8 tips to turn camping into the ultimate family adventure

Posted on November 15th, 2017

Follow this guide from outdoor gear suppliers Trappers to make sure your family camping trip is an unforgettable adventure.

8 tips for family camping

Taking young kids camping can be challenging, but if you have your heart set on a camping holiday, these tips will come in handy to make it a fun and memorable experience.

Do a practice run

If you’re not sure how your children will respond to sleeping in a tent away from their creature comforts, spend a night in the garden to gauge their reactions.

Do your research

If this is the first time you’re going camping as a family, it’s wise to pick somewhere that’s fairly close to civilisation – after all, children can be prone to accidents, and the outdoors presents many opportunities for mishaps. Being close to a pharmacy or medical centre certainly has its advantages. At the same time, unless your kids are old pros at car trips, it’s always advisable to keep travel time to a minimum.

ALSO SEE: How to create a first-aid kit for every possible emergency situation

Pick your tent site with care

A spot close to the bathrooms may come in handy when you’re woken up because nature is calling at 3am.

Be prepared

Children don’t travel light, and even if you’re planning to spend the day exploring trails, you’ll still need some games and books to keep them entertained. Being prepared also means being minutely thorough when you pack the medicine kit. You might be able to overlook the odd insect bite or scrape, but injuries of this sort can be a big deal for children. You also need to ensure your snack tin is more well-stocked than usual.

Bring a night light

You may consider the impenetrable night sky, lit only by stars, to be one of the best parts of camping, but for city kids who are used to falling asleep to the gentle hum of traffic, the complete darkness can be a little frightening. Don’t forget to pack a lantern that can be used to create a little light in the tent, and bring along some familiar, much-loved reminders of home, like a favourite teddy bear.

ALSO SEE: 9 beach and camping hacks to make your holiday with your toddler easier

Stick to your usual routine

If your three-year-old usually naps at 2pm, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re back at the tent by that time. Keeping up the same practises you follow at home will introduce an element of comfort that helps to prevent meltdowns.

Look for a campsite that has top-notch facilities, as well as great views

Renowned locations include the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp at the Tsitsikamma National Park; Dinokeng Camping and Fishing at Roodeplaat Dam and 22 Waterfalls Holiday Farm in the Western Cape.

ALSO SEE: 5 cool holiday spots your kids will love

Don’t skimp on your gear

While you may be happy to rough it, kids usually fare better when they have room to move. Opt for a bigger tent, comfy sleeping bags and the best-quality hiking gear.

Xanet Scheepers

About Xanet Scheepers

Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.