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A Parent's Guide To Camping With Kids

May 31, 2022

A Parent's Guide To Camping With Kids

Photo by Brooks Rice on Unsplash

Planning to go camping with kids? Then follow these easy tips to make sure you have the best time possible!

As a parent, there's nothing quite like taking your kids' camping. It's the perfect opportunity to get them outside and enjoy nature, while also teaching them some essential skills. Plus, it's a great way to bond as a family. And just like any other outdoor activity, camping with kids also requires some extra planning and preparation. But don't worry, we've got you covered!

Related: Hiking With Kids: A Survival Guide

Before you head out into the great outdoors, there are a few things you need to know to make your trip a success. Because if you're not prepared, things can go wrong quickly. In this blog post, we'll give you some tips for camping with kids so that the whole family can have a safe and enjoyable camping trip! We'll help you choose the right campsite, pack the right gear, and even help prepare your kids for their first camping trip.

Here are some tips to help make your next camping trip with kids enjoyable and worry-free.

1) Type of camping

camping with kids

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Camping with kids can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it's important to choose the right type of camping for your family. Whether you're a seasoned camper or just getting started, there's a type of camping that's perfect for everyone - even kids! Depending on your family's needs and interests, you can choose from car camping, backpacking, or tent camping. If you're not experienced with camping, or if your kids are young, it might be best to start out with car camping. This is a great way to get used to being outdoors and away from home without having to worry about all the extra gear that comes with backpacking or tent camping.

And if you’re looking for an easy, relaxing trip, then camping in a campground with all the amenities might be right for you. On the other hand, if you’d like to get out into nature and do some hiking and backpacking, then you’ll need to plan accordingly and make sure your child is physically capable of that kind of activity. Each type has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to pick the one that best suits your situation. Keep in mind that no matter which type of camping you choose, kids will have a blast if they're surrounded by nature and allowed to get dirty!

2) Choose the right location

camping with kids

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Once you’ve decided on the type of camping trip you’d like to take, it’s time to pick a location. When it comes to camping with kids, you want to choose a location that is safe and has plenty of activities to keep them entertained. If you’re going camping in a campground, then obviously you’ll need to find one that has availability and is close to the activities or attractions you want to visit. If you’re planning on camping in the backcountry, then research different trails and make sure you select one that is appropriate for your child’s age and abilities.

A good rule of thumb is to find a campground that is close to civilization in case you need anything. You want an area where there are plenty of activities for you to enjoy as well, such as protection from sun or rain in case it becomes necessary! No matter where you end up camping, be sure to check with the local ranger station for any permits or fire restrictions that might be in place. They can also give you valuable information about the area, such as recommended hikes.

Related: How to choose a campsite?

3) Teach your kids about safety

camping with kids

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Before you go on your camping trip, take some time to sit down and teach your kids about camping safety. Camping is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature. However, it's important to be aware of safety hazards and take the necessary precautions. Kids can be taught about these dangers and how to stay safe while camping. With proper instruction, your kids can have fun as well as a safe experience in the great outdoors!

Here are a few tips for keeping your kids safe while camping:

- Teach them to always stay within sight of the adults in your group, and never wander off on their own.

- Teach your children how to use fire starters and matches safely, and never leave them unsupervised around fires.

- Teach them how to read maps and use a compass. This will help them stay oriented and find their way back to camp if they get lost.

- Teach them about poisonous plants and animals in the area. This will help them avoid dangerous plants and animals, and know what to do if they encounter one.

- Make sure they know how to build a fire safely and put it out.

- Teach them first aid, and make sure they know how to call for help if someone is injured.

- Make sure they are wearing sunscreen and hats to protect them from the sun. Insect repellent is also a must, especially if you're camping near water or in a wooded area.

Related: 7 Campfire Safety Tips For Beginners

4) Choose the right camping gear

camping with kids

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It can be tricky to know what gear to bring camping with kids. You want to make sure they're comfortable and safe, but you don't want to pack so much that you're carrying a lot of extra weight. Here are some essentials to make sure you don't forget:

-Tent: Make sure you have a tent that is big enough for your entire family. If you're using a pop-up tent, make sure it's easy to set up and takedown.

-Sleeping bags and pads: Choose sleeping bags and pads that are comfortable and lightweight.

-Campfire grill: A campfire grill is perfect for cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner outdoors.

-Cooler: Pack plenty of cold drinks and snacks in a cooler to keep everyone refreshed.

-Bring along plenty of activities to keep them occupied during downtimes, such as coloring books, card games, and balls.

-Mosquito netting (especially if you're going somewhere buggy).

-Firewood and kindling.

-Camping chairs and tables for extra space to sit and eat your meals.

-Make sure everyone has a flashlight and knows how to use it.

-A fully stacked first aid kit to deal with minor injuries and illnesses while you're away from civilization. 

-Bug spray, sunscreen, and hats for protection from the elements.

-Pack extra clothes and blankets, just in case.

Related: Camping Gear For Kids

5) Let kids help you pack

This is a great way to get them excited about camping. Have them help you gather all the necessary gear and supplies, and let them pack their own backpack with a few of their favorite toys or books. This will help keep them occupied while on the trip. You can create a list for them with all the items needed and have each kid pack personal belongings into an individual duffel bag, which you should color-code so it's easier to identify what belongs where when returning back home from your camping trip. Also, make sure to go over the camping packing list with your kids ahead of time so they know what to expect and can help plan for the trip.

6) Plan your meals

camping with kids

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Whether you're camping with kids, it's important to have good, hearty meals that will fill you up and keep you going. But meal planning can be a bit daunting, especially if you're camping with picky eaters. Fret not, here are a few tips to help make mealtime a breeze:

-Make sure to pack all the necessary cooking utensils, pots, pans, plates, and silverware.

-Plan ahead and pre-make as much food as possible.

-Pack easy-to-make meals that will please everyone, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.

-Always go for one-pot meals. These are easy because all the ingredients need to be cooked in a single dish or pan.

-Bring a lot of snacks! Camping trips are the perfect time to indulge in all your favorite snacks. Chips, trail mix, and fruit are always a hit.

-And don't forget the marshmallows for s'mores!

Related: 19 Fun Camping Meals For Kids

7) Check the weather forecast

camping with kids

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Before packing up the family for a weekend of camping, take a few minutes to check the weather forecast. Unsettled weather can turn an enjoyable camping trip into a nightmare, so it's best to be prepared for any possible weather conditions. Camping in cold weather can be uncomfortable and even dangerous if you're not properly prepared, so make sure you have the right gear and clothing before heading out. If it's going to be cold, make sure to bring warm blankets and extra layers of clothes.

Camping in rainy weather can also be unpleasant, so make sure your tent is water-resistant and that you have plenty of wet weather gear packed along just in case. By checking the forecast before departing, you'll help ensure a safe and enjoyable camping trip with your little ones. If necessary, postpone your trip until better weather is in the forecast.


Camping with kids can be a great bonding experience for the whole family, but it's important to be prepared for anything. With the right gear and attitude, you're sure to have a camping trip that everyone will enjoy! Thanks for reading!

Do you have any tips for camping with kids? Let us know in the comments below! Happy camping!

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