The best tips for camping with kids

Leaving all the video games back home and pitching a tent in the nearest campground will be an adventure that your kids will never forget. Spending some quality time with your family in the wilderness will help all of you to get closer to each other and to nature. If you have never camped with your kids, here are some basic tips you should follow if you want everything to go smoothly and without problems. Let’s get started!

Plan ahead

Plan ahead
Plan ahead

Campgrounds in national and state parks and reserves get full up quickly, especially on the weekends. If you know exactly where you want to take your kids, book a campsite at least 6 months in advance to make sure you’ll have it for sure when the time comes.

Travel with your car

Don’t complicate things from the start and use your car to get to the campground. Other ways of transportation will only take you more time, nerves, and money. Keep it simple and drive your kids to the place you have planned in advance.

Rent a tent if you don’t have one

Before you’re sure that your little ones enjoy camping, it might pay to delay buying a tent. Renting one is always an option. When you’re positive that your kids like to go camping as often as possible, then buy a tent. Until then, just rent one, especially for your first family camping trip.

Don’t overpack

Avoid bringing too much stuff
Avoid bringing too much stuff

Don’t bring too many clothes as you can wear the same ones for a few days. Of course, you need extra clothes for your kids, but there is no need to put your entire wardrobe in the car. Always make a list of which items you need, plan two changes per day for each kid, some extra socks, dry shoes, and warm pajamas.

Summer and winter clothes

Don’t overpack, but pack for any weather. A camping trip in the mountains means that the weather will change constantly. Be smart, and bring some clothes for any weather. Have in mind that the nights are often chilly, no matter if it’s summer or winter.

Test your tent

Ok, this one is very important! Before heading out on a real camping trip, test your tent in the backyard and make notes of everything you will need in the wilderness. See how your kids react, do they need extra blankets, how often do they wake up during the night. It’s better to be ready than to regret something in the middle of some unknown forest.

Set the tent before the night falls

Set a tent before the night falls
Set a tent before the night falls

Don’t waste any daylight and get to work immediately. Involve your kids in the camp setting, kindling gathering and teach them how to make a fire. Set the fire right away if you plan to cook dinner.

Plan a simple first meal

Don’t be too ambitious on the first night and plan something simple to cook. Think about a meal that’s nutritious and easy to prepare. If you arrive late in the afternoon, you won’t have enough time to prepare a complicated meal.

Don’t unpack your devices

Leave all your devices in the car for emergencies. Don’t give your kids a chance to play with your tablet instead of exploring the natural surroundings. Spending time in the woods is just how it sounds. Spend as much time as possible showing them around, teaching them about different tree species, wildlife, and birds.

Stick to your usual routine

Maintain routines
Maintain routines

Try to follow the same schedules you have back home and put your kids to bed at the same time. It’s more likely that they won’t get cranky if they stick to the usual timetable. Have a good time and good luck!


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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival