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Essential camping gear when you camp with kids

Camping essentials you should have for every camping trip with kids

Camping is a magical experience especially when you do it with your little ones. But it can easily become a stressful time if you do not have the right gear with you.

Don’t worry, I have you covered there by rounding up all the camping essentials you would need for a great camping trip with kids!

You can also check out my post about Top tips for camping with kids gathered from cool family travel pros.

Also read: Must know camping tips from experienced travelers

Tips for camping with kids
Tips for camping with kids

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So, here is the list of all the things you need for camping successfully including the things you need for your kids on the trip.

1. First Aid Kit

For any trip, with kids or not, you must have a first aid kit with you.

Check out this small Travel First Aid Kit on Amazon, it is super useful on any trip.

2. Headlamp

Cave hikes, adventurous night time hikes, and camping. Every occasion needs a good headlamp for safety.   Check out this Energizer LED Headlamp for this use.

3. Flashlight

Camping or glamping, you are effectively surrounded by the woods. So, having at least one flashlight per camper is important. Also, carry extra sets of batteries. That’s very important.

Try this amazing Outlite Ultra Bright LED Flashlight on Amazon. It is water resistant and has adjustable focus.

May be get some Glowsticks for the kids to have a blast at night by hanging them around the tent!

4. Tent Light Bulb

A useful invention for camping indeed, this bulb lights up your tent very well. Check out this LED Lantern Tent Light Bulb that works on AAA batteries. Carry extra batteries for this bulb too.

5. Lighter

Do not rely on match boxes to light your campfires. Even in damp conditions, this Multi-purpose Lighter works well.

6. Tent and Tent Footprint

Of course, the most basic requirement for camping is a tent. If you travel with kids, a family tent is a must. Remember to go to the next size than your family size.

Suppose, you are 4 people, then opt for a 6-person tent. This will leave you room to accommodate all your camping gear along with the beds and camping chairs.

Check out these AmazonBasics 8-Person Family Tent and Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent tents.

A good tent footprint to cover the ground inside the tent. Check out this Canvas Camping Tarp with Drawstring Carrying Bag for Outdoor Hiking.

7. Tools

To pitch a tent, you need your tools. A lot of other things on camping need your tool kit too. Pick a good set. Check out these products on Amazon.

Stansport Emergency Camper’s Multi-Tool has many tools.

Folding Shovel is using for a lot of camping activities.

Outdoor Emergency Gear Kit is quite useful.

One very important item when  you go into woods and stay even for a night is a good Mosquito and Fly killer/Bug zapper. This Zap It! Bug Zapper is very effective.

Or even try a mini version of the Bug Zapper – Rechargeable Mosquito, Fly Killer.

8. Sleeping bags

You should carry sleeping bags to sleep comfortably even on the ground. You should also consider getting an good air mattress for your camping trip. These are quite comfortable during the night.

Check out these cool items. Carrying the right sleeping bag for the weather you will be in, is important too. Cold weather or warm weather, please check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.

Mummy envelope type Sleeping Bag. This is lightweight.

Sleeping Bag By Abco Tech

Coleman Brazos Cold Weather Sleeping Bag

Children’s Junior Sleeping Bags that withstands Extreme Temp. of 32-60°F – Includes Backpack for Storage & Carrying

9. Air Bed and Air Pump

For kids, it is better to be prepared with comfortable sleeping gear. After all, only when the little ones are comfortably tucked in, adults can relax and enjoy the night rest.

Carry a couple of airbeds and an electric pump that uses batteries, so that you can quickly pump the beds and set them up for the night.  Check out this Intex Airbed with Internal Electric Pump.

Keep an Electric Air Pump handy. 

10. Blanket

This pocket blanket is a superb multi-purpose blanket that fits in your palm, how cool is that!

Pocket Blanket

11. Water Filter

When you are camping, you automatically become a minimalist. So, carrying too many bottles of water is not possible. And you will have to source your water from nearby streams and ponds in the forest.

This is when having a filter will help you a lot. Especially when you need drinking water for kids. Check out the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for Hiking, Backpacking, and Travel, Blue.

Try this water filter!

12. Pots and pans, holders – Essentials for outdoor cooking

If you are not a fix a peanut butter/jelly sandwich and be done with it type of parent, you would need some solid gear to cook while you camp. Ideally everything should be lightweight and serve multiple purposes. Check out this cool stuff available on Amazon.

Wood Burning Camping Stove Lightweight

Camping Cookware Stove This set has all you will need.

