Pack tools and toys that will encourage your kids to explore nature
Even the most experienced campers have moments where they worry whether they have everything they need with them. It's normal to feel worried about these things; after all, once you're in the great outdoors, you're pretty much on your own. If you forgot to bring mosquito repellent there's nothing you can do but deal with the insects.
But while you can just "deal" with it if you were camping with your friends, everything changes when you are camping with kids. You have to be extra responsible and make sure you pack all the things you need or else you could end up with a ruined trip as you cannot simply ask most children "to deal with the situation" and expect them to still enjoy it.
To help parents pack the best gear for camping with kids, we have compiled a list of the things that you absolutely should not forget to bring when camping out with your wee ones.
- Bug Repellent - Not only is it near impossible to enjoy camping while being devoured by swarms of mosquitoes, it is also a health precaution as bugs, tick and mosquito bites may cause serious illness such as H-fever and Lyme disease.
- First Aid Kit - A well-equipped first aid kit is a must. You can find out what should be in your first aid kit by reading our Camping first aid kit essentials.
- Diapers - If you have diaper age kids this is the first thing that you need to pack.
- Baby wipes - Bring baby wipes, bring lots of it. This comes in very handy not just with actually cleaning a baby but for wiping s'mores of the kids' faces and hands etc.
- Umbrella stroller - Very handy for use with kids when you sit down for a meal at a picnic table. It is lightweight and folded so it won't take up much space.
- Camp chair for kids - Of course the kids would want to sit down and relax too.
- Camping mat - This can be used either as a playing mat or a picnic mat, either way; it's a very useful gear to bring.
- Bring extra clothes - Kids will be kids and you must expect that they will need an extra change of clothes. If it's just dust and some dirt it's okay; but you never know when then kids will wipe s'mores or jelly on their clothes.
- Proper outdoor clothing - Bring some outdoor clothes like long sleeves and pants to protect kids from insect bites, poison oaks, the cold and the sun. Even during the warm season, pack your kid one set of warm clothes just in case.
- Snacks - High energy and non-perishable snack foods like granola.
- Favorite item - Bring a little piece of home in the form of a blanket or toy. Just bring one and allow your child to choose which one it would be.
Other things you may need depending on where you will be camping and your planned activities:
- Bring a child backpack - If you have small kids and if you plan to go on long hikes this will come in handy as children may tire of walking.
- Dirt and sand toys - Having them play with these toys is a great way to have the kids enjoy the great outdoors. Don't forget to pack these if you are going to the beach or somewhere that would allow them to play on the dirt.
- Life vest - If you are camping near the water (beach, river, lake).
- Toys for exploring the great outdoors - Magnifying glass, compass, telescope, flashlight etc.
One item that is not essential but we reckon is worth packing is a disposable camera that your child can use to take photos. Not only will it occupy and entertain them, but once the film is ready, you will have fond memories of your camping trip through their eyes.
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