Summertime is symbolic of outdoor activities and one of the major attractions for families is to go camping. Although camping is fun for every age, the inquisitive and playful nature of kids, make it a special event for them. To make the event a memorable and exciting time, you need to make sure you pack all the right camping gear for kids.
Here is a guide on what items you should take with you when going camping with kids. In this guide, the camping gear is categorized into essential or not essential gear. The not essential gear includes entertainment and educational items that are not necessary but can enhance the camping experience. There are also some tips shared on best practices when going camping with kids. The key to a fun camping trip is preparation and taking the right gear with you.
The essentials: camping gear for kids
One of the most important gear for camping is the camping tent. You have the option of assembling a giant tent that will accommodate the entire family or you have can take a separate tent for the kids. The separate tent will allow for more privacy and allow kids to play games in their tent.
Also, if you are camping with a larger family or are going camping with other people, you will require more than one tent. You need to consider the sleeping area when deciding on what size of tent you want. Also, you need to consider what will the tent be used for and how much equipment you have packed for the camping trip. For example, a camping trip with kayaks is going to need more space.
When it comes to sleeping, kids can fit nicely into most sleeping bags. However, you should try to pick something warmer and more versatile that can be used elsewhere too. Go for something compact and portable. However, keep in mind that it will get much colder if you are camping in the mountains. Look for sleeping bags that are rated for cold weather (32 degrees – 0 degrees).
Most sleeping bags for kids are going to about five feet in length. If you are thinking of just use adult-size sleeping bags for kids, think again. The extra space in a sleeping bag will it much less likely to keep the child warm. The last thing you want to do while camping is to leave your children to shiver all night. So try to pick the right size sleeping bag for camping. Here are a few options for you to consider.
For infants, you will need to use a foldable infant sleeping bed. It will need plenty of storage, a soft harness to keep the baby in place, and a removable sunshade. The material should be a combination of soft warm padding for the base and mesh material on the sides to reduce heat buildup. You want to keep a couple of extra blankets and pillows with you in case they are needed.
The apparel for the kids is an essential part of the camping gear. The types of clothes you take are going to depend on the weather but are prepared for colder weather, especially during the nights. Keep raincoats and umbrellas for your kids. Make sure they wear their clothes in layers as they offer more protection and versatility. No apparel is complete without footwear. It is hard to beat rain boots. They are versatile enough to be used on any type of surface. They are easy to clean and are mostly extremely affordable. Make sure you have your kids try them on before buying to ensure a good fit.
To complete the look for the kids, let them wear a camping hat. An outback style hat or safari that would look great and they have all the features required from a camping hat. These types of hats are designed for outdoor. They are made to be resistant to the outdoor elements. They will keep the sun away while allowing for some air to flow through to keep it dry from sweating. The material used in camping hats is mostly lightweight and is hand washable. The camping hats have a high crown allowing for heat to escape. A Boy Scout type hat can also work although they would offer less shade.
Pack a bag full of essential accessories too. That should include a tube of sunblock lotion, baby wipes, water bottles, flashlights, sanitizer, shampoo, and other toiletries. Kids tend to exhaust themselves when playing around, so a portable cooler to keep water cold would be useful. Portable camping chairs are a must too.
Don’t forget about the essential elements of life: fire. Keep a box of matchsticks with you. Kids would love to sit around a bonfire. By the way, if you are planning on having a fire, keep a few marshmallows and roasting sticks with you. Your kids might like it.
One of the most needed but often forgotten camping gear is a filter water bottle. As you can imagine, camping sites might not have enough clean water supply. You might need to filter water. Here are a few recommendations for a filter water bottle. Camping can attract unwelcome visitors such as mosquitoes and other insects. Let’s hope bigger predators stay away by themselves. Keep an insect repeller spray with you.
Take a first aid kit with you. Kids tend to fall around a lot and you might need to address minor cuts and bruises. The kit should include the basics such as bandages, antiseptic liquids, painkillers, anti-allergic medicine, knife, scissors, gauze, medical tape, and gloves.
Entertainment and educational camping gear for kids
A pair of binoculars is a cool item for camping gear. Most camping locations are picturesque with the occasional sighting of animals. Kids would enjoy having a look around through the lens. You don’t have to take the expensive and heavy piece of binoculars. A lightweight, water-resistant and cheap binoculars would do just fine.
It is a good idea to have each child wear a belt that has slots to carry some of the items with them. It will add to the feeling of adventure for them and also come in handy if needed. Each child above the age of 3 could carry a flashlight, binoculars, toys, a snack, and a water bottle in their belt.
For a unique camping experience, your camping gear for kids can include a portable movie theatre. What better way to enjoy the night with open skies than to cuddle up and watch a movie together. All you need is a detachable projector and a canvas to project the light. Some tents can serve as the screen needed for a projector.
Some might argue that the camera is essential camping gear. With all the smartphones out in the market, the use of cameras has declined. Camping is a great way to introduce kids to photography. Let them click a few shots. Camping is a great time to try electronic detox
The camera is also a great tool to capture memories. If you don’t own a camera, this might a good time to invest in one. If you are looking for cheaper options, you always go with disposable cameras. In any case, you always have your smartphone with you.
Hammocks can provide a whole new level of comfort and enjoyment to your camping. You need to pick camping spots with a few trees to fit the hammock. A fun way to use the hammocks is to arrange them one over the other, like a triple hammock. Kids will enjoy the playfulness of hammock and it will be a new experience for them. They can gaze at stars while enjoying a session of storytelling from the elders. Here is an instructional guide on triple tree hammock.
Kids might not be cooking but they sure will be eating some food. Most families take plenty of food with them and not try to cook while camping while others enjoy setting up a barbecue grill and enjoying some hotdogs and burgers. Cooking grills come in all shapes and sizes. There are some designed to be taken on camping. In any case, keep plenty of healthy snacks with you. Have a pack of mixed nuts for each kid.
For camping trips that involve other activities such as kayaking, white water rafting, trekking, hunting/shooting, they are going to require activity-specific gear. Obviously, a kayak is needed if you want to do some kayaking. Don’t forget about rafting if staying close to a river. There are lots of water activities that will be fun for kids of all ages. Remember the life vests and take the necessary precautions when enjoying water activities.
Trekking or hiking is also a fun activity but takes a little planning to ensure an enjoyable time with kids. Always bring plenty of water. Each child should have their own water pack and a camel bak is perfect for it. Depending on how long the hike is, some reminding not to drink all the water in their pack is likely to happen. However, a parent or older sibling can take a little more if needed. Taking a few short hikes at first is always advisable before attempting a long hike. Be aware of the terrain as well. Even hiking over sand for a long distance will require some sturdy shoes.
Shooting is another fun activity to consider. I’m not talking about breaking out the hunting rifle here, but a simple red rider bb gun (don’t shoot your eye out!) will give age appropriate kids an activity that will last for hours. It also, helps them learn about guns and the right way to use handle and use them under the supervision of their parents. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations when bringing any type of firearm with you on your camping trip.
We don’t get into the details of each type of activity. If you are camping and are looking for activities. Here is a good list of activities to do during your camping trip.
A camping trip is indeed about exploring the outdoors and bonding with nature, but kids can be unpredictable. They might suddenly feel bored to want something else. That is why your camping gear must include some toys and board games. Games or toys don’t have to be expensive. A ring toss game, glow in the dark bowling, or football throw are cheat and easy games that will keep the kids happy. Be prepared to take suggest some new games for the kids. Hera a few camping games to give you a head start.
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