So you’re interested in taking the whole family camping – why not? It’s a fantastic way to really come together as a family and to enjoy what little good weather the UK actually receives – and on another hand, it’s also a great way for kids to start learning some essential outdoor tips and skills that they can put to good use should they ever find themselves out and about.
There’s never been a better time to start thinking about getting your kids invested in outdoor activities and skills – and if recent news is anything to go by, more and more parents are keen to start bringing the ‘great outdoors’ back into their families’ lives – a great idea!
The Rise of Tech
While we all love our technology and while plenty of it can be put to great use in the great outdoors in a pinch, it’s perhaps the growing influence of technology in our children’s lives which has reduced the apparent importance of learning outdoor skills.
It’s the old parental fear – that our kids simply aren’t getting out and enjoying the real world quite as much as they should be doing! As The Independent has recently reported, parents are now turning to Google to find ways to help introduce outdoor living to their kids.
It’s a sad truth – but it’s great that children are being re-introduced to some of the standards so many of us have otherwise grown up with.
Skills to Start Teaching Your Kids
It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to teaching your children essential outdoor skills – especially when it comes to trying to make them fun and worthwhile for little ones and teenagers alike to get into.
You may even be met with some resistance – but there are some young people who love camping, and there will likely be plenty of occasions for them to learn skills that they can use when they head to festivals or away on group holidays in years to come.
It’s perhaps not worth thinking about just yet – but, as any good parents should already be doing, preparing your kids for the real world and for adulthood ahead of them is always a good idea.
Making Fires and Safety
Making a fire can be one of the most important skills that one person alone can ever learn – especially when they may not have matches or lighting equipment to hand.
You can easily start a fire with just wood – encourage your kids to build stacks and piles of wood to keep fires burning – and show them how you can easily start safe, controllable fires which they can monitor and use how they wish.
Fire safety is just as important outside as it is inside – and when it comes to outdoor skills, fire-making is one of the most important.
This one should be fairly obvious – but tent-pitching can be tedious for the younger members of any party, which is why it can be a good idea to try and turn matters into a game, or to set goals and incentives.
While tents are getting easier to set up and pitch thanks to self-inflating and pop-up models, the art of setting up a traditional tent is something that kids of all ages could really do with knowing about.
It’s never too late nor too soon to learn.
Or, finding your way around.
Map-reading is a genuine skill which even plenty of grown adults struggle with – and thanks to the advent of Google Maps, we’re all the more dependent upon our GPS tracking than ever before.
Raise your kids on traditional maps and compasses and they’ll never be lost – though having a smartphone with certain apps installed can always be a boon. In this day and age, you can do worse than having a solar-powered battery pack to hand to always allow for GPS to be at your side – but what if technology simply isn’t available?
There’s nowhere that a trusty compass and current map can’t get you – get them exploring.
While it’s both responsible and reasonable to understand that some kids may never be into the same pastimes as their parents – it’s a great idea to try and see what they are interested in as soon as possible.
Get your young ones hooked on camping, hiking and fishing as early as you can – and prepare them for the great outdoors for decades to come – they’ll thank you for it someday!