Most campers cherish the solitude and tranquility that comes from spending time in the great outdoors, outside the hustle and bustle of city life, but it just so happens that it’s also a great way to strengthen your bond with family members.
This holds especially true when it comes to father-son camping trips, dads have been using this sort of escape into nature as a way of consolidating paternal bonds for decades. There are few distractions, so very little to stand in the way of making conversation, and so many opportunities to teach and work together: pitching the tent, gathering wood for the fire, building the fire and cooking your dinner in such a refreshingly unsophisticated way.
How to Camp Like a Champ
First, you’ll need to gather the supplies. You don’t want to overpack since bringing too many things kind of misses the point of being wild and free, but you do want to be prepared enough so your son will enjoy it and still want to go on future trips.
- Tent, footprint, and stakes – if the weather won’t cooperate, make sure it’s possible to sleep in the car
- Sleeping bags
- Sleeping pads
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- Camp chairs and a small foldable table
- Solar lantern
- Repair kit for the tent just in case
- Bug spray
- Things to start the fire – matches, lighter, fuel
- A pot that doubles as a frying pan
- Minimum of eating and cooking utensils
- Trash bags
- Detergent and sponge for the cooking and eating utensils
- Food: snacks, marshmallows, hot dogs, bread, pre-cooked products, etc. that you can pack in a cooler
This is kind of the minimum. Depending on how much time you want to spend on the trip and whether you want to go fishing, swimming or biking as well, you can add to the list.
If you don’t already have all these things, it can get pretty expensive, so we suggest you look online for special offers like the Anaconda catalogue or check your local supermarket for promotions.
What to Do Once You’re There
It’s important to unpack and set up everything before you lose sunlight. You can ask your son to get involved every step of the way starting with pitching the tent, making the fire and deciding what to cook. On the first night, don’t get overly ambitious, make something super simple because you’ll both be tired.
Anyway, it will be much more fun to make up stories, play shadow puppets and sing camping songs.
The next day you’ll want to wake up before him so you can make yourself a nice cup of coffee and get ready to make the most out of nature, while finding as many teaching moments as possible. You could look for wildlife, identify birds and flowers and when you get tired you can teach them how to set up a hammock that can fit both of you and look over nature books together.
This content is sponsored by Stephen Marshal.