Family Camping Bozeman MT
Great Falls, MT
Family Camping Requires Flexibility
November 11, 2010 by Melissa A. Trainer · 4 Comments
There are so many things to write about in regards to family camping, but today I’d like to talk about the family camping mindset. Is there a family camping mindset? I think so and without a doubt I think the key to that mindset is flexibility. This might seem like a weird recommendation and an odd topic, but a flexible mindset is something that is important to retain when camping with kids. Have you ever noticed that what works one summer doesn’t necessarily work as well the next summer?
I’ve been camping for more than twelve years now. My style has varied considerably over the years. What worked when my children were toddlers doesn’t necessarily work now. Seven years ago, my children would have been happy playing in the sand on the beach while I sat on a log nearby. Now, my children are more adventurous. Hence, they’ve ditched the sand buckets and are heading towards surf boards and adventure trails. They like museums and love kayaks. This, of course, is a good thing, but it definitely impacts where we stay and what we do.
For example, when we visited Yellowstone National Park this summer, I booked our reservations on fairly short notice in March. I managed to get three nights at a campsite in the Madison Campground , which is right in the national park and immediately adjacent to the Madison River. I was lucky to get anything at that point. The location was great for the boys, but the accommodations weren’t so great for my teenage daughter. The campground has no hookups. To make things slightly more difficult, there aren’t even showers in the campground. This, of course, didn’t please my daughter in the least. The boys, on the other hand, were elated because there was a fabulous river and little beach right nearby. Wildlife loomed all around us. We were in bear country again.
When I booked the site over the phone in March, I knew that we would be “roughing it” in the campground even though we were in our travel trailer. After our three nights at Madison, we decided to change our itinerary entirely and stay a few more days in the West Yellowstone area. Hence, I booked a couple nights at the West Yellowstone KOA . Located outside the park, this lovely KOA offers amenities, such as full hookups, a laundry room, a pool, a hot tub, a playground, a store, and Wifi. The hot showers were, of course, a luxury at that...
Family Camping: How to Create a Fun Family Camping Vacation
Family camping is a fun, economical way to spend time with your kids and grand children. Whether you’re an RV camper or a tent camper, family camping comes in all shapes and sizes. Camping vacations do require pre-planning, however. Here’s what you need to know.
Family Camping Tip 1: Choose a Destination Oriented Camping Spot
Just like on any family vacation, kids enjoy doing things that are fun and active. Before you select your family camping vacation spot, decide on the top things that you and your family might want to do. For example, if you have a child who is a train fanatic, then taking the train from Williams, Arizona to the Grand Canyon might be a perfect vacation for you. If you have a budding scientist in your midst then consider visiting an Exploratorium – this is a hands-on, kid friendly museum that will let your kids and grand kids be a scientist for a day. If amusement parks are more your style, there are Disneyland Resorts, Great America Theme Parks, and Busch Parks around North America. Once you decide on a general area to visit, you can start your hunt for the perfect family campground.
Family Camping Tip 2: Make Your Plans Well in Advance, and Expect a Crowd
Because most children are in school during 8 months of the year, summer and spring break vacations can get very crowded at family vacation hot spots. If you can plan far in advance you’ll have better luck finding the perfect family camping spot for you. Family campgrounds are crowded in summer months so try to create a vacation during weekdays whenever possible. Not only will you find that weekday family camping rates are lower, but you’ll find that the crowds are thinner everywhere you go.
Family Camping Tip 3: Break-Up Long Drives
Travel to and from your family campground “home base” may be a long journey for little ones. Consider as you’re planning your trip, breaking up the drive along the way. Either stay overnight at a family campground or hotel along the way, or plan to stop over for an extended lunch period. Its fun to do research ahead of time and find a free public park near your half-way point so that you can allow the kids an hour or so to stretch and move around before continuing on in the car. Even if you’re traveling in a motor home where the kids are less restricted to stay in a seat the entire ride, nothing beats an opportunity for kids to run around and let some steam out.
Family Camping Tip 4: Pack According to Your Space and Needs
Be careful not to over pack for your family camping trip. Where you’re going to probably has a grocery store for stocking up on food and drinks. The family campground is likely to have coin operated washing machines and dryers to help make fewer clothes go farther. Check a weather site such as weatherchannel.com to help you pack appropriately, but layers will always serve you on a family camping trip.
Family Camping Tip ...