Camping with kids can either be fun and exciting, or be boring to the kids and stressful to the guardian. Get the camping with kids hacks and the best camping with kids checklist to make your camping experienced enjoyable and memorable.
As a parent you need to plan and prepare to go camping with kids. Considerations of what to pack, activities to engage in, and safety considerations must be in place before starting your trip to a campground with kids.
What are some tips for camping with kids? You need to have conducted a research and even done a pre-visit to the campground, familiarize the kids with some activities, engage in early preparation including packing in advance, have rules including the dos and don’ts at the campground.
You need a checklist guide of what you need, what to pack, activities list, and timelines for events. Organization is key for successful camping.
Generally, camping with kids entails
- Engaging the children in camping trials at home
- Involve the kids as much as possible in planning and implementing ideas
- Acquaint each other with safety and other rules to follow
- Plan, shop, and pack items you need for camping
- Maintain proper hygiene
- The experience ought to be fun as well as be educative as much as possible
- Make use of past experience and skills to enhance the success of camping
The following are some of the detailed analysis of what are some tips for camping with kids:
A. Researching a Camping Ground
If possible, engage the kids especially if they are teenagers and above. Engagement enhances cooperation and reduces resentment and unruly behavior.
Choose type of camping
Decide whether you will do tent camping or RV camping. Also, you may also consider boondocking. Then find the most suitable camping ground that can bring about the desired thrilling camping experience.
Note the campground rules
When researching the campground also find out the dos and don’ts of each campground that you will later use to come up with rules. It is because if the kids desire to roast meat on the campground yet the site does not allow fire then they are likely to be disappointed.
Forms of toilet
Also, check the forms of toilet since some campgrounds have open bathrooms located outsides and perhaps designed in a manner that it’s all natural yet the kids expect indoors showers.
Align expectation to campground rules
The expectations ought to be in line with the rules of the campground. You can also make comparison of different campgrounds available and determine the suitability of the sites for enhancing the overall camping experience.
Note that when the kids are excited about going to a campsite they are acquainted with what to expect, the better the deal. Go ahead and make reservations.
B. Come Up With Activities and Rules
Ensure the kids participate as much as possible in filling the activities checklists. By now you have a vivid picture of what to expect in the campground.
Set up rules
Similarly, as a list of activities is being prepared also come up with rules. Create the rules together in what is allowed, what is not allowed, and perhaps possible punishment to deter ill behaviors.
Do home trials
Get time and engage in a trial of all if possible, the activities you are likely to undertake. Teach the children how to do some things if you can.
Integrated some knowledge on camping safety tips during the trials to make safety rules memorable. In that manner, once you are on the campground much time would be spent on hands on experience rather than learning.
Example, you can fake an incident such as you fall and you need help, make the kids send an alarm such as blowing the whistle among others.
For instance, pitch a tent at home. Buy sleeping bags. Have fun and share your meals outside. Teach your children how to sleep in a tent for fun outside the comfort of their beds.
Make likely inconvenience known to all participants
Making the children well acquitted with possible inconveniences to expect would enhance the overall camping experience. As you do the trials have the rules followed. Emphasize the need to follow the rules.
Make adjustments to the rules. Besides, once the kids know how to do the activity even your supervision becomes easy and you will have more time for yourself that sorting out tantrums.
If possible, invite friends. The experience would be much fun having the friends to your children join in the camping. Have them also in the trials. Engage them in rule setting and also in coming up with activities including meals, snacks and juices.
Be sure to accommodate most if not all the children’s preferences without bias based on the rules, and camping guidelines.
C. Packing for Camping
The D-Day is almost there and you need to pack some items that you will use when camping. Preparation is essential. It is because you need to have most if not all you need to use.
Keep in mind you have kids who may need extra items such as clothes. Also, early preparation makes you not forget the essentials as well as be able to plan for space during travelling.
Have a camping checklist guide to help you get organized and make your planning much easy. Your list should consists of all essentials you need during camping such as warm clothing or cover for the cold nights. Ensure all gadgets such as headlamps are operating and in good condition.
