Scholars remark that technology is adapting and developing at a faster rate than we as a species are capable of keeping up with. There have been a number of studies that show the ill-effects of constant exposure to screens including tablets, smartphones, television, video games, and personal computers on children, including heightened cases of ADHD, introversion, and other possible conditions. This reliance on technology has inspired many parents to leave the electronic devices at home and venture out into the outdoors to set up camp. Up to 40 million people go camping each year across the country in an effort to leave the stress and bustle of daily life behind. Whether you’re camping with tents, settling down in a cozy recreational vehicle, or exploring the richness of a cabin rental, here are some fun activities to consider while camping with kids.
Self-reliance is an art form that many have failed to master with a growing reliance on commodities and an ever-faster growing world. Nature is a classroom just waiting for a teacher and students to enter. Learning the vitality of knots and lashings, the skill required to build a fire, and the knowledge of wildlife identification are invaluable assets that can contribute to a large number of real-world situations. Mastering and passing these skills along to a child ensures that these values will survive to be passed down to future generations at campsites across the country.
Where there are campers there are bound to be ponds, lakes, and rivers teeming with schools of fish; a majority of state parks and campgrounds have an artificial or natural fishing location. Many children like the excitement of being able to land a bass, perch, or even a bluegill. The challenge is getting children to be patient enough to allow a fish to bite; once children realize the value of patience and the reward of fishing, chances are they’ll be hooked. Many states vary on fishing licenses, so it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with state standards and licensing whenever camping with kids for fishing trips out of state.
By far, hiking is the most popular camping activity with 92% of surveyed campers stating that they broke trail and went on a hike. Hiking gives parents the opportunity to directly expose their children to a natural environment unsullied by human hands. Always be sure to teach children to look and not touch; behind nature’s beauty could lie dangers that are in many cases staying alert against potential threats including an unknowing child. For this reason, many hikers bring along a few essentials while on a trip just in case, this can include: trail rations and water, a map and compass, a first aid kit, an emergency walkie-talkie or phone, nature identification guide, binoculars, among other necessities. The beautiful thing about hiking is that it never gets old: each region has its own secrets just waiting to be explored by the curious; just be sure to be prepared at all times when camping with kids!
Depending on where you have set up camp, there is bound to be a number of wild opportunities for your family to break trail and explore something new. Some neat encounters can include rock climbing, exploring natural locations, going horseback riding, kayaking and canoeing; the list can literally go on and on. For those who are camping with kids, there is the invaluable opportunity to instill an interest and respect for nature while simultaneously teaching invaluable skills that a great deal of children today have no regular exposure to. Camping is more than a getaway from regular life, it is a hobby that requires a departure from the needs of contemporary living; so long as there are those who maintain an eagerness to explore, camping will never die out as one of the nation’s greatest ways to escape.