Family camping trips are a chance to bond and get away from day-to-day life. For some kids and teenagers, this brings up a hurdle. How can they go for a whole weekend without their phone and tablet. Can they really switch off from social media, email and online gaming? there are two approaches that you can take when you have a child that struggles to disconnect with mobile tech. Either you encourage them to let go for the weekend to make the most of the off-grid experience. Or, you embrace mobile tech and integrate it into the camping experience.
Helping kids to let go of the tablets and phones
If this is to be a tech-free camping trip, teenagers need plenty to engage with. They need activities and entertainment where they aren’t itching to pick up a phone. A good place to start is with teaching children skills that their classmates might not know. This includes setting up a tent, building a fire and map reading. All these skills could come in handy in a few years time when they start heading off to festivals and getaways on their own.
Another great trick is to get them to consider all the great things they can share online after the trip. Teens that are already accomplished bloggers can find some inspiration to jot down journal entries and thoughts on the experience. Instagram users with aspirations in photography can be encouraged to focus on the camera. They can concentrate on the perfect images that they will share when they return. The more they embrace the trip, the better their posts when they return.
Embracing the mobile tech on a camping trip
If the use of a tablet is non-negotiable, make sure that children can use it with ease and that it has a purpose. If your teen is the sort to find a fun app for everything, challenge them to make the camping trip easier using mobile tech. If they want to be the one with the mobile phone, they can have the responsibility of handling the online maps, weather apps and other tools that they find. As a reward for this engagement and family time, everyone can gather round a tablet for a movie.
If you want to make sure that this is all possible without a hitch, you will need a good power supply and charging station. Some families find that small solar powered generators with solar panels are must have items. They help to power all kinds of electronic items. The right connectors mean power for mobile tech as well. Alternatively, you could treat your teen to their own solar powered cell phone charging case.
Either way, kids and teens need to feel included and part of the camping trip
The last thing that you want is a child distancing themselves because they don’t feel they belong in that camping world. If you decide that the campsite has to be tech-free, make sure to show kids the wonders of that tech-free world. If you embrace the mobile tech, do so in a way that doesn’t undermine the purpose of the camping trip. Strike the right balance and you can get your technophile teens interested in camping.