Our family loves camping! It seems like summer passes us by so quickly but this year we were able to squeeze in a couple camping trips and we had a blast. I've partnered with Wenzel to share why you should try tent camping with kids!
Before we tried camping with kids the first time, I had some hesitations. Would they sleep okay? Would I spend 99% of my time trying to keep them from falling in the fire? How many mosquitoes would try to eat us alive? And what about ticks?! I grew up camping and I enjoy it but I wasn't sure about taking the kids when they're so young. However, we decided to give it a try and I'm so glad we did!
6 Reasons to Try Tent Camping With Kids
Their World Slows Down
With so many activities all the time I think kids get overwhelmed. Even though our kids stay home with me, we still get out a lot during the week. Between playdates, gymnastics, MOPS, and more, we seem to be running all the time. We get up early, head out the door, and often don't come home until later in the afternoon. It's easy to see sometimes our kids just need life to slow down. They need time to play without a plan. Camping provides time for kids to do just that!
They Can Get in Touch with Nature
We live in a small town and our kids play outdoors a lot. Even still, they can always use more time in nature. We've been camping twice this summer and in just those two trips we saw deer, squirrels, snakes, frogs, and lots of birds. The kids spent time playing with sticks and rocks rather than toys. They got SO dirty, and they absolutely loved it!
It Gives Them a Break from Electronics
Electronics are a big source of fun for most kids. My kids love their screen time as much as any other, but I notice their behaviors are better when they can take a break. Tent camping provides a a great excuse to skip out on electronics. With no electricity (even if there is, you don't have to hook up to it!), the kids can't beg to watch a show. It forces them to play together and get creative. When we went camping, the kids made up all kinds of stories and played together constantly. I didn't even have to worry about them falling in the fire!
Kids Can Learn Life Skills
This is such an important one! I think that because our kids are so young, we sometimes forget how much they're learning just by experiencing things. While we camped, we taught our kids about cooking over a fire, which is something we never do at home. Sure, we grill, but it's over a gas flame--totally different! Plus, we taught them all about starting a fire, and they learned a lot about fire safety.
Camping made them think outside the box, also. When it was time to brush our teeth, our daughter said "How can we? We don't have a sink!" She figured out that she could use a water bottle to get enough water to brush and rinse her mouth. Our friends taught the kids how to make pancakes from scratch which was a blast for them. There are so many learning experiences while camping. You don't even need to try to teach, they just occur naturally!
They Can Meet New People
Some of my favorite memories from camping as a child include meeting other kids. It was amazing how quickly friendships could form over a weekend and I can still remember some of their names! Have we kept in contact? No. But meeting them made a huge impact on me as a child. Our kids are very social and they try to make friends wherever we go. Camping is no exception, and they found kids to play with both times we camped this summer.
Tent Camping is a Great Way to Spend Family Quality Time
Even though we spend the majority of our time together, tent camping provides a different environment for our family. We can spend time doing things we normally don't, like hiking and swimming somewhere new. It gives us time away from our phones or the TV, where we can just focus on our kids. Some of my favorite moments this summer were camping as a family and I can't wait to make more memories next year! (We're not yet brave enough to try winter camping with kids in Minnesota-HA!)
Wenzel Tent & Gear Co.
It's impossible to go tent camping without a tent, and I was so excited when Wenzel Tent & Gear Co. sent me their Shenanigan 5 in Blue Geo from their Tribute Collection! The Tribute Collection is a vintage-inspired line with tents, chairs, sleeping bags, and more!
Tent Camping in the Shenanigan 5
I could not believe how easy it was to put up the Shenanigan 5. We laid the tent flat, pounded in the stakes, and put the steel pole up. That's it! That's all you need to do! It took less than 5 minutes and then we staked the rear vents to let some airflow pass through, also.
These unique vents are open at the peak and near the floor of the tent to allow the air to move. There are also three zippered windows to keep the air circulating. With four of us snuggling in a tent, this is imperative for a good night's sleep!
Another awesome feature of the Shenanigan 5 is how tall the peak is. At 90", even my 6' tall husband can stand comfortably in this tent! That can't be said for any tent we've used in the past. The floor is also spacious, with 86 square feet of room to move around. We can comfortably fit all four of us as well as our sleeping gear and packed bags.
The only downfall of this tent is that our son thinks the pole is a fun bar to hang from. He's only two so we're teaching him that we need the pole to keep the tent up and that we don't want to rip the fabric by trying to yank it around or hang from it. I'm sure it won't be long before he gets the idea to leave it alone. One thing I'd like to add to the tent would be a rain cover, but for now a tarp will work if we get caught in the rain while tent camping!
Double NeverFlat Fabric Air Pad
The first time we went camping, my husband and I woke up SO sore from sleeping directly in sleeping bags on the ground. I knew we needed to get a mattress of some sort for the next time we camped. The Double NeverFlat Air Pad is the perfect option because it's compact, lightweight, and fits perfectly between the support pole and the outer wall in the Shenanigan 5.
At four inches thick, it's just the right size to keep us up off the ground without making us compromise precious space in the tent. It has a two way valve that automatically monitors pressure and adjusts when necessary. It's a million times more comfortable than sleeping on the hard ground! We will probably end up buying another one for the other side of the tent.
We're very impressed with the quality of our Wenzel Tent & Gear Co. products and I'm sure we'll be adding more to our collection. I've been eyeing up their sleeping bags and camp chairs lately! Check out their website to see all the products they offer!
Our friends at Wenzel Tent & Gear Co. are generously offering one reader their very own Shenanigan 5 Tent! Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below.
Open to the US only, ages 18 and up. Ends 9/20/18 at 11:59 PM EST.
Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received these products from Wenzel Tent & Gear Co. at no cost to discuss why you should try tent camping with kids as well as provide an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own. One winner will be randomly selected using the Giveaway Tools random selector. Winner will be notified via email. Once notified, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google. Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Void where prohibited.