Camping is a mindset. Connecting with nature is so worth it. Especially for kids but camping is an undertaking. Especially the first time you do it. I have some of my tips and tricks here. But I want to talk about the mom pep talk. These are some of the things I remind myself of when we are planning a camping trip. It is my way of getting in the zone! The camping zone is your friend!
- This is a Change of pace: It feels so great to ditch home for a weekend. It is time to leave all the to do lists and places to be behind. When we get outside of our home environment there is a collective family deep breath!
- Preparation leads to success: I know this feels super overwhelming. Especially the first time out. This is worth it! The better I prepare now the better time we have when we get there. And for those moments when something comes up you aren’t prepared for it is fun to problem solve as a team. Plus there is almost always Walmart!
- Scout the Area: Before we go I always make sure to scout out the are. Find the closest Walmart and print directions. Internet can be spotty at the campground. Also find some local attractions. Have a plan for when it rains. You can even look up hiking trails and the campground office. They are a great resource.
- Plan one meal out: Even if you just plan a breakfast or lunch out it is great to have a chance to find a local restaurant and take some pressure off of the campfire cooking. About campfire cooking. There is no shame in multiple meals of hotdogs while camping. No shame at all! Also consider a camp stove. It is a great back up if the fire is being temperamental.
- Plan to learn together: There are so many skills to learn while camping. From plant identification to fire starting. You can always learn something from adult to child going into the weekend with an expectation of learning is a game changer! What’s going to work? TEAM WORK!
- Games: a deck of cards is a must have on a camping trip. Especially when your kids get a little older. For the younger ones squirt guns, sidewalk chalk, and trucks were always must haves.
- Plan a surprise: We always like to get a little surprise for our kids. It has been everything from a garage sale toy to fidget spinners. Just a little novelty. It doesn’t have to be grand. After all nature is a great toy!
- Plan a little treat that you and your spouse can enjoy after the kids go to bed at night. One of our favorite activities is sitting around the campfire at night. We always make a fun treat and just enjoy each other’s company. Camping Date!! Super fun!!!
- Set a 3 night maximum. Especially if it is your first trip. We find that two to three nights is a great weekend. When you go longer it gets more complicated so I start easy and work your way up!
- Most of all a great attitude is key. When I was a camp counselor they told us. Every day at camp is the best day that has ever been. Make every single activity an adventure. From running to get water, to walking to the bathrooms everything is an opportunity to make a game or do it a special way! Make it fun and find ways to choose to make things an adventure instead of a setback.
My favorite part about camping is that it isn’t super expensive. Especially after you have procured all the gear and because it isn’t super expensive there are low expectations. Let me explain. When you spend lots of money on an experience you feel the pressure to have your investment pay off. But camping doesn’t carry all that expectation. Instead it is slowing down, riding bikes, swimming in a lake and hiking together. Then reliving it all around the campfire at night.
Are you considering camping this summer? Tell me about it below! You can also Check out my practical tips for camping with kids here!