After last week I needed to write about something a little more lighthearted this time around, so here’s my guide to going camping with kids and actually enjoying yourself.
The most essential ingredient in a successful camping trip is a decent sleep. It’s harder to enjoy yourself if you’re stiff and cranky after a cold, restless night on the ground.
I listed my first tip for a good sleep in my column: pack earplugs. I take earplugs on every road trip, even to hotels. You just never know who you’ll get for neighbours, and now that I’m a “pass out cold by 10 p.m.” kind of person, I like to guard my sleep.
Another tip: if you’re going to camp with any frequency, it’s worth investing in a decent foam or air mattress. The hardcore camping purists might scoff, but I would rather be a well-rested wuss than an overtired “expert.”
The other thing I mention is to keep it simple. It really doesn’t take much to enthrall young kids on a camping trip. Just lighting a fire is good for entertainment. Eating breakfast outside is a novelty, and staying up till dark lets them feel like they’re getting away with something. You don’t have to go overboard to make them happy.