This may come as a surprise to you, but California camping reservations account for nearly 19% of the total camping reservations on U.S. public lands.
And in the last decade alone, over 6 million households have taken up camping, many of which bring their kids along.
In fact, camping with kids has become more and more popular since the pandemic hit.
If you are one of those families who have taken up camping recently then this article is for you.
Grab a coffee and get ready to discover 7 tips for camping with kids!
1. Pick a family friendly campsite
This one may seem like a no brainer right? Wrong, many people don't actually take this point into consideration.
Not all campsites are family friendly.
What makes a family friendly campsite?
- Level, dry, solid ground
- Near water, but not too close
- Far from hazards
Perhaps the most important point on this list is a campsite located far away from any hazards, such as a cliff for example. Especially at night time, these hazards may remain unseen, this could potentially harm young unsupervised children.
2. Arrive during the day
In our homes, we don't often concern ourselves too often when arriving at night. Why? For the simple reason that we have light on demand.
All you have to do is flick a switch and voilà, you have light.
However, when camping you are often subjected to one or two artificial often weak light sources.
This wouldn't be such an issue if all you had to do was sit on a couple of chairs when arriving at your campsite. But keep in mind, this is unlikely to be your plan. Instead, you will likely need to set up your tents, this is hard enough on your own, but with kids in the dark, this could be a nightmare.
There are so many thin ropes and poles that you need to connect, this will be very hard to do at night with limited light.
Arrive at your campsite with daylight to spare.
3. Don't forget the sunscreen
This is especially important if you aim to camp during summer. Make sure you do your research on the UV index. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has you covered.
Make sure you protect your skin from the sun by lathering on some sunscreen. Kids are especially vulnerable while camping.
There is nothing worse than sunburnt children on a camping trip.
4. Plan more and pack less
Too much luggage when camping with kids can really become a burden. All this luggage once packed out, will once more need to be packed back in.
The great thing about camping is that you can do so while channeling your inner minimalist.
Pack less, plan more, remember that the next time you are brainstorming your next camping trip.
5. Always bring the essentials
The essentials vary from person to person. But I think we can agree on one item that really takes the cake in terms of necessity.
A solar generator. No, we are just kidding. We mean your phone. What will you do in case of an emergency without your phone? Thing is, what if your phone has no more battery?
Well, this is where a solar generator would come in handy. In essence you would have an unlimited supply of electricity, assuming that you are camping during the summer.
Now, we are not saying that electricity is the best thing to bring with on a camping trip with kids, as we believe you should detach from technology when out in nature, but in case of an emergency you will need electricity.
6. Bring easy, healthy snacks
Nutrition for boys ages 5 - 8
|Calories||1,200-2,000, depending on growth and activity level|
Nutrition for girls ages 5 - 8
|Calories||1,200-1,800, depending on growth and activity level|
Data pulled from Mayo Clinic.
Make sure that your children are getting adequate nutrition during their camping trips. You can use the tables above to assist you with this.
You can also bring a portable fridge with you on your camping trip should you choose to bring a solar generator. This way you can bring along all those pre-made snacks you've been thinking to try out.
7. Bring a telescope
Now I know this may not be possible for everyone, but keep in mind we are not referring to one of those large telescopes at NASA. Instead we mean one of those "toy" telescopes you can buy it most dad thrift shops.
There is few things more fun for children on a camping trip than staring at the night sky. This also gives you the opportunity to teach your kids about our solar system and where they can spot interesting planets such a Mars in our night sky.
We recommend showing your kids the North Star, Venus and Orion's Belt.
Overall, we hope you enjoyed our 7 tips for camping with kids. You can be sure to check in with this post in the near future as we plan to update this list as we move through the new year.
If you have any tips you'd like us to add on our list, feel free to reach out to us and we can look into adding them.