A whopping 6 million Americans regularly go camping, 64% of whom go more than three times a year and more than half taking their children along. This is because camping is a wonderful and inexpensive way to show children the world, helping them to appreciate the beauty of the great outdoors. Hiking is also a great form of exercise that you can enjoy together. When you are taking your kids camping and hiking, it is important to make sure that you have the right equipment, plenty of provisions, and a few games, toys, and puzzles to keep them entertained in the evenings. With a little preparation, you can have a fun vacation out with nature that your children will remember fondly.
Choosing your shelter
For younger children, you will probably want to share a tent with them. Make sure that you choose a shelter that has a little more space for their things too. If your children are a bit older, then they may be happier with their own individual tent, such as the Plexamid tent. This is extremely lightweight, so they will be able to carry it in their own pack without any trouble. If you’re hiking between more than one campsite, it is important to bring a tent that is very simple to take up and put down.
Packing the right clothing
When you are hiking and camping out in the wild, it is essential that you take the right clothing that will protect you whatever weather. Even in the summer months, you should have packed a jumper, long trousers and waterproofs for you and your children. A lightweight Ventum Wind Shield jacket is perfect for hiking. Don’t forget hats and gloves too - they can be very useful in the chilly early mornings. Make sure that you also get your child a pair of well-fitting walking boots. It is worth getting their feet measured before purchasing boots, because children’s feet tend to grow quickly.
Take some activity toys
It is a good idea to take some toys for your children that they can play with if they have a little downtime. Children often get together with others to play community games, especially if you are staying on a popular campsite. Gender-neutral toys like balls and frisbees are great for kids that like to play with others and enjoy some simple sports. It’s probably not a good idea to take toys with lots of component parts, such as Lego or jigsaw puzzles, as the pieces are easily lost.
Learning about nature
Going camping and hiking can give your children the perfect opportunity to learn about the world around them first hand, close up. Take with you a bug-catching kit so that they can study the insects that they meet on your trip. Give them a special nature journal so that they can record the wildlife and plants that you find on your trip. You can also use an app such as Picture This to find out about different species of plants. It will even identify plants that you don’t know the name of.
Planning your day
When you are hiking with children, don’t plan to walk extremely long distances in one go. You will need to take plenty of rest stops for a drink and a snack. Children get cranky if they are lacking energy. When you are choosing snacks, go for healthy options that are a natural source of protein, such as a handful of nuts or dried fruits. Candy might give children energy initially, but they will get a slump an hour later.
Turning hiking into a treasure hunt
Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt that will capture children’s imaginations. There are more than 3 million geocaches hidden all over the world from the Arctic to the International Space Station. Some of the geocaches contain special tokens called travel bugs that are logged on the geocaching app and then moved from one box to another, often on a special mission, for instance to travel to every country. While you are hiking, you can turn your adventure into a treasure hunt. All you need to do is register and download the app. You can use a smartphone or navigational device to find the geocaches.
Going hiking and camping with your kids is a great way to see the world. You can enjoy a wonderful trip together out in nature by following these expert tips for a successful camping adventure.
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