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10 Tips for Camping With Kids

It’s summertime, which means time to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine!… I love camping, but haven’t gotten to go in a long time. 3 years ago I was pregnant, and the next summer Abby was still so little. Then last year the Mister decided he wanted nothing to do with sleeping in a tent – He said he was too old for that nonsense. {He’s no fun, lol.} So this year – I bought a camper! That way there are no more excuses, and we can have it stocked and ready to go whenever the mood strikes. I live here in Central Washington, and a quick 45 minute drive brings us right up into the mountains and trees and rivers, and I plan on taking advantage of it all as much as possible. So, I was super excited when Kelly wanted to write a guest post for me, sharing her top 10 tips for camping with kids. She’s pretty much a pro when it comes to camping, so I knew she’d have some good advice!

10 tips for camping with kids

Hello Sunshine and Sippy Cups Fans, my name is Kelly and I run a camping blog over at It features our family of 7 camping around our home state Minnesota, as well as gear reviews, camping recipes and fun how to videos. I also run a Mom blog on Thank you to Meagan for letting us steal some space on her wonderful blog Sunshine and Sippy Cups. I am excited to be here today!

Beyond the Tent

I love tips for when I am doing anything with the kids. The less time I have to take trying to come up with the idea myself the better! Camping is fun and to keep the fun piece going while we are away I stick to these 10 great tips for camping with the kids.

  • 1) Planning – When you are going away for a camping trip treat it as a vacation for your whole family. Plan times to be hiking and playing in the woods, swimming at the beach or lake and times for making those delicious Sʼmores around the campfire. Donʼt just stop there look around the area for ice cream shops to visit or any local parades/events that maybe scheduled for that weekend.
  • 2) Google is Your Friend: Campground Reviews – I spend a lot of time researching the places we visit before committing my time or money to our travels. I make sure the campgrounds have a place to swim, hike and run around. I also need a playground for my smaller children. If it doesnʼt have these we arenʼt going there! I also look for bonus equipment like the ability to rent a boat. My teenager loves it when we stay at a site with a community room that has a pool table. {Click to Tweet this Tip!}
  • 3) Take Time – It is such a blessing to be able to take time off from everyday life with your kids. Donʼt work during your stay, just play with them. Trust me it will make more of a lasting memory if you leave work and house chores behind. We make our getaways about family bonding and it shows because everyone gets along the whole time. Once we get back home it takes about 10 minutes to settle into our old habits of work, house duties and the kids are fighting with each other (again). My husband and I leave on Thursdays just to add an extra day of bonding when we go camping.
  • 4) Games – Pack boardgames, playing cards, outdoor activities to play while you are away. We pack a huge tote from Target with balls, bats, gloves, jump ropes and some camping games. Last weekend my husband and I stayed up way past everyones bedtime playing Catan with our older kids. It was great even though I lost.
  • 5) Plan and Prepare Meals Beforehand – It is always helpful to have everything ready to go. If you want to have a simple meal like burgers over the campfire making the patties before you travel gives you more time with the kids. If you plan a more time consuming meal ask the kids if they want to pitch in getting it prepared.

William O'Brien State park camping

  • 6) Pets – I know pets are some times more work to bring with, but they can be fun. If you have a pet that is well behave while you are camping make sure to bring the leash and pick up after your pet, too. My kids love to meet new dogs at the campground, so make sure you talk to them about how to ask owners if their animal is friendly before running at it arms wide open to give the dog the biggest hug ever.
  • 7) FIRE! – Fire safety is a main subject around here. My oldest son forgot to push the grill piece back into the fire and our 3 year old caught her tiny hand on it later that evening. She is OK, but it gave her a healthy burn. Talk to your children about fire and set up rules for fire safety while you are camping.

first aid kit for camping

  • 8) First AID – After the above happened I realize the First AID kit I bought from Target didnʼt have everything I would want in an emergency. Yes, it had a simple set of items, however I would highly suggest checking your kit before you need to use your first aid kit.
  •  9) Go To BED! – After a long day of fun in the sun with their sippy cups I always look forward to bedtime! We try to stick to our bedtime route even when we are away from home. It just keeps life easier. I love sending the little ones off to la la land and finding my spot relaxing around an evening fire with my husband.
  •  10) Gross Bugs! – There is a product by Repel that keeps Ticks off your family! You spray it onto your clothes, let it dry before packing them for your camping trip. The permethrin in the spray will stay on your clothes keeping the bugs off for at least 6 washes. Plus, it comes unscented.

Thanks for checking out our 10 tips to camping with kids today. You can follow us at for more tips, how toʼs and articles on our trips. Happy Camping, Kelly.

If you guys enjoyed this post, be sure to show some love to my guest poster – Check out her site, and be sure to share the post around the web too!



  1. GREAT advice thanks Kelly. I love camping with my family, we hope to go this year too. We go tenting but we have this nice big 11 man tent that comfortably fits our family of five. I also camp all the time with Girl Guides. I’m going to check out your blogs next.

    To Meagan, I was just stopping by to thank you again for joining the blogathon and helping out as a team member. I’m excited for next weekend!

  2. 11 Man Tent! That is awesome! I would love to more about Girl Guides.


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