How to Plan a Successful Family Camping Trip
The most important family camping choice you will make is the camping location you choose, which will have the greatest chance of making or breaking your family camping experience. You might really like the idea of backpacking a few miles to the backcountry and setting up camp, but your kids (or your partner) might not like the idea as much as you do.
Campsite selection needs to be based on the capabilities of the camping party and their interests.If you have some novice campers, it might be a good idea to choose a campground among established campgrounds in state or national parks. If you’re willing to spend all your time at or near a campsite, more remote locations may be better. Many families like to camp at night, but spend the day exploring local towns or hiking miles - if this is the case for you, make sure your campsite is closer to where you’re going. If your family doesn’t care too much about being rough, choose a campsite that has running water and flush toilets.
Besides your campsite, the best predictor of family camping success is how prepared you are. Basic camping gear for any outdoor experience should include at least the following:
l First aid kit - well stocked and replenished
l Tent with rain cover and ground cloth
l Sleeping bag with proper temperature rating
l Camp mattress, crib, or foam pad
l Rain gear - the lightweight rain poncho for everyone
l F lashlight
l S pare battery
l C amping hand warmer
l C amping stove and fuel
l Camping Lanterns and Fuel
l Camp Chef kit including can opener
l W ater tanker
l W aterproof container
l S unscreen
l I nsect repellent
Safety Camping Tips for Camping at Night
- Be aware of any hazards around the tent
You’ve arrived at your destination and are about to nail your first tent peg. Before you do this, make sure you look around and consider the risks in the immediate area.
Avoid camping directly under large eucalyptus trees. Some species are prone to dropping large branches at any time. The last thing you want is branches falling on top of your tent in the middle of the night. Consider where the water goes when it rains. Avoid camping on creek beds and ditches that may collect water.
If you’re camping with kids, consider staying away from potential hazards like rivers, creeks, or steep drops. And keep an eye out for ant nests! Pitching a tent on a swarm of angry ants is no fun.
2.Be aware of the weather
Keep an eye on the weather and pack accordingly. Look at both the day-time and night-time temperatures as warm sunny days can turn into frosty cold nights. You may need sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen during the day and thick socks, trackies and a warm jumper at night.
- Keep your eye out for wildlife
As well as keeping an eye out for drop bears, remember it’s the smaller critters that will likely cause the most problems. Mosquitoes, ticks and other insects can bite and cause irritation and, in rare cases, carry diseases.
Using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved tops and long pants will help prevent bites. Make sure you keep the fly screens on tents closed whenever possible and don’t leave open water and drink containers around your campsite as they can attract thirsty insects.
During the warmer months, it’s possible that you will come across snakes. Snakes are generally shy and will not attack unless provoked, so it’s best to leave them be. Remember, even little snakes can be dangerous.
Tips for avoiding snakes include sticking to the trails, making a bit of noise when you walk and wearing long pants and closed shoes.
Kangaroos, emus, possums, kookaburras and magpies may be cute to look at but they can be crafty when it comes to raiding your campsite. Keeping your food and rubbish inside your tent or car will prevent Skippy from feasting on your dinner.
How to Stay Warm During the Camping Night
On balmy nights, you might not even need to zip up your sleeping bag. Typically, campers will just tuck their feet into the bag’s foot box and drape the bag over them. If you’re looking forward to warmer nights, bring sheets and/or light blankets from home.For camping in cold weather, or if you generally prefer to sleep cold, these tips will help you stay warm:
l Have a meal or snack before bed. The digestive process warms your body, which creates the heat you need to sleep comfortably.
l Have a warm non-alcoholic drink before jumping into the sack. (Alcohol dilates blood vessels, stimulating heat loss.)
l Get some exercise before you finally get down and doze off. Not too much, or you may end up sweating or wide awake. Doing crunches in a sleeping bag is an easy way to warm up both you and your sleeping bag.
l Again, remember to wear long underwear and clean, dry socks. If your neck tends to get cold, wear a comfortable scarf.
l If it’s cold when you first step into your pack, wear a warm knit hat. You can easily pull it off at night if you get too hot.
l Tie the sleeping bag’s hood over your head, even if you’re wearing a hat. On sub-zero nights, you may only have one large enough snout opening.
l Add a closed-cell foam pad underneath your regular sleeping pad for extra insulation.
l Tuck dry clothes into your sleeping bag to fill in the voids and reduce the areas of your body that have to heat up.
l Hold a warm water bottle close to your core since your core is your body’s main heat zone. For a quicker warm up, try placing it next to your femoral artery (between your legs).
Many campers recommend to try camping hand warmer. The rechargeable hand warmers like Ocoopa Union 2s last up to 8+ hours on low, and they can be separated into two hand warmers,which are perfect for warming our body parts in the camping night. If you find disposal hand warmers not practical, try the Ocoopa Union 2s rechargeable hand warmer when you feel cold.
And keeping all your camping gear in the storage box makes it easier to store all your camping gear and use it while camping. In our house we have three pre-labeled trash cans - one for camping gear, one for cooking equipment and supplies, and one for food. They store efficiently in the back of the car and store well under a picnic table at the campsite. They keep wildlife away from your belongings when you’re not around. Prepared hand warmers for camping