Taking your family on a camping trip is a great way to have fun and bond, but it also requires more planning than other types of vacations. You’ll be at Mother Nature’s mercy, so going unprepared can quickly lead to a real emergency. These tips can help you prepare for a safe expedition, so you and your family can relax and have fun.
Test Your Gear Ahead of Time
One common mistake people make is assuming their gear is in excellent condition without checking. Even if you’re buying everything new, testing each item will help ensure it functions properly and familiarize yourself with its operation.
Set up tents in the backyard, make a meal with your propane stove, and turn on your kerosene lanterns for an hour or more. Anything you plan on taking should be tested in advance because you never know when an item will be missing an essential part, or will be unusable.
A Checklist Will Help You Pack
Packing for the trip requires some forward thinking to ensure your family is fully prepared. Your family should get together, and each person should make a checklist together to make sure everyone packs the essentials.
In addition to normal summer clothes and swimwear, sweaters, raincoats, and long pants should be packed. Assume it will storm at least one day of your trip heavily. Each person should pack flip flops, hiking boots, and sneakers.
Don’t Neglect Fido’s Needs
If you’re bringing your dog on your first family camping trip, don’t forget to pack for him as well. Of course, food and water bowls, enough dry food, tap water from home, and treats are all essential. Try to bring along a ball and some other toys for the pet, as well. If your dog is on medication, be sure to pack enough doses for the trip.
If going in or around water, a waterproof collar from WaterPooch.com wouldn’t hurt since traditional collars trap moisture and start to smell. It’s also a good idea to bring a leash, even if your dog doesn’t usually use one. You never know who or what will be visiting your campsite.
Bring a Fully Stocked First Aid Kit
Injuries, insect attacks, and animal bites are all common occurrences on any camping trip, so a fully stocked first aid kit is one of the most important things to pack. In addition to bandages and disinfectant spray, your kit should contain anti-itch lotion, Benadryl, ibuprofen, children’s aspirin, and other essentials. If any family members take medication, you can also store this in your first aid kit.
Work Out an Escape Plan
When you’re at home, your family has a plan for escaping a house fire. You should be just as diligent in developing an escape plan for your camping trip. You will want to ensure you and your family can get to safety as quickly as possible. Flooding, forest fires, and animal attacks are just a few reasons you might need to evacuate.
Assign tasks to everyone to ensure you can get out fast. For instance, one person may be responsible for making sure the dog gets into the car, while others may be responsible for grabbing essentials to take in the escape. You should also bring a paper map along in case your phone’s GPS isn’t working, or your escape may still end in disaster.
Taking the family on a camping trip is a great way to enjoy each other’s company and have some outdoor fun, but it’s also an unmoderated environment. Anything can happen in the wild, but, if you go prepared for most possibilities, you’ll be able to keep everyone safe. When you go prepared, camping can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for the whole family.