Camping - 3 Reasons To Start In Your Own Backyard by Richard Killey|
Are your children looking for a new adventure? Consider family camping. Each year millions of families take advantage of the many campgrounds that exist, both public and commercial. If you have never gone camping, consider practising in your own backyard.
Here are 3 reasons why you might choose to practise camping in your own backyard.
Reason # 1: Easy Adventure for Children
To the average adult, camping in a backyard may not seem glamorous, but to a young child it is a fun and exciting adventure. In fact, to a young child it is probably better than a proper campground, especially their first time. Considering that the average child spends so much time indoors with their internet and game machines, getting them outdoors like this is a great educational experience. Hopefully you can pick a cloudless night and spend time looking at the stars. Then there are probably many sounds to listen to, whether something simple like a cricket, or if you are close enough to a wooded area, perhaps you will hear an owl.
Go on a "journey" while you camp. Wait until it is dark out, then take a flashlight and wander about your yard, looking for "things". You should be able to show your children some bugs that they do not see during the day.
Do not forget the nighttime story. Pick one appropriate for your child, or maybe even make one up if you have that skill. If you can, get a Coleman lantern, or just point a big flashlight at the top of the tent, and spin a tale. Children love this activity.
Reason # 2: Easy Adventure for Mom and Dad
Backyard camping is also an easy adventure for mom and dad. Think about how much easier the logistics are. No stocking up on ice and supplies for eating and cooking. No careful planning to make sure that everything you need is properly and neatly packed in the car. There are obvious cost savings as well, both in campground fees and travel costs.
You will not have to be concerned about personal safety as much as you would at a public campground. If there are last second changes in the weather, your home is just steps away.
Local laws and safety concerns probably preclude the nighttime bonfire, but if you have or can borrow a small Coleman stove, or mini barbecue, you can still do a traditional marshmallow roast.
Reason # 3: Practice for the Real Thing
If you have never camped in the past, this is a great way to get the whole family used to the idea. Sometimes it only takes one backyard session to prepare everyone. Then the next time you can go to a regular campground.
If mom and dad are new at this activity, a backyard camping trip is also a good way to practice. You can make sure that you know how to set the tent up, and that you know how to use your portable stove. Another important task that can use some practice is the packing of the car. If your list of things to pack is not complete, then you are at least right next to your home, and you can adjust the master list.
Finally, you may find that the youngest members of the family are not quite ready to leave the comfort of their own beds. Several more backyard outings may be necessary before the real thing.
Camping is a natural extension to hiking activities. It also allows you a more economical way of spending time at outdoor vistas that are too far away for a simple day trip. Leaving early on a Saturday morning, setting up camp, participating in several hikes Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, and then returning Sunday evening is an awesome way to spend a weekend with your children. If you normally spend time at church on Sunday mornings, then mom and dad can lead in some Sunday School songs during the hike, and dad can find a good object lesson to take the place of the sermon.
"Have tent, will travel" may become your new family motto, and it can all start in your own backyard.
Richard Killey is a father of 3 and a grandfather of 2 who writes about children from a grandfatherís point of view. More of Richard's articles can be read at Grandpa Richard's Kids
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