A Parent’s Guide to Raising Safe Adventurers

With endless landscapes and miles of nature to enjoy, West Virginia is the perfect place to adventure with your family. Enjoy wide-open spaces with room to roam, all while teaching your children how important it is to leave no trace with these simple tips.

A family enjoys a natural river.

Picking the Perfect Campsite

Sticking to designated trails and existing campsites is a very effective tool in staying safe while adventuring. Choosing campsites that are located on durable surfaces–and a safe distance from other campers–is always a great idea. There is no shortage of amazing campsites in #AlmostHeaven to choose from!

A family enjoys a campsite in a responsible location.

Teaching Tip: When you arrive to your ideal location, let your children look for a campsite. As they move from different areas, explain why or why not each area would make a safe and responsible campsite. Make this search feel like a scavenger hunt, and your little adventurer will be proud to find the right campsite.

Dispose of Waste Properly

When spending time in the outdoors it is very important to leave with any trash that you came with. Prepare a designated bag in your pack to store trash, leftover food, and litter.

Teaching Tip: Designate your child as the “Trash Patrol” and explain to them why this position is so important. With this responsibility, your child will learn to hold themselves and others accountable, and have some fun being in charge.

Teaching Campfire Safety

A family safely enjoys a campfire.

It is very important to acknowledge the danger and damage that fire can reap in the backcountry. Remember that you should always keep fires small, use designated fire rings and only use local wood. Of course, be sure to put fires out completely before leaving a campsite.

Teaching Tip: Get your child involved in the entire process of starting a campfire! From foraging for sticks to arranging tinder, teach your adventurer how to so do safely and responsibly.

Respecting Wildlife

Observing wildlife from a distance and avoiding disrupting the natural behaviors of animals is always a great idea. Interested in finding safe and responsible places to enjoy the wild and wonderful creatures of West Virginia? Check out this guide to plan your trip by.

Teaching Tip: Emphasize the importance of treating wild animals with respect to your child. While you don’t want to foster a fear of animals, it is key that children give wildlife physical space.

Keeping your Distance

It is important to be considerate of others both in and out of the backcountry. By keeping a quiet camp and allowing the sounds of nature to prevail, you will avoid disrupting your fellow visitors.

Teaching Tip: Carry all of your teachings at home to the trail and raise a considerate camper. Encourage your child to be friendly to other campers, while also avoiding making loud noises and staying safely socially distanced.

Using these tips, you will be set up for a blissful–yet safe–trip through the West Virginia wilderness. Looking for some trip inspiration to fill out your itinerary? Check out this list of the best overnight stays in #AlmostHeaven.

This post was last updated on February 28, 2022