How To Go Camping with Kids – Bearfoot Theory


Pinterest Hidden Image

So you’ve determined to make the leap and go tenting together with your youngsters. Congratulations! This is without doubt one of the quintessential methods to bond as a household and create lasting recollections.

I do know what you is likely to be considering: Oh God, what have I gotten myself into!?

Never worry! We’re right here to assist with our full information chock-full of suggestions for tenting together with your youngsters.

From equipping them with their very own gear to protecting everybody entertained across the campfire, we’ve bought you coated.

So sit again, chill out, and allow us to enable you to plan your subsequent household tenting journey.

Join our e mail e-newsletter and

Download our PDF youngsters’ automobile tenting guidelines

Benefits of Taking Your Kids Camping

As a dad myself, I think about tenting the last word household remedy. It’s an opportunity to unplug from the know-how and the busyness that too typically separates us from that which makes us fully human – our reference to nature and one another.

There are few experiences that may match the sensation of waking up in nature, respiration within the contemporary air, and exploring the good outside collectively.

It offers high quality time to domesticate bonds and recollections which might be merely unparalleled in at the moment’s social-media tradition.

If you want some extra causes to pack up the automobile, listed below are just a few advantages of tenting with youngsters:

  • Learn new abilities: Camping is a unbelievable alternative for youths (and their mother and father) to be taught new abilities like the way to pitch a tent, construct a campfire, learn maps, and cook dinner meals outside.
  • Gain confidence: New abilities and getting out of their consolation zones will assist youngsters construct confidence that they will deliver again to their on a regular basis lives.
  • Build lifelong recollections: Family tenting journeys are an opportunity to construct lifelong recollections and bonds that may final a lifetime. Even if issues don’t go as easily as deliberate, it nonetheless makes for excellent recollections.
  • Disconnect: Our on a regular basis lives are full of conveniences and entertaining distractions that may be accessed on the contact of a button. Camping offers us an opportunity to step away from all of that and join with nature – and to deal with one another.
  • An opportunity to be youngsters! Camping offers youngsters an opportunity to discover, run free, and use their imaginations within the nice outside.

So for those who’re searching for an journey that may create lasting recollections, problem your loved ones, and train your youngsters new abilities, tenting is the right exercise.

And you is likely to be shocked at how a lot they get pleasure from doing issues with out screens or digital units, particularly once they’re doing these items with you!

A family stands outside of their Storyteller MODE camper van. The woman is holding her baby in the air while the man makes coffee.
BFT Director Linda on a household van tenting journey

4 Helpful Tips for Camping with Kids

Of course, tenting with youngsters does require a bit of additional preparation and planning, even for those who’re a veteran camper.

Just as having youngsters within the first place requires substantial way of life changes, taking your youngsters on a tenting journey is a a lot completely different sport than tenting solo or with an grownup accomplice.

The key to success is to be ready and nothing extra prepares you on your first household tenting journey than to JUST DO IT!

Here are some suggestions that can assist you put together and get out the door.

1. Do a yard campout trial run

If you’re new to tenting or simply new to tenting with youngsters, provoke issues by pitching camp in your yard and tenting out for an evening (or two). You’ll uncover in a short time what works and what doesn’t in addition to what you want and what you don’t.

The final thing you need is to be caught within the woods with out a essential piece of drugs and too removed from residence (or civilization) to make a fast pit-stop.


Go all out! Do every part you’d on an actual journey: cook dinner meals on the camp range, eat across the hearth (when you’ve got a spot to take action safely), roast s’mores, inform tales, sleep within the tent, and get up to the sounds of nature (or the following door neighbor revving up his Harley …)

The extra you ‘practice’ the better it will likely be when you truly pack up the automobile and head out on your first actual tenting journey.

Doing a yard campout is a good way to get your youngsters adjusted to tenting with out having to cope with the logistics of attending to and from a campsite. It may even offer you a superb sense of what gear you want to purchase or borrow.

While you’re establishing, create an inventory of drugs and provides (right here’s our packing guidelines) that you simply see your loved ones will want for an in a single day campout.

As you camp increasingly, your listing will develop (and even shrink) and evolve.

2. Delegate roles and obligations

I’ve had mother and father ask me how I preserve my boys engaged and entertained on our lengthy tenting journeys.

Well, I don’t.

