“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
In movies and books, the wilderness is often a place where someone goes to find solitude and healing. Krakauer’s Into the Wild was a great read, and Thoreau wrote some pretty great things in the woods. But there’s no reason why spending time in the wilderness can’t be a family activity. Adventuring through the great outdoors can be a bonding experience, and no child should be deprived of the wonder and magic of camping under the stars.
Camping with kids, however, is quite different from camping alone. Youngsters have different needs and abilities, of course, but there’s some pretty cool equipment out there that can make your family adventure more enjoyable (and colorful!).
Backpacks and Sleeping Bags
Having your kids carry their own packs not only takes some of the literal weight off your back, but it also lets them take ownership of their equipment. Online stores carry packs and sleeping gear that come in all kinds of bright colors, so your kids can pick out the design that speaks to them.
Flashlights and Headlamps
Part of what makes camping so enjoyable for kids are the nighttime activities– making s’mores around the campfire, telling ghost stories, staying up past their bedtime. But letting children have their own lights is also very practical. Tip: headlamps are more fun than flashlights, and they make going to the bathroom at night way less complicated.
Field Guides and Journals
Being in the wilderness is all about discovery. Turn the camping trip into a game where your children can catalogue all the wildlife they see, while they simultaneously learn more about the landscape they’re in. They can even use their field guides for scavenger hunts to see how many things from the book they can identify around the campsite.
Every kid should have their first fishing experience while camping. Whether they catch a fish for dinner or just catch-and-release, fishing teaches kids about what it means to be connected to the food they eat. It’s also just incredibly exciting for a kid to catch a fish for the first time.
For whatever reason, lights are just more fun when you’re a kid. Pick up some glow sticks at your local party supply store, and put a twist on carrying flashlights.
If you really want to go all out on your kids’ camping experience, buy some Rainbow Flame Sticks. Throw a couple sticks into your campfire and watch the fire blaze into different vibrant colors. Watch Rainbow Flame Sticks in action.
Geocaching (pronounced “jee-oh-cash-ing”) is a great sport for outdoor adventuring with the family. Caches are objects hidden all over the world for other geocachers to discover by locating the geo coordinates. Before heading out for your trip, check out the online geocaching websites and communities to find out if there are hidden treasures at your campsite!