For families with a longstanding love for the outdoors, camping with children can be an excellent opportunity to discover “teachable moments.” Setting up an unruly tent can teach children self-discipline and teamwork, while having an opportunity to talk and tell stories without cell phone interruptions and everyday distractions can be relaxing and interesting for both parents and children.
Younger children may not be ready to spend a night in the great outdoors; camping with parents or older siblings in the backyard or on a balcony can give some children a chance to get used to being outdoors in a protected environment. Some families rent a cabin at a local campground for a few nights before taking younger kids on longer trips.
For people who prefer to camp without children, campground locations can provide a great stopping-off point before longer trips; some camp sites offer long-term storage for people who are ready to spend weeks or even months hiking and camping in more secluded wilderness locations. Campground employees can be informed in advance of travel plans and can act as a safety backup for more adventurous campers and hikers.
Some people have family members who are not quite ready to go tent camping, and will often rent a cabin so that spouses or close friends can feel comfortable at night. Some camp sites offer cooking facilities, though many are beyond the range of cell phone and internet service. Over 40 million Americans go camping each year, and cabin camping remains a popular option for reluctant campers.
Although tent camping remains the most popular option for hikers who wish to spend time exploring their natural surroundings, cabin camping has experienced a rise in popularity among families in recent years. Camping in public campgrounds can be appealing for groups and families; some camp sites offer activities for children, access to RV travelers, and organized hikes along trails that are maintained year-round. For many lifelong campers, the possibility of teaching life skills to children and teens remains a very compelling reason to take time to explore the outdoors.
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