Thursday, July 4, 2013

Camping with Kids.

Once the cold of winter and rains of spring have passed there is nothing better than hitting the road and exploring our beaches and mountains. Day trips are great, but camping out is pure magic in our part of the world.

Many of us are avid campers or have fond memories of childhood trips to the Okanagan or Gulf Islands. It’s a great family activity that breaks us out of the routines of daily life and reconnects us with nature and each other. If you have young children it can be intimidating to venture out into the wild so here are a few tips to ease you into your camping experience.
1. Prep with a backyard camp-out to get children used to sleeping in a tent.
2. Shorter drives are easier for babies and toddlers. Stay close to home or break up a longer trip into manageable pieces.
3. Have a back-up plan for bad weather. Make sure you have a tarp to keep your little ones dry. Tarps are also useful for creating a play area on wet or dirty ground.
4. Bring flashlight/headlamp for each child (flashlights are fun and everyone will want to use it).
5. Bring extra clothes (and then some more) and warm clothes for the evening, including a winter hat, warm socks, and slippers. Babies lose body heat more quickly than adults so you’ll want to keep them bundled up. Expect the clothes to get dirty!
6. Bring lots of water to keep everyone hydrated.
7. Pre-cut fruits and veggies for easy snacking.

8. Don’t forget sunhats, sunscreen, and bug repellent. You can try making your own natural ingredient bug spray with recipes from Remodelaholic or Wellness Mama.
9. Before you pitch your tent inspect the campground for sharp rocks and sticks and potential choking hazards.
10. Bring your baby carrier for walks and hikes—it’s a safe vantage point for your baby to enjoy the views.
11. Bring beach toys, a kite or ball for simple outdoor fun!

And for older kids, here is a link to Mountain Equipment Co-op’s very handy Kids Camping Checklist.

Have a wonderful summer!