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Camping with Kids: The Ultimate Camping Checklist for Families

The weather is getting warmer, which means it’s time for planning family vacations! If you’re like most people, you’ll probably be spending at least one of your vacations camping. Camping can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work, especially with kids. It’s important to make sure you pack the right items so that your trip is as enjoyable as possible. Here are ten things to take with you on your next camping trip with kids!

Camping with Kids

Why camping makes the best family vacations

When most people think of family vacations, the first thing that comes to mind is usually a tropical beach resort. While those vacations can be a lot of fun, they can also be expensive and sometimes overwhelming. A better option for a family vacation might be camping. Camping can be just as much fun as any other type of vacation, but it’s a lot less expensive and it’s a great way to get back to nature.

Why camping makes the best family vacations:

1) It’s affordable – Camping is one of the most affordable types of vacations you can take with your family. Lodging, food and entertainment are all very reasonable when you camp compared to other types of vacations.

2) It’s relaxing – Camping is a great way to relax and get away from it all. There’s nothing like sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories!

3) It’s fun – Even though camping might seem like hard work, it can also be a lot of fun. You can go hiking, swimming or fishing during the day and then sit around the campfire at night. There are lots of fun activities to enjoy while camping.

What to take on a camping trip with kids

Once you’ve decided that camping is the best type of vacation for you, it’s time to start planning! If this is your first family camping trip, or if it has been a while since you went camping, you probably need to make a list of what to bring with you. How can you decide what to take? Here are ten things that are worth taking on your next camping trip with kids!

10 things you need for camping with kids:

1) Food – You’ll obviously want food for yourself and the rest of the family. Make sure you have enough for everyone to eat, including snacks. Do your research about where you can find food nearby so that you don’t have to pack too much with you.

2) Clothing – You’ll need clothing for all types of weather conditions, especially if it rains. Make sure you dress in layers and bring extra socks.

3) Shelter – Don’t forget about shelter! That means either a camper/RV or a tent. Make sure you have tents, tarps, ropes and stakes for your trip. You may also want to bring a tarp or two if it rains during your camping trip.

4) First aid – Bring along first aid kits for everyone in the family. Taking a first aid course or knowing basic first aid before your trip is a good idea so that you know how to use everything in the kit.

5) Toys/Entertainment – Bring toys for both kids and adults on your camping trip. Even if it’s just for one night, there are sure to be some bored campers around! Plus, these toys can help keep everyone entertained when you need a break from the fun activities. Bring books, puzzles, cards and your favorite board games to keep everyone busy during down time. There are sure to be some long nights once the campfire dies out.

6) Firewood – If you’re going camping in an area that allows campfires, make sure you bring plenty of firewood with you. Make sure the area is allowed for bonfires and check if there’s a designated place where you can buy wood. Keep in mind that wood is not only great for keeping warm during the night, but it also provides a great way to cook food outdoors!

7) Lighters/matches – You’ll need these to get the firewood burning! Lighters and matches are two of the most basic things to take camping, but it can be very helpful in starting a campfire. Be sure not to forget them in the hustle and bustle of packing up your car for your trip.

8) Flashlight/headlamps – Headlamps are great because you can wear them while still having both hands, but they might not be appropriate for very young children. Flashlights or lanterns on the other hand are a good option for younger kids. If you’re camping somewhere with no light pollution, there’s a good chance that the sky will be filled with stars and a flashlight or lantern will be the only way to see.

9) Water – It’s important to drink enough water while camping. Make sure you have plenty of water to drink, and don’t forget to take water with you when you go out exploring the area. You can find water easily in nature, but it’s nice to be able to bring some with you just in case.

10) Soap/shampoo – A good soap will make you feel refreshed after a long day in nature. Make sure to take some with you in case there are no showers available or if you simply prefer to shower with soap and shampoo.

What not to take camping:

1) Too much food – While it’s important to make sure you have enough food for everyone, it’s also important not to take too much. If you plan on buying more food when you get to your destination, taking a huge cooler of food isn’t necessary. Also, if you bring too much food and don’t use it all during your trip, you’ll have an extra load to take home with you after your vacation.

2) Too much clothing – It’s important to be prepared for any kind of weather conditions that could happen, but that doesn’t mean you should pack up all 6 of your sleeping bags, sweaters and jackets. Pick a few items that are appropriate for the conditions of the area you’re camping in – this way, if it rains or snows, you’ll be prepared.

3) Too many extra items – Pack only the essentials when going camping to ensure that you have enough space in your car for everything else. If you’re going somewhere that doesn’t allow fires, or if you’ll be spending a lot of time indoors, it’s unnecessary to pack a bunch of firewood and matches if you can’t use them.


With the right items, your family camping trip can be a great way to spend quality time together. From games and puzzles for entertainment purposes to food and water for sustenance, there are many things that you need when going on an outdoor adventure with kids. Be sure not to forget anything important! If you have any other questions about what to pack while camping or how best to plan your next vacation in the outdoors, let us know – we’re happy to help!