What’s better than spending time in the great outdoors? Spending time with the family in the great outdoors. Hikes and family camping,or hunting trips act as great platforms to teach your kids about nature, and how they can help preserve it.
Helping our children build a connection with the nature and the world around them will help them strengthened their connections with others. Studies have shown that time spent in nature has the power to improve a child’s self image, have significant health benefits, help them develop problem solving and decision making skills.
Make time for a family camping trip, but make sure you do it the eco-friendly, healthy and safe way for the whole family and the environment by following these steps:
- Pack Eco-Friendly Gadgets
There is a host of gear that prides itself on eco-friendly design. For a renewable fuel source, BioLite camp stoves burn small sticks and brush with the added oxygenation from the help of a built-in fan, which is, in turn, charged by the heat of the fire it helps create. The battery also has a USB port so you can charge other electronic devices, like your smartphone, no matter where you are.
Goal-Zero also has a line of solar chargers so you can stay connected even when in the wild woods. With a range of large and small battery packs, solar lights, and power sticks, Goal-Zero makes sure you’re always with power when you need it most.
- Eat Healthy
Just because you’re off the beaten path, doesn’t mean your family has to sacrifice a healthy diet. Keep your family eating healthy with a good plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks when you’re on the trail. Organic instant oatmeal with an assortment of natural dried fruits and nuts makes for a hearty breakfast, while lunches are best made up of easily assembled, protein-rich foods, like salami and other organic dried meats, mixed with veggies and whole-grain breads. Nut butters can provide you with plenty of protein as well, and hummus is an easily packed snack paired with some healthy crackers, veggies, or chips. For dinner, take some light weight freeze-dried camping dinners. Not only can you find hardy foods, but also delicious ones.
- Plan Ahead for Safety
Make certain your first aid kit is packed full of bandages for small cuts and scrapes, antibiotic ointment, and emergency rations. For good measure, take a satellite phone, especially if your plan on spending your time in the back country, far from civilization. Remember, once you and your family leave the paved roads behind, you’re likely to enter territory that is a dead zone for smartphones. Satellite phones, however, get reception everywhere. While the point of a camping trip is often to leave the rest of the world behind, if your family gets into serious trouble, you’ll need a way to call for help.
- Pack It All Out
Teach your kids that you must take out everything that you bring with you. This includes your garbage. A lot of eco-friendly gear is biodegradable, however, just because it can be taken back by the Earth, doesn’t mean you should litter your campsite for the next group. Teach your kids how to cover your tracks and dispose of campfire debris, if you build one.
Skip paper or plastic products in favor of reusable plates, bowls, spoons, and forks made out of bamboo and other light woods. While these can be a pain to wash after each meal, they cut down on the waste you’ll have to pack out.