Is camping with kids safe? This seems like an odd question at first.
Look every ones version of perspective is different and in this case it's as wide as can be. First off though, take care of yourself. That sounds selfish, but it's very productive.
If you have never been camping in your life and expect to head out into the wild forest with the whole family like Daniel Boone, stop right there. My friend, we will probably never see you or your family again.
If you grew up around guns, you might want your kids to learn to handle them at age 12. In my case no. Heck I was all about the car and using it.
When my daughter first got her licence, I made her learn 3 things. She hated me at that time in her life. "You need to learn to drive a manual shift car, change a tire and at least know the mechanics of the jumper cables and do that once.
The last 2 worked out perfect and she learned those 2 things immediately. The driving a stick was much more work. I had her in tears and ready to quit. I pressed her for more though. "You will learn this, my dear."
Yes, she learned it and her first 2 cars were standards, That was her choice not mine.
Back to the camping and your kids. You are responsible for them and always guide them, never let them live in fear of doing something. You have to teach them what you know and if you don't know it? Own up to it right away!
This learning stuff together, if you don't know it, can be some of the BEST bonding you will ever do with your kids at any age.
The secrets to camping with kids are to know the basics. A trail run in the backyard overnight in a tent to get their feet wet. So to speak. Have you ever camped under the kitchen table between the chairs with a blanket draped over you? It's the start of things to come.
Make everyone a part of camping. If you do every single thing yourself for the kids, you're missing the point. It is important to build the team with the whole family participating. Believe me, you need to feel wanted and needed at any age.
I would start them out with a day trip to a campsite to visit friends. Stay as long as you can as a visitor until they kick you out. Usually between 8 and 9 p.m. in the summer months. Your kids will be mystified when the campfire starts at night and they need to go home.
Yes, it's a teaser. If the kids don't want to come back, you will have your answer. I think at this point, you will know if you want to continue the effort.
From my experience, this is the selling point. Are they hooked?
Now comes the fun part for you. Teach them what you know, make it fun and always keep moving.
"Mom, why do we need a long fork, marshmellows, candy bar and graham crackers?"
"Why do we need all this bug spray and blankets for? What about those stories and games?"
If you explain things with excitement with a little mystery, you will be fine. Remember to always keep the group together.
Every camper, even those experts that seem to know everything started right here. There is a factor of safety in numbers, enjoy your family time.