It’s not easy camping with children. Most of us, if given a choice, would rather swallow carpet tacks. But if you’re a parent or Scout leader you may not have a choice.
Hikingware.com is aware of this dilemma and has put together some practical solutions to the problem of “What do we do with Junior and Missy in the Great Outdoors that won’t get us convicted of manslaughter?”
- Remember that all children are at heart pyromaniacs. They lose all self-control when there is a blazing campfire crackling nearby. The smaller children inevitably want to fall right into it, and the older ones cannot resist throwing things, such as pine cones, plastic utensils and perhaps a stray stick of dynamite, into the flames just to see what will happen. The best way to keep your campfire unsullied with the stench of burning flesh and uncontaminated by a possible hand grenade is to have plenty of distractions available for the children while the fire is burning. This would include a Moon Bounce, a guest appearance by Big Foot, and, for the older ones, a Bathing Beauty Contest. Sure these are all expensive and may be impossible, but so what? We’re just writing this stuff; we don’t have to do it! That’s YOUR lookout.
- A child’s appetite increases in direct proportion to how far they are from their refrigerator back home. If you go on a two-mile hike at a nearby state park your kids may get a little frisky around discarded food wrappers, but, on the whole, they will manage to contain their hunger pangs until you are driving out of the park and pass a McDonald’s. You should have inserted earplugs by this juncture, lest their caterwauling punctures an eardrum. But should you venture farther afield, say another state five hundred miles away, you can be sure the kiddies will become ravening and feral fiends – ready to snack on their own grandmother if she happens to fall asleep at an inopportune time. So have plenty of power snacks ready for them. We recommend baking up a large batch of sawdust bars prior to the camping trip. They are very easy to make; just mix sawdust with egg whites and lots of sugar, then bake in an oven at 350 for an hour. The bars can be sawed into slabs that the children can gnaw on for hours to satiate their inordinate appetites until you can skewer a buffalo or moose for dinner.
- If you ask them to pack something really, really important they are going to forget all about it.
“Where’s the tent?” you may ask your teenage son, as he lolls insolently against a Ponderosa pine with his iPad. “I specifically told you to pack it in first!” The only answer you’ll get is a contemptuous shrug. This is when most family murders take place. What you need to do is hide the iPad inside the tent and then tell Junior or Missy that their iPad is inside ONE of the camping items spread out on the lawn. If he or she wants to ever see it again they’d better get cracking and pack everything into the van, pronto. You’ll be amazed at the speed which young people can bring to anything they set their minds to!