Family tent camping can open doors to adventures while creating memories to last a lifetime. Tent camping lets you enjoy the fresh air and old-fashioned family fun. You do not have to be a wilderness guru or a Boy Scout to enjoy family tent camping. Of course, the more you gain family tent camping experience, the more you will discover what your family truly enjoys. Simply put, there is so much to enjoy when family tent camping from roasting marshmallows around the campfire and counting stars at night to fishing, hiking, and local tourism.
Family tent camping brings you together. You can literally create memories for a lifetime in a two-night, three-day camping trip. For those of you who have never camped before, imagine the adventures you will share with your family on a weeklong family tent camping trip. Those of you who already enjoy family tent camping know that the fun, the adventure, the starry nights, and quiet morning cups of coffee are priceless.
Family Tent Camping is About the Little Moments
Tent camping used to be an automatic escape – no phones, no TVs, no distractions. But with cell phones attached to everyone, you must make a conscious effort to be present even when family tent camping. The less technology you take camping the more you can enjoy the little stuff. So decide before you leave home if you are going to allow the kiddos to bring their technology. Expectations are completely different if it is a screen-free camping trip. The kids will know that their days will be filled with family time – hiking, cooking, fishing, swimming, playing cards, Frisbee, etc…
“The best part of camping is connecting. Put your cell phone down and get out as a family and explore,” says Sonya Gedda, owner/manager of the Horse Cave KOA Holiday, which is 10 miles from Mammoth Cave National Park.
Make sure the first little moment you enjoy when family tent camping is putting up the tent. You always want to practice setting up your tent at home before arriving at camp, so setting up the tent does not become an epic moment in the dark or the rain after a long drive to camp (not that any of us experienced family tent campers have ever had an epic moment setting up the tent). Tents today are very easy to set up and put away with a one-time practice at home.
Little moments can be watching a woodpecker tap a tree trunk, a squirrel scurrying up and down the tree, and if you’re lucky, depending on where you are family tent camping, you might see a black bear lumber along the trail. Little moments can be enjoying a cup of hot coffee next to a small morning campfire. Little moments can be snuggling with your kids next to the campfire after a long day of nature fun. Family tent camping encourages you to be present, to be in the moment. Family tent camping encourages you to work together to set up camp, make meals and tidy up camp.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors When Family Tent Camping
First time campers often envision tent camping to be way off the beaten trail. But front country camping is easy. You camp at a campground in an established campsite next to your car. You literally can bring just about everything from home but the kitchen sink. However, do try to keep it simple. The beauty of family tent camping is enjoying each other, focusing on the moment, while living with less. And, don’t worry commercial campgrounds and state parks have bathhouses with showers and flush toilets for campers to use.
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Some commercial campgrounds host camp-wide singalongs, hayrides, and more. The family-owned Horse Cave KOA Holiday in Horse Cave, Kentucky, has a swimming pool, a catch-and-release pond for fishing, playgrounds, putt putt, basketball, volleyball, and a jumping pillow. Gedda says they have many repeat campers at the Horse Cave Holiday KOA. “You arrive as friends and leave as family. We try to personally get to know our customers,” she says.
State parks often have nature centers to visit, as well as family-friendly programs and ranger-led hikes so you can learn about the wildlife and plants in the park where you are staying.
Family tent camping lets you enjoy the great outdoors, everything from the beautiful weather to birds chirping in the trees. You can enjoy hiking the trails at the campground or state park. You can go fishing, geocaching, or swimming (commercial campgrounds often have pools, and state campgrounds often let you swim in a lake). Let your kids play in the dirt with sticks and dried pinecones around the campsite. Wade in the babbling brook with your kids when you go hiking. Splash and toss a beach ball together in the cool, crisp lake water. Sit quietly along the dirt road and watch the deer and her fawn. Lay on a blanket and count stars.
Save Money on Vacation When Family Tent Camping
If you want to vacation on a budget, family tent camping can help you save money on lodging. Your investment can be as simple as a tent, a camp stove, and a battery-powered lantern. You can bring blankets from home, as well as a pan and cooking spatula from your kitchen (If you find that you will be camping more and more, you may invest in camp cookware.) Like any type of lodging, price depends on location, a state park campsite averages below $20 a night and commercial campsites are typically under $50 a night. You can family tent camp and visit historic sites, amusement parks, and more.
Gedda says the Horse Cave Holiday KOA is in the middle of everything since it is only 10 miles from Mammoth Cave National Park, just over 50 miles to the Jim Beam Distillery, 40 miles to the city of Bowling Green, home of the National Corvette Museum; and a Dutch Bakery and an Adventure Zoo just opened up across the street from the campground. So just because you are tent camping does not mean you cannot enjoy a vacation filled with a wide variety of fun.
Be adventurous. Even if you have not ever camped take baby steps and try family tent camping. Your first-night camping might even be in your backyard when you practice putting up the tent. And, for those who have camped but have not hauled out their camping gear in a while, make a plan. Choose a campground and plan your next family tent camping trip. There’s just something special about cozying up in a tent with your family with the wind softly rustling the leaves and an owl hooting in the distance. Family tent camping will be memories in the making.
Photo Credits: Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash.
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