When you bring kids camping, planning for family camping vacations isn’t so much about remembering to bring a toothbrush; it’s about safety. Introducing your kids to the great outdoors requires a little pre-planning. Before you set up camp, make sure your kids understand how to stay safe, alert, and respectful of nature.
Camping with kids starts at home
Every outdoors geek can’t wait to pass on their love of nature to their kids. Taking them camping is the first step to introducing them to a life of outdoor adventures. However, camping with kids starts at home. We know you can’t wait to hit the trails, look for wildlife, swim in the rivers, and start exploring, but you’re going to have much more fun doing all of that if you teach your kids a little about safety in the wild before you go.
Basic safety skills
Look, whether you’re going to Disneyland or camping in the mountains, getting lost is the biggest concern. Kids are easily distracted. Whether you’re chasing Mickey or a butterfly, before you know it, you’re lost. We’ve all been there, and it’s equally terrifying for the kid as it is for the parent. If you’ve gone over what to do in case you get lost or separated, everyone can relax a little bit more.
What to do if you get lost or separated
Stress the importance of staying within eyesight when you are at camp, as well as when you are out exploring. If they do end up getting lost, teach them to stay in one place until they are found. This is good advice for the grocery store as well as the great outdoors.
Kids should have their own backpack
Get your kid outfitted with a kid’s backpack and a basic survival kit. First of all, they’ll love it because it gives them a bit of responsibility and independence. Pack the pack with a few essentials like bandages, a flashlight, snacks, a compass (because it’s fun, and it’s never too soon to learn to use a compass!), and a safety whistle.
The safety whistle
Your kids aren’t always going to be carrying their packs, especially when playing around camp, but they can always be wearing a whistle around their necks. Should they wander too far and get lost, the whistle can signal to an adult to come and find them. You can even teach them how to whistle SOS – three short whistles, three long, and three short – giving them their first essential survival skill! Once they’ve whistled for help, they need to stay in one spot and wait to be found. It is important, of course, to tell your kids that the whistle is for emergencies only, and not for fun. If they whistle when they’re not in trouble, it could prevent an adult from reacting if they actually need help. So, tell them not to “whistle wolf,” so to speak.
Leave no trace
The first step to raising a little outdoor geek is to teach them to be respectful of nature. It’s never too soon to teach your kids to “leave no trace” and to follow basic outdoor ethics. The goal is to take only memories and leave only footprints.
Gear for family camping vacations
While you’re teaching your kids to be great outdoors people, we can put together a package that’s perfect for family camping vacations. We’ve even got backpacks that are perfectly fitted for kids.