Camping is probably one of the best ways to completely immerse your family in nature. Whether you are RVing or spending multiple days in the backcountry, you will run into many opportunities to push your boundaries and explore. While many people find it intimidating, we find that tenting can be doable with kids of all ages, including infants, if you are sufficiently prepared. Out littles have also ventured out into the backcountry starting around age two. If you are hearing the call of the wild, do some research, gear up and head out to an amazing destination - we promise you won't be disappointed.
Make like the boy scouts - Camping is an amazing opportunity to gain a whole tool box of new skills. Work together with your kids to practice survival skills as you camp. Learn to make fires with no matches, makeshift shelters in the woods, and a cookstove from a tin can. You can even break out a compass or try navigating by the stars. Mastering nature and survival skills gives kids a confidence boost and helps them view themselves as independent and competent.
Get creative - Use the opportunity of camping to exercise your creative problem solving skills. Away from all the comforts of home you will probably have to figure out how to do everyday things in new ways. Don't be too quick to solve problems for your kids. Let them try and fail to come up with ways to get things done. Support them in carrying out their own workable solutions to problems.
Get a new perspective on everyday task - Everyday tasks can become novel when you are camping. Let kids wash dishes in a plastic bin, pack garbage out to stay safe from animals etc. Our kids love sweeping out our tents with our little travel broom. Cooking is an especially fun challenge in the backcountry. Let kids plan, prepare and serve at least one meal during each camping excursion.
Help kid connect what they experience while camping to the larger natural world around them. Explore the ethic of "Leave no Trace" and discuss why it is important. Take opportunities to be present to nature and to watch area wildlife in a responsible way. If your kids are curious about any particular aspect of the natural world - be it bugs or weather patterns - make sure to find out about what is happening in that realm where you are camping.