Tips to Make Camping with Kids Easy & Enjoyable
Camping with kids can create those core childhood memories that they will bring up for years. Some of the best times from childhood include a campsite and sleeping under the stars. There’s nothing like stepping away from it all and enjoying nature. Whether you’re in a campground, deep in the wild, or even in your own backyard, camping with kids can be simpler with just a little planning beforehand.
Find a Routine
Camping can be full of unexpected turns and events as you explore a new place. If you can find a routine to follow that even loosely shadows your routine at home, then you’ll discover your child is better able to handle all the change and excitement. It's the little things like letting them know that they’ll eat at this specific time, just like at home. Or maybe that they’ll get their regular bedtime and story, just like at home. Don’t worry about following a schedule to the point of ruining the fun of an organic moment, but for younger kids, a routine is key for feeling safe.
Organize Your Space for Comfort and Safety
Camping can feel like a feral free for all at times, but a few moments of organization can turn even the wildest of locations into a home away from home. Little upgrades like an outdoor rug, runner lights, and putting everything in a specific place can make the children follow suit by example.
Allow the Kids to Help with Camping Cooking
If the children feel like they have a part in the meal prep and other aspects of your camping trip, then they’ll be more likely to respect the work that goes on behind the scenes. There are endless easy camping meals for families. A family favorite is "hobo dinner" – the recipe is as simple as adding (any) meat, veggie, and seasoning into individual foil packets to roast on the fire or grill.
Tell Stories at the End of Each Day
Tell new stories of daily events to make the end of each day’s outdoor adventure memorable. Tell old stories of past events and adventures. It will make the kids feel like they are a part of something special and help reinforce memories and values each day. The "legends" don’t have to be amazing to adult standards. For example, if you got lost on a path for a moment the tale can be stretched at the end of the day, so the kids can feel grateful for getting through their adventure. Tell tales of the past before they arrived and plans for future adventures to weave them into the family lore.
Camping Supplies and Accessories Can Upgrade the Trip
The right supplies and organization can ensure that everything runs smoothly when camping with kids. The Out-In-About Box™ storage system allows you to keep all those vital camping supplies within reach during dinner, clean-up, emergencies, and more. The best part is everything non-perishable can remain in the container ready for the next camping trip. This simplifies your time in nature and makes packing up to return a breeze every time.
Camping accessories that make a kid feel at home in a tent or RV include their own light and sleeping bag. This allows the child to feel safe and like they have a space of their own, much like their home bedroom. If you have several children, you can color code items like their sleeping gear, flashlights, towels, and even plastic wear.
Other camping accessories that shouldn’t be left behind include playing cards, glow sticks, roasting forks for hot dogs and marshmallows, individual canteens, and pepper sauce. You can even bring a quality wireless speaker if you’re camping in a place where you can enjoy music without disturbing others.
Camping Can Be as Individualized as Your Family
Camping with kids can look very different for different families. This is perfectly okay. There’s no wrong way to do it if you always remember to pack in and pack out, be considerate to animals, and considerate to your camp neighbors.
Some people love to camp with the site as the home base and most of the family congregates and cooks all day while the kids come and go. Others leave their site empty while they all explore all day, only to come back to sleep and start a fire some nights. Still, others enjoy the perks of an RV when they camp, and many even consider renting a rustic cabin. The truth is you’ll find what works for you and your family. Start your own traditions that carry on for years. If you’re flexible and willing to fail occasionally, you’ll discover what works best for your family.
When preparing to go camping with kids, you want to maximize your space and minimize the time it takes you to pack. Download our free Essential Camping Checklist so you’re organized and ready when you reach the campsite, making your outdoor camping adventure easy, fun, and memorable.