If you’re looking for family camping tips for beginners, look no further. My family had the pleasure of experiencing Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Lakes Region, NH, and it was an amazing time we won’t soon forget.
This was our home for the week and it was perfect:
Yes, we stayed in a cabin. As a first-time camper I know my limits, so having running water and a roof over my head were absolute requirements for me. This trip was so much fun. I wanted to go because I figured it would be fun for JB, but after arriving I realized it was fun for all of us. I particularly enjoyed being close to the lake. There’s just something about being on the water that immediately relaxes me. Okay, let’s get into into these first-time family camping tips for beginners:
Family Camping Tips For Beginners
1. Pack light and pack smart. This means you don’t need to pack a lot in terms of clothing. For summer camping. a couple of t-shirts and shorts is really all you need. Keep all your cute clothes at home. I definitely overpacked for myself and the boys given that there is laundry site on the camping resort. Here’s what you need: a pair of sneakers, a pair flip flops, a sweatshirt (it gets cold at night and in the mornings), a swimsuit, and a few t-shirts and shorts, sunscreen, and bug spray.
2. Stay at a camping resort like Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Lakes Region, NH. While my experience is limited I would venture to say this might be the best family camping resort in New Hampshire, and maybe the best camping resort in New England. I wouldn’t call my experience “glamping” (There is no maid service), it’s a much nicer and less rugged introduction to camping.
3. Bring cleaning supplies for your cabin. It gets dusty walking the trail outside the cabin, so you’ll want to bring a swiffer (wet and dry), and some all-purpose cleaner, and paper towels.
4. The cabin comes with a full kitchen, no need to bring your own pots and pans, but bring your food, of course. We had fun grilling and making s’mores every night.
5. Bring bikes! Every kid on the property had a bike. Even though everything on the resort was within walking distance, I still think if you’re going to camping in the mountains bring a bike. There are go-carts you can rent as well, but they rent-out quickly so make sure that when you’re booking you add on a go-cart rental, a canoe rental, and/or a jacuzzi rental. Get all the add-ons!
6. Go with a group. Although it was fun with just the 4 of us (my sister later joined us for a day), I kept thinking this would be so much MORE fun with another family, especially if you have older kids. JB would have definitely benefitted from having someone closer to his age to on the trip with us. If we can’t convince friends to come with us next year, I’d definitely see if I can have one of his cousins join for the week.
7. Family Camping with a toddler is just okay. Obviously I wouldn’t leave him behind, but I think he’ll appreciate more of the trip when he’s older. The playground on the resort seemed to be more geared to older kids, as were most of the kid-friendly activities. He loved the beach so we spent a lot of time at one of several small beaches on the property. You’re going to want to bring a baby carrier for kids 2 and under, and a stroller that can glide through somewhat rough and rocky road. When you’re camping with a toddler they’re too old to let hang out in a play pen, so you’re gonna have to keep that kid strapped close to you when you’re back at your campsite especially.
The onsite playgrounds were also great for both kids (aged 2 and 8).
We also spent some time coloring and painting in the camping recreation center which is open to offer a space for kids to go and do camp art activities and games.
8. While there is a wonderful general store on the property where you can buy pretty much everything, we did take a few trips to the local Walmart to grab things like: beach chairs for the beach, Beach toys, floaties, and fishing rods. They did have these items at the on-site store but they were pricy. We bought two fishing rods from the resort store, and within 10 minutes of opening they broke and the resort store doesn’t offer any returns on opened items. In short, bring your own stuff.
9. Overall, we had a great time. We downloaded the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park app, so we received daily alerts letting us know what activities were available that day, and we even got to a visit from Yogi!
I hope you enjoyed this list of camping tips and hacks for families. Feel free to drop your family camping tips for beginners below!
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