Have you started looking at new RVs for sale? How about your tent? Check. Bug spray? Check. Cell phone, Pod, and teenager wearing their “why me?” face? Check. In case you feel you’re missing something, you should have a camping checklist.
While mom and dad might be looking forward to a weekend under the stars, chances are your teenager is dreading his or her date with Mother Nature. If you plan on asking your teen to venture into a world that offers frankfurters instead of Facebook, and tents instead of Twitter, be prepared to be awarded the title of “Uncoolest Parent of the Year.” you may need some tips for a family camping trip.
When teens get bored it’s no fun for anyone, and if you’re on a family camping trip, the last thing you want is your teen’s mood to spoil the vacation for everyone. So here are some tips for bringing easily-bored teens camping, especially on those rainy days when they’re stuck inside. Parent’s mini-guide for surviving a camping trip with teenagers.
Let’s face it, spending time with the FAM singing campfire songs will certainly not be your teen’s latest status update. Your teenager will be quick to inform you that smores do not hold a candle to movie night with the gang or hanging out with the to-die-for cutie from Geometry class.
Before you blast off into your latest “Because I said so” lecture, though, look at camping from a different perspective. Undoubtedly, your teen is not looking forward to creepy, crawly daddy-long-legs. Your grandmother’s “pudgy pie” recipe is probably not going to do the trick either, (but you can always check out these great camping recipes that no one can resist). Simply put, teenagers have a hard time leaving the hair products behind and finding the benefits of “getting away from it all.”
First and foremost, parents need to understand that teenagers need their friends. Roasting marshmallows takes on a whole new meaning when their BFF can share in the ooey-gooey goodness.
Inviting your teen’s friend to join in on a camping adventure will also help keep them busy, occupied, and content. Score one for the parents!
Having a friend along also alleviates any worries you have about your teen wandering off alone.
The buddy system and camping go hand-in-hand. Even with a buddy along, establish a check-in time for your teenagers, and strictly enforce it. Camp safety is paramount, especially for teenagers who are exhibiting their “I’m not a child anymore” attitude.
Teenagers can still enjoy all their favorite things from home, despite being miles away from the comforts of their own bedroom. Bring along a favorite board game, a movie and a portable DVD player, and their favorite fuzzy pillow. Your teen will appreciate feeling close to home, despite being miles away.
By following these simple ideas, your teen will soon be looking forward to your getaways, and you might, just might, actually receive a “thanks mom and dad.”
Related read: Advantages of educational travel with teens.
7 Tips for Camping With Teenager
Bring a Friend
If you only have one then it might be a good idea to let him, or her bring a friend along on the family camping trip. That way they can keep each other occupied and stay out of your hair. You can still arrange activities for them both to do, like a Geocaching, a scavenger hunt, Frisbee, kayaking, or horseback riding.
Location, Location, Location
When you’re camping with teens, your geographical location matters. Pick campgrounds that have activities nearby, such as places to swim or fish, boating, perhaps you can find a campground close to a beach. Wherever you go, try to pick a site that caters to your teen’s interests. Before you choose a location, read plenty of reviews.
Color For a Rainy Day
Coloring is no longer just for little kids, it’s now all the rage with adults. What’s more, now you can do it wherever you are, even in a tent in the rain, thanks to the mandala coloring book app. Simple, download this app to your mobile device, and you have page after page of intricate designs just waiting to be colored. Images include faces, animals, birds, places, geometric patterns, and mandalas. There are more than 25 color palettes, and textures and vignettes can be added after the coloring is complete. You can also share artwork through social media.
Gather at the Campfire
The campfire should be a focal point for gathering the family together. Put your teen in charge of gathering firewood and building the campfire. Make meals a good time by cooking together and preparing fun camping meals like s’mores, banana boats, grilled sandwiches, and hotdogs. Make meals your teen loves to eat but may not eat too often at home, so it’s a real campfire treat.
Campfires are one way to also keep warm at night, here are a few more tips on how to stay warm in your tent.
Play Family Games
A family camping trip wouldn’t be the same without outdoor or traveling games. Make sure you take some with you. Pack the Corn Hole, horseshoes, disc golf, Washers, and S-P-U-D. For rainy days bring cards, checkers, backgammon, Monopoly, and chess.
Bring the Bicycles
Many families like cycling on a camping trips. It gives you an opportunity to explore your surroundings, enjoy nature and get some exercise, and it’s all fun. If you don’t own bicycles, consider renting them.
Practice Survival Skills
There’s no better time than a family camping trip to teach your teen some basic survival skills. If you’re not sure yourself, buy a good survival guidebook. During the course of your camping trip, teach the kids how to make a fire without matches, build a shelter, use a compass, and orienteering skills.
Follow these tips and you and your teen will have a great camping trip.