Not fully anyway. I get the youngsters concerned within the journey planning, give them particular roles and obligations to assist with establishing and taking down camp, and allow them to select actions that curiosity them from the choices accessible.

This not solely retains them engaged but in addition teaches them new abilities and confidence. And it’s a good way for me to get some assist with all of the work that goes into tenting!

Of course, you’ll need to tailor these roles and obligations to the age and talent of your little one. But listed below are some concepts to get you began:

  • Organize and pack gear and provides
  • Set up the tent
  • Collect firewood (if allowed)
  • Help construct the hearth (if allowed)
  • Check the map to select the day’s hikes
  • Help to organize meals
  • Wash the dishes
  • Filter water
  • Keep monitor of provides
  • Clean up the campsite
  • Break camp
  • Pack up the automobile

Of course, you don’t need to have them so targeted on the “work” of the journey. Give them a lot of time to only discover and play; however, involving them within the journey will assist to make it a hit for everybody.

Sure, there will probably be downtime. Below, we’ll focus on some nice methods to maintain the entire household engaged and entertained collectively when all of the camp chores are executed.

Child hammering tent stake into ground with rubber hammer and older child supervising
Giving your youngsters some camp chores could be a good way for them to really feel useful and engaged | Image credit score: Joshua Davis

3. Create an itinerary (however be versatile)

One mistake that I see new campers make is to try to pack an excessive amount of into their journey. They need to do every part and see every part and find yourself working themselves (and their youngsters) ragged within the course of.

A greater method is to deal with only a few actions every day (climbing, swimming, Geo-caching, fishing, and so forth.) and go away a while for downtime. This is particularly vital with younger youngsters who can get overstimulated and cranky in the event that they’re on the go on a regular basis.

So, take a while to take a seat down and map out a tough itinerary on your journey in a small pocket book. This provides you with a superb sense of what’s potential and enable you to to keep away from over-scheduling.

But, bear in mind to be versatile! One of the perfect issues about tenting is that it means that you can decelerate and float. If somebody needs to sleep in or spend a day exploring on their very own (teenagers particularly), roll with it!

You can all the time alter your plans on the fly as wanted.

Man carrying sleeping child on his back on a hike
It’s good to have an itinerary, however make sure to keep versatile so you’ll be able to alter actions based mostly in your youngsters’ power ranges and moods | Image credit score: Joshua Davis

4. Get your thoughts proper

Patience and Grace ought to be on the high of your thoughts when planning a tenting journey with your loved ones. Both for the youngsters and for your self.

Make your plans after which remind your self that a lot of it simply might not pan out. After all, you’re not simply tenting alone… the youngsters are coming alongside. Kids will probably be youngsters and so they’ll check your persistence (alongside together with your sanity) regularly. But, attempt to keep in mind that that is all a part of the expertise!

Bumps, bruises, scrapes, cuts, and stings are inevitable. So is dropping or breaking gear. But that’s all a part of the enjoyable, proper?

Part of the tenting expertise is studying the way to cope with adversity, the way to problem-solve and work collectively. It’s additionally a terrific alternative for youths (and adults) to study grit.

So, when issues go incorrect (and they’re going to), take a deep breath, depend to 10, and keep in mind that that is all a part of the journey.

Relax. Teach your youngsters to chortle at errors and inconveniences. If that is onerous for you, tenting is the perfect time to apply!

Man and son standing on picnic table at desert campground pretending to surf with sunset in background
Camping is a good way to disconnect from on a regular basis life and have some enjoyable! | Image credit score: Joshua Davis

What to Bring Camping With Kids

While staging your individual yard household tenting journey will make clear among the tenting gear and provides that you simply want, it’s nonetheless a good suggestion to do a little analysis earlier than heading out in your first household tenting journey.

If you’re an skilled camper, you most likely have already got your primary tenting gear arsenal and simply must tweak and develop it to accommodate your youngsters.

If you’re new to tenting or backpacking, you might be most likely starting to accumulate your gear from the bottom up and want gear that caters to the entire crew (if so, you might need to take a look at BFT’s Car Camping Essentials put up along with this one).

Here is an inventory of important tenting gear for households with youngsters. This listing focuses on these gadgets wanted to develop an current set of tenting gear and on the similar time serves as a place to begin for these simply getting their toes moist.

