Aug 13 , 2022
Uffda! Did it feel a little in-tents reading that title?
Camping with kids is serious business! Lots of work but friends, it's oh so worth it! Scott and I take our kids camping along the North Shore a couple times a summer. The packing takes literally days, the bugs are usually bad, and its definitely not "vacation." But it's an adventure and it's an absolute blast! Here's a few family camping tips for any newbies in this area.
1) Flexibility is key! Generally on our camping trips we aim for togetherness and fun, but hold loosely to what that'll look like. Sometimes a kiddo just isn't feeling that long hike or bike ride. Sometimes we need to turn around early. Sometimes we need to pivot for the rainy conditions. It's easy to become dissapointed if we hold to strict ideas of what the weekend will look like! Keeping a loose flow on the weekend + an open mind help us all stay cool as a cucumber!
2) Consider forgetting about bedtime routines. A previous version of myself may be appalled at this tip, but with 4 kids under foot who want to play and discover, going to bed at 7pm just wont cut it (easily any way!) in a tent. We let them stay up late, tell stories, eat smores, and generally the late night crash goes much smoother than the early evening bed routine would. Our kiddos end up exhausted by the end.. but that's what the car ride home is for, right?!
3) Simplify the food. We focus less on cooking while camping, and more on simple, nutrition packed meals that are quick and easy. We usually just bring along foods that we know the kiddos will eat, and plenty of snacks too! They are so excited to be exploring all day, it's hard to get them to sit down for a meal. so grab and go granola bars, fruit, veggies, and meat are our camping staples!
4) Take a moment for you! It can be so easy for a camping trip itinerary to feel full, but literally not restful for even a minute for mom and dad. We try to take turns getting a moment of peace in... I'll watch the kids so Scott can do a bike ride, or he will hang with them while I go for a swim. Just getting a little off the hook time can be so restorative!
A few extras that we always pack along:
- First Aid Kit!
-Rainy Day activities. Card games, craft supplies, picture books!
- Winter Hats! Yep- the North Shore can get cold at night in the summer! Hats just in case are a great idea.
- Snacks snacks snacks. Maybe even an extra special treat to help kiddos along during a long hike or bike ride!
- Nature ID books- there's so many awesome berries and herbs to be enjoyed in the summertime up North. Grab a few from our shop if you're in need!