Do's and Don'ts

Bret+famx7

New member
I finally see myself being able to get out some this summer (pending this Corona Virus doesn't ruin our summer) and although I've 'camped' at my dads cabin a handful of times in our tent, my knowledge and abilities are very limited as far as setting up(trial by fire!) and just things to do while we are there. My oldest 2 daughters have shown a lot of interest in spending more time down there and my younger 3 can only handle so much time there. My wife loved fishing and going down there but doesn't enjoy going as much just from the stresses of keeping them all occupied. What kinds of things would be recommended to help keep the youngest ones entertained? I'm planning on a bow for my 9 year old and my older 2 have both shown interest in learning to shoot, but the youngest ones are more difficult for us to plan for. Any tips?
 

Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid
That’s a big family to keep entertained. I only have 1 but similar tricks should work. In the car we get coloring books - for a 2 yr old we get the invisible ink ones that turn the page different colors, it entertains her for about 30mins a piece. We also hide a small bag full of favorite toys about month before our trip and bring those out as soon as we pull into our stop for the night - it helps keep her distracted while we setup / prep dinner. Buy a cheap camera, let her wander around taking pictures of stuff. Our crutch of last resort is a tablet with 3 or 4 favorite movies downloaded on it. She’s also super interested in what we’re up to so we try to involve her in typical camp activities as much as we can

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Inyo_man

Explorer
My kids loved having two-way radios when we were camping, and inflatable water toys (if you're near H2O) are always a blast!
Your title also asked for "don'ts"...IMHO don't bring electronic devices.
 

shade

Well-known member
Have fun. If it isn't fun, you probably need to do something else, or do it differently.

Don't bring so much stuff that you spend most of your time dealing with it.
Even if everyone isn't directly involved in setting up or striking camp, most can usually pack & carry things.

Hats, sunscreen, bug spray, and bug clothes are usually missed when left behind.

Keep a notepad with you to jot down the good & bad, forgotten & unused items, etc.
You'll be glad to have those notes for next time.
 
I don't want to be the jerk that makes hard things sound easy. But sometimes the best thing to do is to strip all the fancy entertainment away, and let the imagination flow free in the woods. My three-year-old will come up asking to "watch something." When I say no (which I don't always do) and throw him out the door with his shoes on, he can occupy himself for more than an hour with a couple of trucks, balls, and sticks. I think we as parents make it hard on ourselves by feeling like we have to provide all of the entertainment. But our children are extremely resourceful and will make some of their best memories on their own.
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
I don't want to be the jerk that makes hard things sound easy. But sometimes the best thing to do is to strip all the fancy entertainment away, and let the imagination flow free in the woods. My three-year-old will come up asking to "watch something." When I say no (which I don't always do) and throw him out the door with his shoes on, he can occupy himself for more than an hour with a couple of trucks, balls, and sticks. I think we as parents make it hard on ourselves by feeling like we have to provide all of the entertainment. But our children are extremely resourceful and will make some of their best memories on their own.
Truth here. Some of my brothers’ and my best memories are of throwing stuff at each other. Many projectiles were supplied by nature. Rocks, crabapples, sticks, mushrooms, snow, ice, acorns, cow pies, more sticks, bigger rocks... it was a rich childhood and we had very little electronic assistance.

When throwing stuff was inadequate we would build bows or slingshots and fling stuff at each other! Wait til your kids realize you can build a bow and shoot ferns like arrows... or that you can light them! Flaming arrows!

😂🔥🏹
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Get an old Scouting manual or pick up some home schooling materials on natural sciences to use as a 'field guide' and make learnign about nature a structured learning activity, walk them thru the environment you are in, its interesting bits, it's dangerous bits, and then turn them loose.

safety and first aid is also a good area of practical use.

And lastly, DAD, be prepared to defend your family against wild animals, four- and two-legged. Tell the kids what to do if they see a bear, cougar, coyote. Check in with park rangers about recent activity in your chosen area. Forewarned is forearmed.

You've got a lot bigger things to plan for than just keeping the kids entertained.
 

drumguy_18

New member
Two-way radios are a blast with my kids. Also, I have metal Tonka trucks from when I was a kid, they go with us on camping trips and the kids love playing with those. Bow & arrows. Bicycles. That's about it. I let the kids get dirty, wet, etc and play. The less the better, typically. I do download a few shows or movies onto my phone or tablet for when/if it rains and we're stuck in the tent.
 

Sating54

New member
One DONT that I can tell you is to keep the electronics away. Use the period as a learning moment and get them acquainted with nature. You'll be surprised at how fascinated they will be about the things around them. Also DO NOT forget to tell them about the dangerous stuff. Keep their inquisitive minds occupied and you can focus on having fun with the other adults around.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
My daughter started shooting the M4 carbine that I carried at work as a police officer, when she was 6.

We bought a Davey Crickett "My First Rifle" bolt-action rifle with a hot pink stock and a stainless steel barrel, for her 7th birthday. Ammuniton for them costs almost nothing, and it's a great way to teach responsibility and self-control, doing something that they love doing, and bonding with you, making lifetime memories.

Not my videos:


 
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