Camping with family is different to going solo or on an adults-only trip. If you’ve ever wondered how to camp with kids, keep reading. These are the best tips for choosing the right campsite and enjoying your trip.
Look for amenities and features of the site
The first step for camping with children is to find a suitable campsite. What your family is into will also determine the site that’s most suitable. If you want to teach the kids how to row or fish, a site near a lake is an obvious choice. If they like hiking, a site with beautiful places to explore is perfect. There are sites with more amenities, which will be appreciated if you have toddlers. Think playgrounds, showers, eating facilities and more. A more rugged backcountry site would be appropriate if your kids are older. National parks are usually a well-trodden option for camping, but be sure to plan and book these sites in advance.
Packing and preparation
To keep things organized, a packing list is one of the top tips for camping with kids. Creating a packing list for your family camping trip starts with the essentials. A tent, sleeping bags and/or pillows for comfort. Toiletries such as toothbrushes, soap, and towels to dry off with are also basics. Flashlights, lanterns, and other forms of lighting are a must as well. Food is a large part of being prepared. You’ll appreciate the forward thinking when it’s nighttime, the nearest store is 30 miles away and your kids are hungry. The Huffington Post recommends packing a cooler for the perishable food items on your list. Food storage containers should be secure enough to protect it from insects and hungry animals.
Also, don’t forget utensils to eat with, reusable ones are much better for the environment. Cooking supplies, including a Dutch oven and saucepan or griddle, are multipurpose must-haves. Even if you plan to cook over wood, some fuel will be needed to get things started.
Having an unforgettable camping trip with the kids
Once you are at the campsite, don’t forget basic safety. It helps to have a family meeting at the start of the trip to make sure children know how to camp safely. Dangers such as campfires, animal attacks, wildfires, and medical situations can all be planned for. On that note, don’t forget to pack your first aid kit. Keep busy. That’s the first rule of enjoying a trip. While it’s fun to just sit in silence or wander in nature, kids can quickly turn restless. A regular schedule can help, as can limiting screen time on their devices.
Lastly, make sure any kids on the trip understand campsite etiquette. Respect others by limiting loud noises and music that may disturb camp neighbors, and no snooping in others’ private spaces. At the end of the trip, respect the site and leave no trace that you were there. Take your trash with you and dispose of it offsite.