A few of you may have an aversion to camping. More than likely it was caused by the idea that camping has to be uncomfortable, unpleasant and boring.
If you put yourself in your child’s shoes camping means no video games, tv or Internet. Depending on the age of your child these might be deal breakers.
My son and I have been on several camping trips. Most of them car camping where we could bring our toys and comfort items with us.
Out last trip was his first introduction into backpacking. I saw this as my chance to show him how much fun this type of camping can be. At the time of this writing, he is 8 years old. At this age, he still wants to be like daddy, so I got him his own pack and made sure we had some comfort items and food that he liked. It added about 15lbs to my pack but it pretty much made the trip for him.
Before the trip I asked him to make a list of the things he wanted to do. Here was his list:
5. Hot chocolate party
Did I forget to mention he likes fishing?
I made sure to bring my backpacking fishing rod, s’mores stuff and enough instant hot chocolate to give a Boy Scout troop diabetes. I also brought his favorite food…bacon. Its my secret weapon on my backpacking trips, yoders canned bacon.
I always made sure he had something to look forward to while we were camping and gave him space to explore. We even caught a fish and ate it which made his trip.
As he gets older, he will be responsible for his pack and comfort items that he decides to bring but it think this first trip planted the seeds for future great backpacking trips with my son.