In case you’re a nature lover and are always looking for fun and healthy ways to bond with your family, camping trips are the perfect holiday solution for you. However, in order to keep your camping trip from turning into a complete disaster just because you weren’t ready for it, you have to plan the whole thing thoroughly. Here is some advice on ways to plan a relaxing family camping trip for all of you to enjoy.

Choose the best location

The first step you take when planning a family camping trip is deciding exactly where to go. When picking a location, there are several things you should take into consideration. First, you’ll want a place that’s kid-friendly, which depends on what your children like doing. If they love spending their time hiking, rock-climbing and swimming, choose a campsite that has a lake and some hills or mountains in its immediate proximity. On the other hand, if you want to combine camping with sightseeing, then opt for a campsite near some historical town or a big city.

Another thing you should consider is how far the campsite is from your home. If you don’t think your kids can take a long drive, perhaps you should go to a place that’s closer to where you live. Finally, unless you have good previous experience with remote and wild-nature locations, choose a campsite that has running water, toilets and electricity you can use.

Only when you choose your preferred location can you plan your activities. So, when you make your decision, make sure you come up with activity ideas for every day of your trip. You don’t want your children to get bored and become whiny, which means you should plan for activities they’ll love. Whether you’ll roast marshmallows, go fishing or play football together depends only on what your family members find enjoyable, so let your kids participate in the activity planning.

Gear up for the trip

If this is the first time you’re going camping, you might want to borrow some of the equipment form friends or family members, or find a place where you can rent it. This way you’ll get to test different kinds of gear and you’ll know what to buy in case you want to go camping again in the future. In any case, you should make a list of the equipment you’re taking with you and prepare everything on time.

You’ll need things like a tent or two, warm and comfortable sleeping bags, some camping chairs and a table and maybe a mosquito net to protect the kids. Just make sure you set up your tents at least once while you’re still at home, so that you don’t arrive at your campsite and be surprised at how complicated the job is. You’ll also need some smaller, but equally important things, such as sleeping pads, a first-aid kit, a camping stove and rechargeable headlamps which will allow you to move in the dark with your hands free. You don’t want anybody to get hurt by stumbling over something in the dark.

Pack your things smartly

How you organize your stuff while packing can determine whether your camping experience will be pleasant or messy. You should pack so that you’re aware of where all your supplies and equipment are and that they’re easy to reach once you get to where you’re camping.

It would be a good idea to invest in several plastic boxes of different sizes and with covers. It would allow you to pack your supplies by dividing them into different categories and just label the boxes afterwards. You don’t want to end up rummaging through all your things just to find what you need in the last place you look. If you separate the kitchen supplies from bathroom ones and toys from clothes, you’ll make it simpler to find anything and it will also be easy to wash and clean everything once you get back home.

As far as packing food is concerned, you might want to plan your meals before your trip and do shopping accordingly. That way you can choose ingredients which are more easily stored and ones that will be convenient for making tasty outdoor meals. You’ll need a cooler, but it probably won’t be big enough to fit all the food you bring, so buy cans and dry foods that don’t have to be refrigerated. Get the stuff your kids like and bring enough snacks, such as crackers, fruit and vegetables and granola bars.

If you’re well prepared, you can have an amazing time camping with your family. However, if you leave some things to chance, the trip can turn into an adventure, meaning that you don’t have to plan every minute of it.