Unless your kids are reliable and responsible, avoid camping with kids at all costs. Sure, camping with kids seems like a great way to share the wonders of nature with your family.

But that is a lie. Kids are hard to impress, even in the great outdoors. Suppose your kids react with groans at the mention of a camping trip, compromise.

Either rent a camping cabin or only go on long hikes during the day and stay at a hotel at night. But if your kids seem at home outside and even ask about camping, you have possibilities.

Kids Make Mess: It’s That Simple

Camping with kids inevitably means messiness and dirt of some sort. Deal with it now. If your kids are tired, they will find ways of cutting corners, no matter how idiotic the schemes are.

If it’s too much of a bother to put on their boots before going to the outhouse, they will return barefoot.

Your kids will get into the dirt. It will get into their mouths. Live with it. Exposure to some dirt can help their bodies learn to inoculate against some bacteria.

And don’t get too fussy camping with kids. If they drop their sandwich on the ground and pick it up, let them eat it. You probably only packed so much food, to begin with.

The Potty Problem

Take time to research the potty laws in the area you are camping at. If there aren’t any outhouses, you and your kids will have to squat the way our ancestors did.

After a few days, the squatting position becomes surprisingly comfortable. Teach your kids how to recognize poisonous plants in the area, so they do not accidentally squat down on them.

And give them paper to wipe themselves with or a ruined cloth rather than let them wipe themselves with leaves.

All poo must be buried and all paper (or cloth) burnt. If you are not ready to deal with this, you are not ready to go camping with kids.

“He Followed Me Here. Can I Keep Him?”

Inevitably, camping with kids means learning how to deal with wildlife. This can be anything from cricket to a moose calf.

Don’t fall for the old “He followed me here,” line. Only cats and dogs do that. All other animals were probably dragged to the tent kicking and screaming.

Baby animals are irresistibly cute, but they must be left where they are. Keeping still is often part of camouflage safety while Mom is off food shopping. If your kids don’t respect wildlife, say no to camping with kids.