It will take some encouragement to turn your wife on to the rustic charms of sleeping under the stars. Paint a picture of being at one with nature, the kids happily playing in the woods and every meal is a picnic. Lure her with visions of family campfires, roasting marshmallows and the kids sharing parts of themselves they normally reserve. If that fails, a more practical approach might prove helpful.
Focus on the facilities. Your wife probably will want access to a toilet, sink and shower. An outhouse won’t cut it. Most state and national parks have areas for personal hygiene and sites with electricity. Go online to view site availability. Choose a spot close to the bathroom facilities for her middle-of-the-night trips to the toilet, but not so close that your site might be subject to an unpleasant aroma. Choose a site with electricity to make it more like an outdoor hotel.
Tell her she won’t have to lift a finger in the kitchen, if she doesn’t want to. You can do all the cooking and if they’re old enough, the kids can clean up. You’re on vacation so spoil yourselves with delicious meals: pancakes and bacon for breakfast, and steak and potatoes for dinners. Lure her with promises of her favorite meals cooked over an open flame. If your site has electricity, you can keep stuff cool in a plug-in cooler or camping refrigerator and really go gourmet.
Invest in a good, spacious tent, comfortable, warm sleeping bags and high-quality air mattresses. If the kids are old enough, consider getting them a separate tent. Otherwise, buy a tent with a room divider so your wife can have some privacy. Don’t skimp on the sleeping bag or air mattress; a good sleep sets the tone for the entire day. The last problem you need is an air mattress with a slow leak. Take your own pillows – a make-shift pillow of folded-up sweaters won’t make for a happy wife.
Choose a campground that offers Internet service, if your wife is a device junkie. By all means, if you’re both willing to truly escape to nature and go without, that’s the ideal, but if being able to check her Facebook page daily is important to your wife, it can be achieved.
Be prepared. For every fault she'll present, offer a solution. For example, if she cites mosquitoes, plan to go later in the season when they're not so bad. And don't forget bug repellent.