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Camping with kids: What an experience!

When you go camping with kids, it can be a roller coaster of joys and challenges. Taking the family camping around Australia “ups the ante” even more…because you’re stuck with each other for longer! So, how do you deal with the challenges and get the most joy? Here are some ideas to try...

Our kids camping...grotty but happy!

Our life-saving tips

As we travelled, we worked out some everyday tips that made life easier and took away some of the challenges of camping with kids. Your challenges may be different to ours depending on the age of your children, but you might find these tips a useful start.

How to pack light

Have you ever tried cramming everything in the car for a weekend of family camping? All that stuff... even if you only pack the essentials, it feels as though there’s no space to fit it all! Imagine the nightmare when you’re camping with kids for months on end. Here are some ideas on what family camping gear to take, and what not.

In the car

Long car trips are boring for children. We have a few different techniques we use to keep our kids happy on the road. They usually work, but sometimes a good stop and run around is the best solution. Car games help make time go faster, the more options you have the better! Not to mention that you can use time in the car to get a head-start on home schooling!

Enjoying the great outdoors

A big part of our Australia camping trip was hiking. To see many beautiful places, you’ll need to walk to get there. That means your kids need to walk too, or be carried (argh!). Try these ideas to get your children hiking.

Camping games

We loved days spent just hanging around our campsite. Our kids came up with some very imaginative camping games that kept them entertained at the campsite for hours. We came up with a couple too.

What about babies?

Taking babies camping has its own set of challenges, but it can still be done. Both our kids have been camping since they were a few months old. If you’re up for it, try these ideas to help take your baby camping.

Are the joys worth the challenges?

Absolutely…our family unit has been tested in ways that just don’t come up in everyday life. Our trip around Oz has taught us that we are a team. We are 100% "with each other" all the time. Here's what you can expect...

Some joys of taking your kids camping around Australia:

  • Your children will have unrestricted access to you.
  • You’ll learn to communicate really well as a family.
  • You’ll have to work together, negotiate, and compromise in ways you wouldn’t normally.
  • Traditional roles become blurred, parent to child, husband to wife.
  • Your kids will get to see how you handle tricky situations (and often help you out of them).
  • TV and other electronic devices will lose priority for a while.
  • They will become more comfortable in nature…swimming in creeks, traipsing in trees, bushwalking, encountering wildlife.

Some challenges of going around Australia camping with kids:

  • You might ask more of your children than you would usually (I think this is a good thing).
  • You are with them almost all the time, generally with less downtime than at home.
  • Your kids are with each other almost all the time…which sometimes = fighting.
  • Home-schooling…no one who does it seems to enjoy it.
  • There will be long drives and you’ll need to find ways to manage these.
  • You can’t always control the environment and situation your children will be in.
  • The packing problem…kids = way more stuff.

Enjoy it!

Camping with kids can be a great joy for everyone, once you get past some of the challenges. Taking your children camping around Australia is a special experience that will continue to shape their lives for years afterwards.

It might seem overwhelming at first, but trust me…it’s worth it!

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› Kids & Camping