Category: Places

5 Tips for Choosing the Ideal Family Campsite

5 Tips for Choosing the Ideal Family Campsite

When taking the kids camping, the location and setup of your campsite will impact almost every aspect of your trip. Here are five tips to remember for choosing and setting up your family’s campsite.

1. Ask about family sections. Many campgrounds are divided into sections designated family sections and non-family sections. The family sections generally have earlier quiet hours, more restrictive rules about alcohol, and less rowdy campers. If you have young children, the family sections are the way to go – unless you WANT your children to see Hillbilly Bob sing karaoke at midnight in his girlfriend’s underwear.

2. Bathrooms are important. If you’re taking young kids camping, favor campgrounds that have running water and flushable toilets. Some campgrounds blend the best of both worlds, where they have full-service bathrooms in their regular sections, but also have rustic sections, that are deeper in the woods without electricity. This is ideal for people who want the full camping experience, but still want to be able to take their kids to a clean bathroom, even the bathroom is a bit of a walk away.

3. Scope out playground locations before choosing your campsite. Many campgrounds have playgrounds. If you’re taking small kids camping, consider choosing a campsite near the playground. Personally, I prefer to choose a site within easy walking distance of a playground, but not necessarily RIGHT next to it. Those playgrounds can get pretty noisy, which is a wonderful thing, but not around the clock if you’re looking to hear the rustle of the trees from time to time.

4. Bring an extra kiddie tent. Depending on the age of your children, you’ll probably want them sleeping in your tent, rather than on their own. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring an extra kids camping tent for them to play in and store their own kids camping gear. A little three-person dome tent is very affordable, easy to set up, and can help keep the kids from getting sand and dirt in your tent as they scamper in and out during the day. If your children are older and want to sleep in their own tent, make sure the door to their tent faces the door to your tent, so you can keep a better eye on comings and goings.

*Caution: Some campgrounds allow only one tent per site, regardless of tent-size. Before planning or pupping extra tents, you might want to check campground rules.

5. Practice setting up your tent. If you’ve never set up your tent before, set it up at home first, before you ever leave for your camping trip. This will make things go smoother at the campsite, when your children will be impatient to get into the tent, and you’ll be impatient to be done with the tent setup.