My family decided to escape the NY heat this summer and go camping in Maine for 3.5 weeks and it was the best decision ever! The temperatures were were nice and cool, we got to explore the mossy pine forests and go to the beach whenever we wanted.
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Camping with the family can be a rewarding and memorable experience, but it requires careful planning and consideration. To ensure a smoother and more enjoyable trip, here are ten invaluable tips that will make family camping easier:
1. Magnetic Tent Door:
Having a magnetic tent door is a game-changer, especially when you have kids running in and out constantly. This feature allows for hands-free entry and exit, preventing unnecessary zipping and keeping the tent's interior free from dirt and debris.
2. Spacious 8-Person Tent:
Opting for an 8-person tent provides ample space for the entire family to move around comfortably. The extra room is perfect for storing gear and allows for privacy and individual sleeping areas.
3. Kid-Friendly Rug:
Bringing a soft, kid-friendly rug is an excellent idea, especially if you have little ones. It serves as a designated play area, making the campsite more like home and providing a clean and comfortable space for kids to enjoy their activities.
4. Cots with Trim:
Using cots with trim that prevents them from touching the tent walls is a smart way to minimize condensation and keep your family dry during the night. This design also creates extra storage space under the cots for gear and personal belongings.
5. Under-Cot Storage:
Utilizing the space beneath the cots for storage is a practical solution to keep the tent tidy and organized. Store clothes, shoes, and other camping essentials in waterproof bags or containers to prevent them from getting wet or dirty.
6. Waterproof IKEA Bags:
IKEA bags, known for their durability and waterproof properties, can serve as excellent suitcases for your camping trip. They keep clothes and gear protected from rain and accidental spills, and they're easy to carry around.
7. Separate Doggy Zone:
If you're camping with your furry friend, designate a specific area within the tent for your pet to sleep and relax. This not only helps maintain cleanliness but also ensures your dog feels comfortable and secure throughout the trip. See picture above for the extra section for our pup. He has his own door and screen plus a door on the inside of our tent. My husband sleeps right beside him so he's able to pet him in the night but my dog isn't able to run around the tent waking up my kids, which he would do. We make sure to keep water in his area next to his memory foam bed.
8. Living Room Tent:
To keep out mosquitoes and other pesky insects during the day, consider setting up a separate living room tent or screened-in area where the family can gather, eat, and play games without constant bug disturbances. This is where we eat our meals and play games at night.
9. Activity Corner for Kids:
Creating an activity corner within the campsite for the kids is a fantastic idea. Pack some coloring books, crayons, board games, or other age-appropriate activities to keep them engaged and entertained.
10. Designated Spot for Everything:
Establishing a designated spot for each item you bring along helps maintain order and saves time searching for essentials. Use labeled storage boxes or bags for easy access and to prevent misplacing items.
Bonus tips: Essential Gear for Camping with a 1-Year-Old:
Camping with a young child, especially a 1-year-old, requires extra preparation and specialized gear. Here are five essential items that will help make the camping experience with your little one more manageable:
1. Blackout Tent:
A blackout tent creates a cozy and dark sleeping environment for your baby, helping them sleep better, even in the presence of natural light outside. Quality sleep for your child means a more pleasant camping experience for everyone.
2. Baby Carrier:
A reliable baby carrier allows you to keep your hands free while exploring the outdoors. It provides a safe and comfortable way to carry your 1-year-old during hikes or walks around the campsite.
3. Booster Seat with Tray Table:
A booster seat with a tray table comes in handy during meal times. It enables your little one to sit comfortably at the campsite's picnic table or inside the tent, making meal preparation and feeding more convenient.
4. Sleep Traditions:
Maintaining familiar sleep traditions, such as using a sound machine that your baby is accustomed to at home, can help create a sense of familiarity and comfort in the new camping environment. I always make sure to camp at electric campsites so that I can plug in our sound machine.
5. Tonie Box:
A Tonie box, or any portable audio device with soothing sounds or lullabies, can be a lifesaver when it comes to calming your 1-year-old during naps or bedtime in the great outdoors.
Camping with the family, especially with young children, can be a wonderful bonding experience. By following these tips and ensuring you have the right gear, you can create lasting memories and enjoy a stress-free camping adventure together. Happy camping!