Benefits of Camping for Kids
Bonding with Family and Fresh Air
Camping for kids is not only an affordable and fun way of teaching them about life outside books, but also an opportunity for parents to spend time with their children and educate them about nature, different places, science and basics of money matters. No matter whether you go for an inside the city camping or to a far flung place like hill station or near a beach, kids always enjoy camping and are ready with hundreds of questions (be patient though) about various places, people and things.
Getting some fresh air in natural surroundings is not only a stress reliever for adults, but kids also avail health benefits of playing in an open environment which is not readily available in the cities. Camping amid nature helps them to learn basic survival skills like making a fire, tying ropes and knots, fire safety, which plants are edible, how to catch a fish or how to keep safe from wild animals.
Increased Confidence and Creativity
Camping offers not only learning and exploring new places, but the small tasks and experiences of camping develops self esteem, boosts confidence, creativity and give kids an opportunity to commit mistakes and learn from them. Every small step in an adventure zone without adult intervention helps your child to take decisions by themselves, thus developing new skills in them.
Another important benefit of camping for kids is that you can unplug them and yourself from the digital world to some extent, as tech addiction is a real problem for today’s kids. The time your kids spent during camping not only helps them to stay away from their gadgets, but also strengthens the family bonding.
Camping with kids is a good way to help them connect with family and friends, develop a sense of respect and responsibility towards nature and the environment and most importantly, let them understand that real life relationships and conversations are better than the digital ones.
Different Camping Options for Kids in India
Though camping with kids can be a fun activity, the real challenge is to choose a place in your budget and a place where the temperature and environment is suitable and safe for your kids and family. India, being such a vast country with different geographical and climatic conditions has a plethora of options to choose from. Just ensure that you have researched well about the climatic condition of your target location in the particular month of visit and go fully prepared on the mission “camping for kids”.
Himachal Pradesh has some amazing places and hill stations where the temperature are low in summers, making them ideal places to go camping with the kids. Chandertal Lake is one such beautiful place, which is located at an altitude of about 4300 meters above sea level in Lahaul and Spiti Valley. Also known as the ‘Lake of Moon’, this is an ideal site for camping and a weekend spent here will be a memorable one. Another place which makes its place in the list among one of the best camping sites is the Manali Solang Valley in Himachal Pradesh; which is also an ideal place for trekking and an adventure trip. You can camp amid greenery and fields in the valley and enjoy the fresh air and nature’s serenity. Similarly, Mussoorie in Uttarakhand is one mention worthy place for camping and is also known as the ‘Gateway to Yamunotri’.
Love Nature and Forests?! Then a camping trip with kids to a jungle or a safari makes for a rejuvenating and adventurous outing. Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh is one of those destinations where one can stay and enjoy amid the flora and fauna and sight wild animals like bear, different species of monkeys, dear and even tigers in their natural habitat. You can cover the park on foot or take a jeep safari.
Children will especially enjoy the trip due to the different animal and bird watching opportunities. Also, you can interact with the local tribes and learn their way of old style living. Few more such noteworthy places in India where one can enjoy the wildlife along with the beautiful flora and fauna are Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh and Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand. If you love rainforests, then Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Northeast Region and the Western Ghats areas are worth considering.
We have few beautiful deserts in India where you can teach your kids about the sand dunes, sandstorms, different reptiles and animals living in desert areas and how to survive in places with scarcity of water. Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is one such place where you can camp and relax in the leap of desert.
You can also pre-book AC camps if you are planning to go during summers and have a luxurious camping while exploring the cultural heritage of Rajputs and the splendor of Western India. Rann of Kutch in Gujarat with its vast lands of dry salt and the enchanting beauty of nature is also one such wonderful place for desert camping.
Beach camping or waterside camping is an outing loved equally by elders and children as it provides option to be playful and relaxing at the same place and same time. Either you play with a frisbee or volleyball and relax on a hammock, your entire family brings back memories for lifetime.
Tso Moriri Lake, Jammu & Kashmir is one such place with serene views and clean air and is located at an altitude of 4,522 meters. The nearby springs and ice from the glaciers add up to the magic of this place. Laka Glacier in Himachal Pradesh, Deoria Tal in Uttarakhand, Chandertal Lake in Himachal Pradesh and Anjuna in Goa are also few of the popular camping destinations in India.
There are certain situations when you are unable to leave your home or go to a far off place. Indoor camping is an easy and time saving idea in such times as you are able to provide a camping like feel to your children along with the learning which they would not be interested in grasping in day to day routine. All you need is little bit of creativity and playfulness along with some basic camping items.
