Camping is one of the most time honored, cost efficient, and family friendly ways to vacation. In 2010 alone, approximately 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings. Indeed, campers get physical activity (evidenced by the fact that 87% of campers participated in multiple outdoor activities), the opportunity to travel (evidenced by the fact that campers traveled an average distance of 186.7 miles for camping trips) and of course, time to spend with friends and family.
But, it can be hard to focus your attention and prioritize everyone’s activities, especially when traveling with kids. Check out these tips for camping with the family mindfully:
Learn Through Hobbies
Use your family camping vacations as a way for the whole family to learn a new skill or develop an old one. For instance, birding, fishing, or foraging can make your family vacations much more goal oriented and overall structured. Plus, if you come away from your trip having seen a couple species of birds you’ve never seen or caught a particularly large fish, you and your family will feel quite positive and triumphant.
Don’t underestimate your children, especially if they are slightly older and share your love for the outdoors. For some people, vacation time simply means that the schedule is clear for pursuing loftier goals — literally. Why not use some vacation cabins as base, and take on the tougher trails by having overnight camping trips. Some families in New York might have their eyes on the ultimate prize of becoming 46ers — folks who have climbed the 46 highest peaks in the state — but every state in the country has its own unique landscape upon which goals of height and endurance can be reached.
Let Your Creativity Rein
Before you go on your trip, have everyone in your family select an artistic medium to explore while you immerse yourselves in nature, with one piece of equipment each. This might include a palette and sketchbook for a painter, a journal for a writer, a camera for a photographer, and an instrument or tape recorder for a musician. The natural world has inspired art for many millennia — why should your family take any exception? Share with each other what you have created and encourage one another to explore new mediums.
From vacation cabins to tent camping, there is no reason why a camping trip with the family shouldn’t be the best time of the year.