If this is the first time you are getting ready to go on a camping trip with your kids, you will need a bit more preparation than if you were planning a trip only with your friends. Your kids will surely enjoy spending some time out in nature, but if you forget to pack some essential items, a few things could go wrong.
Of course, you will need to pack your tent, sleeping bags, clothing, toiletries, food, and kitchen equipment, but don’t forget these camping essentials with kids, so your outdoor adventure will be more safe and fun for the whole family.
1. Diapers and baby wipes
If you have a kid who is still wearing diapers, don’t forget to pack enough of those for your camping trip. It’s best to pack a few extras than to have to get back to town to buy diapers.
You should also pack baby wipes. Even if your kids don’t need diapers anymore, baby wipes are perfect for washing their hands or their faces after a meal.
2. A first aid kit
You should never go camping without a first aid kit, but this is even more important when you are camping with your kids as our little ones can easily scrape their knees.
Make sure your first aid kit has a lot of bandaids, antiseptic towelettes, cleaning wipes, sterile gauze pads, aspirin tablets, and everything else you might need to treat minor wounds and aches.
3. Insect repellent
Bugs are annoying, but some of them, like ticks, can also be very dangerous. Insect repellent is a camping essential, and if you don’t want to use a toxic product, you can make your own with lavender oil and olive oil. There are many homemade insect repellent recipes online.
Citronella candles are also useful to keep around your campsite, and you should equip everyone with bug repellent bracelets.
4. A hand and foot washing station
Most kids love getting dirty, and camping is the right setting for that. However, you’ll have to be careful if you don’t want all that dirt to enter your tent. Setting a hand and foot washing station outside your tent is a simple solution.
It can be as simple as a bucket of soapy water with a towel, or a jug of water with a spout installed next to a roll of paper towel.
5. A shoe basket
Placing a shoe basket outside the entrance of your tent serves a double purpose. It will prevent everyone from tracking dirt inside the tent.
If everyone leaves their shoes in the shoe basket before entering the tent, they will have no trouble finding them when they get out, especially if they need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
6. Extra clothes
Make sure you pack some extra clothes for your kids in case they get dirty or wet, and need to change.
You should also bring jackets, gloves, hats and warm socks for everyone, just in case it gets cold during the night. Nothing is worse than shivering all night long because you didn’t bring enough warm clothes.
7. A few toys
You will expect your kids to play outside and to explore the campground, but bringing a few toys for them to play with is a good idea. You could bring a ball, a frisbee, bubbles, or binoculars so they watch birds.
A deck of cards, a colouring book and crayons, or a board game will keep everyone busy through a rainy day.
8. Lanterns and flashlights
There is no need to buy an expensive camping lantern. Just make sure you bring enough lanterns and flashlights for everyone in the family.
Headlamps can be a good option, as they are easy to put on when you need them, and to remove when they are not needed anymore. Many kids enjoy wearing headlamps, as it can make them feel like they are explorers on a mission.
9. Favourite pillows or blankets
Are your kids unable to go to sleep without their favourite pillows, blankets or plush toys? Make sure you bring these items along for your camping trip.
Sleeping in a new environment can be difficult for many kids, so everything should be easier when bedtime comes if they can have their favourite comfort items with them.
10. Pool noodles
Finally, you should make sure to pack at least a few pool noodles. These toys are appreciated when kids have an opportunity to go for a swim, but they can have other purposes.
For example, you can cut sections of pool noodles, and use them to cover up your tent pole lines. This will make the lines more visible, and prevent kids from tripping over them if they are walking or playing around the tent.