One of the biggest challenges as an adventurous parent is getting your kids excited about the outdoors and keeping their stoke high. There will be inevitable speed bumps along the way, but camping gives them a chance to explore nature, learn new skills, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
If you're new to camping with kids, don't worry - we're here to help. We've asked experienced campers to share their own tips for getting outside as a family and to reflect on some of their favorite memories.
Advice For Getting Your Kids Excited About the Outdoors
"One of the best tips I can advise for getting kids excited about adventures is having some pre-planned activities. I do some research before going to the desired location. The more things you have planned out, the more they will enjoy adventuring. Most importantly, spending time with the family is what kids get excited about — we get busy with our day to day and when we camp, everything slows down. We get to relax and enjoy each other’s company with little to no distractions." - adobo4runner
"I firmly believe in making children an integral part of the journey's blueprint; this way, it isn't just a parental expedition. Instead, it becomes their own unique adventure, a journey they've shaped and can truly call their own." - The_Lost_Coast
"Meet them where they are. You might have to bring a laptop or tablet out to look at while in the tent before bedtime after a packed day of being outdoors. However, they will receive it as a reward. These times can later turn to board games, or even cooking a really cool dessert with them." - Outdoor Gear and Beer
What You Can Look Forward To (Memories That Last)
"All the camping trips we’ve taken over the years and seeing how they have now made getting into the outdoors a passion of their own. They have woken me up many early Saturday mornings to go fly fishing, or whenever we have a weekend where nothing is going on they beg to hit the road and go on an adventure somewhere like hiking, camping, fishing, or canoeing!" - Outdoor Gear and Beer
"We love to go on bike rides and hike. 3 weeks ago, he finally learned how to skip rocks! He felt accomplished and he kept doing it over and over again. Love the fact that he is growing into a person who really loves the outdoors." - adobo4runner
"From the tender age of eight, my son and I have embarked on countless outdoor escapades together. Last summer, however, a trip to the Eastern Sierra stood out, leaving us with memories as towering as the majestic peaks surrounding us.
I fondly remember our journey beginning in the enchanting realms of Mammoth, California, when my son was a younger explorer of just eight. Along those timeless roads, we made a habit of pausing at charming, hidden bookstores, where he would lose himself in worlds crafted from words, letting his imagination roam wild as the miles slipped by.
Fast forward four years, and at the age of twelve, my young adventurer bravely navigated the challenges of our Eastern Sierra backpacking trip. The first base camp's high altitude proved to be a steep hurdle, leaving him a bit under the weather. Instead of keeping pace with our friends, we chose to make the most of our shared solitude.
We ventured up a nearby hill, where we uncovered a shimmering lake, nestled like a hidden treasure above our campsite. Even with the icy touch of the water, he dove in fearlessly, proving to be a bolder swimmer than his old man. He reveled in the frosty thrill of the lake, while I became the hesitant onlooker. Our time together was filled with joyous frisbee games, shared spoonfuls of our trusted backpacking desserts, and priceless moments where we relished in simply 'being', together.
To keep the flame of exploration alive in young hearts, it's paramount to involve them in the trip planning. I offered my son the choice between the rugged Joshua Tree or the lush Olympic National Park one spring day. His youthful spirit was drawn towards the enchanting wilderness of Olympic, which steered our troop on an unforgettable journey to Washington." - The_Lost_Coast
Wherever your next adventure takes you, make sure to bring the kids! Let's make sure this next generation of youngsters has the same passion for the outdoors that we've come to know and love, and together we'll build some more memories that'll last a lifetime. We'll be right there with you every step of the way, as long as you bring enough snacks and activities for us too. Keep up the great work dads!