AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT TRIP PLANNING FOR FAMILY CAMPING
Many people ask us how we manage to pull off a successful 10-day camping adventure with a family. The answer is always, ‘it’s not easy but that’s what makes it fun’, and it doesn’t hurt to have a Patriot Campers X1, which is easily the most important piece of gear we use. Not just because of its functionality but it also inspires adventure. Since trip number one almost 3 years ago we cannot manage to keep it in the garage very long and we love that!
With that said, let’s get into it!
STEP 1: DESTINATION
The foundation of our trips is an awesome destination. I personally am happy exploring random trails for days on end but that would not be much fun for a family camping trip. In 2019 we chose beautiful Moab, Utah and we are so happy we did, as there was something for everyone.
We enjoyed trails, National Parks, Zip lining, and a Jetboat tour on the Colorado River. There was so much to do there that we are planning a follow-up visit. Those who have been know what we mean, we will plan at least one long backcountry trail drive and camp.
STEP 2: POINTS OF INTEREST
Once we have established a primary destination now it’s time to plan the route. Moab is over 700 miles (1,100 km) from our home so needless to say I would have to break the drive up or I would have a mutiny on my hands, I’m sure many parents out there can relate. The goal is to take our time, not driving more than 3-4 hours a day.
We camped in several destinations that we wanted to visit along the way such as The Mojave Desert, Flagstaff Arizona, and Valley Of The Gods Utah. Along the way, it is important to find something for the kids to look forward to. Bearizona pictured below is a wildlife preserve located in William, Arizona. It was a huge hit!
STEP 3: ESSENTIALS
Food and water. Food because the kids are bottomless pits! Water because at some point we will all need a shower. For my wife, there is no room for negotiations on this one! Luckily the X1 shines in both departments!
For us, food does not just mean do we have enough of it. It also involves what types of meals are done and when. For example, if we have to break camp early the next morning we plan a simple no mess dinner and breakfast. If we have time we’ll break out a full spread.
Helpful tip #1: If at all possible I will take my family out for breakfast and dinner in the local town. I’ve learned my wife really appreciates that and it helps the local economy.
Showers will be a minimum of two on a 10-day family camping trip. Luckily the X1 holds 40 gallons (155L) of water and we opted for the Webasto diesel heating system so showers are no problem. We do however have to refill at least once on a 10-day trip with a family of 4.
Helpful tip #2: Make sure you plan a third shower for your wife on the last night of your trip. You will gain major brownie points for this one!
STEP 4: BRING TOYS
The storage in the X1 allows us to have an empty tow vehicle, so we can bring any toys our kids would like and still have enough room for our two pups. Over the years we have learned that using the X1 as it was intended really is the best way for us. We don’t bring things like extra tables, this allows us to pack and move faster.
Paddleboards and mountain bikes are essential, the goal is to keep the kids busy and entertained. Tired kids make for happier parents while sitting by the fire with your favourite adult beverage!
STEP 5: INVITE FRIENDS
We have made lifelong friends through our Patriot Campers X1 and have had many great memories so far! Taking friends along on your family camping trip, not only increases the fun but it also helps increase safety. It gives us peace of mind that we are there for one another especially when going to a remote place with a family. Two well-prepared families going to remote places are better than one!