So, it’s time. The day you have been waiting for is finally here. Your kids are going to join you out to the woods for a camping experience. It’s super important to stay safe on every family trip but it’s equally important for us to teach our cuddly and loud kids to respect the nature in order to survive in it. Keeping 100% track on your kids is not possible; you’ll just end up agitated. So it’s good to teach your kids some healthy perspectives which allow them to try things out while respecting nature.
The mind of kids
Try to encourage a “learning by doing” way of thinking for your kids while they are picking up ideas from what you do as their parent. Always pick up all of the things that you bring on the family camping trip, you need to make sure to take it all back and throw it for recycling when you get back. The recycling process is important so involve your kids by asking them to help you clean up the camping site before you leave, if they start to complain and make fuzz about it – explain the importance. Kids usually want to do good things, especially if they know why! Don’t underestimate your kids, they will run the world eventually and need thorough preparation throughout every day of life.
Stay Warm & Safe from Wind/Rain
If you are planning to be outside, you definitely need some sort of tent. It doesn’t have to be a classical tent but it should be able to keep wind, water and cold out from the temporary family residence. Hypothermia is a killer and very easy to underestimate, it can give you a fever and make you really bad in just hours. Hypothermia is a physical state where you usually start shaking and your body temperature goes to dangerously low. So it’s wise for everyone to have a pair of extra clothes in case of emergency, it’s also recommended to have multiple fire solutions ready. You should try to bring a lighter and a kindler/flint in order to always have a source of fire. A fire can be placed outside the tent’s entrance (not too close) to keep animals away from stepping into your tent.
Setting up Camp
A Laavu or a big Lean-to camping hut can allow you to keep the fire very close the exit of your new forest hut. It’s wise to intertwine wooden sticks to create your own BBQ grid, it will also assist you when drying potentially wet clothes which can save you and your family from the notorious hypothermia. Equipment is important, but a clever and down-to-earth approach can be twice as effective as equipment. Make sure to have a plan of how your family will reside and how to acquire fresh food/water in the wild nature of Scandinavia. Most streams/rivers have clean water but it’s always wise to boil water before drinking – so once again, fire proves to be very valuable. One or two cooking pots can make your life seem simple if you find a good source of fish for example.
The Geographic Scenery
The clothes and mutual equipment of your family can allow you to focus more on the actual experience of being out in the cold Scandinavian nature. However, you should read up on general info about the region where you are planning to camp at. How would the worst weather conditions affect your family if you would be unlucky enough to experience it? What animals inhabit the region and where is the densest area of the different animal populations? Although you should have a big respect for all animals, they are usually just as scared of us humans as we are of them. So making noise in the woods around your camping area is not a bad move. Most bears sleep throughout the winter only to wake up starving when the spring has arrived, newly awakened bears are extra agitated bears that in many cases have small cubs to protect.
Food & Nutrients
The spring is a time to be cautious in areas where bears are common. Bears for example, have an extremely good sense of smell. Any food stocks should therefore be tied up to a tree branch, out of reach from any potential bear that caught the smell of your tasty human food. Will you be camping near waters? Then you should definitely look into when the fish come to play in the stream/river. And every lake has fish so find out what fish there is and in which quantities they are. By looking at a map, you can easily estimate where the sun will rise (east) and set (west) – allowing you to choose a camping spot with as many sun hours as possible.
Warm clothing is not always about thick material. A thin wind-resistant jacket can prove more valuable as long as you have a long-sleeved shirt under it. Thick clothes will stay wet longer than the thin ones and hypothermia is too dangerous to gamble with. The gear that you use should be as wind and water resistant as possible. The first brand to cross my mind is Fjällräven, a Swedish brand who have been making sustainable outdoor clothes for over 50 years. As pioneers of the extreme clothing, Fjällräven have chosen to only use fluorocarbon-free impregnation in of all their products. Regardless if you are going hiking, hunting or exploring – Fjällräven will help you get there. This quote comes from Åke Nordin, the founder of Fjällräven;
“We’ve been trekking for the past 50 years. Hopefully we will never get there.”