MINNESOTA CAMPING: TAKE THE KIDS CAMPING
Camping with your kids can be an enriching experience. Thinking about a few things ahead of time could certainly make the experience even better than you thought. Camping in Minnesota offers many different options. You can tent camp in Minnesota, rent a camper, go to a Minnesota resort with a campground, tent in the wilderness, rent a cabin (Renting a cabin in Minnesota, that can be considered camping!) or camper cabin. You can vacation close to a town, in the wilderness or in a campground. Plan what you want to do while you are experiencing Minnesota camping.
What kind of camping do you want to do?
Tent camping: Investing in a tent or borrowing a tent is pretty easy. Do you want to rough it? Tent camping doesn’t have to mean roughing it, unless you want to! You can:
Bring air mattresses to make sleeping more comfortable (even a box fan if you have electricity).
Bring a cook stoves and any other kitchen item to make cooking easier.
Use picnic tables so you don’t have to sit on the ground.
Bring those fancy collapsible chairs that even recline. You can even take a nap in them.
Rent a camper: If tenting isn’t your thing, then perhaps you want to rent a camper. There certainly are busier times than others, so try to plan ahead. If you are lucky, you might be able to borrow one from a friend.
Camper cabins: Some Minnesota State Parks have camper cabins for rent. There are even some private campgrounds and Minnesota Resorts that offer them. You may still need to bring many of your own supplies, but you will have a roof over your head. Something to think about as you plan your camping adventure.
Rent a cabin: Some people call renting a cabin “Camping.” Although it isn’t tent or RV “Camping,” it certainly is a way to enjoy many of the same experiences as tenting or RVing has to offer. Click here for our Minnesota member resorts.
Where do you want to go?
Deciding where you want to go is another item to think about. How old are the kids? What are their and your interests? Do you want to incorporate organized activities into your plans?
Close to a town: If you are close to a town you will have quicker access to camping supplies. If you are new to camping, perhaps there might be more things that you need that you didn’t realize. There may also be organized activities and events that you want to incorporate into your planning that are offering and easy to access when you camp closer to a town.
In the wilderness: Getting some of the traditional camping experiences can be made when you are truly out in the wilderness. There are National and Minnesota State Campgrounds that are remote. When you are planning, remember there probably won’t be running water, electricity or other people around to help. So, be prepared.
At a campground: There are many Minnesota resorts that also offer camping. Click here to see a list of resorts that also have camping. Resorts may certainly offer more amenities than wilderness camping. There will most likely have water and electricity at the site (or close by), resort amenities such as water toys, a lodge, scheduled activities….. It may be a good blend of camping but not roughing it.
What do you want to do?
As you are planning your camping trip with the kids think about what and how you want that experience to be. Are there activities that you would like to do? What are the “must haves” and the “nice to haves?”
Boat, Swim, Cook over the fire, Hike, Bike, Fish, Play games, Movies, Eating out, Scheduled activities.....
Who will be going?
How large of a group will you have? Will you be camping with just the family? Will you invite grandma and grandpa? How many sites will you be needing? Think about if you want to have your kids bring a friend along. There are certainly pros and cons to camping with a larger group and extended family.
Ask your kids.
Finally, especially if you are new to camping, try to make it as fun and educational as possible for the kids. It will make it easier to get them to go again and again. Ask them what they want to do. Many times to controlling the options and giving them 2 or 3 choices helps guide the conversation in a direction that is also good for you. This depends, of course, on their age.
Submitted by Karen Senger
Retired Resorter of 17 years, but still loves Resorts
Photo Credit: Balsam Beach Resort, MN DNR, Barbara Unzen
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