Camping With Kids & Why you should be doing it

Getting Started with Family Camping

Welcome to the first in the series in our online tutorial that will help you get up and running with family camping.

In this first topic, we’ll go over some of the benefits of camping. If you’re already convinced and want to get into the ‘meat and potatoes’, skip ahead to the next topic: Don’t fear pitching the tent – it’s easy!


Don’t go camping? You should

Campsites with Rope Swings are always a favourite

Campsites with rope swings are always a favourite

If you already go camping with your family, then you’ll already know how great it can be.

If camping is something you’re thinking of doing, congratulations. Click through the guides in this Getting Started series and pick up some tips to help get you up to speed.

If it’s not something you’ve been planning, then you should seriously consider it. As parents, we all want to do the best for our kids. Unfortunately, time and money get in the way of a lot of things. With camping though, you can bring a lot of fun to your kid’s lives. If done right, of course. And there’s where we’re here to help point you in the right direction.

If you hate the thought of spending time outside, spending time with your kids, or getting a little bit muddy from time to time, then you’re on the wrong website.


Why go camping with kids?

Most people can recall their childhood when they made dens and invented imaginary adventures.  Well, even today, with PlayStations and XBoxes, phones and the internet, kids still like adventures.  Children love camping…..if you do it right of course.

[pullquote style=’right’]Children love camping[/wpsm_quote]For the very small child, taking them camping exposes them to sights and sounds they typically wouldn’t have at home.  There are many campsites located on farms, and you’ll often find that they will show the animals to your kids.

If your child is older, camping turns the imaginary den into the real thing.  Sleeping in a tent, creating a campfire and staying up late in the dark listening to ghost stories, building dams in streams, or swinging on a rope.

And for the older child and teenager, longer adventures and challenges await that teaches them independence, self-reliance, and confidence – all-important life skills.

Benefits of Camping


Family Camping the Right Way

Enjoying a campfire at The Buzzards Campsite

Enjoying a campfire at The Buzzards Campsite

OK, so there may not be exactly a ‘right way’. Each family is different. What works for one person may not for another. Etc. Etc.

However, here’s some things that we’ve learnt in the many years camping with children, and what we believe makes for good family camping.

  • Find campsites that are a little wilder. They may have streams, woods for building dens, and rope swings.
  • Manicured holiday parks with perfect flat lawns usually do not make good family campsites. However, there are plenty of exceptions. See what facilities they offer to kids (a decent play park is a good sign that kids are welcome).
  • Find campsites that allow campfires (and we have a good list of those). Kids love campfires but teach them the sensible precautions too.
  • Take some games for the kids to play, or do some activities. Outdoor games work well.
  • Get enough equipment to be ‘comfortable’. Camping doesn’t have to be hard. However, you may have to invest in better gear slowly over a few years.
  • Find camping equipment that is quick and easy to set up and put away. You want to get on with some family activities (such as cooking over the campfire), and not spend hours and hours setting up your tent.
  • You can live quite nicely in your tent these days, but try not to make it just like home with TVs and Microwaves, even though technically it’s possible. Remember you are trying to give your family a different experience, not the same as home but in a different place.
  • Avoid having to need an electric supply when camping (known as an Electric Hook-Up, or EHU). You can have great camps without EHU. If you become dependent on EHU, you will miss out on some fantastic family experiences, and some great sites don’t have EHU in their best pitches. EHU also makes camping more expensive.

 

Through this guide and website, you’ll find plenty of tips to help you camp ‘the right way’.


It’s not just good for the kids; it’s good for you too

Imagine waking up to a view like this

Imagine waking up to a view like this

Camping gets you away from every day life and routine.  Away from work.  Away from the TV.  Away from the computer.  You have to spend time as a family.

Involve your child in activities and jobs around the camp.  Teach them how to build a campfire.  Get them to help build a shelter.  Let them help with the cooking.

Camping is relatively cheap too.  Once you’ve invested in some gear, you can visit and stay in all sorts of places around the country for a lot cheaper than putting your family up in a B&B.


Here are a couple of videos to show you what we mean.

Getting Started with Family Camping Series

Continue reading; click on the next article in the series.
  • Camping with Kids

    Why you should be adding camping as something you and your family do, what we consider the ‘right way’ for camping with kids, and also some pitfalls to avoid

  • How to pitch a tent

    If you are worried about pitching a tent - don't be. They are quite straightforward these days.

  • Choosing the right family tent

    There are many types of tents available for different sizes of familes, different ages of children, and how often you go camping. We give you some pointers to help choose the right tent.

  • Setting up your sleeping area

    We've learnt the hard way on what makes a good night's sleep for the family at the campsite. Read these tips on how to best set-up your family's sleeping area.

  • How to set-up your camp kitchen

    You need somewhere safe to cook and feed your family. Doing this in your tent is not recommended. We show you how to set-up a camp kitchen.

  • How to set-up a gas camping stove

    There are different types of gas camping stove. Some are small and simple, and some are larger and need a gas regulator. This guide shows you what to get.

  • How to cook using a campfire

    Want a more traditional camping experience? Here are some tips for cooking using a campfire.

  • Camping Check-list

    Here's a useful check list of things to take camping.

 

 

 

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Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

9 Comments
  1. […] << Back: Choosing a Tent for Family Camping << Back: Pitching a Tent (It's Easy) << Back: Camping with Kids << Back: Getting StartedBack to […]

  2. […] area >> Next: Setting up your Camp Kitchen >> Next: Setting up your gas stove >> << Back: Camping with Kids << Back: Getting […]

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  4. Just spent a good few hours reading your website about camping, and decided to give it a go! Kids are mega excited, 2 girls age 8 and 5, and my 2 year old toddler son. have just bought a Coleman da gama 6 tent, and booked to go on Apline Grove campsite for 4 days in Somerset, wish me luck!

    • Hi Kay,
      That’s great. You’ll have a fantastic time 😉
      Let us know how you get on.
      Cheers,
      Gav

      • Just returned from our very first family camping trip. it was brilliant, kids totally loved it, and so did the parents! Already planning another one, thankyou for inspiring me with your brilliant site, which definitely helped me feel more confident. Keep up the good work guys!

        • Hi Kay,
          So glad you all enjoyed it. May the adventures continue!
          And thanks for the kind words. Knowing we help other families keeps us going. 🙂
          Cheers,
          Gav

  5. we have 2 children aged 8 and 11
    they love camping as well
    we are off to shell island in the school holidays 😀

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