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I do really hate camping, but there are several camping skills children can learn to enjoy and to survive in the nature and to enjoy nature better. They are precious as we cannot just learn them theoretically. Children need to practice them in the real situation to get used to the skills. The more they practice, the better they can use the skills anytime and anywhere. I think it is not only for children to learn, but it is everyone. Just scroll down to read whether the camping skills be useful in the real life.
8 Camping Skills Children Learn
Setting Up Tents
This is the main skill and probably the first skill children are interested to learn. Our boys take 2 years to be able to set up and to repack the tents. The first time they saw tents, they were curious to learn how to set it up. When they found that it was complicated, they didn't want to do it. As parents, we found that it was also complicated to involve them setting up and repacking the tents. They made several mistakes that we found disturbing.
Anyway, we still try to involve them in this activity with a consideration that they are growing up to be adults that one day also have to do camping by themselves, without our help. Yeah, parents are going to be old, right?
The olden day boy scout tents were complicated to set up as we need to make knots. They also still use poles or stick to raise. The modern camps are much easier to set and to repack. We just need to follow the instruction that is usually attached in the tent packs.
- Looking for a good ground to set up the tent
- Setting up the base of the tent
- Unpacking the tent
- Recognize the tent's stick frame hole and track where we put the frame in
- Setting up the sticks for the tent's main frame
- Putting the stick frames to the holes and locking the tips to get the tent raised
- If you have double layers, which is usually used in real camping (not playing), we need to attach the inner or outer layer after the frames are raised.
- Hooking the ropes to the pegs are important to make sure that the tents are not blown away.
Taking Down and Repacking The Tents
Repacking tents is more complicated than setting them up. We have already been tired of the camping activities or after setting it up. Kids usually refuse taking down tent. However, we still show them how to do that without forcing them. I was shocked that my youngest son could take down the tent in our last family camping. He did it by himself. He just did it by doing the setting down proccess in reverse.
Repacking the tent back into the back is much more difficult than when we unpack it. We need to know the folding system. If we don't know how it is, we can recognize it by the folded parts. It is much easier to fold our own tent than the rented ones. The tents that we rented usually had torn pack because of the incorrect folding done previously. When people don't know how to pack tent, they will usually force it without checking the folded trace.
Preparing Their Clothes
Children can practice things related to clothing:
- Counting how many days of camping and times to change clothes
- Preparing the suitable clothes for camping
- How to manage the used and clean clothes
- How to carry the clothes in the luggage properly.
Setting up The Campfire
Campfire is very useful and meaningful in camping. It is like a heater and a lighting in the evening. A camping without a campfire is not complete. Setting up the campfire should be done by adults. However, it would be useful when children can see how to do that. Remember, they are going to be adults one day. Honestly, we have never set up a campfire, but we join the scout camping regularly. In that occasion, children observe how to set a campfire from the senior scouts.
Setting Up Electricity
Camping in the modern days is hard to be separated from the electricity. Our gadgets, lamps (if we don't use fire), music (optional) will need electricity charge. Otherwise, you would not be able to use them. There are several way to manage the electricity needs:
- If you don't use all of those items, then you don't need the electricity. It is quite extreme, but you might want to try once.
- For gadgets, you can use proper size of power bank, but you have limited use
- You can bring small generator for your short stay. Turn it on in the morning to recharge everything. When you have finished, you can turn it off.
- Somo electricity might be set up in the camping ground, but you need to manage how to connect them.
Children need to be involved in this electricity matters. At least they know about it. The level of involvement depends on the ages and responsibility.
Cooking Simple Camping Food
Cooking in the camping ground is very messy and busy.
- You need to bring the tools
- There must be some dirty dishes and tools to wash
- You need to prepare the ingredients
To minimize the busy cooking in the camping, it is suggested to:
- have a preplanned menu and requirement.
- bring cold food that you only need to warm up in the camping.
We have not tried full cooking in our camping yet. We usually cook for breakfast only. We have some instant noodle in the snack time. Well, kids never eat instant noodles outside the camping activities.
Involving children in cooking simple camping food can be prepared at home. They can do some easy task that has increase in the complexity.
Getting Ready under The Rain
Rain can come anytime during camping. It doesn't have to be in the rainy season. Children can learn to be prepared for the rain.
- Using hoe to build a ditch around the tents.
- Arranging the tent base to prevent water come inside
- Prepare some clothes in the tent in case it rains
- Bring some umbrellas and rainy coats
- Have alternative meals in case it rains
We have experienced camping under the rain for three times. When other people are disappointed, avoid sleeping in the tent, and worried about raining in camping, we enjoy sleeping in the tent during the camping.
Being Prepared for Safety
Safety is very important during camping. We stay outdoor in the natural environment. We should be ready to have some threats from the animals in any size. Therefore, we need to watch out and ready with any possibilities. Here are some things you might do.
- Let children put salt around the tent to avoid snakes
- Children should know that they need to close the tent in the evening to prevent any insects or animals go inside
- You can prepare some medicine or any anto-mosquito cream
Using What The Nature Provides
Trying to get the chance for using things that nature provides is also a learning process in camping. Here are some examples:
- Using the banana leaves to replace the umbrella
- Using the tree to dry clothes and towel
- Creating fire with the stones
- Using some woods to replace the stove
How to Learn The Camping Skills
I hate camping as I told you previously, but my children learn the camping skills from:
- Boy Scout or any similar activities
- Watching the National Geography
- Unplanned real problems experienced
Learning the camping skills cannot instantly give results or showed off for my children, but the learning result may be shown after children watch and do it in real situation for several times. There is also a possibility that children don't like camping like me. Well, just get them to join and participate. I am pretty sure that they will get used to it and learn behind the experience.
Will The Camping Skills Be Useful in The Future?
We don't know about future, but there are a lot of chance that you need to be able to use things in minimum condition. In that situation, you are supposed to be ready and survived. That is the moment when the spirit of camping will be useful.
If you have not downloaded my camping coloring page and activity printables, you can grab it in the link bellow: