With summer in full throttle, it’s the perfect time for camping! Not only does camping induce an environment of family bonding, it also encourages exercise and learning about the great outdoors. Camping is fun, educational, and family-oriented—only if safety is imposed. Here are some tips to help this trip stay safe and fun!
Knowing what to bring is important for any trip but especially for camping. Make a list and check it twice before departing on your nature adventure!
• Weather-appropriate clothing! It might be warm during the day, but temperatures drop significantly at night. With this in mind, pack accordingly. Moreover, opt for closed-toed shoes over flip-flops or other types of open-toed shoes. Closed-toed shoes not only help prevent insect and bug bites, but are ideal for the rough terrain associated with camping. If there lakes or other bodies of water, make sure to pack swimming suits so you and your family can enjoy a nice swim.
• Bedding! Waterproof tent with pegs, sleeping bags and sleeping pads or a blowup mattress make for a comfy nights sleep in the woods. Check out this hand-held air pump for $20!
• Flashlight with extra batteries! There’s also no-battery flashlights that can be re-charged by shaking them. Super cool and sustainable!
• Sunscreen, Sunglasses, and a Hat! Prevent you and your family members from getting sun burned by being prepared. Always bring aloe with you as well just in case!
• Downtime Activities! While you and your family may be away from technologies that your child usually engages with, be sure to pack some board games or cards so downtime isn’t completely empty. Check out this list of fun camping games!
• First-Aid Kit! ALWAYS travel with one, just in case. Make sure to include bandaids, antibiotic ointment, and itchy cream. Better safe than sorry!
• Maps! Knowing the area your camping in is very important for safety, especially if you are going to be hiking. Having a GPS or Compass is a very good idea for long hikes.
• Toiletries! Even if you and your family opt out of “glam-ping,” make sure your kids practice good hygiene to prevent them from getting sick. Hand-sanitizer, toothbrush, and toothpaste are the bare minimums.
• Whistle! If any family member gets separated from the others, use a simple whistle or cell phone (if it works) to contact the others. A small piece of mirror can work to grab someone’s attention from far away. You can even flag down a plane by shining the reflection between two fingers.
• Food and utensils! Don’t forget to bring plenty of snacks for your little one(s), such as trail mix for a hike and s’more materials (don’t forget some skewers!) for dessert, as well as utensils, some nature-friendly dish soap, and a sponge for clean up. Always bring extra tupperware for any left overs. Never leave out food for friendly critter to get into!
• Watch out for bugs! To prevent bug bites, keep the tent door flap zipped and at all times, even if you’re just retrieving something from the tent for a minute. Also, because bugs are attracted to light, make sure to turn off lanterns and flashlights while in the tent as much as possible. According to the CDC, “Mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects can cause certain diseases. For example, mosquitoes can cause West Nile Virus, and ticks can cause Lyme disease. To help fight the bite, apply insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can protect up to several hours. However, for sprays containing 80% DEET or more, avoid spraying directly onto skin as it can be toxic, especially for young children. Apply the insect repellent permethrin to clothes to help keep ticks from attaching to them. Be sure to follow directions on the package. Check for ticks daily, and remove them promptly.”
• Avoid wild animals. Although they may be cute, they are surely dangerous. Some animals contain contagious diseases, so avoid feeding, petting, or touching wild animals. Make sure your food is sealed in animal-impenetrable containers and make sure you and your family members are vaccinated.
Chipper LOVES camping and provides even further tips on the whole process of camping in the Let’s Go Chipper app. Sing-a-long and learn about the great outdoors with Chipper! Let’s Go Chipper for camping!