January 27


10 Timeless Tips for Camping with Kids: #7 will surprise you

By Jonathan

January 27, 2023

This piece will provide invaluable tips for camping with kids of all ages, though we do not recommend camping with infants and toddlers. School-going kids are the best age to start camping since they understand instructions and can communicate clearly.

A family camping with kids next to a river
A family camping with kids next to a river

Kids are little explorers, but we keep them at home watching TV and playing video games. Over time, the adventurous spirit gets dimmed, and they become dull teens and stressed-out adults.

Teaching them to appreciate nature by spending more time outdoors is a gift to the world since they will be sensitive to the environment as they grow up.

Camping with kids will be fun if they enjoy it. Otherwise, it might be a nightmare. Here are some amazing tips to help you create lifetime memories while camping with kids.

Tips for Camping with Kids

Tip #1: Research the best camping sites

Kids enjoying a camping experience
Kids enjoying a camping experience

The first and most important tip for camping with kids is to find the right camping site. There are hundreds of camping sites, but some are unsuitable for kids.

Look out for amenities that favor kids’ activities, such as playgrounds, beaches, playing fields, rivers and lakes where they can swim, picnic grounds, good toilets, and a shower with hot water.

As a beginner, start with well-structured camping grounds which provide all amenities and move to more adventurous locations. Check with other families who have gone camping with kids before for recommendations.

Ask the kids about their expectations and have their answers in mind while looking for a camping site. Remember, it is about them, and their initial experience will determine whether they want to do it again or not.

Tip #2: Plan the Meals Together

Kids enjoying a snack on camping grounds

Kids enjoying a snack on camping grounds Let the kids contribute to the meal plan when planning camping with them. This will allow them to slot in their favorite snacks and look forward to camping. Pack food they will enjoy, not what you feel is healthy or tasty.

Remember, you might not have the opportunity to change your diet while you are out there, and you also do not want to have a bunch of hungry kids while in the woods. Make sure the meals are an easy fix and also have some snacks at hand.

Tip #3: Dress the kids appropriately

A kid enjoying outdoor play
A kid enjoying outdoor play

We have the advantage of technology which allows us to check the weather forecast in different places. You should not be caught unaware of weather changes when camping with kids. Dress them appropriately as you leave home and carry the correct change of clothes.

While packing, consider even the slightest chance of change in weather. Also, take note of the temperature changes at night and early morning, and carry the appropriate pajamas. Dress them in layers in the morning so that they can take off the extra pieces as it gets warmer.

Kids move around a lot, and their bodies generate heat; hence, they may get warmer faster than adults. Let them dress down when they say that they are feeling hot.

Tip #4: Think safety

Kids crossing a shallow river
Kids crossing a shallow river

While you will put safety measures in place, kids are just kids, and they might get into a mess once in a while. Bring them up to speed with the precautions they should take to avoid danger, as well as what to do should they get lost in the woods.

You will also need to survey the camping area and identify potential hazards such as rivers, animal habitats, and nearby roads. Warn them against going near these places and make sure the adults are always alert.

Tie a whistle around the kids’ necks, which they can blow whenever they stray from the rest of the family. Teach them how to blow it loud enough to be heard.

Tip #5: Pack a few games and toys

Kids enjoying a game of tug of war
Kids enjoying a game of tug of war

While the whole essence of camping and hiking with kids is to escape from technology and screens, you may need to pack at least one toy to soothe them when they get cranky. Plan to spend most of the time on outdoor activities.

There is much that they can enjoy on the camping grounds, including exploration, finding and naming bugs, identifying plants, and so on. Consider bringing toys that complement their outdoor activities, such as a ball, magnifying glass (get here), or a kite. You can also consider getting them an exploration kit (check here)

You can also bring along games that you can play together in the evening before bedtime, though they may sleep sooner than you expect. Whichever toy or game you decide to carry, let it not be an electronic gadget.

Tip #6: Organize the supplies

Roasting marshmallows with kids on the campfire.jpg
Roasting marshmallows with kids on the campfire

Organize the camping supplies in transparent bags for easy access. Separate the items such as sleeping bags, kitchen supplies, clothes, and personal items and keep them in well-labeled bags.

For clothes and personal items, each person should pack theirs separately and label the bags clearly. This will make it easy to access the items without rummaging in the bags and disorganizing everything else.

While you have the main bag, let each child carry a small backpack (depending on their age) with their personal belongings, such as undergarments, sunglasses, socks, and other small items that can go in. (Get kids’ backpacks here)

Tip #7: Have a flexible schedule

A safe camping ground for kids
A safe camping ground for kids

Kids will surprise you more often than not. You need to play out all the possible scenarios and plan how to handle them when they happen. Be flexible enough to delay the planned schedule to accommodate their demands.

Since you are in a different environment, your child might not maintain their routine. Be prepared to handle an extra cranky child because they are more tired than they are used to.

Carry diapers or a mackintosh for the kids that have potty trained recently. Changes in the environment can make them anxious and trigger bed wetting.

Finally, work with their energy. Move only when they have the strength and rest when they are tired. Focus on creating memories rather than meeting a deadline.

Tip #8: Embrace the Dirt

A kid playing in the woods
A kid playing in the woods

You cannot put out your perfectionism while camping with kids. You will need to let go and let them be. They will get dirty and have torn clothes. Make sure you have enough extra pieces for such eventualities, including shoes that can get all muddy and wet.

Ensure you have water for washing hands in the vicinity, so they do not touch food with dirty hands. You can also bring along some rugs they can use to wipe themselves before getting into the tent so that the tent remains clean the whole time.

Tip #9: Practice at home

Camping van in the backyard
Camping van in the backyard

If you plan to go camping with the kids for the first time, it will help if you practice at home. Set up a camping site in the backyard, let them spend the night there, and have a feel of the experience, including cooking on a campfire.

You can make it more real by moving a little further away from home to a park to see how they enjoy the experience. Monitor what makes them uncomfortable and get them to ask as many questions as possible. This will prepare them psychologically for the actual camping.

Tip #10: Involve the kids

A kid carrying small belongings in a back pack
A kid carrying small belongings in a back pack

A kid carrying small belongings in a backpackAnother critical tip for camping with kids is to involve them in every process. This will earn them a sense of responsibility and belonging.

For older kids, help them develop a packing list and allow them to pack their items. Assign age-appropriate chores while out there. Let them lend a hand when pitching the tent, preparing meals, refilling water bottles, or even pumping the sleeping pads.

Give each child leadership roles on different days to boost their self-esteem and help them develop leadership skills.

Check out more insights for camping with kids here


This piece will help you create unforgettable memories with your kids as you explore the beauty of nature. These tips on camping with kids are easy to follow, and they will guarantee you a good time.

I will happily read what you think about the article in the comment section.

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About the author

My name is Jonathan J. Williams, a 36-year-old male, and hiking is my oxygen. It is my source of life. I hike on good days and bad days for relaxation and exercise. Backpacking and camping go hand in hand with camping; the three define my life. The trails and mountains keep calling at me.

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