This Saturday, June 25th is the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Annual Great American Campout. As part of Great Outdoors Month, this event encourages people to celebrate camping as a way to connect with nature and wildlife.
Being outdoors provides lots of known benefits for your mind, body, and spirit, so the NWF wants everyone to get outside at least once this summer. We at DC Mosquito Squad totally agree!
In years past, this event has focused on backyard camping, because it’s an easy and stress-free way to get outdoors without having to worry about finding a campsite or actually hit the road. While the 2016 event invites families to camp out anywhere and everywhere, we still think a night in the backyard is a special and fun way to bond with your loved ones and have a blast without all the stress of traveling.
So, in honor of the Great American Campout this weekend, here are five ways to have an awesome backyard campout with your family!
1. Bring the right supplies.
Just because you’ll be camping in your backyard, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pack like you’re going on an adventure! Make sure you’ve got all the right gear for a comfortable night’s sleep outside: a simple tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, pillows, and flashlights or headlamps. Also remember to pack overnight essentials, like pajamas, toiletries, medicines and any favorite toys or other comforts that your kids might need.
2. Be prepared for anything.
After you’ve packed up the essentials, consider what contingencies you might need. You’ll definitely be fighting off bugs (if you don’t have Mosquito Squad service your property), so bring insect repellent, long-sleeved shirts, and pants to protect yourself. Summer nights can get surprisingly chilly, so bring extra layers and blankets.
3. Plan your meals.
One of the most fun parts of camping is getting to cook and eat outside! Decide whether you want to make a fire to roast your food, or if you’d prefer to use a grill or camp stove. Then, figure out what you want to eat and make sure you have all the ingredients and tools you’ll need. Burgers, grilled veggies, or shish kabobs are simple and delicious choices for a fun family dinner. And when it comes to traditional camping food, we think that s’mores are a necessity! It’s easy to bring everything outside in plastic tote boxes or coolers, but be sure to take any leftover food indoors before you go to sleep. You don’t want to attract unwanted animal visitors!
4. Provide plenty of entertainment.
Camping is novel and exciting for many kids, but it never hurts to have some extra activities planned in case they get bored. Consult parenting websites for ideas, or come up with your own. You can always stick to the classics like catching lightning bugs, playing tag, spotting constellations, telling ghost stories around the campfire, or going for a nature walk!
Think of your campout as the perfect time to unplug and spend quality time together. Go off the grid and leave your phones, electronic games, computers, and tablets inside for the night. There are plenty of social, hands-on activities to do together!
5. Have a mosquito barrier treatment applied to your backyard.
If your yard is Mosquito City, then it may be a good idea to step up your defense. Before your big campout or your next outdoor event, Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington DC to apply a safe and effective barrier treatment. Your yard will be dry and safe for kids and pets within 30 minutes of the application, and the treatment works for 21 days.
So what are you waiting for? Get outside and be a part of the Great American Backyard Campout this weekend! If you can’t join in the fun this weekend, be sure to plan a camping adventure with your family another time this summer. Whatever you do, just get outdoors!