Depending on the kind of tenting you do (car-camping, van, trailer, backcountry…), the age of your youngsters, and the local weather you’ll be tenting in, this listing can simply be expanded and revised.

Family-sized tent

Whether you have already got a tent or want to purchase one, make certain that it’s spacious sufficient for everybody to sleep comfortably.

A couple of issues to think about:

  • The greater a tent is, the more durable they’re at… every part. While it might be tempting to purchase a palatial 12-person cabin tent, these behemoths are difficult to arrange and take down and so they require way more upkeep over time. Consider shopping for two (or extra) smaller tents as a substitute when you’ve got a big household.
  • Don’t purchase too small. Kids flop round once they sleep and somebody all the time will get kicked within the face. Buy a tent with wiggle room. If you’ve 4 individuals in your loved ones, belief me, purchase a 6-person tent. If you’ve 6 individuals, purchase an 8-person. You’ll be glad you probably did.

If you solely camp often (2-3 occasions a 12 months), look into Coleman’s line of Sundome Camping Tents. This was our first household tenting tent and it lasted for 10 years of informal use.

Shop the Coleman Sundome Tent at:

If you propose to take your loved ones tenting extra ceaselessly, think about upgrading to a extra strong high quality tent such because the REI Co-op Base Camp.

Shop the REI Basecamp Tent at:

Man and two kids lying side by side in camping tent
Size up when procuring round for a tent – you’ll need the additional room with squirming youngsters! | Image credit score: Joshua Davis

Dustpan and brush

Everyone tracks dust into the tent. Kids, nonetheless, deliver it in by the front-end-loader-full.

Keep this useful merchandise contained in the tent … and delegate that repetitive accountability to one among your little dirt-magnets.

Shade shelter

Kids overheat a lot simpler than adults and require extra time to control their physique temperature afterward.

And whereas a tent offers shade, its enclosed development can turn into an oven in heat temperatures.

If you’re tenting in hotter climates, make sure to deliver alongside a shade shelter of some kind. A tarp strung up between bushes with some paracord will do the trick in a pinch, however when you’ve got the house, I extremely advocate bringing alongside an precise freestanding shelter.

We advocate pitching the Coleman SkyLodge Instant Screenhouse over and across the website’s picnic desk. It’s light-weight, simple to arrange, and offers a terrific respite from the solar and bugs.

Shop the Coleman SkyLodge Screenhouse at:

Sleeping baggage

When deciding on a sleeping bag for youths, use the identical frequent sense as when shopping for them garments or footwear: don’t spend quite a bit and attempt to purchase used every time potential… they’ll outgrow them quickly.

Traditional sleeping baggage could be harmful for infants and toddlers since they will result in suffocation, so search for safe-sleep choices for younger youngsters.

BFT Director Linda makes use of the Morrison Outdoors 40F bag for her 16 month previous on tenting journeys. Morrison makes quite a lot of sleep-safe baggage for youths 6 months to six years previous.

Shop Morrison Outdoors at:

Once my youngsters bought sufficiently old, I purchased them grownup sleeping baggage and simply cinched a belt on the backside to maintain the warmth in, that manner I don’t need to preserve shopping for them new sleeping baggage as they develop. My 13-year-old makes use of his Marmot NanoWave once we go automobile tenting, which ought to final for years.

Shop the Marmot NanoWave 35 at:

Also, except you propose to take your loved ones tenting in excessive chilly (excessive right here means under 15°F at evening), don’t drop a number of coin on extremely technical baggage with super-low “EN” or “ISO” temperature scores.

For most households with youngsters, a primary 3-season (15°-35°F) bag will meet the mark.

Kid blowing up inflatable pillow in tent next to sleeping bags
Image credit score: Joshua Davis

Sleeping mats

Up till they turned 6 years previous, I merely positioned a folded extra-thick blanket beneath my boys’ sleeping baggage to supply some additional padding. As they grew, I wanted to improve.

Sleeping mats are usually not simply needed to forestall waking up such as you’ve been crushed by the onerous floor you slept on, additionally they forestall physique warmth from escaping into the bottom on chilly nights.

Ranging from a score of R2 (minimally insulated) to R5.5 (tremendous insulated), the hotter the mat, the hotter (and dearer) it’s.

