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Take a Kid Camping Part 1: Preparing and Planning

Here are some great pointers for when you're ready to take a kid camping.

Children and camping go together like campfires and s'mores!

To ensure the enjoyment, we must instill in them the fun and safe aspects of camping from the beginning. Here are some pre-trip planning suggestions that can help you figure things out ahead of time.

1. Do Some Homework

Start preparing their camping mindset first by reading appropriate age level children's books about camping or watching a short video about kids going camping. Afterwards you can talk about what to expect during the camping trip.

Set up a small tent in the yard or in the living room complete with the pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags that they will be using on their trip. If your area allows, you could also have a small campfire in the backyard to get them use to being around the fire and learn about fire safety in a more controlled environment.

2. Comforts of Home

Make sure to pack something familiar from home to comfort them such as a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, doll or toy. This may help to calm them in their new surroundings, and can work wonders if there's an unforeseen event such as inclement weather. If there are high winds, rain or an unexpected storm, it can really pay dividends. These things can all be overwhelming to a child that is new to camping.
Also, it is better to over-pack for all types of weather due to heat, cold and rain, than it is to under-pack.

3. Plan easy, fast and fun meals.

This probably isn't the time to try new foods. Avoiding anything too extravagant while keeping the favorite food choices in mind will serve you well. Hot dogs, sausages and good old marshmallows roasted on a stick are fast and fun to make with the whole family.

Here are some of my kid's favorite camping foods, based on the classic "Hobo Pie" cooked on a cast iron sandwich maker. These things are easy to find, and even easier to use.

What are some of your favorite cast iron sandwich recipes? #castironcooking #castiron #castironsandwich #sandwich...

Posted by Boring to Beautiful with Lacie & Lilla Rose on Saturday, June 30, 2018

Breakfast Hobo Pies

Spray the  inside of the Hobo Pie iron plates with a non-stick spray.
Place a piece of bread on each side of the iron plates.
Lay a slice of cheese on the inside, of one of the slices of bread.
Slice up cooked sausage and lay on top of the cheese.
Slice up hardboiled egg and lay on top of the sausage.
Close up and place the irons in the fire.
Flipping and checking often being careful not to overcook and burn.
Serve sliced in half on a plate.

Pizza Hobo Pies

Spray the Hobo Pie iron plates with a non-stick spray.
Place a piece of bread on each side of the iron plates.
Add pizza sauce on the inside slices of bread.
Lay a slice of cheese on the inside, of one of the slices of bread.
Add their favorite pizza toppings such as peperoni, mushrooms, etc.
Close up and place the irons in the fire.
Flipping and checking often being careful not to overcook and burn.
Serve sliced in half on a plate.

Desert Hobo Pies

Spray the Hobo Pie iron plates with a non-stick spray.
Place a piece of bread on each side of the iron plates. (White bread usually works best.)
Spoon in canned pie filling to the inside slices of bread.
Close up and place the irons in the fire.
Flipping and checking often being careful not to overcook and burn.
Serve sliced in half on a plate with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream!

4. Try to plan logistics ahead of time

Use online resources to et the lay of the land ahead of your arrival, so you can locate the bathrooms, the hiking trailheads, and even the areas you'll want to avoid.

Plus, you can find out if there's anything extracurricular going on during your stay. Most campgrounds have a schedule of events posted on their website or app. If yours does not, give them a call to get more information.

Maybe there's a guided tour, a fishing lesson, or a nighttime stargazing activity. Joining in on the fun is always a good time!

5. Include them

Encourage your child to help plan and prepare for the camping trip along with you. It teaches them responsibility and they usually will have a more enjoyable time.

Giving them a task to complete on their own will also give them a sense of accomplishment and a greater role, while being in charge of something that is age appropriate.

6. The more the merrier!

Ask another child near their own age to come along as well. Having a friend along to share in some of the new activities is always more fun!

To learn more about Dawn Freeland, check out WomenHuntToo.webs.com, as well as their Facebook and YouTube pages.

NEXT: 10 LIES WE TELL OURSELVES WHEN WE MISS OUT ON THE CAMPING SPOT WE WANTED

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Take a Kid Camping Part 1: Preparing and Planning