Camping In A National Park With Little Ones: Four Helpful Planning Tips

Staying in a national park gives your little ones a wonderful glimpse at all the beauty nature has to offer, but making the trip enjoyable for you and your toddlers or young children requires some planning in advance. Use the following guide to help prepare for your stay in a national park and ensure your visit is one your tots will remember for many years to come. 

Rent A Cabin

Roughing it in a tent may be easier for older children, but younger kids may feel more comfortable in a cabin. Fortunately, there are many cabin options at several national parks. As you look for cabin rentals, be sure to check the availability of bathrooms. Having a bathroom inside your cabin can help prevent accidents in the middle of the night. Some cabins have small kitchens inside, too, which makes it easier to stash snacks and plan meals for your trip. 

Look For Stroller-Friendly Hiking Paths

Not all national parks have trails and paths that are easy to navigate by stroller, but there are many options that are family-friendly. Bringing a stroller along for long walks is a great idea as it lets you keep going along the path, even if your little ones become too tired. You can also use the basket in your stroller to store essentials you might need on a full day of camping, such as bottles of water, extra jackets, and snacks. If you're unsure about the availability of trails your whole family can conquer together, you can check out the park's website ahead of time or have a chat with one of the park rangers when you arrive. 

Learn About The Wildlife In Advance

If you're lucky, you'll get to see a wide range of animals and birds on your trip. However, knowing which types of wildlife you might encounter is essential for keeping you and your little ones safe during the trip. For example, if you're visiting a park where bears are known to roam, you'll want to take extra precautions when storing food, toiletries, and other items these creatures might want to snack on. This also means cleaning up trails of snacks left around the cabin after your toddlers are done eating. National parks typically have plenty of signage alerting you to potential dangers, but knowing what you might encounter in advance can help you make a better plan as you pack for your trip. 

Plan Kid-Friendly Activities

National parks exist for people of all ages to enjoy, and many offer kid-friendly activities to keep your tots busy during your outdoor camping adventure. Look up schedules for storytimes, free events, and guided trail explorations. If your little ones are interested in learning more about the parks, they can also participate in the Junior Rangers program, which has offerings at parks throughout the country. Kids can get free booklets at participating parks and complete activities to earn Junior Rangers badges.  

For more information about family excursions you can do near you, contact a local service.