For most household campouts, mats starting from R2 – R3.5 (30-20°F) will suffice. For 15° or decrease, seize them one thing with extra insulation.

We favor inflatable sleeping pads just like the Exped Ultra 1R Sleeping Pad (R1.3) which works nice for us southern Texans who camp in humid-warm climate.

Shop the Exped Ultra 1 R Sleeping Pad at:

If you camp in cooler temps, we advocate one thing with a better R-rating just like the REI Trailmade Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad (R5.5).

Shop the REI Trailmade Sleeping Pad at:

Read More

Looking for Versatile Gear for Car Camping & Backpacking?

Camping pillows

If you’re going automobile tenting (versus hike-in or backcountry tenting), bringing alongside your little one’s pillow from residence will just do nice.

However, if you wish to save house and require one thing extra light-weight, think about getting a compressible pillow just like the NEMO Fillo.

Pillows are elective however undoubtedly assist forestall the morning grumps by including somewhat additional consolation by the evening.

Shop the NEMO Fillo Pillow at:

Camp chairs

One of the perfect components about tenting is gathering everybody across the hearth after a protracted day of climbing and exploring.

When my older son first got here tenting with us, I had forgotten to get him his personal tenting chair. When the night got here and we gathered across the hearth, it wasn’t my spouse who gave up her chair when he didn’t need to sit on the bottom.


Again, there’s no must get pulled into shopping for kid-sized chairs that may solely get replaced after a brief bit. We advocate the GCI RoadJourney Rockers for automobile or RV tenting.

Shop the GCI RoadJourney Rocker at:

If you favor one thing lighter and fewer space-consuming, take a look at the Helinox Chair One.

Shop the Helinox Chair One at:

We love our GSI camp chairs. The GCI RoadJourney Rockers present much more camp consolation | Image credit score: Joshua Davis

Outdoor floor blanket

Remember if you had been younger and sitting on the bottom didn’t harm? Kids love sitting on the bottom to eat and play, and can typically spontaneously move out for a nap (for those who’re fortunate).

The downside is, the grass in lots of campsites has been worn to non-existence leaving solely grit and gravel to park your caboose on.

Having a Water-Resistant Outdoor Blanket to unfold out on has turn into a should for our household tenting journeys.

Shop the REI Outdoor Blanket at:

For when the bottom is damp or rocky for those who merely need an additional layer, the CGEAR Sand Free Mat is nice for placing down under your camp blanket or for utilizing by itself.

Shop the CGEAR Sand Free Mat at:

*Get 15% off with the code BEARFOOT15 if you order direct from CGEAR*

Using the CGEAR Sand Free Mat at camp (measurement M – 8’x8′)

Headlamps and/or flashlights

For security in addition to comfort, everybody wants a headlamp, particularly when leaving the campsite (even throughout the day as a result of something can occur…).

Depending on the kid’s age and their willingness to carry one thing, think about a flashlight with a lanyard or a clip gentle for a cap (younger youngsters typically have hassle adjusting to the texture of the elastic band of a headlamp).

We just like the GearLight S1000 Tactical LED Flashlight 2-Pack for its cost-to-quality ratio.

Shop the GearLight Flashlights at:

If you’d favor a headlamp, the Petzl Tikkina Headlamp is affordably priced and adjusts to suit all head sizes. It’s additionally suitable with the Petzl Core rechargeable battery (offered individually).

Shop the Petzl Tikkina Headlamp at:


It will get very darkish in state and nationwide parks and floor fires are usually not all the time permitted to light up the campsite.

Having a tenting lantern or two helps brighten up the world, offering gentle for cooking, studying, and gathering across the desk.

It additionally helps to determine your campsite when strolling again from an after-dark outing.

We’ve used the Coleman fuel lanterns for many years with nice success.

Shop the Coleman Powerhouse Lantern at:

man sitting with child at picnic table at campground at night with light by Coleman Gas Lamp
The Coleman Gas Lamps are dependable and simple to make use of | Image credit score: Joshua Davis

This BioLite rechargeable LED lantern is nice for youths as properly. They can simply flip it on and off with the push of a button and it has quite a lot of enjoyable coloured gentle settings. This works nice as a nightlight within the tent for studying and evening wakeups (though let’s hope there are usually not too a lot of these).

