Gauging Your Camping Abilities

If you're new to camping, or are bringing the family, make sure you don't plan an activity that is out of your league.

If you're new to camping, or are bringing the family, make sure you don't plan an activity that is out of your league. Rock climbing may sound like fun, but it's an activity that has its dangers. Seek instruction from local camping clubs that offer lessons and expert guidance in camping activities you'd like to try. Even novice hikers might want to go along with a group the first few times, and there are typically trips planned for your level ability leaving every weekend during camping season. Don't take unnecessary chances, and keep an eye on others in your group—make sure that everyone is comfortable with the camping activity being undertaken, whether it is hiking, canoeing, or swimming against a gentle current in a river. Try and plan your adventures with a partner, but if you're traveling by yourself, watch out for the human safety hazards too.

If this is your first trip, or if you have children camping with you, you might want to plan some easy camping activities.

  • Camping collage - Collect leaves, pebbles, twigs, pine cones, etc. Provide glue and sturdy tagboard. Encourage the children to create a collage on the tagboard using the materials found while camping.
  • Tackle Box - Make two holes approximately three inches apart in the center of the lid of an egg carton. To form the handle, thread a cord through the holes and tie. Paint the box. In the box, place paper clips for hooks and S-shaped styrofoam pieces for worms.
  • Cooking S'Mores - Place a large marshmallow on a square graham cracker. Next place a square of sweet chocolate on top of the marshmallow. After this, place the graham cracker on a baking sheet into a 250-degree oven for about 5 minutes or until the chocolate starts to melt. Remove the s'more and press a second graham cracker square on top of the chocolate. Let cool for a few minutes, and serve while still slightly warm.
  • Give children simple camp chores, such as setting up the sleeping bags.
  • Let them play in the tent, which is a natural "playpen." Keep an eye on tent entrances and listen for your child's voice, and all should go smoothly.
  • Bring along a few small toys and activities, such as Legos, crayons, paper or coloring books, Beanie Babies, or whatever small items are apt to entertain your daughter.
  • Your child is likely to find her own amusement at your campsite, such as constructing little villages out of twigs and pebbles. Encourage this as much as possible and be thankful.