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A family camping trip can be an incredible bonding experience. To have a successful outing, planning is essential. The more things you figure out and prepare for in advance, the more everyone will be able to relax and enjoy quality time together.

Choose a Location and Time
The first thing you need to figure out is what type of camping trip is right for your family. Depending on your children’s ages and your family’s level of camping experience, you might decide to pitch a tent, camp in an RV, or rent a cabin or yurt. You might decide to stay at a campground with basic amenities, such as toilets and showers, or at a more luxurious place with recreation and laundry facilities. Check out a variety of campgrounds, and make your reservations as far in advance as possible. If this’ll be your first family camping trip, it’s best to choose a time of year when the weather will be pleasant.

Figure out What to Eat
Plan meals for each day of your camping trip. Think of things that are easy to store and don’t require much preparation, such as cereal, sandwiches and soup. If anyone has any special dietary needs, plan accordingly. If you aren’t going to camp in an RV with a refrigerator, you should bring along a large cooler and plenty of ice. If you want to cook some meals over a campfire or stove, be sure that you have the appropriate cookware, fuel, and matches and that you know how to cook safely.

Think of Fun Things to Do
Plan activities that the whole family can enjoy. These may include hiking, fishing, doing scavenger hunts, and making s’mores over a campfire. Bring some books, board games and playing cards to keep everyone occupied if you have to stay inside on a rainy day.

Pack Everything You Might Need
Make a packing list. Include shelter (tent), bedding (sleeping bags or sheets and blankets), food and cooking supplies, clothing, shoes and boots, toiletries, toys and games, and any other items that specific individuals will need. Bring along laundry bags so you won’t have to keep dirty or wet clothes with clean and dry ones. Be sure to pack flashlights, batteries, sunscreen, insect repellent and a first aid kit. Prepare for rain by packing ponchos, plastic bags and tarps to keep your things dry.

Plan for a Fun Trip
A camping trip is an excellent way to bring the entire family together and form cherished memories. Planning is crucial to have a successful experience. Do some research to find the right location and accommodations, and work with your family to choose meals and activities. Make lists to ensure that you’re organized and prepared for anything.