I don’t know about you, but I always seem to forget something when I take my kids somewhere, even when I write a list. Camping is one place you definitely don’t want to find yourself without some essential kid-care item, so be sure to make your list, check it twice and check again that it includes the following items
Kids are messy. Kids out in nature are even messier, and that’s a good thing! Dirty clothes at the end of a day of camping means that your kids (or you) have been exploring nature and having fun. While there’s no need to change out of dirty clothes quickly like you might at home, it’s a good idea to bring an extra set or two in case of extreme messes like falling in a pond or mud pit (it happens!) If you have babies, don’t forget that extra clothes include diapers! Bring more than you think you’ll need!
You’ll also want to consider bringing warmer clothes. Even in summer, it can get pretty cold at night while camping, so packing a jacket and a spare set of cold weather clothes is a good idea.
Kids are extra active outdoors, so you’ll need extra food! Be sure to pack lots of healthy snacks. Trail mix is always a great, nutritionally balanced option. If you have picky kids, be sure to pack extras of some of their favorite foods, being in a different environment can be a bit stressful for little ones and adding in the pressure of trying all new foods can make for a less-than-fun trip. You’ll also want to be sure to have lots of water available. Before you leave, find out if the campground has potable water available for filling reusable water bottles, if not be sure to bring bottles or jugs of drinking water with you. Adventuring can make a kid really thirsty, and dehydration is not the wilderness experience you want for them.
Camping is a great time to go screen-free! Be sure to bring along several options of things to do when the kids want a break from exploring. Card games and board games are great options, as are books. There’s nothing better than sitting out in the sun or curling up by the campfire and reading a good book! Bikes and scooters are also good ways to occupy time and use up energy and most campgrounds are great places for using them.
There are so many new things to see and do while camping, you’ll want to be sure to capture some of the memories to remember for years to come. Personally, my camera is the first thing I pack these days and I always double and triple check that I have extra batteries and at least one, if not two memory cards. I learned to make camera-packing a priority after I became infamous in our extended family for always forgetting either the whole camera or the memory card. Don’t become infamous, remember the camera AND accessories!
A first-aid kit
Camping and boo-boos go hand in hand. While we hope and pray that all injuries while out on a camping trip are very minor, you’ll want to be sure to have a fully stocked first-aid kit available. It’s a good idea to not only have a large one in the car or out at the campsite, but also a small one to put in your daypack if you’re going on any hikes or side adventures. Make sure you have plenty of alcohol wipes and Band-Aids for little cuts and scrapes along with the heavier duty first-aid items should anything more serious happen.
Being fully prepared for your family camping adventure will help to make your trip go smoothly and put your mind at ease. Remember to make a list, check it twice and then check it again just to be sure!
What’s the worst thing you’ve forgotten on a trip with your kids?