Have weather changes possibilities in mind when packing
Camping is a great way to teach your children survival techniques but do not overdo it such that you suffer while camping.
Consequently, when preparing the list keep in mind the hot water during the day, cold weather during the nights and the rains. For instance when packing your tent include a tarp cover just in case it rains.
Have enough clothes for warm and hot weather, and for extreme cold weather. Example, pack light weight warm jackets and have hiking boots that would help you maneuver the bad terrains even after a heavy downpour.
Water is essential. Even if it is being sold at the campground, be sure to pack some. You may be out having fun and your kids feel thirsty, going back to purchase water in a canteen would waste some precious time you could have used to do something else.
Food and snacks
Fun part of camping is food. Get dry snacks, drinks, fruits, and if possible prepare some while home. Ensure the foods packed have the needed nutrition.
Besides, get more of carbohydrates since you need lots of energies while camping. You kids are likely to be running around and they need that energy to keep going. Watch this video to get easy breakfast ideas that you can teach your older children at the campground.
Maintain food safety by storing food properly, foods requiring low temperatures should be stored in a cool place to prevent spoilage.
Besides, have a budget of how much to spend to buy food and snacks while at the campground. If cooking is allowed, carry some food and spices you love.
Also, involve you children in creating the list of essentials as you help them rule out want and have the needs first but be flexible enough to allow some few items they like.
Allowing your children have their favorite gear enhances the fun experience. Also, allow choices of meals to be included in your checklist. Let children enjoy their favorite meals.
When packing, involve your children. Let them assist in collecting the essentials, arrange, and pack under your guidance. Make the packing fun as you revisit the camping ground rules, and the rules you have set together. Now, you are ready to go camping and have fun.
So, what is in your camping pack? You can use some of the items in the following checklist as a guidance on what to pack. Click here for a detailed checklist for camping
What is essential camping gear
- Ground pads
- Camping chairs
- Flashlights, headlights or lanterns
- Sleeping bags
- Lantern and lantern fuel
- Tent, stakes, poles
- Tent footprint
- Waterproofing spray
- Repair kits
- First aid kit
What clothes should I take for camping?
- Warm lightweight jackets
- Light clothing for the warm daytime
- Extra layer clothing
What shoes do you wear camping?
- Water shoes
- Hiking boots
What should I bring to a camping kitchen?
- Stove and fuel
- Aluminum foil
- Baby food
- Table cloth
- Cooler with ice
- Cooking utensils
- Trash bags
- Pots and pans
- Biodegradable soap
- Paper towels
- Water bottles
- Food storage containers
- Roasting sticks for marshmallows
- Plates, spoons, forks, knives, cups, mugs
- Cutting board
- Portable coffee making device
- Extra bin for washing dishes
- Sponge, dishcloth
- Meals and snacks
Hygiene personal Items: What item makes camping so much better?
- Toilet paper
- Toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss
- Moisturizing lotion
- Soap and shampoo
- Hand sanitizer
- Plastic washbasin
- Washcloth and towel
- Hair brush
- Baby wipes
What do I need for camping with baby/infant?
- Baby backpack carrier
- Snack containers
- Diaper rash cream
- Warm blankets
- Breast pump (if need be)
- Child sized sleeping bag
- Portable crib
- Diapers and baby wipes
- Baby monitor
- Baby fence
- Child reusable water
- Diaper disposal bags
What should I pack for hot weather vacation?
- Lightweight sleeping pad
- Tarp or canopy
- Extra water
- Lightweight clothing
- Beach towels
How do you pack for cold weather camping?
- Winter gloves
- Extra socks
- Throw-away hand warmers
- Insulated pad
- Wool cap or synthetic ski cap
- Energy snacks
- Wind-proof coats
- Sleeping bags and extra blankets
- Thermal underwear
- Long-sleeved clothing
How do you prepare for rain camping?
