It’s great fun, but camping with kids can be a challenge. Caz and Craig Makepeace know this well; the founders of ytravelblog.com recently took an 18-month road trip around Australia with their two daughters. Here they share their camping tips.
1. Nuture nature
Use camping to teach your kids about the natural world, basic survival skills and teamwork. Limit the electronics they can bring; camping is about disconnecting and getting back in touch with nature and family. We choose campgrounds that have a natural bush setting and great facilities for kids.
2. The essentials
Pack baby wipes to clean off the grime and dirt; head torches to help little campers find their way at night; mosquito coils and deet-free repellent to keep the bugs at bay; gum boots for jumping in puddles; and a rug so they always have a place to sit and play.
3. Safety first
Run through campsite safety rules with your children as soon as you’ve set up. We let them know the boundaries of where they can and can’t play. Show them where the amenities are and ensure they know to visit with either Mum or Dad. Also remind them to return to the campsite when it gets dark.
4. Busy bees
Involve your children in exciting camp tasks. Let them collect wood, start the fire and pitch tents. Assign more mundane jobs as well, from washing-up to garbage collection. Our daughters loved winding the legs up and down on our trailer, and building a fire is their speciality.
5. Clean as a whistle
Have a small broom handy to wipe the dirt off before entering the tent. The dewy early morning grass will wreak havoc on your clothes and shoes, and inside your camping home. Kids will love being in charge of sweeping down Mum and Dad before they enter the tent.
6. Room for the whole family
Check to see if the campground has a family bathroom. It makes shower time much easier, especially with little ones. You can clean the whole family at once, the rooms are bigger and sometimes have baby baths. Plus, they are generally much cleaner and less busy!