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.

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