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Family Having Dinner in the Dark at a Campground

How to Start Camping With Your Family!

[Sponsored] Did you know that, according to a recent survey by President’s Choice, almost one in two Atlantic Canadian parents (47%) agree that their family’s life is over scheduled, even in the summer months? More than half also agree that the idea of an over scheduled summer for their kids makes them feel stressed out. Camping is a great way to reduce stress and get outdoors with your family!

Family Having Dinner in the Dark at a Campground

Planning your whole summer in advance may help you feel organized, but it doesn’t allow you to experience the incredible things that can happen when you choose to be more spontaneous. Our family just returned from a four month long road trip in an Airstream Trailer but you don’t need to go to that much of an extreme with your family! You can have fun at a campground in your own backyard and the most basic supplies. In fact since we returned we have even sold our trailer and switched back to tent camping for the summer. We didn’t want to give up camping completely!

Camping is a great opportunity to give children unscheduled time for open-ended activities. It gives them time to use their imaginations more and start to interact with you instead of their phones or iPads! Camping is also a way to give your kids experiences instead of things, which my husband and I think is really important. There are so many fun activities you can do together as a family!

Like meeting new friends:

friendly squirrel outdoors camping
We met this squirrel while camping

Or making art out of pine cones!

Pine Cone Art Mickey Mouse

Here are some of my top tips to get you started on your own family camping adventure:

  • Look for campgrounds that have built-in activities for kids. We love family campgrounds that offer a lot of activities such as bingo, art activities, movie nights and hayrides, and have amenities like pools and playgrounds. This way you’ll never hear the kids say “I’m bored!”
  • If you don’t have your own camping gear, book at a campground where you can rent a cabin or yurt, or look for one where camping equipment is supplied for your site. Locally, MEC and East Coast Glamping also offer camping gear rentals, and East Coast Glamping will even set it up for you so that you can simply arrive and enjoy. If you don’t know what kind of gear to buy there’s a few rules I live by: 1) Anything will work for you unless you’re going to Everest so if all you can afford is a cheap tent, buy a cheap tent! 2) You don’t need all the bells and whistles but some stuff is really helpful such as a good lamp or head lamps, a good mattress pad and a warm enough sleeping bag if you’re camping in the spring or fall.
  • Bring lots of warm blankets and clothing especially if you’re tenting with no heat source available. Weather can change quickly and when it rains if you get wet you can catch a chill easily. It’s better to be prepared than cold! Tip: Cotton does not keep you warm when wet! Look for synthetic or blend fabrics and wool or fleece if it’s going to be chilly!
  • Choose easy-to-serve food items when you are packing your camp cooler. I love looking for some of the fun new grab-and-go items from the PC Insiders Collection at Atlantic Superstore, including Rocky Road Mini Ice Cream Bars, Natural Choice Asian Spiced Angus Roast Beef for easy sandwiches and wraps, and for the grown-ups, some handy cans of PC® cold brew coffee nitro. It’s amazing mixed with ice, coffee cream and a little chocolate syrup. It’s an instant mocha, no coffee-making required!
  • Always have a first aid kit, emergency car kit and extra food and water in your vehicle, no matter what your plans are or how far you’re going. You never know when you’re going to get stuck in traffic or have an accident!
  • Don’t forget to ask people around you to take a family picture of you during your camping trip or when you visit a local attraction so everyone in your family gets to be in the photo!

Family at the Grand CAnyon

I love sharing my tips on camping but I’m always looking for tips too! Leave your comments below if you have a question or a great tip to share!

Disclosure: I was paid by President’s Choice to write this post. The original post appeared in the Chronicle Herald here. All opinions in this post are my own. I’m a huge fan of the PC Insiders Collection of products.

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