Camping With The Kids And Rain - - What To Do
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Camping With the Kids And Rain  -   -  what to Do

So you're at the campsite and it starts to rain. A number of things is probably happening simultaneously right now. The kids are whiny, you are wet, the campfire won't start and the dog has that wet-doggy smell and won't come out of the tent. May as well pack up and go home, right?

Not necessarily. Here are four great tips for keeping rain from ruining your camping trip:

1. PRE-PLANNING IS KEY. When you are planning your camping trip, assume there will be rain and pack accordingly. Think about where you are travelling and what it will be like. Are you going to be camping in a field? You’re going to need a screen tent dedicated to just being inside. A few chairs, a table or two, depending on how many there are of you, a good lantern, some games and a camping heater. Most of these things you will be taking anyway. Set this tent up right away. If it’s raining when you get there, or even if it isn’t, Having this tent up gives everyone a good place to eat a sandwich, have an iced tea, sit and rest for a moment, what have you. The kids can eat something while mom and dad get the tent set up. Is it going to be in the woods? Invest in a really, really large tarp and bring some large pop bottles with you to act as counter weights in case of wind. Our family always sets up a huge tarp over the entire “living” area. If it pours all weekend we barely notice it. We set up the campfire just under an outside edge, which goes a long way to protecting it some from the rain. You need to be careful of sparks though, even when it's raining. At Camping and Hiking Ideas we have more ideas and information for tarping and tenting.

2. CREATE A “DISTRACTION” PACK. Kids don’t have great attention spans. If it is raining they will most likely be stuck in a limited area, and after exploring it the fun can quickly fade. Bring with you a distraction pack—a tote bag or backpack with books, crayons, bubble-blowers, ball poppers, what have you—anything that will amuse them for ten minutes or an hour. This is also where a table comes in handy; they can color or paint or play with play dough at the table. There are a lot of cheap folding tables that can be brought along for just such an eventuality. It can double as a prep table for meals when the kids aren’t using it.

3. BITE THE BULLET AND LET THE KIDS GET WET. Bring along extra clothes and lots of dry socks. Make sure you bring the rain gear. Stuff the whole family into hats and boots and jackets and rain pants and go on a hike. It’s amazing what nature looks like in the rain. Don’t forget gloves and pack a towel or two extra.

4. BRING ALONG A SING ALONG. Have a couple of easy sing along songs ready for around the campfire. Make sure there are plenty of marshmallows and hot chocolate. Have a couple of jokes and stories ready. And get the kids involved! Tell them before you go camping that you expect them to have at least one joke, one song, and one story ready to tell if everyone’s sitting around the flames.

Rain will never be something we're delighted to see when camping, alone or with the kids. But with a little planning, we can learn to ignore it and focus on what's important--creating a happy and memorable camping trip with the kids.


Street Talk

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