If you have them, camping and hiking with kids is an experience I think every parent should have at least once in their lifetime.
As a father of two daughters, I’ve taken them camping and hiking and they have thoroughly enjoyed it.
However, it can be a little tricky to organise yourself as well as children who are relying on you for everything.
And let’s be honest, it’s a tough enough task as it is getting yourself organised for a trip when you take gear, planning, food etc. into account.
I’ve taken my children on a few hiking and camping trips over the past few years and they have been just as rewarding, if not more, than my solo treks or ones where I have been with a group.
There are a few little tips I believe can help make camping and hiking with kids a little smoother.
Get The Kids Involved in Planning
When you’re organising the trip, get your kids involved in the planning. Particularly, when it comes to food and gear.
Obviously, there are a variety of things, such as safety, weight etc., that you need to look after, but let them have an input into what sort of food you’ll be taking.
If they pick something that isn’t quite suitable or might be a little heavy, that’s when you can educate them as to why it might not work.
Once At The Campsite…
This is probably a follow on from the previous point, but get them involved in setting up the tent once you arrive at the campsite.
It’s my belief that sharing an experience on the trail is absolutely everything, and I have found that getting my daughters involved in helping with setting up goes a long way to them enjoying themselves.
Remember, given today’s digital age where iPads, computers and entertainment consoles are dominating our children’s attention, I think offering a fun alternative is important.
When it comes to camping, I’ve found that letting them help set up the tent helps reduce the chances of them asking for an electronic gadget after day one.
Let Them Carry Some Gear
When it comes to hiking with kids, particularly when you’re on a weekend trip, is to get them a small daypack and let them carry some stuff.
Now, we’re not talking about slave labour where mum and dad carry nothing, and the kids carry everything.
But, again, I believe giving them something to carry in their backpacks makes them feel really involved. Think of little items such as food and water.
Camping and hiking with kids can seem like a bit of a daunting task, but if you include them in everything from organising the trip to helping out at the campsite, you’d be surprised how much of a difference that will make.