Welcome to the Take Over Tuesday guest post series. I will be featuring posts by fellow bloggers and outdoors enthusiasts. Do you have some expertise or a great story to share? Consider submitting something to the Humans of the Outdoors series or contacting me directly.
Today’s feature is from Jessica of Exploring the Local Life. Jessica a blogging, YouTubing, RVing, roadschooling mama of two who is married to the fantastic Robert (the other half of Exploring the Local Life). Jessica and her crew are a family of four (Robert, Jessica, Daniel, and Nadia) that love to explore the world around them. They are living in their RV full-time and are experiencing local life throughout the south eastern United States. They are re-defining the American Dream on their own terms! Check Jessica and her family out on their blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
5 Tips for Camping with Kids
Going camping with kids is one of the best ways to unplug and create memories as a family. But it can also be a complete disaster. Ever pitch a tent in the rain or dark? Did you get everything set up only to realize you forgot your kiddo’s favorite toy? Here are 5 tips to help you avoid some pitfalls and get the most of your family camping trip.
1. Check the weather
OK this might seem so obvious, but check the weather before you head out with the family. Check it the day before and if needed come up with a plan B. You might be able to contact a local RV park and see if they have cabins available or RVs to rent. That way you can still unplug, be close to nature, and maybe sneak out between the bouts of cruddy weather and still enjoy your weekend.
2. Use a packing list
A packing list is a good way to make sure you bring the essentials along with some other gear that can make your trip more fun. Here’s a great one from REI. Not only will this help you organize, but it can be a great way to get the kiddos involved. Depending on the age they can help check off items on the list or for older kiddos you can split up the list and pack things up even faster. Make sure to add “Favorite Toys” to the list and let the kids pack their favorite items themselves.
3. Camp with friends
Some of our finest memories camping with kids have come from camping with friends. Depending on the size(s) of the families, you can either reserve one site together or get neighboring sites. More adults mean more hands to tend the fire and stove. More kids means more play for the children and the possibility of a little down time for the parents. You can combine resources and have fantastic meals. We have also found that it can help make sure everyone’s needs are met. Someone might be able to stay behind with the napping toddler while the rest of the group hits the trails.
4. Keep it simple
I know I shared that camping checklist that has 100 items on it, but don’t overdo it. Especially if it is your first trip. Bring staples and easy to store and prepare foods. Be flexible, Remember, the trip is supposed to be about family, fun, and bonding. Plan your meals in advance. If going with another family, determine who will do what for the group – who is making what meals? Prepare the kids for the trip – research the area and talk about the gear you will be using (even if it’s not the first trip).
5. Have fun!
Light a campfire, make s’mores, sing silly songs, and decorate the campsite together with things from around the site or seasonal items brought from home. If no one is having fun, it is OK to go home and go the movies instead.