A Bunch of (Really Great) Reasons to Take Kids Camping

The time of the year is now upon us when the Great American Campout is attempted by families across the country.  For some it's a tent pitched in the backyard, for others it's backpacking along a mountain range separated from all other distractions.  For still others it's "glamping" in a full-service RV at a KOA.  How it's done doesn't matter — but it's important to take kids camping, even for just one night.

Family Camping

While camping with kids provides it's own set of new challenges and struggles, the benefits (even if they are in the long run) far outweigh a little short-lived discomfort.  We've had our fair share of sleepless nights in tents.  We've even bailed and dismantled the tent in the middle of the night and headed home.  But, we've also made some of the very best family memories that we talk about all winter in anticipation for the next round of summer nights.

In an attempt to help encourage even more families to get out and sleep under the stars (or at least without electricity or *gasp** cell service) we've put together our best list of why camping as a family is a must-do for everyone in one capacity or another.

Family Camping
  1. It's a wide-open invitation to get dirty and breathe in fresh air.
  2. Camp food just makes everyone happier.  S'mores, fresh veggie kabobs, burgers, dutch oven stews, pudgie pies, etc.
  3. It's an opportunity for the entire family to unplug and get away from distractions at home.
  4. You all get to sleep next to each other (if you go the tent route) AKA "Family Cuddle Time".
  5. Naps.  Doesn't everyone take naps while camping?
  6. The memories literally last a lifetime.  Camping and other outdoor adventures are what most people can easily recall with fondness (or humor over trips-gone-wrong) years later.
  7. The opportunity to run free and explore without time constraints makes children more aware of their surroundings and life happening around them.
  8. It helps teach basic survival skills (starting a fire, gathering wood, etc.) and therefore problem solving skills.
  9. Camping helps children connect better to nature and the earth, helping instill a desire to take care of it.
  10. It provides an opportunity to assign small tasks for even the smallest of campers which in turn gives them ownership of the camp and encourages a higher self esteem.
  11. You are never too old for camping — it's a great thing to do with friends or family members of all different ages.
  12. It's a family bonding opportunity with naturally occurring invitations to work and play together.
  13. It's a great excuse for family exercise — hiking, boating, fishing, walking or just exploring.
  14. It (meaning the fresh air) reduces stress levels
  15. Camping teaches family members to just "go with the flow" as inevitable challenges arise (an unforeseen rainstorm, a forgotten sleeping bag, etc.)

camping with kids

**Join us 6pm EDT/3pm PDT Thursday 5/22/14 on Twitter for #STPlive as we chat about family camping (tips and tricks, questions answered and more about why it should be at the top of your bucket list this summer.)

The stars are calling — go camping!
Need Help Getting Started? Check These Resources:
The Family Camping Guide
Family Camping Checklist
Picking the Perfect Family Campsite

posted by
Amelia Mayer
As a member of #TeamSierra, Amelia Mayer receives promotional consideration from Sierra Trading Post. Amelia lives with her husband and three young children in Yellowstone National Park. She writes over at Tales of a Mountain Mama and tweets, too, about their attempts to continue an active, outdoor lifestyle now that babies and kids are in the mix while hiking, camping, biking, skiing and doing plenty of exploring. She shares her triumphs, lessons learned (often the hard way) and best picks for gear to help get families outside.
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