After a fun-filled summer with oodles of sunshine and truckloads of watermelon, I’m now gearing up for fall with my three kids: Gavin, 7, Ava, 4, and Enzo, 2.
But before I get all back-to-school-savvy on you, I wanted to share our camping adventures.
Disclaimer: I used to love camping. Prior to having kids, my husband Rob and I would set up camp all over our great province of British Columbia. With our tent, hibachi and cribbage board in tow, we would hit all the local camping spots. After setting up shop, I would happily grab my book, put my feet up and tan the day away.
After all, that’s what Canadians do in the summer, eh!
But once the kiddos arrived on the scene, our camping adventures became more about work rather than relaxation.
That said, camping is, hands down, my kids’ favorite thing to do. So sometimes a mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do.
Here are some of my best tips and pics, outlining how you can have a fun-filled camping trip with your family.
1. Get the kids involved in set up.
My kids loved being helpers while setting up the tent and blowing up the air mattress. This year, they tried out their very own Joovy Foocot. They were able to carry their travel cot in its convenient tote, assemble it on their own, and test it out before adding their sleeping bag and pillow.
With two storage pockets for camping essentials like a flashlight and water bottle, Joovy has come up with a genius camping cot. All three of my kids will be using this cot for years to come – also at grandma and grandpa’s house for sleepovers – since it holds a child up to 75 lbs. These are way better than foamy mattresses. The kids just loved them!
2. Get regular exercise.
I know this might seem to defeat the purpose of getting some R & R in the great outdoors, but keeping up with regular exercise will keep your energy levels up, and your sanity intact.
It’s nothing but thumbs up from this mama, after running around the trails of Alice Lake, B.C. What a gorgeous spot!
3. Check out the local activities.
During our adventures at Cultus Lake, B.C., we took advantage of the fun, hands on, Learn to Fish Program that taught basic fishing skills. My toddler was more interested in wandering around the woods with mama. But our older kids stayed back with dad, and learned about casting a rod and catching some fish.
As well, Cultus Lake offered an outdoor educational talk on local wildlife. This short chat, geared at kids, was followed by fun craft stations. Big hit with my kids!
4. Wander around the area & invite friends.
Don’t just stay at the campsite and get bitten by the mosquitos!
Take it all in: go to the beach, go on a nature trail walk, go for a bike ride, and even check out the nearby communities and their playgrounds.
And of course, be sure to indulge in a s’more or two!
Something that I will be planning in advance for next year? Camping with friends! We have learned that it’s much easier on mom and dad when the kids have playdates. What a great way for moms to unite with some wine!
5. Bring wine…and the cribbage board!
And not to mention, once the kids crash into their comfy cots after a jam-packed day of fresh air, mom and dad get to indulge in some beverages and non-kid conversation. And be sure to bring along that cribbage board just like the good old days.
What are some of your best family camping tips?