Let’s Go Camping!

Close to home there are wonderful opportunities that can be available for little expense with some minor planning. Some of our family’s most fun and memorable times involved overnight camping at one of the many beautiful state and county parks close to home.

An overnight camping trip can be an adventure and provide lots of learning opportunities for kids. Gets the kids involved with planning for the trip. You can start with meals. What will you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner while you’re at your campsite? This is a great opportunity to talk about about healthy food choices, and find tasty alternatives to traditional snacks like potato chips.

When you’re preparing for your trip, it’s also important to think about safety. Make sure you pack sun block and insect repellent with your gear. Since you’ll be out in the woods, plan tick checks and talk about safety around sharp objects and camp fires. You might also consider discussing what to do in the event someone twists and ankle, or sprains a wrist while you’re out in the woods.

A hike in the woods can be exciting and filled with new discoveries. Just make sure those discoveries don’t include sprained ankles, bites or rashes. Make sure that you wear protective foot wear, avoid provoking wild animals and stay clear of any animal acting strangely since it may have rabies. Be able to identify problem plants such as poison ivy so you don’t come home with more than fond memories.

And, don’t forget in the midst of all that preparation, you’re really out there just to have fun. Camping is an awesome time to encourage creativity. Have your child join in and tell a story around the camp fire. Play a game of ‘I Spy’ while out on a hike. At night, try and name the constellations. This is a great opportunity to unplug from the hectic pace of life and just enjoy being together as a family without distractions.

One comment

  • Great article Steven! I coordinate a program for novice campers in Oregon. For $20 total, we take a family of novice campers camping in one of our state parks and teach Camping Basics, Leave No Trace, 10 Essentials of Hiking, Fire Building and Safety, and Dutch Oven Cooking. We provide tents, sleeping bags, mattress pads and stoves to families that don’t have any for their use on the weekend. They go on ranger led nature hikes, kayaying, etc. I’ve watched family after family bloom in the discovery that they can enjoy each other and the great outdoors together. Kudos on your article!