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Let’s face it, group camp outs are about as good as it gets. Not only do you get to be out enjoying nature, but you also get to be surrounded by friends. Not convinced yet? Try out these 5 tips to simplify your next group trip, that will make you want to do it again and again:
- Share meals. This is the magical KEY to making group camping worth it! If you do things right, you’ll likely only have to cook one meal during the whole trip-WAHOO! I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather prepare one large meal than 5 small ones. A natural consequence of this is that most people tend to bring better food. Kiss the weenie roast goodbye, and welcome in some nice hot dutch oven chicken.
- Be flexible. When you have a large group, it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to want to do the same things all the time. Keep that in mind as you prepare your trip so you don’t get too worked up about the fact that none of the Smith family wants to go fishing. NO BIGGIE! The easiest thing to do is to give everyone options and let them decide on their own. As a bonus, it can often be nice to have a little bit of time without the masses, so cherish it.
- Pitch-in. Don’t let your friend Bob struggle setting his tent up on his own. Lend him a hand and he’ll be indebted to you the rest of the trip. Somehow, helping others out on adventures helps to form a deep and rare bond that lets you say “oh yeah, remember when we did ________ together” – it’s awesome. Who knows, he might even pay you back by pitching in when you’re cleaning up the dishes!
- Let the kids be kids. How often do your kids get the chance to run free with their friends in the woods? Chances are this is a rare treat for them, so let them enjoy it. Before you know it, the kids will be building forts, digging holes and getting their smiling faces remarkably dirty. Enjoy the fact that you don’t need to entertain them and can sneak in some adult conversation.
- Bring LOTS of toys. No need to make your husbands kids fight over just a few toys. Bring plenty and let everyone know upfront that they are for SHARING! Buckets, shovels, and bug nets are some of our go-to favorites, along with card games for late-night games for adults.
In the last month, we took 2 big group camping trips and brought along some fun toys from Zing Toys. I was amazed, but they really do make something for everyone.
Double Shotz – finally a dart gun that little kids can use too. Since you don’t have to caulk it or push hard, these guns where a big hit with the 2-4 year old crowd. Simply place the dart in and squeeze the gun (it’s a soft gun so just squeeze and the air makes it fly). Although they’re easy to operate, they still shoot plenty far, making your little ones feel a whole lot bigger.
Zoom Zooka – this air launcher delivered lots of fun with the option to shoot either rockets or darts. Requiring a little more muscle to launch, the 5+ crowd loved this one. Mason has officially declared it his! He had no problem getting it to shoot over 40 feet (and he’s only 5). The only downside is that there is no place to store the rockets so we have to keep a close eye on them when they’re not being used.
Zoom Rockets – In my opinion, every kid needs a stomp rocket. They’re fun, simple and always impress their friends. Everyone could easily do this, and the height depended on how hard you jump. Chloe could get it about 10 feet, while Andrew was around 100 feet (it’s advertised as going 200 ft, but we couldn’t get it that high). My favorite part is that it easily breaks down super small so it’s a piece of cake to take along anywhere (waaaayyy smaller than any other stomp rocket we’ve seen get).
Z-Curve Bow – This toy stole the show. Each time we got it out, the kids were lined up to take a turn with it. It’s a little harder for young kids(probably better for 8+) and so Dad was quick to help.
Mysteriously, the bow would always disappear and a while later, we would see something like this…
This would be the ultimate toy for any man who is still a kid a heart. Going well over 100 feet, this toy packs some serious strength.
Want your own? Zing Toys has agreed to give away our favorite 2 toys, the Z-Curve Bow and the Double Shots to one lucky reader – WOOT!
To enter, leave a comment below sharing your favorite “toy” to play with outside.
Open to US residents only.