Tree Tent Camping with Kids
Kids can find the joy in everything - especially if there’s a Tree Tent involved. Having a portable treehouse in a bag is a fantastic way to make camping adventures even more fun, and coax those little ones away from the screens and back into the Great Outdoors!
Obviously there are too many benefits to count when it comes to kids spending time in the Outdoors – the physical aspect – fitness, vitality, strength and general good health being only the start. Camping is a brilliant way for children to hone essential skills - learn about nature, the art of pitching a comfortable shelter that protects from the elements, building a fire, and discovering ingenious ways to solve new challenges like cooking outdoors and leaving no trace. Create, invent, problem solve.
Choosing your location for a family camping trip with a Tree Tent
When you’re taking the kiddos with you, planning ahead is more important than ever before. The days of casually rocking up to a campsite and hoping for the best, are over. But, with this new level of organisation and prep, comes opportunity! Here are some helpful resources to help you find a spot to take your Tentsile:
- Tentsile Map - A great place to start for Tentsile glamping options and ‘bring your own tree tent’ spaces: link
- Recreation.gov - everything you could want all in one place - for information, bookings and itinerary planning.
- hipcamp.com - Tons of amazing locations to peruse - and a filter to search for sites with Forests, which can help you find potential Tentsile friendly option to enquire about.
- airbnb.com - Fancy having your Tree Tent all set up and ready for your arrival, so that the only activity you need to think about is cooking those s’mores? There are lots of Tentsile options for rent in some idyllic spots to explore with your children.
As any parent knows – you absolutely do not want to find yourself caught short when it comes to setting up your families shelter for the night having not familiarised yourself with the technique! That’s why we created a super informative set up and pack down guide for each of our Tree Tent and Hammock models, so that you can take out the guesswork ahead of your trip. That said, setting up a Tentsile is much easier than it might first look, so long as you follow the instructions. Why not watch them with your kids before the adventure begins, and they can be your hands-on helpers when it’s time to set-up your portable tree house!
Top tip: Download our Youtube Set-up guides to your phone / device before you leave so you can access from the wilderness if you lose signal.
So, you’ve set up basecamp. Now what? Well, whatever your itinerary - if you’re venturing away from camp for the day and likely to happen upon some lovely trees, take a T-Mini double hammock along with you! Tiny, light, and super easy to fit into your day bag – this little beauty is barely noticeable on your back and makes mid-trail snack stops all the more enjoyable. Set up in less than 10 mins and you’ve got yourself a perfect relaxation spot for the kids (and you) to have a well earned rest and take a load off, if just for 30 mins! Maybe even a nap stop… (nature naps are under-rated!) - just don’t ever fall asleep in direct sunlight and remember the importance of shade / sunscreen. Which leads us nicely to…
Pro tips for camping with kids
- Suncream, Hats, Water, energy filled nutritious snacks - all in ample quantity!
- Take a Tentsile Wall or two to create portable sunshades in the summer
- Pack thin light layers - temperatures fluctuate depending on season and elevation, and besides - when was the last time you got through 24 hrs without having to change your toddler’s damp / sticky attire at least twice.
- Pack plasters and Savlon or other antibacterial healing cream along with your first aid kit in case of inevitable bumps and scrapes.
- If you’re taking a cooler, put in some extra water for those post trip thirsts that need to be served chilled. Sneak in half a watermelon, and popsicles made from fresh juice and water to entice everyone back to camp – healthy hydration is extra important for kids after a busy day outdoors, and sweet fizzy soda is only temporarily thirst-quenching without any real benefits.
You don’t always need a ton of gear with you when you go on a camping adventure; sometimes a simple pencil and sketchbook, or wildlife journal, will help your kids find fun ways to tap into both their creative and nature mapping skills.
Become a nature investigator - Take a see-through container to scoop river / pond water into and see what you find in there! Why not take some litmus paper and test the water’s acidity? There are so many ways to introduce early Science / Biology knowledge at a young age, and help children foster a penchant for discovery. It's also a good time to introduce Leave No Trace principles from a very young age - teach your children always to leave a place as they found it, and minimise their disruption of nature and ecosystems whilst outdoors.
Create an insect hotel – Not that they need it, because let’s face it insects have got plenty of places to call home in the forest – but your children might enjoy using leaves, sticks, bark and broken branches to create spaces for them to thrive. It’s a great opportunity to talk to your kids about the different types of creatures in our environment, and their importance to our ecosystem.
Birdspotting / Wildlife log – keep a note of the various animals and birds you see around your campsite and out on the trail. What are they doing? Nesting? Hunting? What time of year is it and what do the Seasons mean for animals? All of these are great learning points for a little one learning about the Outdoors and all those who inhabit it.
Storytelling - Let Nature inspire your imagination and build out a story together with your little ones, using the natural environment to spark creativity. Found a feather? Perhaps it's from a magic crow... a clue to help you find some treasures...
Sing - An often overlooked activity on camping trips, but the age old tradition of singing by the campfire has lasted the test of time for a reason. Get over your embarrassment and engage with your kids by teaching music and rhythm. Much like reconnecting with nature, there really is something special about the sense of community that comes from sharing song.
Check out our Backyard Camping Activities blog inspiration on more nature based activity options. https://www.tentsile.com/blogs/news/fun-family-backyard-camping-activities