Whether you’re a seasoned family of overlanders or it’s your first time, chances are you’ll be looking for some activities to keep the kids busy, and entertained. It’s a great opportunity to show kids you don’t have to be plugged into video games or the television to have a great time. Nature offers seemingly endless opportunities for fun!
We’ve put together a list of our top family activities to enjoy during your time off the grid. Most of these activities have been tested and approved by the OGT team, many of whom are parents too. Who knows, you might just rediscover your inner child!
Hike the Trails
Take advantage of GaiaGPS to not only plan your overlanding route, but to plan out “kid-friendly” hiking expeditions. Hiking is a great form of energy release and gets everyone back in touch with raw nature. Have the kids try to find things along the way such as certain types of leaves, colored rocks or animal tracks, almost like a little scavenger hunt. You may also want to consider bringing a picnic lunch – just remember not to leave any trash behind. Try a different trail each day to encourage new discoveries.
Look for Wildlife
Of course, you’re bound to spot an animal or two during your off-grid adventure since you’re visiting places many animals call home. Kids (and adults) love spotting deer, woodchucks, rabbits, and other creatures out in the wild. Look for tracks or scat and try to identify what animal it may be from. You may also want to take a photo of the track for identification later or to create a little field journal for your junior overlander. Although it’s very exciting to see wildlife, please use caution. Animals can become unpredictable if they are startled or if there are babies nearby. Check out our recent post How to Handle Unexpected Wildlife Encounters so you know how to handle potentially dangerous situations.
Go Fishing or Swimming
What kid doesn’t love being in the water? Be on the lookout for a creek or lake for the perfect day of fun on the water for fishing, swimming or both!
Make sure you pack a telescope because there is no better place to stargaze the night sky than at an off-grid basecamp. With no light pollution for miles, you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the heavens. Point out various star constellations, planets and the Milky Way. It can also be a great time to point out the North Star and explain how it can be an important tool for wayfinding. There are also apps such as Sky Guide you can use to help identify different stars and planets.
Have Smores and Stories Night
Building a campfire, making smores, and telling stories is a must. After a day of hiking or swimming, it’s always nice to wind down with a sweet treat while listening to a scary or silly story. Have everyone around the campfire make up their own unique story or have one person start the story with everyone adding on a part. You’ll be amazed at how creative everyone can be! Most importantly, check out Hershey’s for some creative smore recipes.
As parents, we know how fast time flies when our kids are little. Why not ask your kids to be photographer for the day and have them take photos of what they think is cool or interesting along the trail? Nature from a child’s perspective can be a lot more interesting and even show us something we may have missed. Upon returning home, turn those photos in to a digital photo album for them to keep.
You may also want to sneak in some candid family photos to capture memories for years to come.
Color and Make Art
Nature not only provides the inspiration for some of the world’s greatest art, it can also supply some of the best materials. Be sure to pack simple art supplies such as paper, washable paint, markers and crayons. Collect unique natural materials (without destroying anything) such as leaves, flowers, rocks, and sticks during your hikes or from what may be around base camp to create the following pieces of art:
-Drawings of animals/plants
This very special artwork can be framed and displayed at home as a reminder of how much fun you and the family had on your overlanding adventure. It would be great to add a piece of art from each expedition! Check out some additional nature art ideas for kids
Time Outs Inside
There are times when the kids will need some quiet time (or you will need a break from each other). The inside of your Off Grid Trailer can serve as an oasis. With all the power options available with OGT, you can turn on a movie or show and have them just relax in their own quiet space and not worry about running out of power. Plus, they can stay cool with air conditioning or warm with the heater, depending on the weather.
Outdoor Movie Night
Plan a relaxing outdoor movie night by hanging a plain sheet between two trees or even on the side of your trailer to create the perfect outdoor movie screen. An affordable outdoor projector makes it easy to watch your favorite movie under the stars. Add comfortable camp chairs or inflatable furniture with some lightweight blankets on the backs in case of a chill. Cook some popcorn over the campfire and you have the perfect movie night out.
Yes, overlanding with kids is much different than going on a solo expedition but kids help remind us how magical the outdoors can be. Seeing nature through their eyes reinforces our own passion for going off grid and exploring the wild. And, how great is it that we are teaching our kids the importance of preserving and respecting our wild world.
For more information on Off Grid Trailers or to build your own trailer, contact us today!