camping tips
Camping tips

Camping with kids: All the tips you need to know

Camping tips for parents

Camping with kids is a magical experience for both the parents and the little ones. But, it can easily become a stressful experience if you do not go properly prepared to tent with your energetic toddlers.

Fear not! I have gathered all the magic tricks from professional campers for you, aka tips and tricks from the parents who turned their naughty kiddos into successful little campers.

Tips for camping with kids
Tips for camping with kids

Disclosure: This post may have affiliate link(s). They do not cost anything extra to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Basic tips for camping with kids

  • Always carry extra clothes for the kids. You do not know when they would them wet or get them messy. Especially useful if the child is newly potty-trained.
  • Carry more diapers than you think are needed if the child is till in diapers.
  • Carry airtight covers or ziplock bags to stash soiled diapers and clothes. This is to avoid the attention of any wild animals around.
  • Food and toothpaste should be packed in airtight containers or bear-resistant lockers. These smells tend to attract bears.
  • Prepare food away from the tent so that the odor does not linger in the sleeping area. This is again to avoid animals’ attention.
  • In the same way, do not eat where you sleep. Clear away all the crumbs that might have landed on the ground.
  • Pack a cheap clothesline or rope to tie between two trees any dry any clothes the kids spilled liquids on, and of course for washed clothes.
  • Carry rain gear. Dress the kids in layers.
  • Book campgrounds in advance and look for campgrounds with flush toilets for easier cleaning.
  • is the website to book many campsites in the United States. Each state may have its own reservation system like California has ReserveCalifornia.
  • If you plan to stargaze on your trip, look for campground dates around new moon. A full moon or days closer to full moon are too bright, so you may not see many stars.
  • Check weather in advance and pack your clothing accordingly.

Also read: Top beautiful FREE campsites in the United States

Addie from Traveling Mrs. says:

Camping with kids may not be as easy as camping solo or with adult friends, but it can be just as fun! What’s helped us when camping with our little one is having a good hiking pack.

Little kids get tired of walking, and when they do it’s nice to be able to keep on adventuring (plus the pack is a good place for them to nap without having to go back to the tent).

camping tips with kids
Photo by Addie

Bringing lots of layers is also key. The temperature varies so much when camping depending on the time of day and where you are, you want to be able to add or remove a layer quickly.

In addition to layers, bring some extra outfits too. You never know if your little one will roll around in wet mud, jump through a body of water or otherwise ruin their clothes.

Going along with this, make sure to bring plenty of wipes. Kids get DIRTY, and these will be your BEST friend.

For sleeping, make sure to bring a foam mat or other padded sleeping surface. Kids do not like to sleep on twigs, and if your kid isn’t sleeping, neither are you.

Oh, and if your child is still in diapers, don’t forget ziplock bags! Those things will stink up your tent very quickly and possibly attract unwanted animal visitors.

Follow Addie on her blog Traveling Mrs. and Instagram.

Try this premium baby backpack carrier for hiking with kids available on Amazon.

Emily from Henry and Andrew’s Guide says:

We went camping with our 6-month-old and looking back, we are so glad we did when he was that young! As many parents know, traveling with a little baby that can’t walk yet is so much easier than traveling with a toddler. Same goes for camping.

The main challenge we had camping with a 6-month-old was the sand and dirt. He was still in the sand-eating stage and wasn’t too sturdy when sitting down, so we had to be creative when we wanted to place him somewhere without him hitting his head on the ground hard or eating sand.

camping tips with kids
Photo by Emily

To remedy this, we had a thick play mat, surrounded by a play gate so he had a soft place to hang out and kept most of the sand away.

Also, we had his car seat, which doubled as a lounge chair. Another key item we loved having on the beach when we wanted him a little higher up than the car seat was our Rock n Play. He was used to napping in it, and we were able to give him a nice cozy nap on the beach!

Besides this he didn’t know any better that he wasn’t in the house he was used to. He slept the same as he always does (which wasn’t great at the time). We highly recommend new parents to just go for it!

Follow Emily on her blog Henry and Andrew’s Guide and Instagram.

Try these extra thick 9-piece cushiony foam mats in vibrant colors available on Amazon.

Check out this colorful lightweight playard available on Amazon.

Also read: Camping gear you need for camping with kids

Aditi from Travelogue Connect says:

Travel short distances and take regular breaks about every 2 hours on our car journey. It helps us unwind too and start afresh with the rest of the journey.

Aim at setting up big tents. Small tents cramp up space and we all know that traveling with kids means carrying extra luggage. So, big tents accommodate their toys, pillows etc. easily. We should be able to entertain them and let them feel unrestricted to move about. A big tent also means things will be more organized and clean.

