Every family (with kids) should go camping! That’s a big call and I know not everyone likes camping, but when done properly family camping trips can really tick all the boxes required for the physical and mental development of children and create special memories that will last a lifetime. I can still remember all the amazing times I had camping with mum, dad and my 3 siblings when we were young. Our camping trips weren’t always fun all of the time but the memories overall are positive and happy, and that’s because kids best remember the best times they have!

There are many benefits to camping for both kids and adults, including getting fresh air and sunshine, being exposed to good germs in the dirt that help boost the immune system, being active without exercising, bonding with family members and meeting new people, relieving stress and reconnecting with nature.

It’s easier than ever to go camping and there really is an entry level option for everybody; whether you’re a total nature lover (think national parks and state forests) or prefer a more ‘manicured’ experience (large caravan parks and privately owned well-maintained campgrounds). The more nature-ish the more fulfilling the experience can be, but even caravan parks with facilities can be great.

Even though I didn’t realise it at the time, camping taught me many life lessons – from problem solving (such as fitting everything into the car!), patience and conflict resolution (setting up the tent), to being social and creating new friendships (there’s always plenty of kids around to play with). It’s also helped me connect with and grow my love for the outdoors.

If you’re thinking you couldn’t actually go camping because you didn’t as a kid and aren’t sure how, or you did go when you were younger but you’ve forgotten how… I’d like to reassure you and tell you that you certainly can do it now! Things have changed a lot since I camped as a boy (makes me sound old doesn’t it!). Tents are much easier to put up (in fact you can now get tents that take less than 2 minutes to set up!), lighting options have become safer since LED lights have replaced the old gas lanterns, bedding has become more comfortable and compact, and the chairs are as comfy as your lounge at home. There are also far more location options – whether you want complete bush camping with no amenities to a fully catered caravan park – there’s a camping option to suit every family.

So now that you’re convinced you can actually go camping with the family you’re probably looking for some ideas of what you can do when you’re out there for the weekend. And being the nice guy I am I’ll give you a few ideas!


My top 10 tips for getting the most out of your family camping trip:


  1. Explore explore explore!  Whether you’re at the beach or in the bush, there is always somewhere new to explore. You could spend your days bushwalking, four wheel driving, collecting shells on the beach/interesting rocks in the bush, swimming, snorkeling and fishing.
  2. Play board and other games. A great option for down time with the whole family, or when the kids have gone to bed.
  3. Slow down and talk to your children, you don’t need to be busy and doing activities the entire time. The conversations you have around camp may seem meaningless to you at the time, but may be important and helpful to your children.
  4. Go spot lighting at night. Grab a torch, go for a wander away from the lit up campgrounds and try to spot owls in trees, shrimp and fish in waterways and other wildlife out and about.
  5. Light and maintain a campfire. Using a basic flint and steel, which takes a lot longer and more mindfulness and patience to create a fire is a fantastic experience for every members of the family and creates more appreciation for the fire you do get going.
  6. Take on projects and create meaningful items. Making a simple bow out of a bendy stick and some fishing line then finding good sticks to use as arrows, use leaves and vines to make crowns and accessories, build a fish trap using a bucket or used plastic bottles.. There are so many options for keeping the whole family entertained.
  7. Climb trees. You and the kids can go climbing and get a different perspective on your surrounds as well as creating a special bond because kids absolutely love it when an adult climbs trees with them!
  8. Learn about the local flora and fauna. Before you head out, print some info or grab a book on the local wildlife so when you’re exploring you can spot animals and plants and know what they are.
  9. Enjoy some downtime yourself and let the kids play with the other kids. By encouraging the kids to go and meet other kids you get some time to yourself which is always important, and they’ll be improving their social and play skills which is just as important.
  10. Campfire cooking. From toasting marshmallows to camp oven cooked meat and veg, nothing beats campfire cooked foods!


Camping sounds pretty amazing right?  For the most part it is! But I can’t lie, with camping things will rarely go to plan. It’s best not to go in with any set structure and specific expectations because when you’re away from your normal life and the comfort of home anything can happen and it pays to keep an open mind before you go. The kids will be hungry at random times, they will probably wake early to the sound of birds, there may be cuts, scratches and bruises, the kids will most likely always be dirty (as will your gear and the inside of your tent) and you may be more tired when you get home than when you left, but these things all add up to an amazing camping trip that you and the kids will remember and benefit from forever because they promote patience, resilience, problem solving, and allow for more and fulfillment!

Whether you go for a quick overnight camping trip to a nice bushy national park near where you live, taking minimal gear, or you load up the car and go for a few nights, camping should and can easily be a part of every family’s lifestyle.

Who knows, we may see you out there during one of our regular camping trips!



You may also like to read:

Camping with Toddlers

21 Things to do this Father’s Day