Backpacking Cookware Kit with Camping Stove – Budget option

Kitchen Utensil Organizer Travel Set includes Cutting Board, Rice Paddle, Tongs, Scissors and Knife : All you need to cook outdoor!

13. Playpen for the infant/toddler

To keep the toddlers and infants safe when you tend to camping duties, you need a solid playpen. Check these two cool items.

Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard

North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Playard

14. Soft cushions for the baby and games

Of course, the little ones need extra padding to protect their soft bottoms from the hard ground. You would need foam mats.

Extra-Thick Cushiony Foam Floor Puzzle Mat

For younger ones, you should get this Magnetic Drawing Board or this Joyin Toy 2 Magnetic Drawing Board. You will definitely keep your little ones busy for a while! 😉

If you have older kids in your group, you should definitely get this Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game.

Also read: Fun games to pass time without your phone

15. Child carrier

When you go exploring, you would love to wear your child in this hiking backpack. Convenient for you and the baby. Check out these good child carrier backpacks.

Hiking Child Carrier Backpack + Travel Duffle Bag + Sun Shade & Rain Guard or

Deuter Kid Comfort 2 Framed Child Carrier

Baby Back Pack Cross Country Carrier Stand

16. Backpacks

You need a strong and sturdy backpack to hold all your camping gear together. Check out these backpacks.

Deuter Kikki Kid’s Backpack for kids.

G4Free Travel Backpack/foldable & Packable Hiking Daypack for us.

17. Hammock

To relax on your camping trip, you would need a hammock. Of course, only if you have the space for it 😉

This Double Parachute Camping Hammock can handle up to 1000 pounds!

18. Power bank

You go camping to go off the grid, but sometimes we need our devices. Having charge in them for emergencies is very useful and to do that you need a power bank.

Try this Power Bank for iPhone 6, iPad, Android, Cell Phone, Tablet.

19. Camping chairs

To sit back and relax (when the kids allow it) 😉 you need good camping chairs.

Check out these Sportneer Lightweight Folding Camping Chairs.

20. Cooler

Definitely needed even if you are not carrying perishable food. A cooler can be useful for other items too. Cool drinking water and other things. Try this Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler.

21. Compass

If you plan to venture far into the woods, it is good to get your bearings using a compass.
This Camping Survival Compass glows in darkness.

22. Insect Repellent and Bear Spray

This might help if you are in very dense forests if you are not already wearing full-sleeved shirts and full pants. This one has good rating Max Insect Repellent Spray.


In camping areas known to have bears around, it pays to be very careful as bears are attracted to food smells. Carry airtight containers to store food and airtight bags to stash away the leftovers.

The food odor should never escape. Also, try to wash your utensils clean immediately after cooking. In any case, having a bear spray can prove invaluable. Try this Frontiersman Bear Spray – max Range 30 Feet.

Get this Stop Itch Jewelweed Lotion itch stopper. It helps when you mistakenly touch Poison Ivy too.

Also carry trash bags, a cheap clothesline,  reusable water bottles, umbrellas and rain wear.

Also read: Tips for successful camping with kids from travel pros

23. Shower Wipes

Some campgrounds may not have a shower option. If you are planning to camp for more than a day, it is a great idea to carry some Shower Wipes, keeps you clean and free to enjoy the trip! These wipes are easy to store in your luggage as they don’t take up much space.

24. Fan

Summer camping means mosquitoes, bugs and HEAT! A good fan is a must to have the most fun on your camping trip. Check out this camping fan, it has a light too.

25. Motion sickness remedies

It is a good idea to keep motion-sickness remedies handy. These are good.
Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals.

Sea-Band Child Wristband for Drug Free Travel Sickness Relief.

26. Dry Bag

Keep your phone and other items dry when you camp near water or in the rain. Keep a good Dry Bag on hand for this purpose.

Also read: Must know camping tips from experienced travelers

Camping gear you carry on your camping trip make or break your experience. Carry the right essentials and you are guaranteed a superb trip. Here is the list of all you need for camping with kids!
Pin it for later!

Also read: Five tips first-time campers

About Priyadarshini Rajendran 210 Articles
Priyadarshini Rajendran is a travel enthusiast, avid reader and a passionate writer. She has a few of her books published and is writing more books. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a software consultant taking breaks for her travels. Her blog is her passion and she writes about travel, books and food on the blog. She offers customized itineraries for South Indian destinations.

12 Comments Posted

  1. Awesome post! It’s good to know what I’ll need while camping. Don’t want to get out there and not have the necessities. Thanks for writing this!

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