Perhaps the most accessible camping spot for anyone is the backyard. Backyard camping is a great way to make a practice run after purchasing a new tent or try out a new portable camping stove.
Backyard camping can really be split into 3 separate categories. These are family, adult, and kids only. The reasons for wanting to camp in the backyard can be many and realistically need to have their own set of rules.
For a kid’s only night will require some adult supervision, but not so much that it interrupts their adventure. If it is their idea, then by all means, it should be encouraged. Let them put up the tent by themselves and do a quick check that it is put up properly. More than likely, they will gladly give up the notion of cooking their evening meal so the parents can help out here with a simple meal of hot dogs on the grill. After the meal, let them be as they settle down for the night. You know by the flashlights within the tent that they are not going to bed on time, but demanding they do so will just put a damper on everyone. They’ll get tired soon enough and as long as they are not prone to running the streets, you should sleep peacefully knowing that your children are showing their first signs of independence.
This also makes it more enjoyable when going on a family camping trip since they will already know the meaning of “roughing it.” A family camping trip however has a little more interaction as the group will be together for at least a full day if not longer out in the wild.
If you and the family are planning a trip to the backyard, the rules will change slightly. The two areas that need some control are going to be the hardest even for the adults. These are their willingness to sever themselves from cell phones and other electronics and bathroom necessities.
Depending on what type of camping you and the family will be doing in the great outdoors will determine what action should be done to accommodate the hygiene/bathroom trips. If you will be doing what is called “primitive camping”, you already understand that a bathroom is going to be one of the items you do without. It is very simple to create your own camping toilet and when placed inside a 4′ x 4′ shower tent, offers all the privacy you would expect.
When it comes to the cell phones and tablets, etc., this is going to be surprisingly tough for a lot of people. The addiction to texting and playing games is a tough habit to break, but it’s one of those habits that need to be broken.
To minimize the stress on everyone, don’t start the “camping trip” until sometime after supper. Depending on the age group of the children will determine what type of nighttime activity is needed to occupy their time until bedtime. Board games or playing cards are usually the two easiest types of games to get started.
The whole idea is to make this a dry run that the family will participate in and this will make the actual trip a lot more enjoyable. This is the time to figure out what you missed packing for the trip and what else could you have brought to make the trip more complete.
The last category is probably one that needs the most self control if the backyard precursor to the actual trip is done. An adult only camping trip tends to sometimes get out of hand especially if alcohol is involved. The last thing you want is for the neighbors to call the local police because of a large amount of noise coming from the backyard of your home. Discipline is key and you and your spouse should keep the end goal of a relaxing time when you eventually go camping. Again, cell phones and other electronics should be out of the picture entirely no matter how hard the abstinence becomes.
Hope these tips help in understanding how important the backyard camping trip is and how much it helps when the actual trip is taken.
This article was written to inform novice campers that there is a way to ease into your new adventure. Many of the above tips can be found on http://www.outdoor-camping-guide.com Don Williamson.
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