Camping With Kids Checklist – Packing Tips & Essential Checklist

9 Mins read

A camping with kids checklist is the best way to ensure that none of these necessities are forgotten. While going camping as a family has the potential to be a fun and memorable experience, it also has the potential to be a bit of a nightmare. The second scenario often arises due to a single oversight: you failed to bring an essential item with you when you went camping.

When camping with kids, there are a few things you must always have with you. These things can be the difference between enjoying a fantastic vacation and dealing with an unexpected disaster.

Use these camping hacks with kids to help you be organized before you go out into the great outdoors. Camping is a favorite pastime for children. It is such a fun and exciting journey to sleep outside someplace and experience the vastness of the earth differently.

Taking your young kids camping can be a fun and memorable experience for the entire family if you do some preparation work before you go. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been camping before or if this will be your first time; whatever the case can be, you shouldn’t go out on your camping trip without packing the following items:

Tips for camping with little kids

It’s never too early to take your kids’ camping. A family camping trip is a terrific method to introduce the younger generation to the delights of being outdoors since nature offers a rich sensory experience. Kids of all ages will find a lot to keep them entertained on a camping vacation, including the starry sky, the distant sound of an owl, and the smallest of creatures working in the mud. They might become more aware of their natural surroundings by going camping.

Here are some pointers for getting things going and ensuring that camping hacks with kids are enjoyable.

Learn to camp at home

Pitch a tent in the backyard or even within your house if your children have never been outside before. Allow them to spend time and sleep there, so they become used to their new sleeping space. Consider going on a day trip as a family to a nearby park. See how your children respond to spending an hour or two at a lakefront or park.

Allow kids to assist in packing.

Allow kids to assist in packing
Allow kids to assist in packing

Please give them the duty of packing their camping supplies (using a list you’ve made). Before leaving home, ensure your youngster did a thorough packing job. Keep things orderly by having your kids load their personal belongings in a duffel bag and reminding them to do it at the end of each day. Each kid’s duffel bag should have a distinct color for simple identification. 

Store kid-friendly food

Let them participate in meal planning to get your kids enthusiastic about the vacation. Find out what foods and snacks they like by asking them. It can not be the best moment to attempt a new gourmet feast, so bring items you know they’ll enjoy. Keep portable food on hand at the campground and when traveling. It is one of the best camping hacks for kids.

Prepare Your Equipment

Put your camping supplies in totes for easy access once you arrive at your campsite. Keep your kitchenware, tent, sleeping bags, and other equipment in separate sections using transparent plastic bins or cardboard boxes. Kitchen-related items belong in one container, box, or bag, and sleeping stuff in another. You don’t want to waste much time looking through your belongings at camp, especially if you arrive at a campground later than anticipated. Having everything prepared in advance also helps you stay organized for subsequent trips.

Layer Your kid’s Clothing

Check the weather before dressing your kids for the elements. Prepare yourself with raincoats and one or two activities for the tent if it seems like it could rain. Consider layering so that children can alter their attire as necessary to accommodate temperature fluctuations. Since babies and young children don’t move much like older kids, they often require one more layer than you. Learn more about how to dress children for the outdoors in this article.

Be Prepared for Potential Obstacles

Your kid’s reactions to various circumstances will be best known to you by then. Make an effort to resolve potential issues beforehand. Is your kid still learning to use the toilet, or do they detest waking up in the middle of the night to use the restroom? Bring a small portable bathroom that you can set up outside your tent. Does your kid have an early riser? Bring something to occupy them in the morning while you’re still groggy, like a book or a toy. Is your adolescent a late riser and light sleeper? So that your adolescent can sleep in while the rest of the family is enjoying an early breakfast, don’t forget to pack earplugs.

Bring a favorite toy.

Bring a few of your favorite games and toys, but try to limit the number of things you bring. Allow plenty of space for unrestrained outdoor play. Kids often discover significantly more engaging objects to observe and play with at the campsite. How much time your youngster will spend playing in the sand or exploring could surprise you. Kids will figure out how to make their outdoor entertainment. If you do bring toys, make sure they are things that can enhance their outside play, such as a kite, ball, flying disc, magnifying glass for seeing insects, or a pair of binoculars.

