Camping With Kids:The Definitive Guide
As a nature lover, I’ve personally planned dozens of camping trips in the past 10+ years.
Over the years, I’ve seen it all:
- Full camping grounds
- Entire trips without a single sunny day
- Kids tired of being on the road
- Flat tires
- Improvised meals
- Missing equipment
- Last minute running around
- Struggling to find the right activities
You probably know what I’m talking about!
A recent study even showed that 89 percent of people stress over preparing and leading a family trip, which can leave you more stressed out than if you didn’t take a vacation in the first place!
Indeed, planning a camping trip with your kids can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be.
I’ve learned that being prepared and following a pre-determined plan dramatically reduces the amount of stress I have when preparing for those trips.
If you’re looking to spend a stress and worry-free camping trip with your entire family (who isn’t?), then you are at the right place.
Below, I’ve gathered free resources to show you what you need to make your trip a success.
Introducing: The Ultimate Guide for a Sweet & Stress-Free Camping Trip With Your Kids
This resource guide contains handpicked resources I personally used to prepare for my trips. I’ve read through all of them (and many more) to make sure you get the absolute best information available.
More importantly: I will be updating the links on this page as we receive more submissions in order to keep you up-to-date on the latest info!
This is what you need to help you get started:
First, you click on one of the chapters links below. You will go straight to the chapter of your choice (without opening a new webpage)!
The chapters are organised in three sections, so you can use this guide as a plan too!
Part 1: Pre-departure essentials
Chapter 1: Finding the ideal location for your camping trip.
Chapter 2: Choose the right equipment (and kids’ backpacks!) for your family without going broke.
Chapter 3: Packing
Part 2: How to spend a wonderful time on your family trip
Chapter 4: How you can survive the road trip with young kids
Chapter 5: Amazing activities for you and your family!
Chapter 6: How you can be ready for the rain
Part 3: Learning while having fun!
Chapter 7: Healthy camping meals your kids will LOVE
Chapter 8: Life skills you must teach your kids: gathering wood, how to use a compass and more!
Chapter 9: Leaving your campsite: what you shouldn’t forget.
Finding the ideal location for your camping trip
You’ve decided you will go camping during your vacations this year.
Start by finding where you will go camping first! That way, you will not stress over fully booked camping ground a few weeks before your departure.
The best time to book your campsite was yesterday; the next best time is now!
These posts will help you get started:
- You should book a few months in advance (if possible): Book your […] summer campsite now | Ontario Parks
- Canada: All the best family campgrounds in Canada | Today’s Parent
- USA: The 26 Best Places to Pitch a Tent in the U.S. | Greatist
- USA: The 5 Best Kid-Friendly Campgrounds on the East Coast | Wetpaint
- USA: The Ten Best Places to Go Camping with the Family in the United States | Hopper
- Australia: The Very Best Places to go Camping in and Around Sydney | Hello Sydney Kids
- United Kingdom: Top 10 UK sites for family camping holidays | Mum’s net
Choosing the right equipment (and kids’ backpacks!) for your family without going broke
If you don’t have your own equipment, camping can be expensive. However, you don’t have to buy the most expensive equipment (and you don’t need all the latest gadgets) to spend an amazing time. Make a list of equipment you need to pack and to buy, and follow it! The posts below will help you find the best equipment for your trip. Don’t forget that you can also rent equipment!
- Buying a Tent for Family Camping | The Family Adventure Project
- Camping Equipment Essentials for Budget-Conscious Families | Moon Travel Guides
- The Best Family Camping Gear that Will Improve Your Trip | Camping Prep
- Family Camping Check Lists | Family Camping Gear
- 5 Less Obvious Gear Necessities for a Hiking Trip | Outdoorsy Mama
- If you’re planning on hiking during your trip: The Best Backpacks for Kids | Best Hiking
Now that you have all your equipment and backpacks, you are ready to start packing. You should start packing non-perishable food and equipment a few days before your departure. As you go, check them on your list and write which bag they are in! That way, you will avoid stressing over which equipment is where and whether you already packed it. Also, don’t forget to roll, not to fold.
- Stress-Free Packing Tips For Your Next Camping Trip | KOA
- Family Camping Checklist (and a few great tips!) | Cozi
- How I Pack Food for Car Camping | The Kitchn
- Camping tips & tricks | Over The Big Moon
- If you’re planning on kayaking on your trip: Tried and True Kayak Packing Tips | Paddling
- Long checklist: Camping Checklist | Love the Outdoors
How you can survive the road trip with young kids
Excited and ready for your trip? However, don’t forget to plan for the road trip! Yes, you can make the journey as interesting as the destination, whether you’ll spend 2 hours or 2 days on the road. Here are a few survival strategies in order to arrive to your destination in one piece!
- How I Survive Cross Country Road Trips With My 6 Kids | Matador Network
- Road Trips with Small Children: 10 Tips for Survival | Kenarry
- How to Survive a Road Trip With Kids | Edmunds
- Real Mom Advice: 25+ Ways to Survive (and Enjoy) Your Next Family Road Trip | Lasso The Moon
- Case Study: How We Survived a Six Hour Road Trip With Two Kids | Mommy Shorts
Amazing activities for you and your family!
Are you wondering what you should do on your trip to keep everyone entertained? Whether you are camping close to a mountain, a river, the city, or in the middle of the forest, these posts below will help you plan amazing activities for your trip.
How you can be ready for rainy days
Rainy days do not have to be miserable if you are prepared! By bringing the right gear and by planning alternative activities, you can still spend a wonderful day. If you have doubts, consult the articles below. Don’t forget to bring extra clothes as nothing will dry in humid or rainy weather!
Healthy (and less healthy) camping meals your kids will LOVE
Planning healthy camping meals can be a walk in the park! These delicious and nutritious meals will be a favourite, even for picky eaters! To help you plan, we’ve made sure to pick meals that would be easy to prepare on your camping trip.
As a bonus, we’ve also added gluten-free and allergy-friendly recipes.
- Healthy Camping Meal Plan, Recipes, and Shopping List! | Super Healthy Kids
- Camping food recipes | Netmums
- 19 Fun Camping Meals For Kids That Will Have Them Begging For More | 50 Campfires
- 6 Campfire Recipes Kids Love to Make | Active Kids
- Easy Camping Food for Kids | Mom’s Minivan
- Weekend Camping Meal Plan & Recipes: 4-5 People for Only $50 | Little Family Adventure
- Allergen-Free Camping | Positive Kitchen
- Gluten-Free Food for a Camping Road Trip | Adina Marguerite
Life skills you must teach your kids
Most of the articles you will find below are aimed at life skills kids would learn at camp. However, there is no reason why your kids can’t learn these skills with your family!
- 7 reasons why kids should go to camp | The Taylor Statten Camps
- 8 Reasons to Go Camping With Your Kids | Natural Parents Network
- Camp Benefits: Top 5 Life Skills Kids Learn At Camp | Calgary’s Child
- 4 reasons why your kids should go to summer camp | KSL
- 5 Reasons to Go Primitive Camping With Kids | Active
Leaving your campsite: what you shouldn’t forget
Now that you are ready to leave, make sure you didn’t forget anything (An easily forgettable piece of equipment is that rope you used as a washing line) Always leave the campsite better than you found it, that way, the family that comes after you will still have a wonderful time! **Hey! You didn’t forget to pack snacks for the trip back!?**
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