Camping with Kids

We love camping. It is a great way to spend some quality time together as a family with no distractions from the TV, the computer, and the phone. Every time we go I come home feeling rested, relaxed, and like I got to spend some great time with my kids and husband.
But camping with kids often makes many people nervous. It is possible to take kids camping and have a great time. Little Miss was only 4 months old when she went on her first camping trip.

Camping with Kids

By following some simple tips, you can make sure that camping with the kids goes smoothly and ensure it is something you will all want to do again.

Camping With Kids

1. Pick your ideal spot.

We found a small campsite near us that we fell in love with. It is right on the water and the individual sites are roomy so even when it is crowded you don’t feel like you are on top of each other.

When picking your ideal site look for tree cover. If it ends up getting warm you will welcome the shade from the trees. There are also sites that offer running water, full service showers, toilets, and even electricity. Some camp grounds are primitive. This means that other than a communal bathroom there is nothing else offered. Decide your comfort level and go from there.

Camping with kids

This is our favorite campsite.

2. Pick the perfect tent.

If you are going to camp in cold weather often a smaller tent that holds in body heat will serve you better. But if you are looking to camp in warmer weather you cannot go too big. We are a family of 4 and we have an eight person tent. By going with a larger tent than we need we have plenty of room for everyone to spread out and sleep comfortably and still have ample room for all our clothes, coolers, and other gear. A larger tent also has the bonus of usually having two separate entrances plus a room divider. This allows for everyone to go to bed at different times and not have to crawl over sleeping bodies when you do try and get in.

3. Treat it like a vacation.

Camping is not a rushed event. Even when setting up your campsite don’t worry about getting it done in a set amount of time. Let the kids run and explore the area. Take breaks when you want to and just enjoy being outside. I love nothing more than after we get the truck unloaded to sit back with a cold drink and check out the newest model tents around us. It is a great way to not only relax but make a mental note on if I see anything I just have to check out when we get home.

4. Bring Comforts from Home.

Both of my kids have a special blanket that they love and need to have it to sleep at night. We bring them camping. They get filthy, drug through the dirt, left on the ground, and abused. But both kids sleep great at night with them.

We also pack a few special toys for them. There is nothing better to a little boy than driving through the dirt with his trucks and cars. A few small cars, a plastic bucket and shovel, and they will be entertained for hours on end.

Campign with Kids

5. Dirt won’t Kill You.

A part of camping is getting dirty. It seems from the first 5 minutes we are there until we get home and throw them in the bath, both kids are dirty. They will have little smudges on their faces. Dirt on their hands, their legs, their clothes. Repeat after me. Dirt won’t kill you! Let them have fun and get dirty. I promise you will come home with more memories of great time spent together than you will dirt.

6. Have Fun.

Most importantly of all the tips. Have fun. I have camped in crazy hot weather when we all did nothing more than sit in the lake. I have camped when it rained all weekend and we had to rig a tarp to hang by the trees for a dry place to sit. I have camped when I thought I was going to freeze at night. And I have camped during the most beautiful weekends. But every single time I have camped, it was a blast. We made memories. We got out of the house and we spent some great time together.

Besides, how could you not have a great time when this is your view for 3 days?

Camping with Kids

What tips would you offer for someone camping with kids?

About Rachel

Rachel Akers writes about crafts, recipes, and features the adventures of a family of 4. It is always crazy but I wouldn't change it for the world! Comments or questions? Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter or sign up for our RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.