Camping - Getting Started
Basic tips on getting your family and kids camping whether it be at home in a tent in the back yard, outdoors in the bush or going on an adventure.
Camping / Getting Started
Watching the stars above, sitting around a campfire and sleeping in a tent is a wonderful way to spend time with friends and family while enjoying the simple things in life. Camping is much easier than you might think and Love the Outdoors has plenty of easy tips, ideas and even checklists so you don’t need to worry about leaving anything behind.
EMBRACE THE ADVENTURE
The lead up to a camping trip is half the fun and my kids often set up their little tent in the lounge room, put their sleeping bags in and have been known to sleep on the carpet overnight. Once you have all the gear, it is a very affordable holiday or weekend away, which always gets five star reviews from my kids no matter where we go.
Although I prefer sunshine, some of our most memorable (and the kids best) camp trips have been in the rain. The more mud the better as far as they are concerned and it’s nothing that a bucket shower at camp and a good bath when they get home won’t fix. Finding bugs, climbing tress, getting dirty and playing outside is what being a kid is all about and camping is the perfect opportunity to do all that and more.
FIRST TIME CAMPING
Congratulations, you are on your way to experiencing one of life’s great adventures, going camping. If this is your first time camping or maybe going with children then don’t panic, as it is easier than you may think and your kids will love you for it.
Love the outdoors has a list of basic equipment you need, how to set up camp and some easy tips. If you are unsure as to where to camp, make your first trip somewhere close to home or with good facilities to make it simple. Try camping at a tourist park or a national park, which has facilities such as a camp kitchen, shelter, water and toilets.
It is good to practice putting up your tent before your trip so you are familiar with how it works and you can check it has all the pegs, poles and everything you need.
CAMPING IN THE BACKYARD
It is amazing how setting up a tent in the backyard can transform an ordinary weekend into a whole heap of fun. It is a good excuse to practice setting up and checking the tent then sleeping in it for a night.
We have had up to three small tents in our yard and the kids have invited friends to come and ‘camp’ with them and they have had a blast. Kids can get used to sleeping in a tent in familiar surrounding if they haven’t done it before. It certainly makes it easy when you have all the comforts of home but the excitement of sleeping in a tent.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The easier you make your camping trip, the more likely you will have a great time and want to go again. Although there is a huge range of camping gear on the market, you need to make honest decisions as to what you will use and if it will benefit your trip.
Pack the essentials (see gear) and then work out how much room you have left in the car for those ‘luxury’ items. Keep in mind that everything you bring will need to be unpacked at camp, repacked into the car and put away when you get home.
Packing does take time and when we camp, we aim to be away for at least two nights as otherwise you don’t get much of a break. The longer you go camping doesn’t really require much more equipment; you will just need more food and water.
Although keeping it simple makes for easy camping, you might want to put in a luxury item if it fits as us adults need to be comfortable as well. For me that ‘luxury’ item is our portable gas hot water system. I love that I can put the kids in a tub of warm water to wash off mud and I can have a shower when I need one.
NO AGE LIMIT
Camping is suitable for everyone from babies through to grandparents and is a great way just to get the kids out of the house for the weekend or the school holidays and break the routine.
If you are taking young children (see camping with kids), you will need to bring a bit more gear but there is some great equipment available on the market these days for babies and toddlers.
RESEARCH & PLAN
Camping locations may change in winter or summer so think about the activities you will be doing and choose a campsite accordingly. In summer being by the water may be a priority where as in winter you may search for drier land and somewhere you can have a campfire.
Research with your kids on the Internet or read books to see where you can camp and speak with friends or make some phone calls. If we are staying at a national park, I often phone the ranger to find out what the sites are like, camp facilities, if you can light a fire and if firewood is supplied or what the conditions are like. You may find picnic tables are supplied or a camp kitchen with shelter which means you don’t have to pack as much equipment.