What to Bring When Camping With Kids

Any parent who has traveled with children knows that packing for your family can be daunting. While you don’t want to be unprepared, no one wants to be saddled with lugging, loading and unloading, and storing a bunch of unnecessary items. If your family is heading out on a camping adventure, it’s even more important to bring the essentials and as few extras as possible.

In addition to the obvious supplies, here are some items you won’t want to leave behind next time you decide to pitch a tent with your kiddos:

  • Flashlights, especially in animal or other fun shapes
  • Kites or other flying toys
  • Skin protection: kid-friendly sunscreen, insect repellent, and anti-itch cream
  • Comfort items to make your kids feel at ease in the woods
  • Disposable camera: let your little one capture some of the memories, too!
  • Lots and lots of baby wipes: even if your kids are potty trained, wipes will constantly come in handy.
  • Plenty of extra clothes: soiled or wet clothes are very likely when living in the great outdoors! Also be certain to pack some clothing that offers extra coverage, even in the warmest weather.
  • Milk in tetra packs that may be unrefrigerated until opened
  • A backpack for each child: make your youngster feel important and lighten your load by letting your kids tote their own snacks and personal items on hikes or day trips.
  • A family-sized tent: most children will sleep more comfortably in the sometimes scary wide-open by being near a parent. Be sure that your tent allows ample space for everyone to get comfortable and move around as needed.
  • Bring a few new, inexpensive toys that can be thrown away if broken or too dirty and that won’t cause too much drama if they become lost or damaged.

Most importantly, bring along a sense of humor and a lot of flexibility. Us city folks will likely have our stumbles when getting reaquainted with nature, but you and your family can create memories that will last a lifetime.


Katy Osborne Chiu