If you have young kids and are thinking about taking them camping this summer, it’s a good idea to have an at home camping experience first. If you children have never been camping, they will be just as excited about pitching a tent in their backyard as they would be in a state park. Here are a few fun ways to making your backyard camping adventure just as memorable as a trip to Big Bend!
Prepare your yard
One benefit of camping in your backyard is that you can control the environment a bit. I recommend having your yard treated for mosquitoes, fire ants, wasps and the like within a week of your camping plans. There are plenty of kid and pet-friendly pest control companies these days so you don’t need to worry about the chemicals being harmful to your children. It also helps to have a freshly mowed lawn and do some pooper scooping if you have dogs.
Don’t spend a fortune on camping supplies for a backyard camping experience but it is important to be prepared. Post a request on Facebook to borrow a tent for the night if you don’t have one. Let your kids choose their favorite color or character for their sleeping bags so they get extra excited and if you think they’ll have trouble sleeping on the ground bring an air mattress or foam mat out to the backyard with you.
Let’s face it, the best part about camping is the food, right? Your children will be more than eager to go camping after they learn about all of the delicious treats that are typical camping etiquette. Ignore the fact that your kitchen is a few steps away and act like you’re out in the woods by packing food in soft coolers and assigning each child an item to be in charge of. You probably don’t want to light a full blown campfire but a backyard fire pit or even a little charcoal grill can be great for cooking hot dogs or marshmallows for s’mores.
Use this trial run as an opportunity to teach your children about camping safety. Talk about fire safety, dangerous animals (snakes, bears, or even porcupines) and the buddy system. Make sure you know where everyone is at all times as nothing ruins a fun time like discovering someone is missing halfway through the night. Since you are in your backyard, talk about a contingency plan for any kids that decide they don’t want to tough it out all night and make sure they know to come get an adult before heading back inside.
Hopefully these tips make for a fun evening with your crew and before you know it, you’ll be out on a true camping adventure exploring some of the amazing wilderness spots across America.
Guest post contributed by By Bryn Huntpalmer
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