Last week, my “son” Ravi – a two-year old miniature schnauzer – and I spent a day at the park just a few minutes from our home. The park was mostly deserted except for another family out enjoying the chilly, but beautiful early spring afternoon. At least I think they were enjoying it. Honestly, it was a little hard to tell.
As the two kids sat at picnic table hunched over their smartphones, the adults – let’s assume it was mom and dad – were carrying on two separate conversations on their own mobile devices. The only one in the group not on their phone was the small child strapped to the mother’s back. He or she was also the only one in the group with a smile on their face.
Growing up, my family spent much of the spring and summer unplugged and outdoors. Sports, kite-flying, camping – anything to stay outdside. Rather than climb up on my soapbox and begin preaching to parents about how they should raise their kids, I thought it’d be nice just to share a few tips about camping with the family and let them run with them.
Here are a handful of family camping tips from Diane Blair and Pamela Wright for The Boston Globe:
Rent or borrow before you buy: Before investing in expensive equipment, borrow or rent the basics, like a tent and stove. Just make sure you have all of the parts. Try borrowing equipment from friends and family or check out the rental gear at a local sporting goods store or online at LowerGear or Rent It Today.
Do a backyard camp-out first: Get comfortable setting up the tent and determine what it is you’ll need to sleep well in the Great Outdoors.
Choose the right campground: Ease into the camping lifestyle by choosing a campground with amenities such as beach access, a pool, bike or boat rentals, and restrooms with showers. Also, be sure to select a campground with 24-hour security to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Arrive early: Make sure to arrive before dark so you have plenty of time to set up the tent in daylight and get the first night’s dinner started. Also, take a quick walk around the campground to familiarize yourself with your surroundings, locate the bathrooms, etc. before the sun sets.
Get the kids to pitch in: Ask the kids to gather kindling for the fire or set the picnic table for dinner. You might be surprised how excited they are to help.
Let the fun happen: Avoid schedules and just enjoy being outdoors. Campgrounds offer plenty of “built-in” fun including lakes, trails, pools, and more. You can also bring board games, make s’mores, and tell stories around the campfire – things you might not necessarily do back at home.
RIT is the one-stop spot for all your camping needs
Looking to unplug this weekend and enjoy some time bonding with Mother Nature? Get your camping gear at Rent It Today! The most comprehensive rental resource online, Rent It Today can connect you with providers of rental camping equipment including tents, cookware, and other camping essentials in your area or near your destination. To browse a list of available equipment, visit www.rentittoday.com!