Create lifelong memories while giving your kids the gift of basic bushcraft skills. Our list of camping activities will keep them entertained from dawn ‘til dusk.
Make some golden childhood memories this weekend
When my husband and I talk about fond memories from our youth, it’s often a snippet
from a camping trip. Constructing a shelter out of tarp and rope. Catching salmon on the beach. Cooking abalone on the fire with a little bit of butter and garlic. Yep, sometimes it really is the small things.
A family camping trip is a great opportunity to introduce the kids to the simple pleasures of bushcraft and self-reliance. They’ll have a ball – and maybe even remember a few things that will stand them in good stead for life.
My favourite moments? Where it's all going swimmingly, the sun's out and I've got a fire going and a nice snake on the barbecue – Bear Grylls
Ten camp activities for adventurous kids
- Build a fire.The principles are easy to remember – start with tinder and kindling, stack to encourage oxygen flow, add increasingly large pieces of dry wood – but it’s hard to properly understand this knowledge without seeing it in action. Kids are natural pyromaniacs so this activity is a sure crowd pleaser. Be sure to add in a lesson about responsible fire management!
- Lighta fire … no matches allowed. Best to start easy (flint and steel, magnifying glass on newspaper, batteries and steel wool) and work your way up to more advanced methods (fire plough, bow drill). The primitive techniques aren’t for the faint of heart, but this is nothing that a determined older kid can’t handle with a little help.
- Even if you’re not in a great fishing area, the simple act of setting up a line, trying out different baits, and enjoying the water on a beautiful day can be a great experience for kids.
- Weave a basket.It’s bush arts and crafts! If you haven’t tried weaving before, check out this YouTube video for a technique using plant materials found in the Australian bush – no fancy tools required.
- Tell the timeusing the position of the sun by making your own sundial.
- Find true Northwithout a compass, using the ‘shadow method’ or ‘watch method’ during the day, and the Southern Cross as a guide at night. WikiHow have a surprisingly useful summary of these techniques.
- Collect waterfrom a solar still or transpiration bag. A science experiment for sunny days. Bonus points for purifying and drinking it!
- Identifying edible plantsis a great way to make bushwalks more interesting for kids. There are many useful local guides out there, but if you don’t already have one, Wild Food Plants of Australia by Tim Low is a classic.
- Tie a knot. Every kid should know the a few basics such as the bowline, figure eight, overhand and reef knots. They’ll be keen to show them off at school.
- Make a slingshot. Where better to indulge in the good old-fashioned sport of slinging than in the bush? With just a bit of rubber and some bands, and of course the perfect Y-shaped stick, you may create a menace out of your children … but at least they’ll be well-entertained menaces with developed hand-eye coordination.
After a long day of adventure you’ll all be keen to retire in comfort, which is where EzyTrail comes in. Our range of hard floor, soft floor and off-road campers has something to get every family camping in style. Or if you’re just in the market for more camping tips, subscribe to our free newsletter for updates from our friendly staff of wilderness experts.