Written by: Jack Willets
Camping with kids on a budget
Thinking about taking a camping trip? Not quite sure how to go about it? We at The Working Parent have it covered in this no nonsense guide to camping with kids on a budget.Camping can provide a perfect way to escape all the stresses and strains of modern living. A good camping trip can remind you of a more natural and simplistic way of life and give you an opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us.
If you are considering a camping trip, be sure you have everything you need before setting off into the great outdoors.
First of all you have to plan ahead; you remember the Scout Motto? Well they were on to something! BE PREPARED! A fun and successful camping trip is usually a well planned one. Plan meals and shop beforehand where possible so that you have a good range of supplies. There is nothing worse than arriving at a campsite and having to walk miles for the bare essentials. How much you need to carry in the way of supplies will depend on where you are camping.
If you plan to stay on a campsite which has shops on site or nearby you will able to buy food and drink as you go. However, if you are planning on being a little more adventurous and camping in the woods, then we would recommend that you carry a good supply of water and food.
Food and drink aside, you should make a list of all the other things you might need for your trip. In terms of clothes it is advisable to take warm clothing, waterproofs, extra shoes and wellingtons. If you plan for all weather then you will not get caught out. It is also a good idea to take torches, a first aid kit and sun cream. Bedding, pillows and extra blankets are also advisable.
In terms of what you can pack to keep you busy when you are back at camp, we would suggest packing a good range of games and books.
What to do
Camping is all about making the most of the natural world and its beauty, so with that in mind here is a list of popular camping activities. Most of the activities listed here are free, helping you afford an exciting camping trip on a budget.
-Go for walks. Walk through fields, meadows; walk up a mountain or across a beach. The geography of your chosen camp site will determine the wonderful sights that you see.
-Take in the sounds around you, especially at night; listen for bird calls and other wildlife. Play a game and try to identify the different sounds you hear.
-Build a camp fire; always check if this is permitted and ensure safety. Take this as an opportunity to teach the children a great survival skill.
-Sing songs, play cards and tell tales. The simple things in life can be great fun.
-Take a star chart or constellation map and discover the wonder of the night sky. You do not need to be an astronomer to appreciate the beauty of the stars. The sky should appear particularly clear when camping because there is little artificial light, so be sure to take a look.
-Go for a bike ride, there are usually designated bike tracks around campsites. If not, create your own.
-Try your hand at fishing. For many people fishing and camping go hand in hand, and there is nothing like relaxing on the riverbank on a sunny afternoon. Try to get the whole family involved. Maybe you haven’t got around to teaching the children to fish, take advantage of this opportunity.
-Find out about local history; visit museums and landmarks.
-Visit local lakes or waterfalls.
-Visit local beaches. If you are fortunate enough to have hot weather paddle and swim in the sea. It is easy to spend the day on a beach exploring, walking and relaxing.
-Take a picnic. This is a great activity for catching up with the family. With no TV, computer games or other distractions, the family can actually eat and talk together, undisturbed.
-Take photographs and make memories.
Whatever you do on your camping trip remember – prepare, stay safe and enjoy!