7 Reasons to take your family camping {and a few tips, too!}

WIN A TRIPWhether you just moved to your current city, or you know you will have to move away from it soon, it is time to get out there and see some sights. And vacations can get expensive, which is why you should definitely take your family camping. That’s right, you heard me. C-A-M-P-I-N-G. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Camping can be so fun, even with a couple of kids in tow. Yes, it takes a little (or a lot) planning, but keep in mind the memories… oh the memories! There will be so many crazy, funny memories that will be made at a campsite near you! Here are the reasons that you DEFINITELY should pack your SUV, or mini van or Corolla up and roll on down to camp:

  1. It’s a cheap, cheap way to vacation somewhere new – Most campsites rent per night for less than what you would spend on a dinner out with the family. Really… it’s that cheap.
  2. You don’t have to buy a bunch of fancy camping stuff – You do need some essential items to make camping easier or more comfortable, but for your first trip, you should borrow from a friend who may have a tent and some sleeping bags.
  3. Your kids won’t sleep as horribly as you think – Think about it, camping includes being outside all. day. long. That’s a whole lot of running, playing, swimming, hiking and roaming. Your kids will play so hard that they will (probably) sleep. Plus, the fresh air can do wonders at night. The only thing you might have to worry about then is your spouse’s snoring.
  4. Camp food can be amazing – One word: SMORES. And campfire food of any kind. There’s something so fun about prepping and cooking your food all outdoors.
  5. There are so many options – It doesn’t have to be roughing it. We prefer what some call “car camping.” You pull your vehicle up to the campsite and unload right there. There’s no lugging heavy bags up a mountain or carrying everything you need in a hiking backpack. And you can sleep on an air mattress. We promise, it’s not cheating!
  6. It gets rid of electronic distractions – We ALL get so distracted by our phones, tablets and TVs. Camping gets you away from all of that. You can have actual, real conversations with your family members. Because let’s be honest, the world will not fall apart if you aren’t able to check Instagram for a weekend.
  7. Campsites offer so much to do/see – From nature talks, to guided hikes and even country western hoedowns, there are usually so many fun and different kinds of events at campsites. We’ve seen theaters and wild animal talks, too!

Now, if we’ve totally convinced you to book your campsite and pack your car up, here are just a few tips for camping with your kiddos:

  1. Keep things simple – No point in trying to prepare a four-course meal extravaganza. Throw some burgers in a cast iron on the fire or make simple campfire foil packets and everyone is happy! But, don’t forget the s’mores!
  2. Try to arrive and set up before dark – If it is your first time camping or camping with your kids, try getting to your site before sunset so you can get a feel for the area and get things set up while you can still see! We just camped a few weeks ago and set up in the dark and while it is doable, it makes things a little more complicated.
  3. Be sure to bring comfort items for your kiddos – A favorite lovey or blanket and pillow can go a long way to making your kids feel at ease their first time in a tent.
  4. Go in with a plan, but no expectations – It’s great to have a plan for meals and activities before you go, but if the weather changes or you’d rather do something else, it’s important to stay super flexible with kids.

-by Emily Robertson

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