Guest Blog Post by John Mondin from CrossbowCritic.com
Camping and fishing can be either the best or worst family activities possible. Adequate preparation is the key to ensuring that you have good, rather than bad, memories. While you can’t control the weather or if the mosquitoes are biting more than the fish, you can guarantee that your family has a great time by preparing a wide range of interesting activities.
|Photo credit: Karen Ung|
Practice Makes Perfect
Before you go on a long camping trip with your kids, make sure they are ready. Especially with younger children, consider a night camping in your back yard so that they can get a feel for sleeping in a tent in comfortable and familiar surroundings. Your next step might be a single night or a weekend long car camping at a nearby park or campground. Back yard camping or short local trips allow you to accustom your children to camping and make sure all your gear is in working order before venturing out on a longer trip.
Health and Safety First
Although not as dangerous as hunting for the first time, camping is far more fun when everyone is prepared. Before a trip, make sure that all members of your family are up to date on vaccinations and in good health. Have your children help with packing your first aid kit, so that they are actively part of taking care of family safety.
Make safe drinking water interesting by having your children look through a microscope at unpurified river or lake water and spotting the tiny organisms and bits of debris in it. Make a game of listing all the different dangerous or gross substances that can get into lake water, so they understand the importance of only drinking treated water. Remember the sunscreen and bug repellent as well.
Fishing for Fun
While adults can enjoy a full day of fishing, younger members of the family may have more limited attention spans. Plan a variety of activities for the day that might include tubing, snorkeling, paddling, water polo, hiking, or other games to keep your kids moving and help them burn off some energy. Avoid low-quality children’s fishing poles, and start your kids with an ultra-light spinning or spin casting reel and rods. And most importantly, let them help clean and cook their catch.
|Photo credit: Karen Ung|
Night and Bad Weather Fun
After dark or if you encounter bad weather, you still need to keep your children entertained. Rather than let them retreat into their private worlds of electronic devices, plan family activities such as card and board games, or bring books you can read aloud together as a family. At night, roast marshmallows over a campfire or teach your children to identify the constellations in the sky.
Many parks offer a wide range of programs for either children or the whole family. Rangers lead nature and history walks during the day and star-gazing sessions at night. Many parks run programs in which children can get hands-on experience recreating some of the lives of early settlers or Native Americans. Other programs can teach your children wilderness survival skills or how to identify plants or animals. Taking advantage of these offerings is not only educational for your children, but gives you as a parent some time to relax alone with your spouse and enjoy each other’s company in a way that can be difficult during normal weeks filled with work and errands.
|BC’s Jerry’s Rangers Program is a lot of fun!
Photo credit: Karen Ung
Today’s guest blogger is John Mondin from CrossbowCritic.com.
John is an avid outdoorsman who regularly goes for bird, small game, and deer hunting. In addition to running a hunting site, he is passionate and knowledgeable about all activities related to the great outdoors, including fishing, camping, and hiking.