15 Tips To Camping With Young Kids Plus A Free Printable Checklist

It’s coming up to camping season here where we live and we have our first camping trip already planned. It’s been a couple and a couple kids since we have gone a camping trip but that doesn’t mean I won’t be prepared. If this is your first time camping with kids or if you need a refresher then you are in the right place. My goal as a parent it to keep all activities fun, smooth flowing and not drain my sanity.

So to help all that happen I like to be prepared and make sure o got all my bases covered. Below you will find my 15 tips to help you be prepared to camp with your kids so you can launch more and stress less. So let’s get to that list!

Practice at home

Who doesn’t love to go camping in thier back yard or their living room! If your worried about how well your kiddos will adapt to camping. Then have some trial runs to see how they will do and to help them adjust.

Pick a site near a bathroom

This is a big one if your going to a campsite! all the littles will all have to go at some point when your in the middle of doing something. You can either take an hour break to take them or take a 20 minute break. It really depends on how far you have to walk. Imagine a late night potty break at 3 in in the pitch black!! Yeah thank me later!

Pack lots of snacks

When kids are in a new environment they might get anxious or feel extra jittery. Having lots of snacks on hands help keep them balances and full. Not so full to soil their main meals. But enough to where you can easily give them a quick snack to calm them and stop the “is dinner done yet” scenario. When we camp sometimes meals run later based off the activities we are doing and no one wants a cranky hungry toddler yelling at them.

Plan a kid friendly menu

You don’t need to go all extravagant when cooking at your campsite. I mean go all out if you want to. But we find it that our kids love to help make things and be part of the team. So meals they can help with and enjoy are the best ones to do. If your not into hamburgers and hotdogs… then just make your favorites ahead of time but camp fire prep them. You can cook anything on a grill or campfire you would on a stove or In your oven. You just have to prep for it and accept that it will have a more smokier taste to it.

Bring kids size seating

Kids want to feel included. They want their own space and they want to be comfortable. So make sure you bring seating that they can easily get in and out of. And easy for them to move around if they would like too. We like those fold up camp chairs that have straps to carry on your back for convenience. We love using them for the beach too!

Pack bug spray and sun block

Almost anywhere you go to camp there will be bugs. And bugs that bite. Unless it’s winter. So I highly recommend packing some bug spray. Even some citronella candles and those mosquito repellent brackets for your kids and your self. Same for sun block. If your site doesn’t have much shade. You’ll be spending a good deal of time out in the sun. So it’s better to be prepared than to not be. Especially with kids.

Bring their own flashlights/lanterns

Like I mentioned above. Kids love to be involved and feel part of the camping crew. So having flashlights just for them will help do just that. And also to help hem feel more comfortable. Plus it’s really fun to control yo ur bone light when your outside in the dark.

Bring extra baby wipes

Kids are messy! And super super messy when camping. So pack your normal amount of wipes and then add some extra. Your probably going to need them. But if you don’t. You’ll still be glad your brought them!

Bring toys/activities

Littles tend to get bored much more quickly than we do. And hanging outside doing camping things might not be as fun to them at all times. So make sure to bring along kid fun activities. Whether that’s scavenger hunts or toys from home. They will need them and so will your sanity!

Bring warm clothes

Ever gone somewhere where the weather was nice during the day and then temperatures dropped at night. Yeah that’s a common thing with camping. So I suggest packing at least one warm sweater or two for those moments. You don’t want to try to have a good time while freezing. And neither do your kids.

Bring an outside shoe mat

Do you like a dirty tent? Do you like to clean out a dirty tent? Me either. So bring a mat to set outside your tent to capture al the shoes and stop dirt from being carried inside. I mean this is where your sleeping after all. And you don’t want to accidentally roll off your air mattress or out of your sleeping bag and leans onto a dirty floor. So just bring one.. trust me!

Bring a first aid kit

Something is bound to happen to someone. At some point or another. So it’s best to be as prepared as you can. Having a basic first aid kit can help you be prepared fir all the things. Bandaids, anti itch creams… bros porn. Your name it. The main things you might need can be found in your basic first aid kit.

Pack frozen water bottles In your cooler

How many times have you got bags of ice and filled a cooler only to have to get more ice again the next day. If you freeze water bottles before you go and use them to keep your drinks cold. Then you have the best chance of enjoying a cold drink a couple days after you initially get ice. Not only will it stay frozen longer and keep everything in your cooler colder longer. FYI it’s true! Once it fully thaws out. You’ll have yourself a nice ice cold drink to enjoy without sacrificing space for ice to just keep things cold.

Bring a playpen

If you have littles younger than 1.5 years old. Then you might want to bring a playpen to set them in just so you can get things done. They will be all over the place and wandering off any chance they get. So having a second to do something without worrying if they’ve ran off again will help you mentally!

Expect nothing to go as planned

Your going to have fun things planned that might no how you think they will. So it’s best to just accept that from the beginning and learn to act on the moment and go with the flow. As they get older things will be easier. But it will take them learning things and you finding out what they like to do while camping. So just enjoy it all and embrace the memories.

I hope this list helped you better prep yourself and your family for your next camping trip. It’s going to be lots of fun and I hope it becomes a fun family tradition your family gets to enjoy often. If your a list maker like I am and would love to have a printable list to keep track of everything you need. Then your in luck I made a blank printable just for you. I thought about adding items to the list but I wanted it to be universal for all families to use.

To snag my free printable then just scroll down and enter your email. You will be joining my tribe and I promise to not spam you. You will then receive a welcome email from me with the link and password. I have a ton of freebies inside my vault so be sure to check around and see what else you might like.

Until next time, live a life you love.

Xo Jessica!

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