Choosing a destination for your family camping trip seems like an easy decision to make. Just pick a campground close to you, pack your tent, sleeping bags, and some food, and get started, right?
As it turns out, camping spots aren’t just camping spots, and what you do on your camping trip can make the difference between a great experience and a poor one. But with a little bit of planning, you can have a camping adventure that the whole family can enjoy.
Camping Destinations: Choose Your Own Adventure
Before you start planning, consider the skill level of each family member. Your group is only as strong as the weakest link, so be sure to plan for the physical limitations of your smallest and least able-bodied family members. If you have young children, it’s probably not a good idea to have steep hills and rugged terrain on your hike; stick to easier trails.
Similarly, if you have outdoors novices in your party, primitive camping without water and electrical hookups is something you might want to avoid. Help your younger or less-experienced campers first become comfortable with the amenities, and avoid harsher conditions and accommodations.
Know Your Tools: Use What You Have
If you have an RV or camper, you’re bound to have a much different experience than those who are tent camping. Know what tools and equipment you have, and decide where you’ll be staying. Does your campground offer cabins, and if so, do you want to spring for one? If you don’t own an RV, perhaps you could rent one.
Take inventory of what you have. Replace items that are worn, damaged, or broken, and understand what your environment will be like before you arrive. Be ready to start the trip off right by knowing what you already have and what you’ll need to buy.
Of course, having what you need means being prepared for everything, and bathroom solutions are certainly one of them. While most campgrounds have public restrooms, not all do, and they can be busy at peak times or inconvenient to get to. During those times, Cleanwaste has options like Toilet in a Tube® that give you a convenient, sanitary place to go when a toilet isn’t available or nearby.
Budgeting: Know What You’re Paying For
You can decide which amenities you can’t live without on your outdoor excursion, but be sure to stay within your means. After renting your campsite and buying food and whatever equipment you need, you might find yourself maxed out on your budget before you even arrive. That means if there are extra activities that require payment, you might find yourself sitting around envying the people around you. Make a budget for the trip that includes equipment and supplies, gas, camping fees, and prices of any additional activities you want to include later on.
Research Your Campground
Camping, like many other activities, does have modern amenities. While you might think camping is meant to get away from it all, some campgrounds have some of the luxuries of home, including electricity and water hookups, laundry rooms, restrooms, swimming pools, and even internet access. When choosing your campground, decide which of these are important to you and whether they will cost you extra.
Campgrounds have activities and features that vary greatly. Some are focused on the basics, like hiking in the woods, swimming holes, and fishing spots. Others have advanced trails, mountains, ziplines, bungee jumping, cabins with jacuzzi tubs, and other more hotel-like amenities. Find a campground in your area of interest that has the features you want and sign up!
Camping purists may cringe at the idea of glamping — the name for “glamorous camping,” but it can be a great experience. Your family can stay in treehouses, fancy huts, small homes, or safari tents, some located in great destination spots. Many of them are air conditioned or heated and have hot and cold running water.
It’s also surprisingly reasonable, starting at $100/night (though you can sometimes find options even less expensive than that). For families used to modern accommodations, glamping might be the camping compromise that gets your children excited about time in the outdoors.
See the Sights, and Don’t Be Afraid to Wander
American campgrounds and national and state parks have a variety of scenery, and camping can give you some of the most picturesque views the world has to offer. Whether you’re camping in the Everglades, Yellowstone National Forest, scenic Alaska, or the Midwest, seek out hiking trails and walking paths to explore, look for your campground’s best viewpoints, and be sure to take them in.
Camping with the family offers children and parents alike the chance to make some of the best memories together. When you go camping, be sure to have the equipment and supplies you need. Check out Cleanwaste’s entire catalog of portable bathroom solutions, perfect for camping, long trips, and all the other times you need to go.