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By: John Adams, author of and dad of two young daughters
Posted on: Sep 20, 2019

7 Tips for Camping with Kids

In my experience, kids love camping. I loved going camping when I was a child and both my daughters enjoy it also.

Going camping as an adult is one thing, but doing it with a family can be quite a daunting prospect if you haven’t done it before. Based on my own experiences, here are some of my top tips for camping with kids.

Explore your camping options

There are different ways of camping. You don’t have to sleep under canvass and you can even have a luxurious camping experience if you wish.

My kids wanted to go camping but until a few years ago, my wife had never been. She was keen for an introduction to camping, but I thought putting up a tent and using communal facilities might put her off. Instead I arranged for us all to go camping in a motorhome. It was an easy way to introduce my wife to camping and she enjoyed it.

Glamping is another option. If you go glamping, you may stay out in the wild, but in a large yurt or cabin that has already been built. You often have the added benefits of heating, more space, and even your own bathroom. It’s a great option, but you will pay more for it.

Choose a good campsite

Many people are quite happy to stay on a campsite. Do your research and choose a good one.

Good campsites tend to have facilities where you can wash clothes and wash up after meals. There are normally shower blocks, lavatories and electricity hook-up points. Better still, you’ll often find lots of families staying on campsites. This will give your children the chance to make friends and play with their buddies, giving you some peace.

Think about the equipment you will need

If you are camping, it goes without saying you will need a tent. Here are some other basic camping items you should also consider taking with you:

  • Ground mats for the tent or tent porch
  • Gas cooking stove and bottled gas to power it
  • Sleeping bags and roll mats or inflatable mattresses for them to go on
  • Flashlights
  • Crockery and cutlery plus a washing up bowl and scourers etc.
  • Cool box for storing food
  • Foldable chairs and possibly a foldable table
  • Good quality first aid kit
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Don’t buy equipment, borrow it

If this is your first time camping as a family, borrow as much equipment as you can. It’s unlikely, but you may decide camping isn’t for you so don’t spend huge amounts of money on your first trip in case you don’t like it.

Put some thought into your tent

Tents come in all shapes and sizes, so you will need to think about the kind of tent you are going to need. As a family, you probably want a larger tent with separate sleeping spaces for the grown-ups and children.

If you want, you can really go to town and use a trailer tent. These can be very large indeed and require two or three people to put them up, but they are ideal for larger family groups because of the space they provide.

Try to camp in the summer months

If you are camping with a family, you want to stick to camping in summer. I once went camping in March and completely underestimated how cold it would be at night. I ended up going to a local supermarket and buying a duvet because I was so cold! It was a bad-enough experience as it was, but if I’d had children with me, it that would have been very stressful indeed.

Have fun and make memories

It is very unlikely your children won’t enjoy the campaign experience. Happy children mean happy parents. It’s a great experience for them to spend lots of time outside being active. Most moms and dads benefit from spending time away from it all in the countryside. I say go camp, make memories and have fun.