Leaving the tablets and smartphones at home and heading to a remote mountainside or find an idyllic coastal campsite is a long-lasting experience that your kids won’t forget.
Camping is a cherished way to make memories with the whole family. Whether it includes toddlers or teens, even babies, camping is never too early to start.
Camping with kids can be daunting for new campers. Here are some pro tips that will make your camping a more enjoyable and stress-free adventure.
30+ Tips for Camping with Kids
1. Choose the Right Campsite
Pick your tent site that suits your family’s needs. There are plenty of different campgrounds available such as beaches or swimming areas, rivers, forests, parks, playgrounds, and many more.
Search for the right campsite that has all of your family’s must-have facilities to make your camping trip successful. Make sure that your site has some attraction for your kids.
Choosing more remote options or adventurous sites for long camping then keep few things in mind.
Do you want a sunny or shady location? If you have children in your family then check if there any bathhouses nearby, so your kids can also enjoy bicycle riding. Take suggestions from other families for their favorite kids-friendly camping destination.
2. Start Practicing Camping at Home
It is better to practice camping at home for new parents. Babies or toddlers can be overwhelmed by their first camping experience. As they are new to sleeping under the sky in open surroundings.
So the smart way around to introduce your kids to camping is to pitch a tent in the backyard or even inside your home. Let your kids sleep, play, or hang out inside the camp, it will make them comfortable with a new sleeping environment.
Bring out your gear and spend a half-day at the beach or park. These short trips will make your kiddos used to outdoor camping.
3. Get the Right Camping Gear
The weather-resistant and easy-to-use tent are very important for hassle-free camping. Select a tent size that fits your family without cramping on one another.
It must be spacious, durable, and well-ventilated. Look for instant tents that only take 1 or 2 minutes in assembling, so you can enjoy more time exploring nature with your family.
4. Involve Family in Planning
Camping is a great family activity. Involve your toddlers in planning a camping trip. Look at the map together and share information about their outdoor adventure.
Ask them questions even they are young kids, like what activities they want on camping, do they need playgrounds or streams nearby. Every member must enjoy camping and have great fun.
5. Allow Freedom
Give your kids a little space on a camping adventure and let them enjoy and do what they wish. This can be hard for some parents but believe me, it will give them huge self-confidence and a sense of responsibility.
6. Read about Camping First
It is a good idea to know more about the challenges of camping with toddlers. Get an informative book or take help from an online camping guide. It can be very helpful to solve problems or bad experiences that youngsters might be facing.
7. Plan activities with kids
Try something exciting and new activities to make unforgettable childhood memories. Know what activities are available at your destination. Can you rent a boat or kayaking or is there any option for hiking or riding a bicycle?
Plan activities that your kids enjoy and don’t get bored. Some camping areas also have bulletin boards that map out easy nature trails for you.
8. Encourage little helping hands for Packing
Make a checklist of items that you need for toddlers on camping. Give your kids some responsibility to pack their bags according to the list. Keep things simple and organized by packing the personal items of each toddler in the different colored duffle bag.
It will be easy for them to identify their bags. Double-check the list before heading to the campgrounds. Encourage them to also check items before leaving the campsite.
Related Reading: 40 Practical Family Camping Hacks
9. Pack easy meals and snacks
Every kid loves food. Plan your camping meals and snacks that your kids like to eat. Ready-to-cook options are better for camping.
Pack easy meals for your toddlers to chow down like fruits, cheese sticks, muffins, crackers, sliced cucumbers, raisins, baby carrots, etc. Cooking at the campsite can also be very exciting but don’t go for a culinary meal that takes hours in cooking.
10. Dress your toddlers in layers
Mostly families over-packed clothes for camping. Dress your kids according to weather conditions. Like you can bring one jacket that can protect you from rain and cold as well.
Think about dressing your kids in layers so that they can easily take off clothing to adjust to temperature changes.
11. Always Bring Extra Clothes
Camping with toddlers will need you some extra clothes. Toddlers mostly do not sit and relax intent. They like playing in the sand, wandering the campground, and end up with messy clothes.
Always bring extra clothes for toddlers. It can also help in extra layers to generate enough heat to stay warm when continually in the outdoors.
12. Practice Leaving No Trace Behind You
Teach your children how to enjoy the environment and protect it. Ensure that your toddlers follow best practices when they are outdoor camping.
No matter what age of your toddlers are, explain to them to respect wildlife. Don’t feed any animal, squash the bugs or tiny insects. Do not stack rocks, break sticks, or wandering from paths.
Kids often through trash on campgrounds. Guide them to dispose of the trash properly. If you are campsite has no facility for the toilet. Make sure that your kids follow proper practices for going to the bathroom in the woods or carry a shower tent to solve personal hygiene issues.
13. Beware of Poisonous Plants & Insects
You are also responsible for teaching your toddlers about hidden dangers. Collect information about your campsite before the trip.
Show them pictures of poisonous bugs and insects that you may found during the camping. Forbade them to touch such things. Don’t let them go near to poisonous like oak, ivy, and sumac.
14. Give your toddlers some Responsibility
Camp chores are so much enjoyable when doing in groups. Give some responsibility to your kids or involve them in camp tasks. There are many small jobs that kids can help and also learn new things from adults.
Your kid can collect wood sticks for a campfire. Make them involved in setting up the tent, cooking, washing dishes, gathering portable water, etc. Offer children ownership of their experience to boost their confidence through cooperation and teamwork.
15. Keep Things Simple
Don’t panic or flood your bags with different toys, a stack of books, or too many clothes. Mostly parents with infant kids over-packed things for camping.
