Ultimate Guide To Camping With Kids

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Well Firstly, For anyone who’s never been camping in a tent you may well be thinking

“Why would anyone want go camping with their kids and leave their warm, cosy house to sleep on the hard ground under a sheet of canvas?”

Well, let me tell you in this Ultimate Guide To Camping With Kids

Before we get there, let me just say that there is affiliate links in this post. The products I have reccommended are those which I personally use and love.
If you decide to purchase any of these products I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please only purchase from these links if the products are useful to you.
I have camped all my life and these products are the ones I use after years of trial and error and I completely believe in their usefulness.
Camping with kids

Now, let me convince you that camping with kids is a must do activity for your family.

Camping is an amazing way to connect with your kids, with nature and the world around you.
There is something wonderful about spending a night under the stars together.

Modern life is so busy, we rush from school to work to clubs then home, tidy house, walk the dog etc there is SO much to get through each day that life is mentally and physically exhausting!
But disconnect for a little while. Just a little while and spend a few days listening to the sounds of nature, walking river banks, playing in a meadow and you will feel a peace like never before, you’ll be happier and so much closer to your kids, your spouse and the larger world around you.
 Kids get fewer opportunities to get outdoors connecting with nature than ever before with the popularity of phones, tablets and tv’s.
Camping with your kids is a brilliant way to take back your kids attention and inject some fun, adventure and excitement into their lives.

Still Not Convinced Camping with kids is For You? Heres my top reasons why we LOVE it!


camping fun

Taking kids camping helps everyone take the stress out of modern life and bring back the fun.
One of the best things about camping is you can step away from your modern life, press the pause button and spend some quality time together without the usual stress and responsibilties.
 Walking, bug watching, talking, singing, collecting wood, playing games, cooking, playing in a river or even taking the time to read a good book are all simple activities that will make you feel amazing and fill your soul with happiness.

I remember lots of camping trips when I was younger, water fights, building dens, playing in the river and catching minnows in jars.

We’d make friends in the tents around us and all our famillies would meet up at night to be sociable round the fire and they’d talk and sing well into the night.
camping fun with the kids

Camping with your kids in the fresh air is also wonderful for helping kids sleep.

I loved being carried into my sleeping bag and snuggling down to sleep while the grown ups got to know one another around the fire in murmuring voices.

Blissfull memories that I now try to replicate with my kids- although my parent head now has a heart attack when the kids wanna play in the river, I try to embrace it all to make memories with my kiddlies.
I want them to have these kinds of memories to tell their kids not just stories about what age they could play Mario and how many points they got on the latest computar game.


Camping with your kids is great for bonding and teamwork

If you have kids that lock heads regularly then camping is for you.
  • Putting up tents, camp fire building, playing ball games etc – they are all so much more fun as a group.
  • Camping is definatley an activity that brings people together and encourages them to bond and work together.
  • Camping is an excellent opportunity to develop your outdoor and nature skills.
  • Building and lighting a fire, cooking on it, finding wood, being safe around the fire. All important lessons to learn.
  • Fishing, stone skimming, rounders and toasting marshmallows are brilliant fun whatever your age.


Do you feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel? Going round and round and round, same thing, different day??

Camping is a great way to take ourselves back to our roots. Now im not impying we have to sit in a circle in the woods, cross legs and chant but maybe try,
  • Eating outside,
  • Listening to the sounds of nature like the bees, and bugs as they buzz around,
  • Watching the stars in the night sky all help rekindle that connection and that love we need.




Oh and camping is oh so good for you.

Camping is good for you in so many ways. As well as giving you plenty of opportunities for exercise, and fresh air, just sleeping away from screens, smog and artificial lights will help reset your health and sleep pattern, even after one night.
It gives you the opportunity to relax, recharge and improves your mood as well as strengthening bonds between family and friends. Just BE together, talk, breath, sing, laugh and enjoy it!

Camping with kids is cheap!

Camp sites range from an empty field to a plush complex with entertainment laid on and a laundry open 24/7.
Look around and check with friends for recommendations and im sure you’ll find the right option  for you.
Most camp sites charge just a few pounds per night and usually you can have an electric hook up if you need it too.

You get to do what you want to do.

While it’s true there’s no such thing as a relaxing holiday when you have kids, camping has no schedule to follow.
You get to take life as it comes and eat, sleep, and cook when and if you like. So kick back and find your own groove.
camping with marshmallow smores

Ok So, hopefully i’ve sold you on why you should camp with your kids???