Don’t over pack your stuff. Since you cannot miss carrying the kids’ items, it is always good to pack only the necessary items for yourself. After all, you are going for camping, you don’t need the fancy stuff, right?

camping tips with kids
Camping tips with kids

Pack for all kinds of weather. Don’t forget to carry rain gear/sunscreen/jacket/blanket etc., so that you and your family does not end up shivering at night!

Also, carry torch lights or other glowing devices for the dark nights.

Don’t be overambitious or overly enthusiastic for Day 1. Give time for your kids to get adjusted to the new environment.

Carry the things which keep your kids entertained at home. You should try to make your kid feel at home as much as possible during camping.

Follow Aditi on her blog Travelogue Connect and her Instagram.

Try this cool 8-Person Family Tent available on Amazon.

Do buy these portable LED Lantern Tent Light Bulbs on Amazon.

Natalie from The Educational Tourist says:

Camping is a wonderful way to get the whole family away from electronic devices and enjoying time together in a relaxed way in the great outdoors.

When the kids are little, everything is new and they are so curious. Take a walk and see what catches their eye. We loved finding pine-cones and rocks and twigs of all sorts. The kids often had pockets full of their favorites. Once, my daughter collected a family of sticks – the largest was the dad and then there were smaller ones for the babies.

camping tips with kids
Photo by Natalie

One of my favorite simple activities with the kids is to literally let them play in the dirt! Together we collect some rocks and twigs from a nature walk. Then, I add a plastic kitchen spoon or spatula and sit the little ones down. We talk and let imaginations go wild.

It is always fun to see what they create out of the simple objects they find. Digging the dirt is a great way to have fun outdoors!

Besides creating wonderful memories and just having fun you are building skills that will serve them academically later such as: story telling skills, thinking outside the box problem solving skills.

Don’t forget that many doctors say the bacteria you encounter while outside in nature is really good for you!

Follow Natalie on her blog The Educational Tourist and Twitter.

Also read: Top tips for traveling with kids from travel pros

Somnath from Travel Crusade says:

Camping has been my special area of interest when I travel and I normally carry my own tent bags and gears. If you are travelling with kids, it would be wise to book a tent which has all the facilities that you would find in a hotel. This is called glamping.

You should take care of your belongings when you are leaving the tent for outdoors. It would be good to carry your own lock and key for security purposes.

camping tips with kids
Photo by Somnath

There is no need to carry extra beds and clothes if you are travelling in winter as the glamping tents have everything you need. If the camping event is planned during summer, then there should be no worries at all. Your family and kids would enjoy the trip planned and they would treasure the memories.

It is good to carry a DSLR camera to take great photos for memory and put them inside in holders that are used to store electronics cases and accessories.

You should carry other items like torch lightstorch lights, lighters, mobile accessories and other requirements that you feel are important.

I would advice you to sit together with your family to plan the perfect gateway for camping and create unforgettable memories.

Follow Somnath on his blog Travel Crusade and Facebook.

Get this Ultra Bright Handheld LED water resistant Flashlight on Amazon.

Now that you know all the necessary tips for successful camping with kids, Ciao at the camping grounds folks!!

Also read: Fun games to pass time without your phone

Camping with kids is fun only if you know how to handle tent-living with high energy toddlers always on the run. Read on to learn the magic to enjoy camping with kids from the pros themselves.
Share the love! Pin it.
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.

22 Comments Posted

  1. this is such great advice – normally I would have said I would be scared to death to bring my niece & nephew camping but this is so helpful I would def take the plunge!

  2. I’ve never been camping. I’m too much of wimp to spend a night outside, but these tips seem to make things easy. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I don’t have any children but I do have a lot of nieces and nephews. 26 to be exact. These tips will come in handy when we go camping!!

  4. Our kids are all grown up now, but we have always camped with them. We camp out in the woods, where there aren’t other people and no facilities. It’s the best way to escape. These are some really great tips.

  5. These are some great tips! Like mentioned above, we started camping with our son very young (less than a year). I think the earlier you start, the less daunting it seems and then you’re more likely to go back out again 🙂

  6. Great tips! We waited until our kids were school age before we started camping, but I am so impressed with all the people I see camping with babies and toddlers.

  7. Great post! I’m keeping this handy for the next time we go camping with the kids. The last time we went was probably 4 years ago when my daughter was under 1 year old. That was tough!

  8. I am seriously impressed with anyone who camps with kids, especially super small ones! I can barely get myself and mu hubby together for camping, adding children to the mix certainly adds more stuff! These are great tips that make a lot of sense!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.