Shop the BioLite Alpenglow Lantern at:

Field guides to crops and bugs

Yes, you could possibly use your cellphone and Google Lens to determine nearly every part you come throughout; nonetheless, books can go the place 5G doesn’t tread, and, in most nationwide parks and lots of state parks, cell service is unreliable at greatest.

Grab a ebook, just like the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, the Field Guide to North American Wildflowers by the National Audobon Society, and the Peterson Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants.

Learning concerning the native wildlife of the place you’ll be tenting will not be solely an enchanting expertise however, it’s additionally essential from a security standpoint.

Being in a position to acknowledge toxic crops and venomous bugs forward of time is not going to solely forestall disagreeable encounters; however, additionally equip you and your youngsters to cope with them effectively if and once they occur.

Eating utensils and eating ware

When taking your youngsters tenting with you, make sure to have sufficient forks, spoons, bowls, plates, and cups to go round.

If you have already got cookware and simply want issues for the youngsters to eat with, take a look at the Light My Fire 8-Piece BPA-Free Meal Kit.

Shop the Light My Fire Mess Kit at:

If you might be new to tenting and must construct your camp kitchen from the bottom up, take a look at our Camp Cooking Essentials put up.

Roasting sticks

Young youngsters. Older youngsters. Doesn’t matter. Kids love roasting something over a campfire.

Hot canine. Marshmallows … an unlucky pine cone.

Jolly Green’s Rotating Roasting Sticks will do all of it and include a handy case to carry all 5 within the set. Don’t overlook the chocolate and graham crackers!

Shop the Jolly Green Roasting Sticks package at:

Child and mother roasting marshmallows on campfire at campsite
S’mores provides and roasting sticks are a tenting with youngsters’ necessities! | Image credit score: Joshua Davis

Collapsible 5-gallon water jug

Before we had youngsters, my spouse and I might subsist on the water from our 3-liter hydration packs for ingesting, cooking, washing, every part… We solely must refill them often.

With two boys, overlook it.

Having a big reservoir of ingesting water centrally positioned within the household campsite is a big time-saver. When automobile tenting, we take alongside our GSI Outdoors 5.3-Gallon (20 liters) Folding Water Cube.

Shop the GSI Outdoors Water Cube at:

Hydration backpack

  • Fact: Children dehydrate sooner than adults. Why? Because they’ve a a lot decrease body-mass-to-body-surface-area ratio.
  • Another Fact: Children don’t all the time ask for water once they want it, particularly once they’re having enjoyable!

It’s essential to remind your little one to drink loads of water usually when having fun with the outside.

Consider getting every little one their very own hydration backpack. This manner, they will simply entry water with out having to ask you or having to hold round water bottles.

There are a lot of nice choices on the market for youths’ hydration packs, however we actually just like the Osprey Hydra Jet 12, which is particularly designed for youths. It’s adjustable for most children from 4-12 years and carries as much as 1.5 liters of water.

And you’ll be able to’t go incorrect with Osprey’s free-of-charge pack restore program, which we love!

Shop the Osprey HydraJet 12 at:

Emergency whistle

If you’ve a couple of little one, every ought to have their very own whistle to put on round their neck. Why? Because in the event that they get misplaced, a whistle is way simpler to make use of to get consideration and be heard than yelling.

Some backpacks, just like the Osprey HydraJet above, have a whistle constructed into the sternum buckle throughout the chest.

A security whistle will not be a toy and any little one who carries one ought to be taught when and the way to use it earlier than their first time tenting with it.

When we hike with our boys, they put on a Fox 40 Classic Safety Whistle on a paracord lanyard.

Loud, gentle, and low cost … the right trifecta.

Shop the Fox 40 Safety Whistle at:

Duffel bag or backpack

Take it from me: Don’t pack your youngsters’ garments in the identical bag as your individual. At some level, they’ll disappear into the tent searching for a contemporary pair of skivvies and by the point you get there, it can appear to be an ICBM missile hit the place.

At the very least, present every of your youngsters with their very own completely different coloured duffel bag like a easy Adidas Diablo.

Rather than a duffel, I outfitted my boys with the Osprey Ace 38 at a younger age so they might turn into accustomed to packing and utilizing a technical backpack. It additionally is available in a bigger 50 L mannequin.

