When it comes to camping with kids, there is a right way to do it and there is a wrong way. Over the next few days, several Americans will demonstrate the wrong way — camping out (and yes, sometimes as a family!) in front of The Apple Store to secure their place in line to ultimately purchase the iPhone 6. As tech-savvy as kids can be these days and as eager as they may be to get their hands on tablets and smartphones, spending the night out in the cold in front of a retail store still does not constitute family camping. Here are some quick Dos and Don’ts for best possible experience while camping with kids.
Do: Teach Kids Outdoor Survival Skills
Seventy-four percent of Americans of all ages have tried at least one new activity while camping — and most of these activities entailed something they were previously afraid to do. You don’t necessarily have to start out sleeping out under the stars or swimming in a lake, however. Parents can slowly introduce kids to camping and outdoor survival skills, while enjoying the comforts of RV or cabin camping. That way, you can get kids accustomed to things like building a fire, identifying plants, or hiking — without getting too overwhelmed.
Don’t: Expect Your Kids To Eat Cold Beans Out Of The Can For Several Days Straight
Some survival skills are fun — even for young children. Some are not. Even the most enthusiastic adults will tire of eating cold beans out of a can for days on end. That’s not what you want your child to associate camping with, especially if you want to make a second trip.
Do: Roast Marshmallows And Tell Ghost Stories
There are some stereotypical — but well-liked and even loved — camping traditions you don’t want kids to miss out on. Roast marshmallows. Make s’mores. Tell stories around a campfire. Pick up a camping press, and let your young children help you prepare peanut butter and jelly to cook and into gooey perfection over the campfire.
You know — in fact, we all know — camping outside of The Apple Store is not a proper family vacation. Help your kids make life-long memories with a legitimate and exciting camping experience.