Camping with a Teenager

Taking your teenager camping with the family is not an easy task. I should know this now that I have a teenager in my camp.

Teenagers are a different kind of people: not kids anymore and definitely not adults either. Although they think they are adults, they often behave like kids. They want to make decisions, but cannot complete most tasks on their own. Now that Mark turned 13 all I can say that it is a funny stage.

So what are the main characteristics of this new kind of person? First of all he doesn’t want to spend all of his free time with his family because it is boring and not cool. Going to the beach with parents? Sure, but only if a friend comes along. Otherwise it is a no no (and a friend might see him with his parents- definitely not cool).

Second he will not get unplugged at any cost, because it cuts him off from games and from texting his friends. Electronics and Internet seem to be essential for camping and survival of a teenager. So what a parent to do? The days when a child had to obey the rules without question and leave his electronics at home seem to be over. To take him away form home and go camping requires some compromises.

The best way is to take a friend along as well as allow some screen and texting time. To avoid big problems you will have to provide some periods with internet access, whether it is a hot spot or going to the campground office or local library. If you are planning to have non-electrical site or to camp in the wilderness you will need to bring a solar charger for all the devices that your teenager and you bring along.