It’s summertime! Oh, the glorious days of lounging by the pool, running through the sprinkler with a sticky Popsicle grin and spending all day, every day outside until the sun finally sets. While it does have its own share of woes (I’m looking at you, pollen), I’ve come to absolutely love this time of year, especially after having kids. For so long, I practically missed summer while working in my office. I’d go to work before the sun and leave long after it had set and even though the hours that passed were balmy and beautiful, I couldn’t look up from my computer long enough to notice.
Now that I have kids, I’m basically forced to slow down and smell the roses. Any mama who’s ever tried to get her kids to hurry up, put on shoes and get out the door for goodness sake can relate. My days move like dripping honey and this is especially true in the summertime, when there are fewer activities planned, fewer events to scurry off to and more free time to just play.
One of our favorite things to do as a family is to pile into our camper van and hit the great outdoors. I’ve never been a big hiker or camper by nature, but I did marry an Eagle Scout and that comes with the territory, right up there along with learning how to tie a million kinds of knots, start a fire from two twigs and MacGyver your way out of any situation, apparently.
1. Don’t cram the days with activities.
Camping, on the other hand, is a relatively inexpensive adventure and it’s the perfect time to relax and do next to nothing. Other than a little fishing, making s’mores by the campfire and telling silly stories, there’s nothing on the agenda and everyone is calmer, happier and less stressed because of it.
2. Plan way ahead.
Though each family is different, we’ve found that roughing it isn’t the way to go right now while ours are still little. We’d much rather drive up to the campsite than hike there, but that’s totally our preference. I’ve got plenty of friends who strap their babies into hiking carriers and hit the trails and everyone absolutely loves it.
3. Do a test run.
These are just a few of the tips that have worked for our family and that we use each time we’re ready to set out and explore the great outdoors together. The summer can be an incredible time to make lifelong memories with your brood and the high temperatures and bugs don’t have to be a deterrent. When it comes to camping, a little pre-planning and consideration go a long way, so start brainstorming your next adventure today!