For kids like mine that grow up in the suburbs there is plenty of good times to be had when camping. Whether they are skimming rocks into a river or stoking the campfire – they can get learn stuff and have fun at the same time.
Now when I say camping I don’t mean staying at a Big4 caravan park in your Winnebago with an ensuite and air-conditioning.
I am talking about camping in the Aussie bush. Where the nearest pub is an hour away and a straight drop dunny is a luxury. As long as the conditions are favourable there is no reason you can’t take your baby camping with you. However if you want to go to remote locations and/or in bad weather you need to know what you are doing and have some good quality gear you can rely on.
Now as your kids get older and more comfortable in the bush you can go to more adventurous places. I have now taken my kids on several overnight hikes which is more demanding than car camping but a lot of fun. Unfortunately the weather on some of these trips has been less than ideal.
In a world where every kid in the class seems to get an award just for showing up – I think it gives kids a real sense of achievement to face a few challenges and push themselves outside their comfort zone.
Tip 1. Make sure you know where you are going. Getting lost in a storm with a little kid is not good.
Tip 2. Get another adult to go with you. Having someone else around can be very handy if things go wrong.
Tip 3. Be realistic about how far you can hike – and allow plenty of time for breaks. If your kids don’t have any fun they won’t want to go again.