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Top Tips for Taking Your Kids Camping

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If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, you’re probably eager to take your kids camping with you. After all, camping is a wonderful activity that lets you spend time with family while also being immersed in nature. However, knowing when to introduce your kids to camping can be tricky. There are certain safety precautions all parents need to consider before taking their kids with them.

To help you decide if a camping trip is right for you, we’ll break down a few things to consider based on your child’s age. Babies have different requirements than school-aged kids, and it’s crucial you plan in advance to make sure you are prepared.

What Is the Right Age to Take Kids Camping?

The truth is – there is no specific age your kids have to be to go camping with you. Readiness largely depends on how comfortable you are taking your child into the wilderness. While some people prefer their kids to be older (to fully enjoy the experience), many take their newborns or infants camping!

Just like parenting, there are many different ways to camp. In some cases, you may have to make some adjustments to your location or camping style. However, you can camp with your child as early as you want!

Tips for Kids Camping Through the Different Ages

Camping with Babies (Ages 0 to 12 Months)

Camping with a baby is doable, but there are special considerations you will have to make to ensure their comfort and well-being. They need extra attention (and often extra equipment), so you’ll want to be fully prepared before taking your little one outdoors.

Ideally, you should choose a campsite with adequate facilities, like bathrooms and emergency services. Having clean, running water, shade, and maybe even an on-site restaurant can make this experience easier for everyone.

You also need to consider the sleeping arrangements, as babies can’t sleep in a sleeping bag in a tent. You’ll need a crib or bassinet where they can be safe throughout the night. And don’t forget all the other essentials like diapers, baby carrier, bottles, food, etc.

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For some people, renting a campervan or RV can make traveling with a baby easier. This way, you can still park outdoors while also having the comforts of home.


Camping with Toddlers (Ages 1 to 3)

Toddlers are generally full of excitement and wonder, which can make this a great time to introduce them to the outdoors. However, they can sometimes be a bit too curious and wander off or get themselves into dangerous situations.

For this reason, you should prioritize safety if you plan to bring your toddler camping. For example, you may want to bring an enclosed playpen to keep an eye on them. Or you may forgo the bonfire in favor of propane-cooked meals (or you can set up a barrier around the fire).

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Camping World

It’s also a good idea to keep your getaway to just a night or two. Longer trips may be too tedious or boring to keep younger kids entertained.

Camping with Preschoolers (Ages 3 to 5)

The preschool years are also filled with the desire to learn and explore. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have a few activities planned to keep their busy minds occupied. Bring some outdoor games, set up a scavenger hunt, or simply go on a long nature walk through the woods.

On the downside, kids in this age group can get easily bored or homesick. To make them more comfortable, pack some of their personal belongings from home. This could be a blanket or a stuffed animal – really, anything that can soothe and comfort!

And don’t forget about giving them a safety briefing. If it’s their first time camping, they probably won’t know what is safe to touch or do. By providing a set of rules, you can ensure that everyone has a safe and memorable time outdoors.

Camping with School-Age Kids (Ages 5 to 13)

At this age, kids can usually do all the fun things that make camping so enjoyable. They are more independent than the younger ones, which means you can loosen up the reigns when it comes to exploration. However, they still need to be aware of basic guidelines (no touching animals, no swimming without parents, etc.) to stay safe.

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This is a great time to also teach them outdoor skills. They can assist with planning and checking in or even setting up tents. They may also want to be in charge of stocking the cooler or making food (or at least roasting s’mores!).

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Camping with Teens (Ages 13+)

It’s never too late to take your kids camping! Even if they are teenagers, you can still introduce them to a new hobby that they can do for years to come. Although it may be difficult to pry your teen away from the computer or phone, having this time to disconnect is great for character building.

Unfortunately, this can also be the age where your kids are frustrated with everything. Although they may complain about being there, it’s still a good idea to keep them active. Plan family hikes, kayaking trips, or campfire games to keep them entertained (and distracted!).

However, as parents, you will also need to respect their privacy. Finding the balance between personal time and family bonding will prevent your teen from hating the experience.

Taking your kids camping is a wonderful experience for the whole family – as long as you’re properly prepared! As long as you’re take precautions, you can ensure that everyone will have a safe and fun time outdoors. Make sure you have everything on your camping packing list and don’t forget to keep them occupied with games and camping toys!

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