- Clothing lines
- Rain coats/ jackets / ponchos
- Rain boots
- Rain pants and gaiters
What are fun things to bring camping?
- Coloring books & crayons
- Travel sized board games
- Hacky sack
- Scavenger hunt list
- Soccer ball
- Guitar and song book
- Sand toys
- Glow sticks
Other essential camping gear to pack
- First-aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Map and compass
- Fishing equipment
- Prescription medication
- Pet supplies and food
- Safety whistle
- Fire extinguisher
D. Camping Time
All is set, and now you are ready to go camping with the children. Familiarize your self with do’s and don’ts while driving to or from a campsite.
While at the campground you need to help your kids get familiarize with the camping areas, distribute chores among yourselves, engage each other in coming up with fun activities, and be sure to have a great time full of fun with your children.
Just as any other new place, you need to familiarize your children with the facilities and other essentials such as washrooms in the camping ground.
Make use of map and camp rangers
Having the campground map in handy if it is also your first time to be in that camp could go a long way in making familiarization process easy for you as the parent.
Besides, there are always staff of the campground such as camp rangers who will be more than willing to offer assistance.
Helping your kids master your campsite
To enhance your children’s memory in remembering places including where you have chosen as your camping site, use vivid landmarks such as “our tent is the 4th tent from the camp canteen and has a brown teddy bear print”.
Engage your children in various activities
Do not overwork yourself while camping. Let your small kids help in simple chores such as arranging the tent area, roll out sleeping bags, pumping sleeping pads, fill water bottles, and let them help in bringing small items when asked.
Older kids can help clean the dishes, cook, setting up fire if it is allowed, and help play with kids. It does not mean that you as the parent does nothing, instead be helpful. The aim is to make every member active and participate in as many activities as possible.
Delegating duties enhances responsibility, prevent few people from overworking, enhances teamwork and makes the camping experience fun.
Once all the work is done and food is read, eat. Then have fun time by engaging in various outdoor activities such as playing games, hiking, and site viewing not forgetting taking photos among others.
Besides, the more organized you are the better the camping experience. For instance, plan the times to engage in chores such that you have more time to have fun which is the reason you came camping. Have items placed in specific location for ease of access when needed.
Following rules will help you maintain safety including being able to easily monitor your children since they are likely to be around each other. Sticking together is key when camping just in case of emergencies you can easily locate and act fast to rescue the children.
If possible, have each kid have a whistle hanging on their necks that can easily be blown when one is in danger, lost or one sees another in danger and needs help.
Remember you will not always be following each kid wherever they step. Ensure the whistle is treated as a serious alarm and blown when need be not just to play around with.
Leash your pets
Also, if you are accompanied with pets such as camping with dogs get them put on a leash. Pets can sometimes be unruly and try to run around and having a leash would make it much easier to control the pet.
Spend your time well and create memories
Be sure to spend quality time to interact and bond with each other during the day and at night. Day time can be full of outdoor activities such as games, site viewing, hiking, and exploring new places just to mention a few.
Evening and night time can entail cooking together where you also teach the children some cooking skills. Share meals if possible around the campfire if allowed.
Talk about the days experience, plan for tomorrow’s activities, sing together and share stories till bedtime where you rest longing to start a new day.
E. Camping time is now over
Packing and managing waste
Camping cannot go on forever, and you need to check out from the camping ground and head home. You need to pack your belongings back.
Also maintain campground sanitation rules such as placing waste in designated waste bins instead of littering all over the campground.
Once you arrive home, plan on doing laundry since you are likely to have all kids clothes dirty. Interacting with nature is likely to make kids get muddy and have clothes full or dust. Besides, the clothes have sweat due to jumping and running around.
Also, you are likely to need some repairs done as some items such as kids’ clothes and shoes would be worn out.
It is still worth it
However, the mess is worth it. You have bond as a family and friends, you are happy, and the experience has had a great impact in your memories. Besides, the children have learnt some basic survival tips while camping especially when they had to be creative to get a task done.