Camping is a great recreational activity for the whole family, especially for the kids. Not only will they have fun, but they'll be able to experience the vast outdoors and maybe learn a thing or two, at the same time. As with any recreational activity, safety needs to be a main concern. Teaching your children the basic rules of camping and what dangers they might encounter, should be a number one priority. Allow your kids to help, when planning the trip and organizing your gear. This will only make them feel more involved and they'll probably be more willing to listen to and understand the safety rules you put into place. The outdoors is a beautiful place, but when camping, every child needs to be tuned into the possible dangers.
Respect the Fire
Nothing's more exciting to a child than living in your temporary outdoor home. More than likely, you'll have a campfire. Of course the children will need to know a blazing fire can be dangerous, but it doesn't end there. Long after the embers are no longer putting out a flame, they can still be quite hot. Children need to be made aware that playing with a fire pit area, even after the fire is out, can seriously burn them. Teach them to respect the fire and what damage it can also do to the forest around them, if not tended properly.
Respect the Camp
There are many camping gear items that could be potentially dangerous to an exploring child. Many people bring propane stoves, lanterns, knives, hatchets, lighter fluid and a wealth of other items that can cause serious harm. It's best to teach your children about these items and what will happen if they foolishly try to play around with them. Educate them to the facts and lay down the rules that such items can only be used when an adult is supervising. Allow them to be involved with making and breaking camp and they'll feel more apart of the journey. Give them a small responsibility to do while camping and your safety rules will be taken more seriously.
Respect the Area
Above all, teach your children to respect the area where you are camping. Always remember, you're venturing into a wild animal's home, so don't be surprised if they venture into your temporary quarters. Go over information you might have about the animals and landscape, with them. This can be fun and you'll also be teaching them about certain dangers they may encounter while exploring around the woods. For example, if there are poisonous snakes, or plants such as poison ivy, show them pictures so they'll know what they look like. Set your limitations and let the child know where and for how long, they can go somewhere.