Camping is a beautiful way to spend time with the family, especially if you have kids! From the preparations at home to the long drive to the campsite to set up the camp itself, camping is one of the best ways to assign your kids responsibilities.
You’ll find that it doesn’t take a lot for kids to enjoy their weekends. With the abundance of digital and virtual entertainment, kids can easily forget to enjoy the real world. It should be the responsibility of the parents to show kids how fun the real world can be too!
As their parents, your kids will look to you as their protector and provider during the entire camping excursion. It would then serve you well to be wise and bring some or all of the items in our list of what to take on a camping trip with kids.
Essentials to Take on a Family Camping Trip
First things first, when deciding what to take for an overnight camping trip with kids, we will assume that you already have a tent in mind, so we will no longer include that here.
Make sure that the tent that you bring is enough for everyone. You can bring one huge tent to fit everyone in the family or several smaller tents.
In preparing the items below, make sure to involve everyone in the family. This preparation time is part of the camping experience.
1. Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Pads and Pillows
Sleeping out in the woods is not the most luxurious experience, but we can at least try to make it comfortable. Sleeping bags provide everyone with protection from the elements as well as comfort to help everyone sleep.
With the right weather and research about the wildlife in the area, you can even opt to skip the tents and sleep under the stars!
2. Extra Clothes
Bring as many clothes as is convenient for everyone. Of course, this will depend on the number of nights you plan to camp out with the family.
A safe rule is to bring the same number of tops and underwear as the number of days the family will be camping out. For pants and shorts, you can bring one or two for every day out.
3. First Aid Kit
There are many ready-to-use first aid kits in the market so that you can check that out. You can make one on your own too. Stock up on the following (the list is not exhaustive):
Small medical scissors and blades
Antiseptics such as Betadine and others
After bite ointments
Sunscreen is essential to lessen the risk of skin damage such as sunburn or even skin cancer. Especially in the summer, you want to protect your and your kids’ skin.
Try looking for a sunscreen that is not sticky, and remember to apply and reapply throughout the day. Include this in the list of what to take for camping in the summer with kids!
5. Mosquito Control Products
There are numerous mosquito control products in the market. They come in nets, lotions, sprays, and even bands. Find one which suits your fancy. Especially in the summer when mosquito season is at its peak, make sure to include this in the list of what to take for camping in the summer with kids.
Try to avoid mosquito repellent products that involve lighting a fire, such as incense and mosquito coils, as these can cause a fire in camping sites with many dried leaves on the ground.
6. Lamps and Torches
A campfire is commonly started when going on an overnight camping trip with the family. However, once the fire goes out, you will want a source of light.
You can simply use your phone, but that will be wasting too much precious energy that can otherwise be used for emergencies.
Try bringing both hand-held and hands-free light sources. You may choose whether these are battery-powered or rechargeable.
Bonus points if you can adjust the light source’s brightness from a lovely night light to a full glow.
7. Potty Supplies
While in nature, nature will call! Bring a healthy supply of toilet paper. Make sure to dispose of the used toilet paper and poop properly!
You can also find that there are now portable bidets in the market for that extra clean feeling. There are also portable potties for your toddlers. These are incredibly handy if you set them up outside the tents, especially at night.
8. Sanitary Supplies
Bring soap for handwashing, rubbing alcohol, pads, and tampons for your teenage daughter, and toothbrushes and toothpaste, among others.
Maintaining proper hygiene will help everyone on the trip and keep them healthy and safe from infections that may cause unnecessary discomfort.
9. F0od and Water
A healthy supply of food is necessary for camping simply because food is necessary for a living! It is wise to assign each family member a water bottle or two for their consumption. As for food, there are a lot of ready to eat food items for camping in the market:
- Dehydrated foods are good since they require little to no cooking.
- Trail mixes, nuts, and bars are also suitable for a quick pick me up to stave off any developing hunger pangs before the entire family can prepare a full meal.
- Instant noodles require only a cup or two of boiling water.
- Instant coffee and tea for those times you want to be fully awake
- S’mores ingredients for a nice dessert and campfire experience.
- Pre-cut frozen fruits for the fiber and the sweetness.
- Sandwich-making ingredients such as bread, ham, and cheese.
Additional Items to Take Camping with Kids
Now that we have the essentials to make sure your family’s camping trip is as comfortable as possible, we can try to look at other extra activities that will make the camping trip all the more memorable and exciting.
As much as possible, try to put all phones and gadgets in one place so the entire family can spend time together.
Try bringing the items below for activities that will make the camping trip more exciting and help stave off the boredom that comes with the absence of cellphones:
If you have a big enough vehicle, definitely consider bringing bikes. Camping sites also have bike roads for the entire family to bike around most of the time.
2. Scavenger Hunt Lists
Prepare a list of items that everybody in the family should start finding at the camping site to keep everybody preoccupied! You can include items in the list such as:
- Anything colorful
- A dried fruit
- Something pretty
- A pinecone
There is no limit to what you can list as long as the items are reasonable!
3. Fishing Poles and Nets
If you are camping near bodies of water, fishing as an activity can be enjoyable for everyone. Fishing nets for kids can provide hours of fun for kids.
Again, if camping near bodies of water, consider bringing swimwear. Indeed, you and your kids would want to jump on that river (if possible) when given a chance. It’s nice always to be prepared.