Include unique touches

One or two things, albeit not a lot of equipment, might significantly increase your kids’ pleasure of camping. Pack glowsticks, child-sized camp chairs, or other children’s camping supplies. Give kids their headlamps, torch, or other camping lights. Having a string of solar- or battery-powered lights inside the tent at night can be fun for the kids.

Engage Your Children

Engage Your Children

Include your children in camp tasks as much as you can, even if you think you can pitch your tent or prepare a meal quicker on your own. Teach them the fundamentals, such as choosing a flat camping spot, putting up a tent, and scheduling a meal. Give children age-appropriate, worthwhile projects. Young children can assist with rolling out sleeping bags, pumping up sleeping pads, and filling water bottles. Give older children the responsibility of doing the dishes or preparing supper one night. Continue reading for additional advice on how to set up a cozy campsite.

Strive to be Positive

Become animated. If you’re not thrilled about going camping as a family, why should the kids be? The first guideline for family camping is? Be prepared to handle inconveniences. Everything has moved to a new location. There is no longer a restroom down the hall, and there could or might not be running water. Kids will follow your example and pick up on your positive, happy attitude.

Accept dirt

Let’s be honest. While camping, kids will become muddy. They’ll track dust everywhere, have s’mores crumbs in their hair, and track muck on their shoes. The only time kids should be allowed to get dirty should be when camping. Consider putting up a hand-washing station with a small bucket of soapy water if there isn’t any running water at your location. To keep the interior of your tent cleaner, bring a small camp mat outside your entrance.

Packing Tips & Checklists

Below are the top best camping with kids checklists:

What to pack

  • Where and when you are camping
  • The kind of lodging you are staying in
  • Your planned activities
  • How old are your kids, and their particular needs

Camping Gears

Camping Gears
Camping Gears

There are very few camping items specific to kids that don’t apply to adults, but these can be more important to make sure your little ones leave the experience feeling excited and not bored or, worse, scared.

Site Essentials

Be sure to pack these campsite essentials:

  • Indoor and outdoor rugs
  • Foldable camping chairs
  • Decorative outdoor lights
  • At least one folding table
  • A compact multi-tool
  • Duct tape
  • Extra rope
  • Plastic tarps and tie-downs
  • A small ax or hatchet for firewood
  • Firestarter and kindling
  • Matches or a lighter

Tent or RV supplies

Tent or RV supplies
Tent or RV supplies
  • Blankets, pillows, and a sleeping bag
  • A sleeping pad, inflatable air mattress, or cot
  • A camping tent with stakes
  • A hammer or mallet
  • A tent fan
  • A tent heater
  • RV parking blocks

Clothes and Shoes

Clothes and Shoes
Clothes and Shoes

Prepare your wardrobe for the camping trip by taking into account the time of year, weather prediction, setting, and activities you want to participate in.

Be sure to include:

Layering pieces: Light layers are suitable for all seasons. Include garments such as thin long-sleeve shirts, thermals, leggings, vests, undershirts, and a light jacket.

Rain gear: Rain gear is essential, regardless of season or destination. Bring an umbrella for each family member, portable ponchos, rain jackets, rain boots, and water-resistant pants.

Weather-specific clothing: Bring along clothes that depend on the weather, like shorts for the summer, long pants for trekking, and swimsuits for the warmer months. Accessories such as scarves, gloves, neck warmers, thick socks, winter jackets, and snowsport gear are essential as the temperature drops.

Versatile shoes: Your camping bags should always contain a pair of water-resistant boots, walking shoes, and shower shoes. Depending on the season, you might consider snow boots, hiking shoes, flip-flops, sandals, and night slippers.

Children’s clothing: Camping vacations can be a lot of fun, but the fun tends to be dirty, so carry a lot of wardrobe changes for your youngster. Camping can be a lot of fun. You should include a few stretchier pieces, slippers, long-sleeve, short-sleeve shirts, and fleece sleepwear for cold destinations.

