Tips on Camping With Kids

Things change when kids come into your world, and camping is no different. It is no longer beer, backpacks and beans; now it is sippy cups, SPF 50 and s'mores. All for good reason. You are going to help your children fall in love with the wilderness, just as you have. It is time to introduce your kids to the wonders of nature with the first camping trip as a family.

To Begin

4 Fun Camping Activities

Camping is one of our great pastimes, but after you have arrived at your campground and set up your campsite, you might find yourself thinking of ways to pass the time. Here are five camp-friendly activities you might want to try:

Campfire Cooking
Who said camping food had to be boring? While many campers bring dehydrated foods and pre-packed items, you can impress your family with a gourmet meal made right on the campfire.

What You Will Need:

Best Activities for Spring Camping

Get your boat out of winter storage, clear the cobwebs off your hiking boots and tie some flies.

Here are some of the best activities to do while camping in the spring.

Get On the Water
For many people, the first rays of the spring sun mean it's time to drop the boat into water, fire up the motor and cruise along shorelines and through lakes. There are many excellent destinations across the United States for recreational boating, from Lake Havasu, Ariz., to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

How to Choose The Best Summer Camp For Your Kids

Not only do summer camps provide a long list of fun activities and excitement for kids, research published in Psychology Today found summer camps offer adolescents a wide range of psychosocial benefits in addition to a boost in self-esteem, the opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills and responsibility.

From day camps to adventure camps, there's a summer camp out there that will bring out the best in your child.

Family Camping Essentials

For some families, camping means hiking into the backcountry with only what can be carried in a backpack. For others, it means car camping: pitching a tent at a developed site equipped with picnic table, water, fire ring, and grill. Not every family will need or want to bring all the gear on this checklist.

A helpful tip: organize and store supplies in labeled bins so they'll be ready and waiting for next time.

Geology - Nature at Work

Geology is all about the outdoors and travel. It's the foundation of our most prized camping sites, like Yosemite's domes and Moab's arches, as well as the hills and flatlands we zip by on the way to our favorite destinations.

So if life is about the journey as much as the destination, a little geological curiosity can make any drive or camping spot a lot more interesting. Here are a few places to explore. But be forewarned, once you start noticing them, the view from your car window might never be the same.

Moth Trap

For family campers, sunset is a mixed blessing.

It's a time to wind down in front of the campfire, but truth be told, the kids can get a little antsy. It's too early to hit the sack, but there's nothing to do after the first couple of s'mores are down the hatch. The answer: Rig up a light trap for moths, and have some fun.

Night-flying moths occur in amazing abundance across the continent. While there are 825 butterfly species in North America, there are 12,000 species of moths. Just about all of them are attracted to light and will flock to a light source at night.

How to Create a Wet Wood Fire

By wet wood, we mean fully dead wood, (usually dead for a year or more) that has been wet by rain or suffered some other soaking, not green wood.

Green wood, or live wood, should never be used for a fire. It will only make smoke and trouble.

We are building a modern fire in the modern world, so have matches or a lighter handy, rather than rubbing sticks together.

Also, we should work within a fire ring, or appropriate fire pit.

Keeping Your Campsite Organized

Setting up an organized camp starts now, while you are still in the planning stages. If you are going on a camping adventure, we will show you how to set up your site and keep it organized and efficient. This is, after all, one of the keys to happy camping.

Before You Go: Practice Strategic Packing
You might not know what the exact layout will look like, but you can count on a few things: There will be a flat area for your tents, a fire pit, and room for things such as a table, water station and cooking area.