Activities

What's your family camping style?

Planning a family camping trip this summer, but not sure if you can handle peeing in the woods? Or maybe you love the idea of a rustic camping trip. From RV camping to glamping, find out what camping style is best for you and the kids.

By Marissa Stapley Ponikowski

What's your family camping style?

Illustration: Jori Bolton

What’s your family camping style?

Back-country campers

Your kid could hold a canoe paddle before he could walk. The call of a loon is your favourite alarm clock, and you make your own jerky. You’ve been known to portage while wearing a baby carrier.  The verdict: Back-country camping is definitely for you. Just remember to take all necessary safety precautions. Young children have limitations, even if you don’t, wild one. 

family portaging camping tripIllustration: Jori Bolton

Car campers

You can picture your family singing songs and roasting marshmellows by the fire, but you also want to be able to cut and run if it rains for more than a few hours. And flush toilets would be a dream. The verdict: Car camping is your best bet. Many national parks have drive-in options or parking lots close to campsites (with toilets) to pitch your tent. 

What's your family camping style?Illustration: Jori Bolton

RV, van, or trailer camper

You’d prefer to bring the comforts of home with you rather than huddle in a tent, dreading your next charbroiled meal. Or maybe your nomadic family’s theme song is Stompin’ Tom’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” and you’d like to take your show on the road. The verdict: Rent an RV, camper van or trailer and hit the highway.

What's your family camping style?Illustration: Jori Bolton

Glampers

Connecting with nature is a lovely idea–in theory. But your first thought when someone mentions camping is, “Can I bring my hair dryer?” The verdict: Consider “glamping,” which is camping in a teepee, yurt or eco-cabin with access to electricity and a comfy mattress. 

What's your family camping style?Illustration: Jori Bolton

Read more: Camping gear: Essentials for camping with kids 7 cool camping games for kids 13 delicious camping recipes

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