Cooking Utensils

A frying pan, cast iron skillet, pot, and this Camping Cookware Kitchen Utensil Organizer are must-haves if you want to enjoy a good meal.

Food and Drinks

This is simple:

  • Just bring what you desire to eat and will require to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Bring a bunch of snacks for enjoying while riding around the campground. You’ll need a camping ice chest or cooler to keep fresh food and drinks cold.
  • As you refill ice, empty some of the water, but not all of it. The water in the cooler will be icy and helps to refrigerate your food.

Hygenic items

Campsites may have the worst hygiene standards, and there will be no running water. Every few minutes, you will come across children caked in dirt. It is essential to transport a hand washing station. It is possible to wash your feet in the same tub used for washing your hands at the hand-washing station. This will assist in keeping your children clean and will also keep your camp from becoming dirty.

First-aid Box

This is the most basic and essential item you need. There is a high chance of getting hurt amid rugged terrains and wildernesses. It would help if you had bandaids and antiseptics so that no one gets infected.

Kids are often notorious. They can fall, stumble over sticks, and get injured. A box of cleaning wipes and a first aid kit will help you immensely. 

Safety Gears

Campgrounds that provide activities such as bicycling and longboarding are more than just convenient places to stay overnight since they also offer opportunities to participate in exciting outside pursuits. Remember to use biking or longboarding safety gear.


Keep some of the essential survival gear as close to the palm of your hand as possible. This five-in-one bracelet includes a fire starter, a reliable compass, a loud emergency whistle, an emergency knife, and 12 feet of military-grade paracord, so you’ll be equipped for any unexpected threats to your safety.


Camping Permits
Camping Permits

Keep these permits and belongings on your person or in another readily accessible location throughout your journey:

  • Your legal ID card
  • Your fishing license
  • A printed copy of your camping registration validation
  • Parking passes where necessary
  • Event tickets
  • Your car insurance and registration
  • Vet papers for your pet
  • Backpacking permits for hiking trips
  • Reservation confirmations for events, restaurants, and attractions
  • Your health insurance information
  • Your credit card and spare cash
  • Your cell phone and charger
  • Sunglasses
  • A portable charging port, if needed


What should kids wear for camping?

Check the weather before dressing your kids for the elements. Prepare yourself with raincoats and one or two activities for the tent if it seems like it could rain. Consider layering so that kids can alter their attire as necessary to accommodate temperature fluctuations. Since babies and young children don’t move much like older children, they often require one more layer than you.

What do I need for 4-year-old camping?

The prospect of going camping with a 4-year-old should not be as terrifying as it can appear. Just make sure to pack lots of things to keep kids occupied outside, appropriate clothing, sunscreen, and hydration. Last but not least, remember to bring simple meals and comfy beds.

What should you not do while camping?

Some activities you should avoid when camping includes:

  • Picking the incorrect tent size.
  • Cooking inside the tent.
  • Not packing enough lighting supplies.
  • Choosing the wrong location.
  • Camping on lower ground.
  • Do not practice with your gear beforehand.

What can I pack for lunch without refrigeration?

  • Marinated White Beans
  • Peanut Noodles.
  • Peanut Butter Banana Pinwheels.
  • Lentil Salad.
  • Rice Cake and Nut Butter Snack Box.
  • Ham and Cheddar Muffin.
  • Scrambled Chickpea Pita.
  • Soba Noodle Salad.

What should you not keep in a tent?

In your tent, never bring food or trash. Keep other intensely fragrant goods like lotion, toothpaste, and deodorant far away while in bear territory. To be extra cautious, don’t even bring clothing you wore while preparing food or dining in your tent.

What kind of places are good for camping with kids?

Among our most sought-after camping destinations are those in Cornwall, Devon, the Lakes, and Scotland.


I hope this family camping with kids checklist and camping hacks with kids were helpful to you as you started to prepare for your first camping trip with your loved ones!

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