If I had to pick one item to keep my kids occupied on a trip, whether it's backpacking, cabin camping, or car camping, it would be the trusty hammock. We have two girls about 6 years apart, and they love reading in the hammock as well as horsing around. Swimsuits, sunscreen, snacks and all that help, and its good to give them tasks they can help with like gathering fire wood, but nothing works quite as well as the hammock.
We have a hammock for everyone as well as one of the blowup, couch looking thingys. My daughter will typically hammock camp, my son sometimes. They both are 'geared out' w/tarps, bug nets, quilts and a 'joey', which is a little gear hammock you hang beneath to keep your gear off the ground from Kammok. (Which is more handy than you might think)
@Bonfire that's an awesome idea...I've got to give that a shot. Our girls are 5 years apart, and this sounds right up their alley. Never thought of hammocks before. Way easier than packing half the house for them to lose interest in after an hour.
There’s a lot of options. Some of the most popular and better quality are Eagle Nest Outfitters (ENO), Hennesy, and Kammok. You can also find knock offs with various different configurations on Amazon. REI of course has their version as well.
Make sure whichever brand you pick up you also grab a suspension system. This will make hanging the hammock very easy.
You can hang a hammock from anywhere that’s high enough off the ground and can hold your weight, but typically two trees work great.
We just got back from a week in Yosemite. AMAZING experience and opportunity to say the least.
We had 4 kids:
ages - 8, 10,12 & 14
My wife has the greatest idea to create scavenger hunts each day with prizes and rewards at the end of each hunt. It created a way for them to explore, learn and appreciate the what,why and how Yosemite is awesome. The kids didn’t even notice the 6-12 miles a day we hiked throughout the park. Needless to say the kids were excited to share their experiences and there was a little competition that kept them all motivated.
Great idea! Thank you! Our younger son is not exactly a keen outdoorsman - his idea of camping is an RV with a fireplace, heated massage chairs and a big-sceen TV! He'd rather stay with the grandparents than camp with us. (In his defense, we camp in an area that gets a lot of thunderstorms in the summer, and we *may* have traumatized him with more than one middle-of-the-night evacuation to the car for safety!) He LOVES the hammock and we frequently set it up in the yard. We'll bring it with us when we camp this weekend!