Shop the Osprey Ace 38 Backpack at:

Kid wearing large backpack facing away from camera looking at red rock canyon views
The Osprey Ace 38 is a good backpack for youths eager to pack and carry their very own gear | Image credit score: Joshua Davis

Packing cubes

Every dad or mum is aware of youngsters need assistance with group. Keeping a private tenting backpack or duffel organized is without doubt one of the greatest methods to be taught, particularly on longer journeys.

These Expandable Packing Cubes should have been invented by a dad or mum. These marvelous “mini duffels” allow your little one to maintain their garments organized, even when they need to unload the entire bag to get one thing on the way-bottom. Have them use one for tops, one for bottoms, and one for socks, underwear, and different miscellaneous gadgets.

Shop REI Expandable Packing Cubes at:


Everything takes eternally to dry if you’re tenting… eternally!

Whether drying everybody’s bathing fits and towels from a day plunge, towels from the night showers, or sweaty, mud-encrusted socks, a clothesline is a should.

A easy size of twine working between two bushes works miracles. If you desire a cleverly designed clothesline, the Sea to Summit Lite Line has built-in beads that act as clothespins.

Shop the Sea to Summit Clothesline at:

Biodegradable moist wipes

No different provide merchandise deserves the honour of being on the high of a tenting with youngsters guidelines than the almighty wipe.

From initiating an emergency hand cleansing to dispatching a very nasty set of dust nose-sickles or executing an intensive cleanup after a wholesome poop within the woods, the moist wipe is an indispensable tenting asset when youngsters are concerned.

We like Surviveware Biodegradable Wet Wipes as a result of they’re massive and thick.

Note: Most campground bogs (and common bogs) can’t deal with biodegradable moist wipes being flushed. Always pack out your moist wipes! If there’s not a trash receptible close by, deliver a big Ziploc on your used wipes.

Shop the Surviveware Wet Wipes at:

Well-equipped first support package(s)

Accidents occur. But with youngsters, accidents abound!

It’s a good suggestion to have a bigger, well-stocked first support package within the automobile after which smaller ones within the backpacks of those that are sufficiently old to know the way to use them.

For the automobile, the American Red Cross Family First Aid Kit is a complete and inexpensive possibility.

An ideal smaller package for backpacks is the Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Hiker Medical Kit.

The following gadgets received’t typically be included in your first support arsenal so, you’ll need to add them:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Sunscreen (we just like the Sun Bum model)
  • Lip balm
  • Bug spray
  • Anit-itch cream (for poison ivy, bug bites, and so forth.)

If you’d fairly construct your individual, take a look at our put up How to Build a Hiking First Aid Kit, and get your DIY on!

Personal toiletry package

Whether you’re utilizing the neighborhood bathe or rest room home on the campgrounds or caring for hygiene on the campsite, it’s good to equip your little one with their very own set of toiletries.

A small, private toiletry package ought to embody:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Soap and/or physique wash
  • Shampoo/conditioner (elective)
  • Deodorant (if wanted)
  • Feminine hygiene merchandise (if wanted)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Camping quick-dry towel

If your little one is sufficiently old to maintain monitor of their very own toiletries, get them their very own tenting toiletry bag like this small REI Travel Kit or a bigger one.

Shop the REI Travel Kit at:

Lots of snacks

When tenting and backpacking alone, I pleasure myself in solely packing the meals I completely want.

That doesn’t fly when tenting with youngsters.

Kids burn energy at an accelerated fee when taking part in outside; way more so when briefly residing outside on a tenting journey.

Pack an additional cooler or tub (separate from meals for meals) and inventory it with (comparatively) wholesome energy-rich snacks like:

  • Trail combine (low sugar)
  • Energy or granola bars (low sugar)
  • Dried fruits
  • Fresh fruits (bananas, apples, oranges, grapes)
  • Fresh veggies and hummus
  • Beef jerky
  • Dried sausage and onerous cheeses
  • Baked chips (not a unbelievable alternative, however higher than some)

Need some simpler snack concepts? We’ve bought some nice concepts in our Best Hiking Snacks put up!

A hiking daypack filled with hiking snacks: Honey Stinger, Justin's nut butter, Go Macro bars, Nuun tablets, and other snacks.
Bring quite a lot of snacks so your youngsters don’t get bored consuming the identical bar over & over!

