There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors. Turning off our cell phones, heading out with friends and family, teaching the kids to love nature — it’s a perfect break from the hustle of everyday life. Now that summer is winding down and the temperatures are cooling off, it’s time to get a couple more camping trips in!
Once you’ve found your campground, check out some of our favorite outdoorsy activities below.
Identify birds and other wildlife
This is a great way to teach the kids to appreciate nature and all of its mysteries. For bird watching, we recommend starting with a guide like this one from National Geographic. For better bird-vision, check out the wide variety of binoculars available at Dick’s Sporting Goods! And for other animals, keep an eye on the ground for tracks — you never know what animals have passed through. Here’s a pocket guide to the mammals of North America.
Build a fire
This one’s a timeless skill. While it might take some work, it’s important not only for successful camping trips but also for teaching kids about responsibility. They can find firewood, help place the kindling, and learn about the importance of fire safety in the wilderness. Just make sure you’re in a fire-approved campground. For more info on campfire safety, here’s a guide from Smokey Bear.
Head out on the trails
Hiking is one of our favorite activities. Not only do we get a solid workout in, but our kids also learn to appreciate nature even more. We all learn how to navigate trails together, too — another lifelong skill. We recommend going over the trail map with the kids before heading out to teach everyone to get their bearings. And if you or anyone in the family is in need of hiking boots, Sorel Footwear and Columbia Sportswear are both offering over 4% cash back when you start with Ibotta.
Gaze at the stars
We love binging the latest TV shows as much as anyone, but it’s always nice to show the young ones other forms of entertainment! One of our favorite ways to pass time in the great outdoors is taking in the night sky. Searching for constellations, planets, and shooting stars can be fun for the whole family. For an even better stargazing experience, check out the wide variety of telescopes at Best Buy (and get 3% cash back with Ibotta, while you’re at it).
There’s something special about memories made in the wilderness, away from the distractions of everyday life. Here’s to cherishing those experiences!