Either you are old or young, a man or a woman, I believe no one will be willing to refuse a camping invitation from your friend. While, the question is that, the minors are also planning to camp themselves. It seems to be quite enticing for them.
How old do you have to be go camping without your parents? The answer varies. Most campsites require the kids to be above 18 years old. The state parks and campgrounds do not allow under-18’s to be issued with campground reservations. The National Forest may be a choice for under-18’s to go on dispersed camping, where there is no age limit. And you can also try camping in your backyard if you are under 18. That won’t be a bad idea, either.
Can You Go Camping Without Parents?
As we know, camping, hiking, and many sports have no age boundary. A few newborn babies have been taken to go camping together with their parents. And there are also a lot of kids going camping on holidays with their families. However, they are not allowed to get a camping permit or rent a campsite without an accompanying adult, if they are under 18.
Many campsite operators have their worries. Generally, they are worrying teens under 18 may cause troubles without the supervision of adults, just as drinking, smoking, and problems of safety. Campground owners and state parks are not willing to take the blame for these.
Minors of 16 or 17 years old who belong to the Youth Hostel Association are able to camp at some of the hostels of YHA. But, YHA also has its conditions to let under-18’s camp without parents. They cater to kids who can get up early and sleep early. If you guys are too energetic to follow the rules and have a noisy carnival party all whole night with drinking, the YHA hostel must say no to you as the state parks.
Why the Moms and Dads Say NO, When You Wanna Go Camping Without Adults?
Many minors must have raised this question. They ask why. A funny thing is that there is one question also popular among the parents. They are fiercely discussed online.
For example, “16 year old DS wants to go camping with friends without adult supervision. Should I let him?”
Most answers are “ NO!” and “ No Way!”. Here are some reasons why the parents say no.
- Parents are responsible for children under 18 years old.
Since the kid is under 18, he or she is not a legal adult. And he can not be responsible for himself or herself. An 18-year-old friend is also not able to supervise a 16-year-old.
- Generally, under-18’s are not ready for the freedom just as camping alone.
Seemingly trustworthy boys or girls are asking their parents to let them go camping without adults. Who knows how many drinks will they have after they come to a new and wild place, where there is no adult supervision.
They are just like the little birds coming out of the boundary of the cage. The yarn for freedom and a totally new world. Smoking and drinking may be their very new world.
There is one mom online who says that she has ever done this when she was 16 or a bit younger. She used the excuse of freedom several times to go camping with friends. Mostly they did camping, but completely they drunk all night. She said that was a crazy night. She will say NO if her son raises the same request.
- Parents worry about that safety can not be guaranteed without adults when camping.
Some mother or day may make a compromise to make both the two parties happy. Maybe they trust their dear sons or dear daughters will no do some stupid things under the peer pressure. But, these parents, do you know how far away will your dear sons or daughters go? What if some accidents happens, will you appear in time to offer help?
How do Kids Under 18 Go Camping Without Parents?
That sounds so frustrating. If you are under 18, don’t be depressed. Here are several tactics for you.
- Dispersed camp in National Forests.
A lot of campgrounds refuses to offer camping permit or the campsite reservation to the one who is under 18. But for the National Forests, the dispersed camping has no requirements on how old you have to be go camping. You need to check the related regulations before, and the most important thing is to keep safe.
- Camp in your backyard or garden.
Camping in the backyard or garden will be the most conservative method, but sounds not bad. You don’t need to wonder how to get a camping permit by your 18-year-old brother from the campground operators. And it reduces the unsafe factors to the minimum. What’s more, you can also enjoy fun from the camping.
Just imagine it. With twinkle stars on the clean sky, you are lying under lovely plants with your best friends. The whole tent are full of the fragrance of the flowers in your garden. Your puppy runs happily around.
- Camp in some local parks near your house.
Small park nearby is also a place you can choose. Unlike the backyard and the garden, park seems to be more similar to the forest. It will make you forget the modern society and your busy study, taking you back to the hug of nature.
You are better to call these parks, and ask about how old kids have to go camping and some related restrictions. Getting to know the regulations and laws is very important.
Different states will be different in the laws about the camping. Some of them can tolerate under-18’s to stay one night. So you could ask for a one-night camping in these parks with your dear friends. Several nights will be not allowed.
While, camping in the park is not as safe as in your backyard or garden. It is more of a place for the public. Other teens can come across them, and lead to some problems. And if one of you guys have ever camped in this park, and who knows if there will be some guys looking for troubles of him. It seems to be a hang out spot for some old guys drinking, which may do big harm.
If you choose to camp in the local park, you would have your mobiles on the whole night. Maybe, the mobiles could get you some help for emergency.
- Camp on the farm or land nearby.
How about camping on the farm? Farm is a nice place for kids to get close to the green grass and the animals. If you prefer to a quieter campsite, you could choose a land a bit closer to the farm house.
You don’t have to ask for a campsite permit from the camping organizations. Plus, you could find a place, the farm, close to the nature, far away from homes. In addition, there will be no big guys drinking or searching for your troubles. Relatively speaking, it is safer, compared with camping in the park.
While, you must get the permission from the owner of the farm. Explain the situation you are in, and tell him what you are going to do when camping. And let him know what time you will camp ahead of time. These will make you respected, and create good reputation for you.
Camping on the farm, is not asking the owner of the farm taking the duty of parents, to be responsible for you teen, but it will sound more secure if the camping place has some adults. They may give their help , when you are in any trouble. They will be not too far away. And the help may come to you in time.
- Get an adult to rent a campsite for you.
According to the regulation, teens are not permitted to rent the campsite. But you can ask an adult do it, not go camping together.
This way is not strongly suggested. It is a bit tricky. You need to make sure it can be done before you getting to the campsite.
Things to Know Before Camping
If you are under 18, you are not allowed to rent a camping site. The tactics above can be tried. Before you camping, you need to know something. Of course, safety is the most important.
- Make a Detailed Checklist
- Check the Camping Gears
- Wear Right Clothing
- Plan Simple Meals
- Know the Weather
- Learn How to Make a Fire