So now your ready to know,
  • What do you need?
  • How will you keep the kids amused?
  • What will you eat?
Well i’ve got you covered, here are some useful tips to help you out.
Also you could download these Camping With Kids Printables and really get organised to go!
Camping with kids
  • Let kids pack a bag of their own with their favourite toys and books. A favourite teddy usually helps on the first couple of nights too.
  • I also try to include a colour in book and pens, fruit sweets and some fruit,  a roll of paper useful for tons of stuff including drawing or origami boats to sail, and a mini wind up torch for finding places like the loo at night.
  • In car games like DIY bingo cards. We also have this portable dvd player which really make long drives a breeze.
  • First Aid kit (but also pack baby wipes, strong bags, disinfectant wipes and kitchen roll incase any one gets sick too)


  • Let the kids get involved with the set up. Holding the tent pegs, helping to hammer them in if they’re old enough.
  • Have some snacks and lunches ready for arrival so kids aren’t complaining they’re hungry while parents set up camp.
  • A blanket or a picnic rug so children can still sit outside if the grass is damp at night.
  • Make the most of outdoor games such as swingball, badminton sets, footballs, the blow up or fold away versions are really easy and space saving
  • Fail to plan your planning to fail!! Prepare some outdoor activities such as origami boats,  nature trails treasure hunt and geocaching so you have something up your sleeve when your kids decide “I’m bored”

spanBig TIP: Pack the tent and snacks near the top of the car so you don’t have to unpack everything to get at the tent.


Well beside the obvious tent and sleeping bags, here’s a few things to remember on your camping checklist is good to have so you can literally check the list as you pack it in the car.
There is nothing worse than getting to your destination and realising you forgot to pick up that last pile of bits …
Now fingers crossed you won’t see rain but just incase, here’s some ideas on how to cope.
  • Board games / Card Games (worth keeping secret to other items taken, so it’s something new and not ‘boring’ when it does rain.
  • Take waterproof suits and wellies and enjoy the outdoors anyway! Poor weather often cuts down on queues at local attractions and give the outdoors a completely different feel. Just wrap up and head out anyway. What kid doesn’t love jumping in puddles??
Ok so here are a few tips i’ve picked up along the way to make your 1st trip or your 1000th trip a memorable one.


Sort your camping supplies before you head out is the key to staying organized when you arrive at your campsite and the first step to make sure your experience is FUN!
 Label your boxes so whatever you need you can find it easily, no rummaging through 6 boxes of stuff as you know there’s no way the kids will put it all back.

This is a complete time-saver when you’re preparing for your camping trip. It also helps me pack before we go I label the boxes a few weeks before we go and as i’m tidying the house or buying groceries I try to gather ‘bits’ up and put them in there, so I know where they are and the kids can’t destroy, hide or lose them before we go.

Things like torches, a new pack of toothbrushes, glow sticks or extra baby wipes. It’s less to do nearer the time.

Camping fun for kids. Make your next holiday a success with these fun tips and tricks full of camping advice



If you’re at a campsite without showers there will come a time that baby wipes aren’t enough (though, be sure to bring a lot of these for all the other times you’ll need them.)
A Collapsable washing bowl is a great idea too.
For sandy areas a good tip is Talc powder. Sprinkle this on sandy skin and the and falls right off without scrubbing and screaming.
camping fun with the kids


As I said above, you will use baby wipes for EVERYTHING so bring several packs of baby wipes and antibacterial wipes for those times when you need to wipe the kids down but won’t be able to give them a full bath.
Wipes are great to clean mud off shoes or clean hands and feet before they crawl into sleeping bags too.
If your conscience as we all are about plastic and the planet you could try a water bottle and a couple of rolls of kitchen roll instead.
Good tip: I take a waterproof picnic blanket (or a ground sheet and blanket) and cover the floor near the tent doors so the kids can sit down and wipe their feet, hands, faces, arms and legs without tracking in dirt into the tent.
The dog however is a law unto himself. I swear Im gonna buy shower caps for his feet!!!


sleep in a tent

For little ones, a travel cot is invaluable for camping. They are secure and you can pop a mosquito net over the top to avoid bugs.
You can also move them inside or outside depending on what your activity is and if you need to put your baby down for a few minutes they have somewhere safe to be.BONUS!
If you’re camping with kids who are older and air bed or a camp bed is a great idea!!


