I love the outdoors and nature. I jokingly tell my family I’m going to pitch a tent out back and live there a few days a week! I am currently working on making a platform to pitch our 4 person tent on for backyard camping. This will allow for an even surface for the tent as well as off the ground in case of rain. If you have been putting off taking your children camping then you should consider starting with backyard camping!
Tips and Tricks for Backyard Camping
1. Tent Set-up
Camping in the backyard allows you to practice setting up your tent. This is so important. If you have room inside the house set it up their FIRST. This will allow you not to have to worry about bugs, bees, kids running off or dogs peeing on the tent. (Yes, this has happened before!) Backyard Camping is easier then camping away from home but it still has challenges, lol.
2. Plan Fun Activities
Plan for lots of simple activities. Be sure to add new things to your backyard such as water play or sand play, shade umbrella, picnic table, or simple bouncy balls. Buy some bubbles and other fun things like insect net or a bug vacuum saved for your camping time only. If you have infants or toddlers then bring out some toys for the tent like Mr. Potato Head, puzzles, board books, and stacking toys.
3. Camping Food
Some families eat cookout and camping food all Summer long while others are new to wiener roasts with camp forks and pie irons. Maybe you have tried a few foil packet meals or completely new to them. Either way be sure to try a few simple recipes while backyard camping but have some simple favorites as backup. Keep fresh fruit and salad fixin’s in the fridge just in case.
4. Child Sized Equipment
Make sure that your little campers are comfortable with child sized items from sleeping bags to camp chairs. If your child wants to help with camp “chores” then maybe child sized garden tools might be a good idea as well.
5. Teach Fire Safety
Make sure you have a properly cleared area and fire pit if you choose to start a cooking fire. We own both a charcoal grill and a fire pit. A small table top grill is another option but fire safety is still a must.
6. Practice basic first-aid skills
I think it is uber important to teach even toddlers the basics of first aid. Start with washing your hands and not picking your nose. Then work your way up to band-aids and ointments. Know when to call the doctor vs. when to dial 911. Create very simple first aid kits with your children that they are allowed access to for hiking, playing outside or backyard camping. I found a small plastic Snoopy First Aid Kit that Big Red loved using until he was given an Avenger Tin First Aid Kit! I also found red cloth zippered bags that are supposed to be used to carry first aid supplies but I may have the kids use them as toiletries bags instead.
7. Have good lighting for night time
If your child is used to a nightlight then you better have one in your tent! We have rechargeable Duck nightlights with glowing bellies from Lullabies. We also make sure we have 4-in-1 glowsticks which are flashlights, glow sticks, flashing light, and a whistle all in one. Each child has their own and they are awesome for hiking and at night. We add solar powered lights and a long string of rope lights to lead back into the house in case anyone needs to potty in the middle of the night.