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Camping With Kids Packing Check List

Camping With Kids Packing Check List

Camping With Kids Packing Check List

More than 41 million people camp in the U.S. each year, and more than a quarter of these are children and young people aged 6 to 17 [1]. There are also huge numbers of families taking part in camping activities with younger children, so millions of people every year need to think about packing for a successful break with kids.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association says that the camping equipment wholesale market was worth around $2.8 billion in 2019 [2], but how do you make sure that you buy what you really need for camping with kids and pack most effectively for this kind of trip? This guide aims to help with that, offering a rundown of the essentials that no parent who wants to enjoy their trip with their children should forget to pack.

A decent sleep setup

Whether you plan on sleeping in your RV or in camp beds in a tent, making sure that everyone gets the best night’s sleep possible is essential. Sleep is so important for all sorts of reasons, from keeping everyone feeling healthy to ensuring that the kids and adults are in the right frame of mind to make memories [3]. A lack of sleep, meanwhile, can lead to meltdowns and tantrums - by the adults as well as the kids.

Packing for sleep involves thinking about everything from airbeds, such as this Coleman Quickbed Elite Extra High Airbed, or mattresses to how you can make sure that everyone is warm enough - or as cool as possible if you are planning a summer trip.

Medical kit

Adventure Medical Sportsman 200 First Aid Kit

A good camping medical kit, such as this Adventure Medical Sportsman 200 First Aid Kit, is essential when traveling with children. This will ensure you’re never short of essentials such as cleaning wipes, bandages, sting and bite cream, and antiseptic ointment.

Insect repellent

Insect Repellent

Insects can become a major problem during a camping trip, so insect repellent creams, lotions, sprays, and kid-friendly bug bracelets are must-haves. There are sprays that you can use on clothes and your tent, and citronella candles are always good to keep in your camping kit.

Foam floor tiles

If you are camping in a tent, lining the floor with foam tiles can really make a difference to how comfortable your little home from home will be. It can make it much better for little feet walking around the tent while offering a protective layer if children roll out of bed.

Adequate lighting

Coleman Quad Pro Led Lantern

Whether you are sleeping in a tent or an RV, adequate lighting is a must. If you’re going to be eating and preparing food outside, make sure you pack enough camping lanterns, like this Coleman Quad Pro Led Lantern, so you can see what you’re doing. You’ll also need to think about how you are going to provide light inside and during bathroom breaks.

Wash station

This will obviously depend on your camping setup, but having adequate washing facilities is a must for hands and feet. If you just want something basic, make sure you pack an old but clean laundry detergent container or water jug with a spout, along with a tub to put underneath the spout to reuse hand-washing water for feet.

Clothes rail

Having a hanging clothes organizer can really help when it comes to keeping a small space tidy and making dressing little people as easy as possible. Hanging organizers are also a good idea for storing things like flashlights, phones, keys, toiletries, toilet paper, lighters, sunscreen, and bug spray.

Shoe basket

This is another essential if you want to do everything you can to prevent a confined space from descending into a chaotic mess where everything is lost - including your temper. Knowing where shoes are is also essential if you are likely to have to go outside to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.


Bikes are great on a camping trip, whether the kids just use them to get around the campsite or you all hop on and explore. Make sure you don’t forget the helmets, however.

Pool noodles

These are great for swimming, but they are also awesome at covering tent lines to prevent you and the kids from tripping over them.

In general, don’t be afraid to overpack a little when camping with kids. It is far better to be over-prepared than to find yourself without essential items when you have already set up camp in the middle of nowhere. Remember that life with kids always delivers unexpected occurrences, so always overpack things like food, sweaters, towels, blankets, and kids’ clothes.