Are you getting bored in your daily busy life? Do you want to temporarily stay far away from the city center and enjoy normal days in a different place?
Have you ever had any idea of planning a family camping trip but later on you just gave up on it because you feel scared or don’t know how to plan a successful trip?
If the answer is YES to every question above, this article is exactly for you.
Even if you have already got some camping days before, you may still need to look through the following 17 TIPS to plan your upcoming vacation full of fun and success.
1. Choose the right destination
After checking your calendar and deciding the date of the trip, the next thing you must research carefully is a destination, because this would be a base to plan for later activities you’re going to do at the campsite.
If your family has never gone camping before, you should choose a place on grassland with flat terrain and if possible, has facilities for toilets and showers.
You can also search for some campgrounds that offer kid-friendly amenities.
Adults are usually more easy-going to decide the place, but if you are going to bring your kids, you’ll need to consider more factors.
Every campground has its own pages, so try to look through to find out where is suitable for your whole family.
2. Check out all the tools before packing
Perhaps nobody would want the stuff they packed suddenly to get broken during the trip. So, checking everything several days before you go is necessary.
This is also a great way to make your kids get used to the camp. You can let them sleep in the tent before taking it out to the wild, or maybe test the sleeping bags in advance.
If you are packing plenty of things because it is your first trip, make sure to test through all the essential tools below:
- First-aid kit (don’t forget to check the expiry of the medicines)
- Stove and fuel for cooking
- Insect repellent
- Batteries for electronic devices (if any)
- Insect repellent products
3. Packing time
During the packing process, you can let your children join you. Packing enough things for adults in your family is enough, but don’t forget what the kids need.
Let them choose what they want to bring along so that they’ll feel more comfortable in a totally strange place.
You probably wouldn’t want to hear their complaints or crying sounds at night when they realize that their stuffed bears or favorite blankets are not in the backpack.
So, write down a packing list and double-check with the whole members of your family.
4. Find out the best route
Make sure you know the way to the campsite. There may be different routes to get there, you can choose which would be the best for your family,
and let your children have the best experience with nature and the landscapes they’ll go through.
Considering what to eat during camping time is very important. If you don’t prepare a good menu for all family members, there would be some problems with the activities you’re going to have.
Regardless of how far your family is going to pitch your tent, you will seem to need snacks. Your kids might have them in the car or some light meals before bed.
There are also several things you could do in advance at home:
- Chop vegetables
- Make soup (it can be rewarmed later)
- Prepare cake or bread for breakfast
- Mix all marinades (separate them from meat until you want to use them)
- Make some foods that can easily be rewarmed by a campfire
Having activities together is an essential part of the camping trip. Here are some fun recommendations:
- Playing kites
- Reading books
- Board games
7. Stay dry
Imagine your family is having fun at the campsite, then it suddenly rains. If everything is not prepared before the trip, you may get wet, and all the fun will definitely be ruined.
Of course, you might have looked at the weather forecast before starting your trip, but if you’re going to have a long day camping, everything is possible to happen.
So, try to stay dry as much as you can by bringing rain gear, and waterproof shoes, and keep your sleeping bags, as well as your tent, dry too.
You can also lay a tarp under your tent to prevent moisture from coming up through the ground.
Remember to fold it so that it matches the exact dimensions of the tent. Because even when only a small part of the tarp goes beyond the tent edge, the rainwater will flow inside the floor of the tent.
Besides, when you sleep, don’t forget to put your sleeping bags in the middle, rain gear, and waterproof bags along the sides of the tent to prevent your sleeping bags from being wet.
8. Divide tasks for everyone
Your family should get together and discuss each person’s task.
For example, who will cook, who will clean, who will prepare the firewood, etc.
Dividing tasks may make everybody feel more excited because all of them can do something useful for the trip and share responsibilities together.
9. Consider if you want to bring your pets
A lot of people cannot go far from their pets for too long.
If you want to have your pets during the trip, make sure to check if they are welcomed or not in all places you’re going to go through.
Besides reading all information on the campground’s website, you should also call them to ask for a confirmation. Don’t let any part of the plan break just because your pets are not allowed to join.
10. Teach your children all the safety rules
You can prepare a whistle for your children to bring along wherever they go so that when they get lost or are in danger, they can stand in a place whistling for help.
You should also talk to them about fire safety rules (e.g. never burn a fire inside the tent) or teach them how to respond if they meet someone strange or dangerous animals, etc.
11. Keep your routine
Normally, when adults travel for tourism or camping, they tend to change their biological clock, have meals, and go to bed differently from their daily routine. They may want to spend more time discovering the destination.
However, if your kids also join the trip, you should let them stick to their routine to keep everything on the right track after coming back home. Taking a short nap at noon or during the daytime is also not a bad idea.
12. Go hiking or view the stars
The main purpose of going camping is to stay far away from the noisy city and enjoy nature.
That’s why hiking is a very important activity and should be listed in your plan.
Seeing the sky at night beside a campfire is also great. You can look at the shining stars while having some small talk with each other.
13. Don’t litter
After having snacks or finishing an activity, don’t forget to clean up the surrounding area tidily.
Never throw rubbish on the grass or near other campers’ areas. Keep the environment clean so that everyone can enjoy pure nature together.
14. Camp quilt
This is a perfect thing to keep your body warm during the cool temperature of the night. It is quite easy to be packed. You can put it in the car for your next family camping trip.
15. Car camping for first-time campers
If you have never gone camping before, maybe you would feel a bit scared and want to stuff everything into your backpack.
Then car camping would be a good choice for your family.
With this camping style, you’ll go to the camping site with your car, and put all the extra things on it like water, a cooler, and food.
And because your car would be parked near your tent, you will never have to be nervous about the lack of any stuff.
16. Park your car one or two miles away from the campsite
If you don’t want to stay near your car during the trip, you can park it one or two miles away from the site, and then hike in together.
That is also a good experience for first-time campers. You will feel safe all the time because you know your car is not that far away.
17. Don’t over plan
Planning is good, but parents shouldn’t make a too detailed plan for every single activity.
You should let all your family members have some free time to discover the place and get fun with unstructured play.
It might bring about more fun than a plan list in a very single minute of the vacation.