Camping is one of those outdoor adventures that leaves lasting memories and provides stories for years to come. Camping with kids? That’s a whole different animal. While the memories and stories will still be there, the mere thought of bringing kids camping is enough to strike fear into the hearts of parents everywhere. What if they don’t sleep? What if they try to pet a wild animal? What if they get bored and whine us to death? While these are all legitimate concerns (especially that last one), with the right planning, you can make sure your overnight adventure under the stars goes smoothly, and we are here to help. Read on for advice on how to make camping with kids your new favorite outdoor adventure.
Before you even think about what to bring, you’ll want to think about where you are going. Camping with kids brings extra considerations that may not come into play when camping with only adults. You will want to find a site that is fairly close to a bathroom if your kiddos are potty training or a little shy to do their business in the woods. Also, if the campground has water features (such as a beach or a creek), you may want to choose a site that isn’t right on the water if you are worried your kiddos will run right in. Lastly, the volume can be an issue at some campgrounds, especially those that have sites close together. Seek out a campground with large sites or book two sites next to each other to help prevent the all-night party crowd from keeping your kids up at night. Here are more tips on what to look for in a kid-friendly camping site. Also, this article gives tips on how to stay safe while camping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By far the biggest concern we hear regarding camping with kids is how to get them to sleep in unfamiliar territory. We hear questions like “what if they never fall asleep?”, “What if they get too cold?”, “What if I wake them up?, and “What if they wake up raring to go at 4 am?”. The list of worries may be long, but trust us, the family memories are worth it! Here are a few tips we have picked up along the way to help ease your worries:
Check out this article for more information on how to sleep in a tent with young kids.
Bring snacks! And more snacks! For dinner, there is nothing wrong with the tried and true “hotdog on a skewer” camping meal, but you may be wondering if other easy options exist (especially ones that include more than just the meat food category). From delicious skillet meals to foil packets, you can prepare at home, this article has tons of tips on easy camping meals for kids. For recipes broken down by meal type (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert), start with these fun and kid-friendly camping recipes.
Every season brings new advantages (and challenges) to camping. For seasonal-specific tips, check out these articles for tips on cold-weather camping and how to layer for winter camping, and this article for planning a summer camping adventure.
For more specific information, check out the topics below:
Here is a helpful, downloadable packing checklist for camping with kids:
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This post is sponsored by Morrison Outdoors, however, we would not recommend something that we and our children do not love. Our opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through one of those links you won't pay more but Hike it Baby will get a small commission which helps us further our mission. Thanks! This post was inspired by an article originally written in March of 2018.