There are plenty of families out there who are planning to camp, this summer. Maybe it’s their first time, maybe they’ve been doing it since the parents were little kids themselves. Maybe your family is one of them; I know ours is. We’ve been going camping with children of various ages for as long as my husband and I have been together. In fact, we have a large group of friends who all camp together over the Canada Day long weekend each year, and there’s always a wide range of kids with us. From under a year to teens, they all come with us grown ups and we have a blast for a few days, with campfires and sparklers, roasted marshmallows and lazy afternoons at the beach.
It sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Sometimes it really is. But sometimes? It’s, well, less than that.
If you’re new to the camping game and have high expectations, I’m going to inject a little reality into your dreams. Trust me, it’s better to know what you’re getting into, so you can enjoy the quiet, peaceful, easy moments for exactly what they are: magical unicorns that you won’t encounter again for the rest of the trip. Here are 8 realities of camping with small kids:
It may seem like a lot, to take kids camping with you (especially after reading this list). You should know, however, that allowing your kids to experience nature for an extended period, letting them discover bugs and rocks and cool trees, is worth all the headaches. Every single one.