Camping can be a whole ton of fun – we like it enough that we go 5-6 times per year.
But any seasoned camping family can tell you that these 5 things happen on the regular – and if you’re not prepared for them, you’re not going to enjoy camping as much as you could. These 5 things show you what to be prepared for when camping with kids, and what to bring camping with kids so you’ll never be stuck without a solution to common problems!
With everything, to each their own, though. These are only suggestions, so take what works for you and apply it, and forget the rest.
After all, camping is all about you and what you want it to be.
Regardless, at least try to be prepared for these 5 things:
Let’s be honest, if you have kids and you take them camping, 9 times out of 10 there will be blood.
It’s only natural – after all, they’re kids and kids tend to get into anything and everything they can – no matter how prepared you are.
This is why you should be prepared not only for the sight of blood, but dealing with the aftermath. A good first aid/emergency kit is something you should always have on hand while camping, but to step it up a little further, try tossing in some kid-friendly band-aids, a washcloth with their favorite cartoon character, and maybe even a little toy to help distract from some of the hurt.
These are little changes, but they can make all the difference when you have a hurt kiddo.
Like sweat, tears are probably going to happen if you go camping for any length of time – and are even more likely to happen if you camp with other family/kids.
We have camped with 5 other families successfully for the last couple of years – and I’m talking 5-6, 5-day trips each year – so I feel like we’ve mastered the art of dealing with tears and fights amongst the kiddos.
The first things to remember is to set boundaries, both for your child and for the other children. We find it’s best to make our camper a “safe space” (that sounds really dramatic) that only our family goes in. Not only does this keep it cleaner, it gives our daughter a place she can go to get away, to play on her own, or to sneak some cuddles without having to deal with the other kids.
The other component to deal with other kids & tears is establishing boundaries with the other parents. We are very lucky in that the families we camp with are perfectly comfortable with anyone in the group verbally reprimanding any of our children. If discipline needs to go further than a verbal reprimand, then we seek out the parent. Usually, though, everyone’s pretty “on it” with their own kids and keep their ears peeled for any developing discipline issues.
This might not make you comfortable normally, but we’ve found it’s the best solution for everyone while we’re camping and existing as a group.
Very Little Sleep
As far as naps go, that is….
If you’re children are accustomed to taking naps, don’t count on them happening while they’re camping.
Even if you’re the most disciplined parent in the world, there is just too much fun happening for you, your child, or both to get a good nap. Between the heat, the light, and being away from home, you’re welcome to try, but we’ve always found it to be less frustrating to forego naps altogether than to deal with the stress of trying to make naps happen.
But if naps happen naturally? We absolutely let it happen!
A Rainy Day
Especially if you’re camping for 3+ days, plan on at least one day being rainy.
Kids often love to play in a drizzle, but a hard rain will do even the heartiest of kiddos in.
For those days, I always pack a few things:
- A Quick-Up Tent (or 2): dealing with rain is so much better when everyone is together, so we bring a couple of pop up tents, put a couple of picnic tables under them, and play games – card games for the adults and age-appropriate games for the kids
- Games: See the point above. Bring age-appropriate games.
- Our Favorites: I have a few favorite toys that I bring for rainy days as well: Squirt guns, a marble run, and for worst case scenario days, I download a couple of movies to our Kindle tablet. (we only do this if we’re truly desperate)
Even with the best laid plans, mud happens.
Even with no rain, mud happens.
So, rain boots, a rain jacket, and a good hat are absolutely essential, as are lots of changes of clothing – for the kids especially. We are very fortunate that mud doesn’t slow the kids down, so we put on our boots and continue as normal.
But if we forgot to pack the mud clothes?
Well, just don’t forget them….
Camping with kids is always, always an adventure – as it should be!
Til Next Time,
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