As your kids get older, they’ll start wanting their own independence and space, especially on your camping trips. In this episode of the Snowys Camping Show, Ben and Lauren give you all the details on how to keep your teenagers happy so that everyone can enjoy quality time away as a family.
Listen to the full episode here:
Or you can watch the video version here:
- 00:00 – Intro
- 03:00 – Camping with younger kids vs teens
- 04:20 – Giving them their space
- 06:04 – Involve them in planning the trip
- 08:08 – Caravan park camping
- 09:36 – Cook food you don’t eat at home
- 11:30 – Going with other families or extra kids
- 13:56 – Take your kid’s bikes
- 16:20 – Radios for communication
- 18:48 – Technology
- 23:14 – Games
Links to things mentioned in this episode:
- Swagger 2P Tent
- Swagger 3P Tent
- String lights and lanterns
- Camping forks for marshmallows
- Campsite Australia guide book
- Library app for e-books
Difference between camping with younger kids and teens
Things change as kids grow older and camping with tweens and teens is different to the trips you have with rug-rats. The gear you need and the way you set up will shift, and as older kids seek more independence, they might develop a different attitude towards camping and spending time together.
Give them space
From experience, giving them their own space such as a swag or small tent will allow them some privacy. A Swagger style tent from Coleman is the perfect size between a swag and a tent, and are a winner among some of the Snowys staff who have older kids.
If they are sleeping in their own shelter, then ensure they take ownership of it. This includes the responsibility of setting it up, keeping it clean, and packing it away when the adventure is over. They can even add their own touches such as fairy lights or lanterns to make it more personal and homely.
In terms of food, making a meal that you wouldn’t normally eat at home can invite a bit of interest. Or get your teens to choose their favourite dinner, or they can help create a special desert.
You could make smores, roast up some marshmallows or cook snags on a stick over the campfire too, as that will give everyone an opportunity to sit around together as a family.
A few key changes will make camping with teens much smoother. Image: Black Wolf
Get everyone a set of radios, as that will encourage them to roam and explore with more confidence. It will also mean that you can find them easily if you need to, call them back for food, as well as give you peace of mind that they can get in touch with you if needed.
Going with other families or extra kids
If your kids are at the age where they are looking for more independence, they might not want to sit around camp with you and the other adults. Make it more fun for them by choosing destinations where teens can make friends and go off to other campsites, or consider organising your trip with other families.
Bikes are an absolute must
Making your kids go for a ride is always a winner, and they can go off all day and have their own adventures, while you relax and unwind at camp.
Involve them in the decisions
Getting your teens to decide where you go gives them autonomy over the adventure, so they won’t feel like they’re being forced to go against their will. Sometimes you could even go somewhere for the weekend just because that’s what they’ve chosen, even if it’s not your ideal destination.
If you’re doing the choosing, pick a site that will give them the opportunity to do heaps of fun activities like hiking, swimming, fishing, or sightseeing to keep them happy and occupied.
Technology, tablets & games
It’s up to you and your own parenting style whether you want to limit use of devices such as tablets or smartphones, but e-readers are a great option for long car rides as as they are lighter and take up less space than books.
Pack a few board games or a deck of cards for your trip as that will give you the chance to hang out as a family.
Thanks for listening, tune in again for next week’s episode!
Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Snowys Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, or Stitcher so you never miss an upload.
If you have any questions for Ben and Lauren, make sure you head over to our Facebook group and let us know as we’d love to hear from you.
Catch you out there!
About the writer...
When it comes to camping, hiking, travel and adventure – the Snowys team have all the expert advice, guides, and tips on everything outdoors.