So you’re planning a family camping trip?
The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures and Connect Kids to Nature by Helen Olsson is a fun and informative “How – To” Guide on family camping. The author is herself a mother, an avid backpacker, and camper. She brings humor and years of experience to the adventure of family camping.
Having camped numerous times, both with and without my children, I don’t consider myself a green camper. I found this book filled with helpful tips and information for both new and experienced campers. The author shares what works for her family and offers suggestions that may work in yours. The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids covers everything (I do mean everything) you need for a fun and memorable camping trip with the kids. Topics include:
- Planning your Trip – When, Where, and How long
- Gearing Up – What the author considers must haves and a few extra creature comforts
- Making Camp – Campsite set up, making a fire, camp etiquette, breaking down camp
- Camp Food – Planning, Prepping, Recipes, and helpful tips (Did you know they make a special camping bladder for carrying wine in the backcountry? Good to know!)
- Boredom Busters – Outdoor recreation ideas and tips, games, and crafts. (Electronics are forgotten with these suggestions and ideas.)
- First Aid – Basic Hygiene and first aid for bumps and bruises
- Camping Safety – Tips to stay stay, and avoid the small buzzing insects to large animals (i.e.bears)
- Checklists – Never forget a thing with these lists. There is a list for everything. (If you’re a list person, you’ll LOVE these!)
- Additional resources – Numerous additional websites and books
This guide is based on a Leave No Trace Behind philosophy. Leave No Trace focuses on having a minimal impact on nature with a “pack it in, pack it out” mentality. All of the crafts and art ideas listed in this guide follow that rule. The photo safari and scavenger hunt are great ideas to take long lasting memories. All the outdoor recreation activities include additional tips and equipment lists, if needed. On a camping trip, you want to enjoy the outdoors. Theses activities will get the kids off the electronic devices and back to nature.
This author, Helen Olsson, shares humorous stories and practical information. One of my favorite tips was how to prevent whiny children on a hike. The author reminds readers that this trip is about the kids. Don’t push them to the brink of exhaustion and expect good results. It isn’t going to happen! I love that camp etiquette is included in this guide book. This topic alone is a MUST read for every camper. The author lists a few guidelines to help families be “neighborly” with fellow campers.
A quality camping guide wouldn’t be complete without campfire recipes. Recipes for breakfast, snacks, Hobo packets, and desserts are included. You are going to love the gourmet S’mores recipes; Chocolate Cherry Bombs, The Shaggy Dog (marshmallow dipped in chocolate and coconut), and Apple Pie S’mores. There are also tips on picking a perfect marshmallow stick and how to enjoy that glass of wine in the back country. (See the guide has thought of everything.)
The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids is a book worth reading if you are taking the family camping this summer. It’s full of helpful information from someone who’s taken her family camping and survived to tell about it. Vacations don’t have to be expensive or far away. You can create long-lasting family memories by going camping. This guide will help you do that.
My only question for you is …….
Where will you be camping next?
You can pick up a copy of this book at your local library, bookstore, or on Amazon. Click on the image for a look inside the book.
I hope you’ll enjoy this book as much as I have.
Where have you taken your family camping? What tips would you give a first time camper?
This review contains affiliate links. For full disclosure statement, click here. I reviewed this book because I liked it and wanted to. I was not compensated for this review or provided with any materials for review.