Curious Nature: Tenting with children 101

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Going outside with your children is one of the most important things you can do about their early life experiences.
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Here in Colorado we have beautiful terrain and outdoor activities that offer unique and exciting experiences. We are happy to share these experiences with everyone, including our children. Bringing children out into nature is essential for their future development as young outdoor men and women.

Going outside with your children is one of the most important things you can do about their early life experiences, but knowing exactly how to do it can be difficult at times. Here are a few tips to help you get an idea of ​​how to successfully camp with your children and inspire their love for the outdoors and the environment.

Practice creates masters

Primarily, practice in the back yard to keep the children comfortable and safe, and to help you identify what you may have forgotten to pack. Your pretend camping trip should be an attempt to stay in the tent and play in the yard to get used to being out of the house. More comfort comes to light. Bring lanterns, headlamps, and glow sticks for safety and fun. After the practice session, you are ready to start thinking about your family adventure.

Choose your place

When planting the seed that will make for a fun camping adventure, think about the location. Start by exploring the area you are traveling to so you know what activities are nearby and what conditions you will encounter.

Proper packing can make or break a successful camping trip with kids. Don’t forget to consider all possible weather conditions.
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If you’re a tech-savvy nature enthusiast, apps like All Trails and Mountain Project are great resources for exploring a kid-friendly campsite. You can also use local resources on site, such as B. the US Forest Service, which has a more detailed knowledge of an area and its available activities. Once you know where you are going and what activities are nearby, you can start packing.

Packing is important

Proper packing can make or break a successful camping trip with kids. Don’t forget to consider all possible weather conditions. Do you need to bring a rain fly? Extra beds? Hand warmers?

Family camping is different from your backcountry backpacking weekend and you will need to bring extra items for comfort and safety. The kids might be interested in packing too, so let them help out as much as possible. Give them items to pack and provide separate bins so they can help you organize linens, kitchen, and daytime activities to keep you nice and organized.

It’s never a bad idea to bring some field guides to help identify any birds, plants, or animals that you may encounter along the way.
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Let the children have a say in what you will cook over the fire or on the camping stove so that they can eat it safely. Children sometimes find fire cooked food gross, so bringing a substitute option is never a bad idea. and of course don’t forget the s’mores. Cooking is also a great opportunity for a fire safety lesson.

Keep children busy

Now that you’ve got the basics packed, think about entertainment. Children don’t always want to sit by the fire and talk or tell stories, so allow for some structured activities and unstructured outdoor play. Take them on adventures around the camp to arouse their curiosity and love for nature.

It’s never a bad idea to bring some field guides to help identify any birds, plants, or animals that you may encounter along the way. Camping can be scary for kids due to the enormous amount of unknowns. Educate them about outdoor safety and what to do if you run into large animals.

You now have some tips for a memorable and successful family camping experience, but I encourage you to research more about camping with children to give your own family that unique touch of loving the outdoors.