Family Camping Tips | Roughing It With The Kids




Many things could be said about camping with children. In my family, we don’t like to camp in a trailer, because, really, that is how a lot of people live regularly. It isn’t exactly roughing it. And it doesn’t give your children an appreciation for nature and the world around them. It just keeps their bodies, and minds, stuck in one of the little boxes our culture has assigned for us: houses, televisions, cellular phones. The boxes get smaller and so do our experiences.

Instead of letting our minds get stuck, we go outside. We sleep on the ground. We hike to places automobiles or even bicycles can’t take us. The places only seen by those who have dared to trek it. Now with all this being said, there are a lot of things that living during such a developed time has to offer. My advice: take advantage of the spoils, just don’t let your life be overrun with technology!


One of the things that my husband and I have always wanted was a cowboy roll. This is something that my wonderful outdoorsy father created. Well, he didn’t create the cowboy roll. He just reinvented it so that it would be worthy of our luxurious needs! You can check out my article on how to make a cowboy bed roll for a full tutorial on how we made ours.

Really simply, fairly light weight, but it is water-resistant and COMFORTABLE when we go camping. Plus the canvas wrap really keeps in heat. We love it more than a double sleeping bag made for cold weather. My little one sleeps in the middle. This way, we can make sure she stays warm, even when it drops down unexpectedly cold. (She likes to kick the covers off even when it is 30 degrees outside.) As she gets older, we can make a smaller version for her, but cowboy rolls really add comfort and warmth and practicality (water resistant) to camping.

Another fun find that we have invested in is a Boba baby backpack. We purchased this after my daughter fell asleep as we were hiking in the John Muir wilderness in the Eastern Sierras. She rode on our backs after she got tired, but once she fell asleep. It was almost impossible to keep her up. We wrapped an extra pair of pajama pants around our shoulders and tucked her in, but she was flopping all over the place. She is almost four now, but she still fits. This allows us to get a great workout, prepare for backpacking, and push the limits that a toddler can put on how far and how long you can go.

Give this fun activity a try! Your kids will love it:


Other than that, we try to let nature in our lives as much as we can. We still find long sticks to whittle down to roast our marshmallowsa MUST when you have children and a campfire! We let the kids play in the creeks and roll around in the dirt. It is good for them. They get away from the electronics and learn how to play and entertain themselves with nature. We don’t bring card games or electronics or anti-bacterial hand gel. We experience it the way it was intended: to bring us closer to God and each other. All of the things that can go wrong will.

What kind of fun would it be if they didn’t?

Check out these related articles:

Disaster Preparedness | Camping In The Rain

Camp Like A Genius | 25 Additions For Your Camping Gear

5 Survival Skills You Can Practice While Camping

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  1. Russell White

    May 28, 2018 at 2:12 PM

    Suggest you find a tree with a fork, cut the branch to size, then whittle off the bark and bake the wood in the oven or near a fire, using low heat. I have also set my forks aside for a year, in order to dry out. In the “old days,” I used pieces of old inner tubes for the power, and the tongue from a worn out pair of shoes to make the pouch. More recently I have used surgical tubing, as well as the stretch bands used for physical therapy. You should also be able to find some great videos on You Tube on how to make a sling shot. They also can provide some training on use and safety. Or you can buy one on Amazon.

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