UPDATE: Many campgrounds remain closed or limited. Make sure to follow all local guidelines and reach out to the proper representatives before planning a campout.
Have you started planning your next summer vacation, but you’re worried about crowds? Camping with your family is the perfect alternative.
Let’s be honest here, in the age of COVID-19, theme parks and cruises are out. Traditional family vacation spots like Disneyland can be a lot of fun, but all of those people may have you thinking twice about it. The last thing you want to do is expose your family to a harmful virus, especially if you have small children.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you can’t still go on vacation, it just means it’s time to think outside of the box a little. What about camping? Having fun with your family outdoors is a great way to bond and get out of the house while still practicing social distancing. In fact, in these strange times, planning an outdoor camping adventure is now more important than ever. Here are some reasons why!
Camping Reduces Cabin Fever and Stress
This is big right now and everyone’s feeling it. If you’re cooped up inside and getting tired of watching Netflix, you’re not alone! We all feel this way. The good news is, there’s nothing stopping you from going outside. Besides, as long as you keep your social distance, getting some fresh air and sunshine is one of the best things you can do.
A lot of people don’t realize how stressful it can be sitting at home with nothing to do. This is especially true if you have small children, and watching the Frozen movies over and over again only goes so far. Although you don’t want to expose your baby or children to anything dangerous, they also need stimulation, exercise, and fun.
Camping provides all of these things. Not only is the air fresh, but activities such as hiking and biking are active without the crowds. Plus, your kids will love playing outdoors—from digging in the dirt with sticks to building towers with rocks, there are plenty of simple activities for the little ones. And, if you’re camping with a baby, just the sights and sounds alone provide a wonderful experience for a developing mind.
Camping Outside Reduces Your Exposure to Germs and Viruses
We’ve been told the best way to prevent the spread of disease is to avoid crowds and to wash our hands...A LOT! This is because germs are spread by people. The reason so many of us have stocked up on hand sanitizer and disinfectant sprays is to combat germs and viruses that may be lurking on the things we touch.
Kids, on the other hand, often don’t understand the need for cleanliness. They don’t know how to be careful of what they touch and to avoid touching their faces. If you’ve ever taken a toddler to the store, you know how difficult it is to keep them from going after EVERYTHING.
Thing is, when you’re outside where there aren’t a lot of people, you don’t have to worry about these types of germs and viruses so much. Remember, germs are spread by people, not water, cold weather, or dirt, so getting out into the elements is a safe bet.
Camping Activities Are Good for Kids (and Babies!)
With so much access to television, games, and the internet, it’s vital to be able to take a break from it all. Rest your eyes and enjoy the fresh air. Being in nature is relaxing and has a revitalizing effect on people and kids. Traditional vacation spots don’t enable you to escape the pull of technology and just aren’t as soothing as the outdoors. Camping with your family and “getting away from it all” is good for the human spirit.
That being said, small children often don’t understand this idea. They’re used to being able to watch their favorite shows at the click of a button. However, once they get into a natural setting, most kids enjoy the experience, especially if you start planning regular trips while they’re still young.
For babies and young children, you can let nature do the entertaining. Babies will take in the sights and sounds, and most babies are actually more at ease in the natural world than they are other places. Toddlers and young children enjoy exploring. Sticks and rocks make interesting toys. Exposure to nature is an invaluable experience for children, that not only enriches their lives but is also good for development.
How to Find the Perfect Spot for Camping With Your Family
The trick, in these strange times, is to find a camping location where there aren’t a lot of people. Some popular locations, after all, may not offer the level of social distancing you were hoping for. The good news is, civilization has not collapsed and we all still have a number of valuable resources for finding the perfect camping spot. Check out the following:
- Reserve America Camping Directory
- RV Camping
- Bureau of Land Management
- The Van Life App
That being said, many parks and campgrounds have closed due to the pandemic, so be sure to call ahead. The last thing you want is to get somewhere only to have to turn around, especially when small children are involved.
Some other ways to find camping in your area is to use Google maps and look for the green areas. If you’re in a state park or national forest, see if you can find a ranger station. Forest rangers who live in the area may be able to recommend some spots that are off the beaten path and away from people.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to remember that you have options. You don’t have to stay trapped in your house. Camping with your family is a great way to get away from stress and germs for a while. Where will your next outdoor adventure be?