If you want your trip to be an all out success then plan, plan, and plan again.
This is one time when a little thought now will pay you back huge amounts so think about;
  • What if it rains
  • If someone falls sick what will you do?
  • What if the kids fall out or you want to throw your husband in the river??
Camping kids
It’s inevitable that spending SO much time together in a small place will cause the occasional bust up, so plan how to deal with that.
There is only so much dirt, rocks and bugs that will entertain kids before they venture into trouble.
Pack a tub full of toys and activities to bring with you that are camping friendly and electronic free and camping with kids will be a total breeze without kids getting into trouble. Things like;
    • Water guns
    • Balls, football, bouncy balls, or swing ball.
    • Tennis rackets
    • Bubbles
    • Glow sticks
    • Chalk
    • Coloring Books and pens
    • Supplies for a few simple crafts, rock painting or stick weaving.
    • Have a Nature Themed Scavenger Hunt
    • Camping Bingo
    • Triominos. We love this game. It’s simple enough to be fun for 3 to 4 year olds but entertaining for adults too!!

For some fantastic activities this Summer, check out 101 Fantastic Ideas For Summer Fun With Your Kids
And if there’s a beach nearby How to Entertain Your Kids On The Beach Will give you a ton of ideas!!
You can also download Summer Planning Printables that will help you make your Summer Sensational.Plan your summer


Glow sticks are my favourite things on camps. There are so many games you can play with them, or use them for Glow in the dark bubbles.
When bedtime comes they’re still glowing enough to be used as night-lights AND they can be attached to zips etc.
For example…they help illuminate the zip on the tent door, sleeping bags, your car keys as well as keeping track of the kids when it gets dark.
If we take our camping toilet, we circle the base so its easier to find (We do this with the toilet roll too)
 Throw glow stick into an old milk bottle full of water to make a light that will light up your tent and if you have a few water bottles, try a fun game of night bowling or hupla before bedtime.
Head torches are also a really inexpensive but worth while cost to make sure everyone has their own for toilet trips etc or leave one handy for all.
I also love to take a wind break. We pitch the tent(huge 9 man tent) at one side and the car at the other end of our space.
Then use 2 wind breaks to make a coral of our own so the smaller kids can be kept where we can see them while we’re busy and the dog isn’t being a menace.
This also helps when the kids are tired and need some down time, it cuts out some distractions as well as acting as a windbreak… who knew lol.
Kids camping food


  • Check out this fab post from Clean and scentsible for wonderful ideas for meals.
  • Invest in a cool box so you can keep things cool.
  • Freeze jugs of water ahead of time and they’ll act as ice for your coolers and to keep your food safe, but when they melt you have drinking water for your family. (Fill them up 2/3 of the way to give room for when they expand as they freeze.) 
  • At night when your ice defrosts. Keep a small carton of milk in a bowl of cool water. It usually keeps cool enough to do cereal and coffee in the morning in the UK anyway.
  • Crisps such as Doritos that have a bit of grease on them can be great fire starters to throw in with your kindling and work faster than the traditional methods.



Keys, wallets, phones, chargers, electronics… store them all in the large freezer bags.
This keeps them safe from spills, food and if the kids come back after a swim or water fight and drip everywhere, but also easier to keep track of and monitor it’s use so the kids keep off it.

Right so I think we’ve covered everything?

  • Why you should camp with your kids
  • What camping essentials to take?
  • Things to consider and do.

Hopefully your now all set to spend some quality time and camp with your kids. Let me know if you have and questions and how you enjoy your trip..

Have Fun.Fun camping

And don’t forget to Download your

Ultimate Guide To Camping With kids printables


Tips for camping with kids


15 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide To Camping With Kids”

    1. Great Brandy, its hard work but its so worth it. Not to mention the kids actually sleep with all that fresh air and excersize..Bonus!!

    1. Thanks Faizah. 30 years of camping you pick up a thing or 2. I love it. Id encourage you to give it a go. Even fr a night in the garden. Goodluck x

    1. Do it Erin. Plan well, but its really worth it. My kids have been camping since they were year and a half and they LOVED it. Go for it even if its in the garden for a night. Let me know how it goes xx

  1. Camping is one of the best activities you can do as a family.
    You have covered all relevant tips for this.

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