Here are our top tips for planning a camping excursion with your loved ones.
A bright sunny spring day calls for a family camping trip. There’s nothing like packing up the car, loading in the tents, and gathering around a crackling campfire with loved ones. And if your crew is high-energy, bonding over the adventurous outdoor activities can be a life-changing experience. The thrill of mountain climbing, the challenge of kayaking or canoeing, and fishing in refreshing, calm waters can all make your camping trip a memorable experience. And if you’re headed to Tennessee, the Cherokee National Forest will leave you in awe with its splendor and magnificence.
But camping trips come with challenges you can’t avoid.
So, if you’re looking forward to the tranquillity of stargazing and the peaceful humming of the birds, here are our top tips for planning a camping excursion with your loved ones.
1. Choose the right destination
The fun and excitement will soon disappear if your chosen destination is dry and desolate. So, make sure to pick the most enjoyable destination for everyone in the family. Consider factors like:
- How far you’ll have to drive
- How far away from the hustle and bustle you’ll be
- Whether or not the destination offers activities that everyone can enjoy
If you’re considering a perfect spot with just the right amount of recreational activities (and wildlife), the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee is an excellent choice. From whitewater rafting to tubing down the rivers, this gorgeous national forest offers a lot for your family camping trip. It’s also known for its impressive waterfalls, making it a great place to destress and enjoy.
2. Make a dry run
No matter how outdoorsy your kids are, nothing beats the comfort of their own home. So, plan a dry run, like a mini-camping trip in your backyard or a nearby park, before you set out for the actual camping trip.
It will help your kids understand the basic principles of camping and help you make sure that everyone is comfortable with the idea of living in a tent for some time.
Plus, it’s an ideal way to check if your camping gear is in order and if you have all the necessary items. You don’t want to face a situation where your cooler leaks or your tent poles are missing.
3. Book early and get the necessary supplies
Since camping spots are limited and hot spots book quickly, you should book your destination early to avoid any last-minute surprises. Usually, a few months in advance should be enough.
Once you have booked your destination, you can gather the necessary supplies for a fun and safe camping trip.
It depends on the activities you’ll be doing and the duration of your stay at the campground. But some things to keep in mind are:
- Sleeping bags – enough for everyone in the family
- Tents – choose a tent that is easy to set up
- Camping gear – like a stove, cooler, cooking supplies, and utensils
- A first-aid kit – to prepare for any minor accidents
- Flashlights – to find your way in the dark
- Binoculars – to observe wildlife up close and personal
4. Discuss everyone’s duties
Discuss everyone’s duties and responsibilities before you set off for the camping trip. It will help keep your camping area well-maintained and organized.
Let the kids know their duties, like collecting firewood and setting up the tents. And help them understand that this is a two-way street – they must do their part. But you should also give them space and freedom to enjoy the camping experience.
Since safety is always a priority, you must watch over the kids. This way, you can be sure that everyone is safe and having a good time.
5. Prepare for fun activities
Even if your kids are as active as the energizer bunnies, they will get tired of hiking and exploring after a while. So, come up with creative ideas for keeping them entertained during the camping trip.
You can bring board games, cards, and even a frisbee or football. These activities can help everyone relax and have some fun together.
Additionally, you can bring fishing rods if you’re camping near a lake or river. Fishing can be an exciting and educational experience for everyone in the family. Teach your kids a few tricks and let them try their luck at fishing.
However, before you start, ensure they understand the fishing rules and are familiar with your local regulations.
6. Plan your meals
Intense outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and canoeing will use all your energy reserves faster than you can imagine. What you’re left with are rumbling tummies and grumpy faces. So, plan your meals and stock up on healthy snacks.
For your main course, avoid canned and processed food as they are high in sodium. Instead, opt for simple recipes like sandwiches, salads, and wraps. And if you’re a camping pro, why don’t you try baking some delicious treats at the campfire? Imagine a chicken pot pie or a s’mores pie baking on the campfire.
Also, keep some high-energy bars and snacks at hand, as you’ll need that extra energy to keep going.
7. Boundaries and rules
Last but not least, establish some boundaries and rules for the kids to follow. They should know not to wander off on their own, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Remind them they should always stick together as a family no matter how far they go. Maybe give them a whistle each to blow in case of emergencies.
If there are any trips and falls (trust us; they are inevitable) and minor bruises, the kids must know where the first-aid kit is and how to use it.
Teach them not to touch or feed animals and how to properly dispose of any garbage they create.
Family camping can be one of the most enriching experiences. You get to reconnect with each other, learn new skills, and, most importantly, cherish some beautiful memories that you’ll carry with you for years. But leave technology behind and prepare yourselves to load up on some great outdoor experiences.
Also, don’t forget to bring the most important thing: your camera. You can always reflect on your amazing adventure and remember the special moments.