Happy New Year, dear friends of Camping with Five Kids! May you enjoy health and precious memories with your family in 2022.
The benefits of camping with your family are endless. One important benefit is spending quality time together; free from the distractions of life: television, computers, phones and the internet. No hurry. No rush. Stories shared, games enjoyed. Lively conversations where you discover your children’s thoughts.
It’s true. Camping requires much work. The parents drive to destinations; everyone helps set up camp. Meals are an adventure on a two-burner stove where only one burner really produces a boil and everyone likes something different to eat.
Wait! Maybe that’s just us.
Close quarters with your immediate family and all the dirty laundry. Again, that could just be us. But there’s nothing quite like family camping.
You see the world, or at least the continental United States and Canada in our case. Although we did take the camper, van, and family on an ocean ferry to Newfoundland. My husband and I wanted to show our five children the varied landscapes and waterways and not spend our tiny life savings doing so.
Camping in state forests and national parks, sometimes without electric hook-up and showers—the primitive campsite—saved loads of money. We used a Coleman lantern to light our camp and flashlights to walk to the toilets and sinks. We used these campsites sparingly as the children enjoyed the amenities at commercial campsites; pools, hay rides, playground equipment, and yes, showers.
But the nightly entertainment at primitive campsites couldn’t be beat. Star-filled nights without all that light pollution wowed us as we lay on blankets in a field or on the beach of a lake, gazing up at those forever twinkling jewels as if God speckled the night sky with a milky-white paintbrush just for us.
If you start camping early enough you can mold your children’s interests to mirror your own. My husband and I enjoy nature in all its facets and always enjoy learning something new. We were looking for ways to educate our children as well as entertain them on vacation. So we participated in park ranger-guided hikes and scavenger hunts which taught us about the flora and fauna, the geology and history of the parks.
We allowed the children to have a say in what we did. As a family, we enjoyed tubing down the rapids in the Great Smoky Mountains, horseback riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and white water rafting down the New River in West Virginia, to name but a few.
Free activities abound to the observant camper who sees what the locals are doing. We’ve had snowball fights in July in tee-shirts and shorts in the Rocky Mountains, swung from ropes tied on a huge swamp maple tree out into a roadside river in Vermont, and, when the children were teenagers, jumped off a 30-foot cliff into a deep, tannin-colored river in the Adirondacks.
Family togetherness. To explore nature and enjoy the family. To work together as a team. To share stories, hopes, and dreams.
We’ve roasted hot dogs and toasted marshmallows by the campfire. Played charades. Climbed playgrounds, rock formations, and mountains. Crossed rocks in crystal clear streams; waded into icy mountain lakes. Observed wildlife, when the children were silent long enough to allow us a view. Echoed our voices from the mountain peaks and canyons.
Adventure. That’s why we cram into our little tent trailer in the heat of the summer to go camping. To experience the thrills and joys of family life amid nature. You should try it too!
I read an excellent post about the benefits of camping in nature at the Sport Fitness Advisor. Yes. My family has received these benefits and enjoyed priceless memories doing so. No. It wasn’t always easy. But life seldom is. What we do as a family is build a relationship one treasured memory at a time.
Thanks for reading! Have a healthy and beautiful 2022!
8 thoughts on “The Benefits of Camping with the Family”
While I can appreciate it now, I was never a fan of camping as a kid. I’d spend most of my time in the tent reading.
Always a pleasure seeing you here at Camping with Five Kids, Alex. One of our daughters spent most of her camping experience reading; in the van, in the tent, when she was supposed to be setting the table…
Have a beautiful new year, sir! Thanks for your note.
That’s great that you can camp with your kids. My husband was always too sick to do something like that. Though we did go to the Smokey Mountains. I love it there.
I treasure our family camping trips. So sorry to hear your husband wasn’t well enough to camp. The Smokey Mountains are wonderful. There are so many beautiful places to see her in the United States, just as there are in the United Kingdom. I love visiting your blog, Hilary!
Thank you so much for visiting Camping with Five Kids and leaving a note. It’s greatly appreciated. I wish you happy memories in 2022!
Some of our best family times have been camping. Lovely to see your images and read about your experience.
Hello and welcome to Camping with Five Kids, Lee! Thank you so much for your comment. Enjoying the family away from distractions and in nature can certainly be the best of times. We’ve created countless memories camping with the kids.
Thanks again for your kind words. All best in 2022!
My experience with camping with my children was that they learn camping tricks and methods quickly. So each trip is easier. I learned quickly which things they wanted to do and which things was a waste of time. We would have a meeting to discuss which activities we wanted to do and then which order to do them. The children were more involved when they had input into the decision.
What great ideas, Bill! Yes involve the children in deciding where to go, what to do when you get there. And always allow them to help set up camp. Having meetings with the whole family is an excellent way to achieve this.
Thanks so much for your comment here at Camping with Five Kids. All best to you, sir, in 2022!