In today's day and age, getting your family to steer clear from technology for a weekend is already an achievement. Yet, how can you really promote that family bonding during your time out in the summer sun?
If you are taking this vacation with your children, trust me, there will be complaining! The peak of it will come if you decide to take away their cellular phones until 8pm every night. They’ll thank you later though.
The exciting part about a family camping trip is getting to know your family on a deeper level. Yes, you live with them, but do you actually know them? Our computer screens take so much of our time, that we forget to converse with our loved ones!
This is the perfect time for you to chill and relax as well. Bring that book you’ve been meaning to read, open up a bottle of water, find a shady tree, and revel in the relaxing atmosphere doing what you enjoy. Everybody needs a break now and then!
You can skip rocks at the nearby river, try to build a fire, play hide-and-seek, or even do a family Masterchef. The opportunities at a weekend away are endless. So we have determined the most fun ideas that the entire family will enjoy.
Our Top 10 Camping Activities
There is no limit as to what you can do on a family camping trip. It may sound cliche, but you are only bound by the borders of your imagination!
Maybe your family enjoys a quiet time around a fire. Maybe they are physically apt to hike the nearby trail. Or maybe you want to find out more about them to make these decisions. Camping is all about getting to know each other better.
You want to make sure that there is something for everyone to do. Let Grandma teach everyone how to knit, or get Dad to teach everyone how to chop wood. It is all about learning, and creating those memories that will last forever.
Here are the top 10 most fun activities to put on your itinerary the next time you plan that family camping trip.
Making Memorable Memories
Taking a dip at the nearby river can be a perfect way to cool down, especially if you decide to go camping in the peak of summer. Take a waterpolo or tennis ball to really spark the competitive spirit within the family.
Make sure that you always have more than enough sunscreen on, and are using it at regular intervals. The most disappointing part of a camping trip is getting sunburnt and having to sit on the sidelines.
There is no better way to bond as a family than going on a hike together! The encouragement when the path becomes too steep, coupled with the bouts of conversation, make for a great family adventure.
This is one of those times where one person can take a camera. This way you’ll have photos of the experience and nature that we typically take for granted.
As soon as the sun sets, the music should begin. Now we don’t mean that you need to use your phones. What we suggest is finding sticks, logs, and rocks to create your own instrument. Add your voices and you have yourself a nature band.
Pick one evening and safely make the largest fire that you can muster! This is bound to be an exciting experience for the children and adults alike. Add a nice warm cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, and your evening is probably perfect.
Make sure that the bonfire is not in an enclosed space, as the worst that could happen is causing a forest fire. If your camp ground has a fire pit, we highly recommend using it. Just make sure you always follow the park’s rules.
Playing ‘snap’ especially in a big group, can be tons of fun. Better yet, get some Uno cards, throw together some of your own rules, and watch everyone explode with laughter.
You can even join together some card and board games for extra entertainment! Imagine playing 30 Seconds and Crazy Eights, both at the same time. If you can make that work, you’ll frequently be reminiscing on the experience.
See who can make the tastiest dish using the least time and equipment. Ensure that everyone gets the same set of ingredients, and watch how everyone’s creativity flows. Just make sure there is an impartial judge!
Studying the Stars
We’re not saying that you need to become an astronomer overnight. However, why not try and spot the Northern Star, the Big Dipper, or even some of the Zodiac signs? You’ll get the joys of both science and beauty during this activity.
Who knows, this might spark a career interest for a member of the family!
Night time can become rather boring when out camping with the family. This is why it is a great idea for everyone to bring a flashlight along to play tag. Demarcating a playing field will ensure that everything is kept fair.
If you’d prefer playing in teams, bring some colored cloth along and tie it to the arms of the respective team members. To add more of a competitive edge, try incorporating some dynamics of Capture the Flag.
Canoeing or Kayaking
Depending on where you go camping, some grounds allow for hiring of canoeing equipment. Taking the family canoeing can be immense fun, especially in the summer heat. Please just make sure everyone can swim!
This one is more for the little kids. Hide some sweet treats around the campsite, give them each a piece of paper with clues, and watch how the little cogs in their minds start to turn. This activity is great fun for both participants and spectators.
Make a mental note about where all the items are. You wouldn’t want any unexpected visitors (i.e wild animals) making a visit.
Useful Gear to Pack
You want to make sure that you and your family remain cool in the summer sun. This is why we recommend a tent, with an attached tarp to provide that extra bit of shade, be put on your equipment list. Make sure to have a shovel handy to help with the set up!
Ensure that you pack appropriate clothes for the weather and activities. Nobody wants to go hiking in a sweatshirt when the sun is beating down on them. With that being said, make sure to back your basic medication and first-aid kit.
Make sure everyone’s dietary requirements are adhered to. If you plan on taking fresh produce, we recommend purchasing some ice and a cooler box. Making sure they remain cold and fresh will ensure nobody picks up any illnesses.
Lastly, allow books to be read. Camping isn’t just about socializing, but it is also about decompressing and finding your own centre. Whatever makes those in the family happy, allow them to actively partake in those activities.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What do I do if so many different age-groups are coming (e.g Children and Elderly)?
A: Try your best to make sure they all have at least one activity that can keep them busy throughout the trip. Whether it be knitting, reading a book, or birding, allow them the time to do what they enjoy.
Q: How much money does a camping trip usually cost?
A: If you are starting with no equipment, a four-person camping weekend (including the hiring of the grounds) should not be more than $600. After the tent has been purchased, each subsequent trip will be approximately $100, or $25 per person.
The initial price includes all of your camping bags, sleeping bags, and even a few extras.
Q: How do I deal with everyone’s technological devices?
A: Allow an ‘online time’ for about one hour at night time. This lets everyone have something to look forward to, and also allows them to remain in contact with their friends. Remember, in the middle of nowhere there is little to no service anyways!
Q: What is the perfect duration of a family camp in the summer?
A: Usually a weekend should be sufficient, especially seeing as school holidays and work vacation days rarely match-up. However, if you’ve done family camping before and everyone enjoyed it, push for that seven day family adventure.
Camping in the summer is not done as often as it should be! It is the perfect way to strengthen bonds between family members, do some introspection, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Remember, emphasize to all the attendees the importance of staying safe. You don’t want an injury to occur, no matter how eventful it may be.
So what are you waiting for? Round up the family and get packing!