Keeping things simpler will give you peace of mind. Kids will spend more time in surroundings with fewer toys or other items.
16. Camp at a Resort
Camping resorts are a fantastic place for newbie campers. Camping in the wilderness or rough campsites is not a good option for every family.
Camping at the resort will give extra perks like swimming pools, arcades, arts and crafts, and even movie night events.
17. Bring the Bikes on Campsite
If your campsite allows, then it’s highly recommended to bring bikes. Healthy physical activity is very essential to boost the health of kids. Ensure safety precautions on a biking trip.
Wear helmets, use safety lights, watch for traffic in roadways, and be respectful of other campers and their spaces. It is a highly recommended activity on camping trips.
18. Don’t Forget to Pick First Aid Items
It is highly recommended to pack first aid items for any unpleasant experience with toddlers. You can easily find a basic first aid kit from any local pharmacies.
Add items in your kit specific to your camping adventure. Keep sunscreen, bug spray, antiseptic creams, band-aids, pain killers, or any other emergency supplies in a handy bag.
So, you can find it without panic when the need arises. The Leatherman multi-tool kits come in handy for any uncertain situation. Pick it for your next camping trip.
19. Take your kids to the beaches
Camping on beaches is always fun for kids of all ages. An ocean is a perfect destination for those living in a landlocked state. There are several fun activities for everyone such as toddlers will love to collect colorful pebbles and seashells.
Teenagers can enjoy diving, fishing, or play water volleyball, or basketball. Why not make a sandcastle with kids. Wildlife sightings are also much more special on a coastal beach campground.
20. Always Drink Purified Water
Always bring plenty of water for your toddlers and family. It is the topmost safety tip when camping with kids. Drinking contaminated water can cause health issues.
Mostly camper’s conditions like diarrhea, stomachaches, and bloating come from drinking unclean water. Consider carrying iodine as for alternative in case of a shortage of water with small kids.
These tablets dissolve quickly into the water and kill parasites, bacteria, and other contaminants. You can also boil water to kill harmful bacteria and purify your water in rough camping conditions.
21. Prepare your kids for Emergencies
Teach your kids how to react in an emergency. Camping in wild can be dangerous too. If your child lost the way during hiking or bicycle riding.
What they will do in this crunch time except crying or shouting for help. Hang a whistle on a lanyard around the neck of your kids to overcome such situations.
Teach your child to whistle 3 times when they are in danger. This is a universal call for seeking help in emergencies. Strictly guide them to do not to use this unnecessarily.
22. Bring a Bath Station for babies
Camping without showers can irritate your baby with dirt or bad odor. Either you carry multiple packs of wipes or a portable plastic baby bath. You can also use a plastic tub for bigger babies.
Fill the tub with water and give them a refreshing bath. It will also help them to sleep better at night. A solar-heated shower bag will work best for adults when you can’t survive without a bath anymore.
23. Setting-up Sleeping Arrangements
Create a cozy sleep environment in your tent. Bring stuffed toys, a favorite blanket, or a pillow for your kid’s comfortable sleep. For babies who are still used to sleeping in a crib, you can bring a portable pack and play for them.
If kids are sleeping on the floor, add up with an additional layer to make it cozier and superfluities. Sleeping bags are very important in winters. It keeps kids warm on cool nights at outdoor adventure.
24. Ensure Nighttime Safety
Nighttime safety is very important when camping with toddlers. Make sure every kid is wearing a headlamp at night. Putting a headlamp around the jug will do the trick for light in your tent.
Glow sticks are a good option to use when it gets dark. Kids can wear it as a necklace or bracelet so you can keep an eye on them. Glow in the dark rope and glow in the dark stakes are smart hacks.
Especially during the mid-of-the-night bathroom trips when you’re half asleep, half awake, and wondering in the woods.
25. A Pro-Tips for Clean Clothes & Dirty Laundry
You can use a hanging cloth organizer to manage clean and dirty laundry efficiently. Empty the bin and hang all the clothes in it. When clothes get dirty just throw them back into the bin.
This neat trick will help you to take straight all the dirty clothes to the washing area without any need for sorting.
26. Identify the Best Areas of Attraction
Identify area attractions for camping with teenagers, small toddlers, family-friendly hikes, and more. Planning some fun family activities beyond the campground will keep boredom at bay.
It is great to surround by beautiful landscapes, fresh air, and a ton of fun that is unique to camping.
27. Don’t forget lighting
Use the latest camp light for better kid’s safety. It comes with additional functionality like charging electrical devices or repelling bugs.
The lightweight Scout Lantern is also the best choice for lighting that creates a 15-by-15-foot mosquito-free zone while also illuminating your campsite.
28. Keep Safe your Valuables
Take a plastic zipper to keep your wallet, phones, chargers, or any other electronics. It will not only keep them safe from rain or food spills but also a handy option to find all your valuables in one place.
29. Pack an Extra Tent
Kids love their own space for playing and sleeping. Pack a small extra tent for kids, it helps to maintain a clean sleeping area and specifically for kids. You can buy an inexpensive tent for two-person to serve this purpose.
30. Encourage respect for Nature
We must explain to kids that everything has its place and purpose. You cannot just stomp on the bugs. Encourage your kids to respect nature as bugs are also an integral part of our ecosystem.
Camping is one of the most beautiful things that you can ever do with your whole family including kids. These tips will help to explore the outdoors with kids a comfortable and fun experience. So pack up your bags and get ready for enjoying your holiday’s camping.