We have done the impossible three times in the past 2 months… we went camping with kids, thanks to these tips for families!
We have six kids ranging in age from 2 to 8, and let’s just say the idea of camping terrified me at first. Now that we have a routine, I love it!
Camping With Kids (Tips For Families)
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These are just a few of the camping tips that we have scoured the Internet for, and incorporated into our camping routine:
Grill fruit – Sometimes it’s just easier for small fingers to grab the fruit and put it on the roasting stick by themselves. This is a lot healthier, and less messy, than roasting marshmallows!
Use a blow-up mattress for your kids to sleep on. You won’t need to worry about the discomfort of stones if you tent camp. It also takes up very little space in the car (once collapsed), making pack-up a breeze!
This tent fits right over the back of your truck so you don’t have to sleep on the ground!
Pack clothes in a roll – When I pack for a camping trip, I lay pants out, then undies, and a top, and then roll the outfit together. Next, I secure it with a rubber band. The finished product makes it easier for the kids to keep each day’s outfit organized, and easy to find.
Make fire-starter “pods”– Store your dryer lint in a cardboard egg carton, and pour wax over it. These “pods” will even start a fire in a drizzling rain! Plus, they give second life to items you would normally toss.
Create a camping food station – I love this idea from Starling Travel! Use an over-the-door shoe organizer, and stuff the sections with your camping supplies.
Girls need to be able to pee standing up in nature? Guess what? They made a device for that.
Stop the itching bug bites – With chloraseptic spray! Just spray it on the red bumps, and the itching will stop (P.S. it also stains, so wait until it’s dry before clothes come in contact with it). This all-natural set is another great option for getting the itch to stop fast, without chemicals!
A mini-tackle box – Helps to keep fishing lures in one place and away from small fingers. This is such a cool little DIY from Field & Stream, made from a Tic-Tac container!
We all want clean toilet paper. If you are not staying at a KOA and roughing it, check out this idea from Field & Stream. Store your TP in a coffee canister.
Do you bring pets with you? The KOA we were at had a dog park, and there were a bunch of friendly dogs for my kids to enjoy! I love this idea from Field & Stream of cutting the bottom out of a jug and using that as your pet’s camping watering bowl.
Is there a ban on fire rings where you’re camping? You can still have the campfire experience, using candles on sticks, with this hack from A Subtle Revelry. I haven’t used this idea yet with my kids, but it could be a fun idea for a way to have light after the fire has gone out, once the littles are in their sleeping bags.
We all know that we don’t want to bring technology camping, but sometimes rain happens, or your kids need an activity to wind down. Time for DIY ipod speakers. If you have wi-fi at your campground, use a solo cup as a speaker, with this idea from Lifehacker.
Make busy bags – This no-mess “messy” play from Teach Preschool is a fun way to keep kids entertained while camping, or driving! You can add sequins, glitter, and googly eyes, too! Just make sure that you have really secured the bags shut, and supervise kids as they play.
Give your kids a nature bag and tell them to go on a scavenger hunt around your camp site, with this fun idea from The Creative Homemaker! They can collect objects they find!
Meals are chaotic while you are camping. Scramble eggs for breakfast ahead of time, and keep your scrambled eggs in a jar. You can pour them and cook as needed.
DIY Tasty Energy Balls – This snack from Instructables Cooking are perfect to grab on-the-go. Bring them with you for a day of hiking!
Grilled Banana Boats – Guys, this recipe from Lick My Spoon is beyond yummy! It tastes a bit like ice cream, when the chips melt into the banana.
Homemade Granola Bars – These sweet treats from Feast for All Seasons are easy to make ahead of time, and can be used as a meal replacement if you have a picky eater, or if your meal is accidentally scorched in the campfire!
Prepare single use packets of antibiotic cream with this idea from Brian’s Backpacking Blog. This idea also works with hydrocortisone lotion. Both ideas are perfect for the times that your kids *will* get scraped knees and funky plant-induced rashes. You can also buy a box.
Don’t want to buy firewood? Make your own blocks with old newspaper, with this tutorial from Instructables Outside. We have made one of these in the past. It catches fast and burns hot… perfect for breakfast.
Camp in a Cabin – Save your energy for the day’s activities, instead of the “drama” of a tent. This becomes even cheaper if you camp off-season, or share with family, or friends!
Make Campfire Cones – They are basically s’mores inside of a waffle cone. We love to add marshmallows, dark chocolate chips, and fruit…. We’ve also made them with apples and cinnamon – so tasty!
Whip up a Batch of S’mOreos – We love s’mores! They are our nightly camping ritual. Be Different Act Normal‘s spin on it, using Oreos, instead of graham crackers is to die for!
Camping Hacks, Crafts, and Recipes
Here are more fun ways to get excited for your summer camping trips:
- What to Do When Camping
- Camping at Home: Simple Backyard Fun!
- 14 Scrumptious Campfire Desserts You Need to Make This Summer
- 5 Appetizing, Foil-Wrapped Campfire Recipes
What’s your best camping tip for camping with children? Comment below!