So, because you’re cool, frugal, economical and efficient (and cool, too, did I mention that?), you’re looking into buying a tent for you and your family to camp in. Wonderful! You’ve now entered a world with literally hundreds of very different options from dozens of manufacturers, at prices from under $100 to $500 or more. Where do you start? How do you choose? In my experience, the best way to start choosing a tent is to ask yourself three questions; the answers to those questions will help to direct your purchases. Continue reading “Camping with Kids 101: Picking a Tent”
Welcome to the second installment in my Camping with Kids 101 series. I have this particular discussion with some of my friends at least a couple of times a year: which is better, RV camping or tent camping? Some people could never be convinced to sleep in a tent, while others are adamant that tenting is the only “true” way to camp. Now, I’ve done both: 11 years in Scouting gave me a decent perspective as a tent camper, and currently that’s where we are at as a family. At the same time, growing up our summer holidays consisted of hooking the truck up to the holiday trailer and hauling it through Alberta & BC. So I’ve seen both sides of the coin.
Camping with kids can be seriously intimidating. It is a departure from everything that can be considered “normal” with modern parenting: there are no walls, everything is dirty, many things can be incredibly dangerous, structure is gone, yet you’re still supposed to feel relaxed and enjoy yourself. Because all of those things obviously go together, right?
The thing is, they totally can, and there are two main reasons why they can. The first is that kids aren’t the same out in nature as they are at home, particularly with the anticipation of a long, sustained interaction with nature. They seem to find better, calmer, more inquisitive versions of themselves when unshackled from home. And the second is that YOU change when you’re out in nature too, and (given the chance) the things that bring you the greatest stress can seem to disappear, because nature brings out the better version of yourself too. The one that can relax, “let kids be kids”, and shed the structure that can define so much of family life right now. Continue reading “Camping with Kids 101: An Introduction”