate for 18 years. They have two children, Emily, age 12 and Troy, age 7.