Oct 30 2019
A family camping trip can educate children on all kinds of helpful skills, from finding their way out of the woods to winning LED flashlight tag. Read on to discover our suggestions on how to make the most "teachable moments" while camping with your kids.
Learning about poisonous plants and animals.
Kids love to anticipate upcoming adventures. To boost enthusiasm and camping safety, make flashcards of the common poisonous plants and animals in and around your campsite. Studying these flashcards will help kids understand what to avoid on the trail. Just in case of an emergency, bring antihistamine on your trip. That way, if your son or daughter suffers a bee sting on the trail, you'll have a way to reduce swelling.
Educating children on obtaining clean drinking water.
Avoiding giardia is one of the most important parts of safe camping. Spend some time online with your kids before you leave, researching this tiny parasite that causes ramps, bloating, and a fever. Then explain how your family will obtain clean water, either through campground-provided wells, or through backcountry techniques, such as purifying water with iodine tablets.
Teaching kids how to pack for camping.
Spatial skills, reasoning, and creative thinking are required for proper packing. Start your educational packing session with a brainstorm to think about everything you'll need on your camping trip. Kids can definitely help with this. That way, when they suggest, "Let's bring the TV!" you can introduce the screen-free camping activities you'll enjoy, such as flashlight tag and shadow puppet charades. Both for these fun games and for safety, be sure to bring a LED headlamp and/or a LED flashlight for each camper.
This is also a good time to pass on one of the foundational lessons of backcountry survival: dressing in layers so as to be prepared for any weather conditions. Especially if you're camping in the mountains, weather can change quickly on campers. Therefore, you'll want to teach kids about bringing both warm clothing as well as sun protection.
Educating Kids on Camping Self-Defense.
While an unexpected turn of events can be nerve-wracking for both parents and kids, the truth is that these unanticipated situations can teach oodles about confidence, preparation, and keeping a cool head under pressure.
To empower your kids to protect themselves, give each of them a whistle on a string, and instruct them to blow that whistle three times in the case of an emergency. (This is the international signal for "Help needed!").
Many camping tasks can take on an educational purpose. For instance, while roping up your food store for the night, you can teach kids about how bears have a hard time accessing food when it's stored in this way, and why it's important not to keep bear-attracting food in the tent.
Last but not least, remind children to keep a LED flashlight or LED headlamp on their person when camping. A LED flashlight or LED headlamp will not only help a youngster feel safe on the way to the campground toilet - it is also an extremely useful tool in the case of an emergency. Educate your kids about how to aim a LED flashlight or headlamp straight up to attract rescue workers, in case they get lost.
After mastering these camping basics, kids can take on more complex lessons on navigation, camping site preparation, and foraging for food.