You can use the old curtains to make a small tent for the kids by moving the furniture of your living room and making some space for the kid’s personal place by arranging some sheets, blankets and pillows inside this tent. Then arranging for some snacks and making a campfire of tissue papers are another easy, but important tasks.
Search online for some camping games and also check for the best possible options which can be played using the items already present at home. Decorate the tent with tiny LED bulbs (sleep under the stars) and educate them about using a flashlight in the dark. You can also ask your kids to invite one or two of their friends as it will make the camping session all the more exciting and engaging.
Tips for Camping with Kids
The most important part is the planning: do plan the place, your budget, amount of time you would want to spend on the camping trip and the tickets, hotel bookings etc. in advance to avoid any last moment surprise or problems. Many tour operators provide tents on rent or can provide a mini cottage at your designated location, so instead of purchasing one, look for renting options.
Do take some warm clothes and blankets for the evening if required, but try to keep the luggage light so that the bags doesn’t seem like a burden during your trip. Pack the necessary things for lighting, adequate power backup and some snacks along with you. Learn few tips about lighting a campfire and keep the basic required items for it.
Kids Camping Gear You Should Check Out
While camping, kids need special attention and treatment as they are engrossed in enjoying the new experiences and places. To make the camping with kids trip memorable and comfortable, few camping gears might be helpful. These articles make your camping journey quite easy, relaxing and enjoyable by helping you overcome the small challenges which you might face during the trip.
Four Person Waterproof Camping Tent for Outdoor, Hiking, Picnic and Camping
As the name suggests, this waterproof camping tent can easily accommodate four persons of average build and is ideal for picnic and camping. The camp is designed for easy entry and exit through the arched door and a window and ventilated roof prevent suffocation inside the tent. The hexangular floor is waterproof and the lightweight steel stakes provide the required strength to the frame. This camp made of polyester has mesh panels which protect you from the insects and this camping gear can be purchased from Flipkart for Rs.1,849.
Coleman Youth Mummy 30 Degree Sleeping Bag
Designed especially for kids aged six years and older and height up to 5 feet, this sleeping bag keeps your kids warm and safe during camping. The contoured hood surrounds the head thus protecting the ears and neck from the cold air. The hollow polyester insulation provides better heat retention and is light in weight. This sleeping bag can be ordered from ubuy.co.in for Rs.2,417.
15 LTR Navy Blue Casual Backpack for Kids
The Kids Series 15 Ltr Navy Blue Casual Backpack by Emartos is a bag which is apt for children of 6 – 10 years age group. This beautiful and handy bag can be used as a school bag or as a casual backpack during camping and your kids can carry their playing stuff, snacks, candies and water bottle etc. in this bag which is available on paytmmall.com for Rs.349.
Hammock for One Person
When your kids are tired after playing and trekking, then this hammock will provide the required relaxation and fun in the middle of the nature. The hammock weighs just 415 gms. and is very easy to assemble and wash. This product is made entirely of polyester and is available on decathlon.in for Rs.999.
Flashlight with Headlight for Fishing and Camping
This flashlight headlight headlamp is an important gadget for camping and would act as a safety device for your kids as they would be able to clearly see in the dark while their hands are still free for keeping balance or holding articles or bags etc. The light has an adjustable elastic strap, is powered by 3 AAA batteries and has three modes - high light, low light and flashing. The headlight flashlight can be purchased from amazon.in for Rs.593.
Kids Camping Chair (Foldable)
This cute and sturdy foldable camping chair weighs just 1.3 kgs. and provides a comfortable and safe seating for kids. This chair is easy to carry, easy to assemble and useful for an outing or camping etc. This beautiful foldable chair for kids is available on decathlon.in for Rs.899.
Walkie Talkie with Range of Up to 100 Feet
If you are planning to keep your kids away from mobiles and gadgets during camping activities, then a walkie talkie is a good device to communicate. Not only you can keep in touch with your kids in the forest or mountain areas, but it’s also a fun way to educate them about the way armed forces communicate in war zones. The Walkie Talkie set by Syga has a range of 100 ft. and is available on firstcry.com for Rs.539.
Portable Wood Burning Stove with Grill Grid
Once your kid is tired and hungry after all the trekking, playing and other camping related activities, now is the time for some delicious meals. But how to cook in an open area with no facility of stove or fuel! This portable stove is the answer, which uses wood and straws etc. as its fuel and can be used both for BBQ as well as for cooking purpose. You just need to collect few pieces of dried leaves, twigs and wood. The camping stove is made of stainless steel with a 3 arm base support for utensils and is quite sturdy to cook a full meal for 3-4 persons. The portable wood burning stove with grill is available on amazon.in for Rs.1,399.