Intimidated by camping with kids? You’re not alone! It can be a lot of work to get out those first few times before you get your groove. Over the years the TMM Team has learned a few ways to work smarter, not harder. We’ve gathered our best camping with kids hacks here for you so you can start a few steps ahead of the game.
Some of these tips may seem like old news because you grew up with your parents doing the exact same thing. Other tips may be just the inspiration you need to get out the door this weekend.
Our hope is that something from our collective experience will make your next camping trip an awesome experience!
We obviously don’t know it all, so comment below with your own Camping hacks and tips so we can add them in!
Camping with Kids Hacks #1: Use a Checklist
We can’t recommend having a checklist for your adventures, especially if there may be a slight possibility you’ll be interrupted while packing (ahem…) You can find our definitive car camping packing list here.
Camping with Kids Hacks #2: Consider the Journey
If you’re traveling a long distance to your destination wrap small toys, lollipops, or second hand books for your children.
Our family gives out a prize and snack every 100 miles on our adventures to different national parks etc. The kids look forward to their prize and it’s the perfect way to help pass the time in the car.
Camping with Kids Hacks #3: Kitchen in a Tub + Drying Rack Hack
Keep all your kitchen/cook gear in a storage bin that’s easily accessible.Throw in foil, common spices (salt/pepper), olive oil, etc. so it’s ready to grab and go when you go car camping for the weekend.
If you have a bigger group/family then keep a cheap mesh hammock in your kitchen gear. It makes for the perfect drying area for dishes, plates, pots, pans etc. after a meal.
Camping with Kids Hack #4: Sleeping + Napping Tips
Bring a camping hammock. They don’t take up much space and they are a great source of entertainment for kids. Hammock swings and flips never get old.
The other benefit of packing a camping hammock is that you’ll have a nice spot to take a mid day nap (or at least a little rest???) which you’ll appreciate when the tent is roasting hot.
Is there a possibility of low temperatures at nighttime? Share a double sleeping bag to ensure that you and your child both stay warm and cozy.
Otherwise you may end up trying to share space in a single sleeping bag…which isn’t fun for anyone.
Camping with Kids Hacks #5: Use Frozen Meals
When cooking food at home double up on easy things that you could bring camping to simplify meals on your next camping trip.
We love to put homemade pizza, breakfast burritos and dinner burritos in our freezer at home and have an easy, quick meal to throw together after we set up camp.
Camping with Kids Hacks #6: Deal with the Rain
Keep tarp gear with your car camping equipment and know how to set it up properly. There is nothing worse than not having a place to stay dry during a sudden rainstorm. Also, we don’t recommend using grommets for the tarp. Tarps tend to rip if you use grommets.
Instead, wrap the corner of the tarp around a small rock and then tie the rope around the rock/tarp like a lollipop. You won’t have any rips that way.
You can also use something like this that packs small and makes camping in the rain much easier.
Camping with Kids Hacks #7: Poop, Pee and Keeping them Clean
Use compostable plastic bags in your kids potty chair in the tent overnight (also works to use in the potty seat in the car when driving). This way you can throw the bag in the trash along with the poo!
If you’re planning to camp for an extended time with a baby in the diaper stage then Rubbermaid bins also make great baby bath tubs.
What other camping with kids hacks do you use??
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