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Outdoor adventures with your children make for great memories. Camping is one such adventure – and may just become a fun family tradition in the winter months.

If the dip in temperatures is giving you cold feet about pitching your tent, here’s what you need to know about camping in the cooler months.

It’s cost effective

Camping is more reasonable than other accommodation types all year round, but out of season, or during the winter months, it’s likely to be even more affordable. The cheaper price tag means you’ll have extra money to visit the local attractions near your campsite.

It’s off-peak season

While the more popular campsites may still be busy in the cooler months, most people will be inclined to book in at hotels or lodges. Fewer people means more privacy, more space and a better chance of getting a really hot shower!

It’s a good time for hiking

The months may be cooler, but you’ll still enjoy clear skies and sunny days. Take advantage of this and schedule in some hiking. Apart from being a great family activity, hiking is a good way to exercise, plus it exposes children to the beauty of the natural world. And while you may have the chance to snap a few photos with your smartphone, your children (and you) can use this time to take a break from technology.

Read more about the joys of camping here

You can bond with your family

Spending time camping helps strengthen the family bonds. You spend most of your time close to one another without distractions like TV, tablets or work. You cook, eat and wash up together; you take walks or ride bikes together. All of this, while having fun and relaxing. And did we mention roasting marshmallows and sipping on hot chocolate by the camp fire?

It’s a chance for children to learn

Learning how to build a fire, cook on a braai and pitch a tent are all valuable life skills for children to learn. Living close to one another also teaches children about having respect for others. But more than equipping your children with life skills, camping also teaches them about the world around them, from stargazing to exploring.

Try some of these easy to prepare camp food recipes.

Survival kit

While camping in the cooler months is a wonderful experience for your family, you need to pack a few essentials to survive the crisp mornings and evenings.

  • Pack plenty of blankets or a tent heater.
  • Have extra wood on hand for a campfire.
  • Pack warm clothes such as a fleece jacket or windbreaker, plus extra socks and rain jackets.
  • A first aid kit is essential.
  • Firelighters or matches are a must.

Tamlyn Vincent