Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Questions, answers, tips and more about camping with children and babies.

Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby Serenity Now » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:52 pm

I am wondering how it is for space in a CT with young teenages,i mean in regard to their size.

Do they still sleep on camp beds or do they set up their own seperate tent.
I am curious because my kids are 11,9 and 8 and am trying to decide whether to go from tent camping to CT camping,
i am trying to look forward ahead as kids tend to grow into teenages.

Do people still find that their teenagers still want to go camping.

cheers.
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby Dettie » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:21 pm

Serenity, I have two boys - 18 & 11. My 18 (Alex) and I were just discussing this a few days ago, as I'm trying to gauge how many years I have left with Chris (11) as my little camping mate. We both concluded that when he starts year 9 (say 14/15) he will rapidly lose interest. The last trip I did with Alex along was when he was about 14 and he brought a friend along. It was a fun trip!

I have told Chris he can bring a friend (now that we have a CT and therefore the space in the car) to future trips that are of a week or less. I think you might find like I have, that the older child is the first to want to bring a friend and perhaps your younger ones (especially your baby ;) ) will be more enthusiastic for longer.

I didn't enjoy camping when my boys were really young... I imagine it would be hard work - but that's just me. Your kids are at such fantastic ages for all of this. They're more independant and able to help a lot more. So nice!

With bedding in the tent, to date, Chris, Alex and I all had a stretcher and a matt/self inflator on top of the stretcher for comfort and warmth in the cooler months.

I get a bit claustrophobic in the sleeping bag so last month I ended up buying a single fitted sheet to put over the stretcher/self inflator combo, then used the sleeping bag as a doona and it worked beautifully.

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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby Dettie » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:22 pm

PS Forgot to add, for the two younger kids, I'd consider just used blow up mattresses for a while longer.
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:54 am

Give them their own space (tent) and you will find they will want to come along for probably a good bit longer than you think.

The opportunity to bring a friend is also a good option but also include your teenagers in the decision making on occasion as well.

"Let's go here because it is one of your favourites" type suggestion.

My daughter's 19 year old son still goes camping with his parents (most of the time) and really loves it.

I really think it depends on your attitude and application to the situation.

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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby xmasbaby67 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:04 pm

Our kids are 17,14 & 11. They all come with us on all our camping trips.

They all have their own swags that are different colours so they know who's is who's eg: 11yrs has pink swag, 14yrs has purple and 17yrs has green. They are all made up with sheets and blanket or sleeping bag when colder. These have been the best camping thing we have ever bought as they not only get used for camping but also sleepovers etc. when we need extra beds.

When we had the old CT (9ft tent) all three kids could fit in (just) and it was OK for a weekend away but for longer trips our 17yr old son had his 3man Oztrail tent that he would set up. But with the new CT(12ft tent + annexe) they fit in without any trouble into the tent area but for longer stays like our last Xmas hols our son stayed in the annexe as it was cooler and he could be away from his sister's :$
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby Bradd » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:10 pm

My 14 girl & 16 boy enjoy camping along with our 3 girl.
They adjust to life without Computer / Internet quite well although
they can't quite cope without their ipods yet.

As for enjoyment, we try to have an activity planned for most days
like a bush walk or drive to some attraction in the region, waterfall, lookout etc,
or even just drive somewhere for a picnic lunch.

On our recent 2 week trip the teens slept in a separate tent
this gave us the Awning/annexe to use as kitchen / misc area
They sleep on camp stretchers and have not heard the slightest complaint.
Our 3 yo has outgrown the porta cot and now sleeps on a cheap 4 legged
stretcher inside the camper trailer with us and no complaints from her either :)

On previous trips the teens slept in the annexe and were happy enough with that
but we had to either put up with less room, or pack up their bedding each morning.
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby snake_dr » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:17 pm

i always loved going camping and didnt really care how, when or where so it probably depends on the kids more than anything. we have been really lucky that we were always able to camp with family as well which is a extra bonus if you have that opportunity.

but i too have been thinking about this scenario and surely giving kids their own tent to setup and the freedom to sleep on their own would be too much fun to turn down!

we currently take 2 porta-cots and a little fold up foam bed to squish all our 3 in the camper at night, its a bit squeezy but should be fine for a few years. my wife is of the impression when they are old enough we should be able to throw a big mattress on the floor and let them all sleep on that, but im not sure how that will go.
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby xmasbaby67 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:24 pm

Geez snake I really think your wife needs to think more about the mattress idea :$

We just put our son's swag into the tent during the day and he just pulls it out each night without a fuss.

I am yet to work out how to safely remove ipods from teenagers ears but on the journey to your destination they can be a godsend :armsup

We only take the portable DVD player for longer trips as it keeps our girls from killing each other :-bang
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby snake_dr » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:36 pm

hehe, our kids are only very young (2 & 2x1), so we dont have ipod issue's. but we do have dvd players in the car to keep them amused.

And agree, the mattress idea is a fail
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby xmasbaby67 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:45 pm

Especially if they are both girls Snake :*** :*** :*** the mattress idea is a doomed one or your wife is one brave girl !!! :+
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby snake_dr » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:07 pm

no thankfully 1 girl & 2 boys
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby Dettie » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:21 pm

Wow, I will be so happy if my little 11 yo will still be itching to come camping with me when he's in his later teens... you guys are doing something right. Good stuff!

That's a very nice setup Bradd. I love the way my son is more than happy to forgo easy entertainment like TV & xbox... but the nightly DVD has become a bit of a ritual for us. Ooops... old habits die hard! ;) Good to hear that the annexe or tent alternative works will for your older son too.

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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby mytribe » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:06 am

Our 17yr old still comes camping with us, he has his own tent(has had since he was 10/11) and the other 3 who go are 10/8 and 6, wouldn't matter where we were staying or how they'd wanna go, they're outdoors kids.

As for the two older girls 24/20, the 24yr old goes with her fiancee and friends but the 20yr old wouldn't cope for longer than an hour without access to proper toilets, showers, hairdryer or hair straightener. :***
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby sienna » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:37 am

As teenagers, we camped with mum for years, all in the one big marquee tent. And because we went to the same place very year for christmas, we got to know the local kids and it was always fun to catch up with them each year. Also, our cousins came as well so there was no shortage of people to hang out with. We made our own fun, commandoing in the sand dunes, playing water fights, swimming etc.
My uncle and aunt and their 4 teenagers camp every year at the same place, too. The kids camp in a couple tents away from the main family caravan and they each bring a friend as well. So there is quite a group of them. They keep each other occupied and since they have been going from a young age, there are no issues.

I'm thinking that starting young and going regularly helps keep kids interested. I know we always looked forward to christmas holidays and camping away. We also loved being outdoors so that helped, too.
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Re: Camping with teenagers - Do they still want to go

Postby Lin » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:32 am

I've only just read this post... I've been slack with visiting.

I remember going camping with a friend during the Easter holidays in Belgium when we were about 15/16 and it was one of the best childhood holidays I've had. We had our own little dome tent and had a ball despite it raining every day. It was in a campingground where they had organised activities for kids/teenagers though.

My friend takes his 13 and 14 yo boys camping every Christmas and they enjoy it. They're into fishing and snorkling so it does give them something to do together.

I try to go to the same place every year over Christmas and hoping that my now 5yo girl would grow up playing with the same kids every holidays. But last year I went later and the friends she'd made the year before had just left. :(
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