Practice Camping Before You Go For Real
Before you commit your family to a week in the wild, you may want to see how you and the family get along without the modern conveniences in a safe location close to home -- like in your backyard. Try pitching a tent in the backyard and doing all of the things you would be doing at the campsite. For example, if city ordinances allow, you could cook your food on a small campfire and you could have the family sleep in the tent.
Some of the things you may want to look for include:
- How long does it take to set up the tent and sleeping arrangements?
- How quickly can you set up the tent in the evening as it is becoming dark?
- Can you set up the tent by yourself or is it a two- or more-person job?
- Are your children afraid of being outside in the dark even when you are near them?
- Are older children bored with no electrical gadgets and television to entertain themselves?
- Do you or your children find it difficult to sleep on the ground in sleeping bags or are your cots uncomfortable?
- Do you have the right equipment in place to make things convenient at the campsite?
Unless each family member is prepared for this to be an adventure, it can turn into a disaster.