For kids, a camping adventure doesn’t have to be in a wilderness in some far flung corner of the country. The back yard will do perfectly fine.
This Christmas is a perfect opportunity to set your child up with their very own camping gear, giving them that element of independence that fuels our own love of the great outdoors.
So, here is our list of gift ideas to make sure Little Him and Little Her have everything they might need.
FOR LITTLE HIM
Most boys are a mixture of Action Man, Indian Jones and the Mad Scientist, so the list of suitable equipment is vast. But, here are 5 for starters!
1. The Ready Bed – It’s hard to separate any kid from their comforts. That’s why a mattress – preferably an inflatable one – is a must. Soft and study, these beds can provide the best nights sleep outside of their own beds. Themed prints are most popular – like Pixar’s Cars – for example.
2. The Compact Domed Tent – Light, affordable and easy it assemble, the beauty of an Oztrail compact dome tent is that Jr can pitch it himself – once he’s been shown how, of course. It can sleeps two adults, so a couple of little friends can be accommodated for a sleep-over. It also keeps everyone safe and warm inside, as it’s wind, water and tiger-proof!
3. Headlight Torch – Every young Indiana Jones needs a light when exploring. Torches are perfectly fine, but head lights are more practical, especially when negotiating those tight spaces. Models available with 24-hour battery power are best. Ideal for woodland and night-time adventures with the family too – but as far as Jr and his friends are concerned, theyâ€™re just cool!
4. Bug Jar – No self-respecting young adventure is going to fail to gather specimens, so a jar to keep interesting insects in is essential. Special Bug Jars are available that ensure insects are kept well, with a steady air supply to maximise ‘study time’ by the little scientists. Most have separate compartments to allow a variety to be captured and stored.
5. Camping Compass – Another fun essential for all intrepid explorers, having a compass at home gives your kids a chance to learn one of the important camping skills. So, when the family do head to the wilderness, Jr can direct the woodland hike.
FOR LITTLE HER
Mattresses and tents go without saying, but for Little Her and friends there some things needed that the boys might not care so much about.
1. Cushions, Pillows – Sleep-overs, even when camping, require comfy cushions and pillows. Covered in soft touch fabric, there are many inflatable versions that can be easily deflated and packed away, unlike bulky regular pillows. There is always a range of colours to choose from, but themed prints can add that personal touch.
2. Camping Chairs – Huggable pillows inside; comfortable chairs outside. Usually available in pairs, so friends can hang out together, these chairs are sturdy despite their light weight steel tube frames. With the polyester material available in a range of colours, and movie or brand prints, the kids love to have a chair of their very own.
3. Kids Binoculars – Checking out the natural wonders of the wilderness, or even the back yard, is best done with a good pair of binoculars. Kids versions have smaller eye-cups and are lighter in weight, but have a high quality magnifying ability. A strong but colourful cord keeps it safe around the neck.
4. Lantern – While the boys may like head lights, a lantern placed in the centre of the tent can have the girls chatting all night. Battery powered LED lanterns give the best light for the longest time. Of course, waterproof and sturdy models guarantee safety, but fall short of guaranteeing secrets whispered around it stay secret!
5. Star Finder – No girl can resist looking up at the stars, and with a star finder, the intrigue can become educational. Easy to find, a simple star finder disc can identify constellations and map out the sky at night. Be careful to get the right star finder for the region, though!
Of course, there are many more ideas for both boys and girls, from backpacks and body pillows to sunglasses and hats. Many items come in kids movie prints and brands, like Cars, Spiderman or Little Kitty, so personalising any gift is not hard.
But the key is safety as well as enjoyment – so, quality camping gear is a must. After all, you’re giving your kids a start in a lifetime interest in the great outdoors, not just a toy!