Clothing, outerwear, and footwear

Obviously, you’ll be packing the same wardrobe on your youngsters as you’d your self relying on the local weather and climate.

Since youngsters develop out of garments shortly, we advocate shopping for secondhand every time potential. We love REI’s used gear part which presents high-quality clothes and equipment with a ton of life left.

However, when your mind is stuffed with every part else, it’s simple to overlook just a few vital issues aside from normal clothes:

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Underwear and socks
  • Hiking footwear and/or water sandals
  • Swimsuit and goggles/masks
  • Pajamas
  • Cold climate put on (if wanted)

Favorite blanket or teddy

Sometimes, little ones have hassle adjusting to sleeping outside surrounded by the sounds of the evening.

Having a well-known companion to sleep with goes a good distance towards serving to them really feel protected and comfy.

Bedtime and campfire tales

In addition to a favourite teddy or blanket, bedtime tales are one other option to ease the transition of sleeping in a tent.

Also, the beauty of studying tales across the campfire is that they don’t need to be lengthy. In truth, shorter ones are sometimes higher as a result of they assist preserve little ones’ consideration targeted.

Don’t wanna lug books alongside? No downside! A superb (ghost) story made up on the spot is a traditional tenting custom. Give it a go!

Rainy day bag

Sometimes, the barometer decides to frown in your in any other case excellent forecast. It’s all the time a good suggestion to have a bag full of actions to maintain youngsters entertained if the climate traps everybody within the tent.

A couple of enjoyable concepts:

  • Card video games
  • Board video games
  • Coloring books and crayons and markers
  • Books to learn aloud
  • Puzzles or brainteasers (i.e. Sudoku, crosswords)
  • Favorite small toys

Even if the climate stays truthful, having video games the entire household can collect across the picnic desk and luxuriate in is all the time a good suggestion.

If you want much more nice concepts for video games to take in your subsequent tenting journey, take a look at our put up on 15 Fun Camping Games to Bring on the Road.

Two kids doing activities at table at campground
Pack some video games and actions for downtime or wet days | Image credit score: Joshua Davis

Their very personal digicam

Before we grew to become mother and father, I took numerous photos to doc our adventures.

As the household grew, I saved discovering myself lacking alternatives to seize priceless moments. I used to be all the time preoccupied with the growing obligations.

Solution? Equip everybody with a digicam!

Kids love taking photos (and excel at capturing the bizarre, wild, and in any other case embarrassing moments) and are certain to give you a whole bunch to sift by if you get residence.

If they don’t have already got a camera-equipped gadget, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is a Polaroid-style instantaneous digicam that generates prints on the go, identical to the previous Polaroids!

Shop the Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera at:

Campground toys and actions

Don’t overthink this. Kids (particularly youthful ones) will make toys out of something – sticks, rocks, leaves, that unidentifiable brown factor… you identify it.

However, there are just a few primary campground toys that may assist facilitate some enjoyable and may improve the expertise:

Other partaking actions the entire household can get in on embody:

  • Geocaching (requires knowledge service and the Geocache App)
  • Scavenger Hunts (numerous printables on-line)
  • Hide and Seek
  • Capture the Flag
  • Junior Ranger Programs (examine park’s web site for information)

Let’s get packing!

Phew! That was quite a bit, however don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t must take all of it to have a good time. Allow your self to be taught as you go. As you camp together with your youngsters increasingly, prepping and packing for these journeys will turn into second nature.

The most vital factor is that you simply and your loved ones have a good time in your subsequent tenting journey! Do your greatest; don’t sweat the remainder.

Father and son sitting at lookout point over Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
Image credit score: Joshua Davis

Looking for extra suggestions and assets for planning your tenting journey? Check out these useful articles:

What are a few of your must-have gadgets when packing for a tenting journey with youngsters? Let us know within the feedback under!

To see extra of Joshua’s work, take a look at

Bearfoot Theory | Unleash the adventure in the great outdoors! Discover the ultimate guide to camping with kids and create lifelong memories with your little ones. From pitching tents to building campfires, our blog post offers expert tips, fun activity ideas, and essential packing lists to make your family camping trip a roaring success. Explore nature together, spark their curiosity, and nurture their love for the wilderness. Embark on an unforgettable journey of bonding, laughter, and exploration as you introduce your kids to the joys of camping. Let the wild adventures begin!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here