Camping can be an amazing family experience when you plan it thoroughly. It is a great opportunity to experience the outdoors and teach your kids a little bit about survival. If you are thinking about taking your family camping, read these tips to ensure you get the most out of your outdoor adventure.

1. Make a List, Check it Twice

Any good trip starts with a solid plan. You most likely won’t have access to modern luxuries when you are on your trip, and you may be far from the store. It’s important to be prepared for anything you and your family may want or need. This step can be stressful, but it is an excellent way to get children involved and teaching them the importance of planning. If you aren’t sure what to pack, there are many free, comprehensive lists available online that can help you. Some basic ideas include sleeping bags, flashlights, a first-aid kit, firewood, cooking supplies, and extra clothing.

2. Setting Up Camp

Tent camping can be fun, but you need to make sure you know the basics of how to properly set up camp. Here are a few pointers.

Pick a spot that is on a level surface that is above sea level. This will ensure that you stay dry if you get caught in a flood and don’t end up sleeping on an incline! Shade is an added bonus when picking the perfect spot.

Find a spot that is safe to use your grill or build a fire. This should also be placed on level ground away from trees and brush. Be sure someone is watching the fire at all times.

You will want to have a water source close by. All of your camp functions will require fresh water. Be sure to bring chlorine tablets to purify your water if you are getting it from a natural source. You may be able to get by with five-gallon jugs if you are only going out for a few days.

3. Don’t Forget the Food

For many people, food is one of the most enjoyable parts of the trip. There’s nothing like baked beans served with a hot dog cooked on an open fire. Kids especially love s’mores. Teaching your kids to cook on the fire is fun and educational. You can make a separate list for the foods you and your family want to enjoy. Keep in mind that you may not have a way to keep things cool for very long. Be sure to plan accordingly.

4. Be Prepared

As mentioned before, being prepared will ensure a low-stress, fun trip. However, you should also plan for any emergencies that may arise. This includes packing first-aid supplies, researching the closest hospital to your campsite, and following preventative safety rules. Make sure you and your family know what to do in case of an injury, fire, or another emergency.

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