Camping is an American pastime that cannot be overlooked when deciding on how to spend time with the kiddos. You can go over their Summer vacation, a long holiday weekend, or even just an overnight trip at a place closer to home.

However, to get the most out of your family camping trip, you want to make sure that you prepare for it thoroughly. Not preparing can make the best camping trip ideas go south in a hurry. Taking your time to get things right before you head out can make a big difference and it’s important to make any camping trip memorable when it comes to the kids.

Let’s look at the steps you need to take to get the most out of your next family camping trip.

Step 1: Choose a Destination

If you are planning your first camping trip with the whole family, you may want to stick to a campground or state park that is closer to home. This way, if there is an emergency or something else comes up, it isn’t too difficult to make it back home.

However, if you plan on making multiple camping trips as a family and there are several places you want to experience, you may want to sit down as a family and make a “camping trip bucket list” so you can start checking them off as you visit each one.

Step 2: Do Your Research

Every location is different. There will be different weather concerns that you will need to prepare for. You also need to know what amenities are available. Do you need to bring things to freshen up with or are their showers available? Will you be able to buy firewood nearby or do you need to bring it with you? Know as much as possible about the camping spots and surrounding areas.

Step 3: Meal Planning

Once you know how long you will be there, you can start planning your meals. You need to have breakfasts, lunches, dinners, as well as snacks. You always need to have plenty of water on hand, or at least a water purifying system or bottle so that you can drink nearby stream, river, or lake water once processed.

Make sure you have enough room in the car to bring as much food as you need and that the food you are bringing is non-perishable so it will last the whole time without spoiling. It is always better to have a bit more food than not enough to last the whole trip for the whole family.

Step 4: Triple Check the Checklist

Sit down and make a checklist of everything that you will need once you arrive at the campsite. Go over the list with everyone in the family – they may think of things you didn’t. Make sure that everything is present and accounted for before you start packing things into the vehicle. Have someone go over the list after you so you know that nothing got missed. Here is a guide to get you started.

Step 5: Pack Properly

If you’ve done your research on the typical weather for the area as well as the forcasted weather for the time you will be there, then it’s time to pick the proper clothing. You should bring a change of clothes for each day for each person, as well as night clothes to change into. Just in case the weather is warmer or cooler than predicted, bring an outfit or two that will allow you to be comfortable.

When packing the car, start with biggest things first. The ice chest and food are most important. Tent, chairs, sleeping bags, clothing, etc. should all follow. You may have to re-arrange things as you pack the vehicle to make sure it all fits.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors!

If you prepare properly for your family camping trip, the trip will be a hit for both parents and kids. Enjoy everything Mother Nature has to offer as you relax and take in the beauty of the great outdoors. There’s nothing quite like unplugging from a fast-paced world and connecting with one that has so much more to show you.

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