5 tips for camping with kids

Bonding with your kids over a campfire, making good food, and watching the stars twinkling in the night sky can be a wonderful experience. Camping with kids allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with nature and your family. However, camping with kids requires some extra planning and preparation to ensure a successful and enjoyable trip for everyone.

If you’ve recently bought a campervan with us, or you already have a date in the diary for hiring a campervan with us for your family camping trip, keep reading as we provide you with five tips for camping with kids that will help you make the most of your camping adventure and ensure your trip runs smoothly from start, to finish. Let’s dive right in.

camping with kids

1. Prepare in advance for your camping adventure

Like all things involving children, camping with kids requires some well-thought-out planning to cover your bases. Before embarking on your camping adventure, it’s important to gather all the necessary camping equipment and supplies and prepare for any potential challenges that may arise.

Firstly, it’s important to familiarise yourself with your chosen camping location and its surrounding amenities. Be sure to research family-friendly campsites that offer plenty of activities and nearby amenities suitable for children. Aim to opt for campsites that have a designated play area so your kids can play safely outdoors. Some campsites even offer onsite amenities such as swimming pools and tennis courts.

Before heading out for your family trip, packing the right gear is also crucial when camping with kids. Creating a checklist beforehand will ensure that you have everything you need. Here are some essential items to include on your checklist:

  • Sleeping bags – you could consider investing in sleeping bags with built-in pillows for extra convenience.
  • Insect repellent – this would depend on your camping location and time of year, but it’s always nice to have it just in case! 
  • First aid kit – a well-stocked first aid kit is essential when camping with kids. Include things like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medication.
  • Portable camping stove and cookware – having a portable camping stove and cookware allows for more flexibility and convenience when it comes to meal preparation.
  • Outdoor clothing and footwear – be sure to pack appropriate clothing and footwear for outdoor activities. Think layers, waterproofs and comfortable shoes or boots.

2. Set up a child-friendly spot

Believe it or not, how you set up your camping spot can make a huge difference to your trip. By considering the layout of your spot and getting the kids involved with the setup process, you can foster a sense of ownership.

When setting up your camping spot, consider the layout that works best for all the family. For example, designate areas for sleeping, cooking, and relaxation, and don’t forget to create a space for your children to play. 

Again, involving your kids in setting up camp not only lightens the workload but also creates a sense of excitement and adventure. Assign age-appropriate tasks to your children, such as helping with the setup of your awning, or arranging your camping chairs and table.

You could even make the process a fun activity by turning it into a game. For example, you can race to see who can set up their sleeping bag the fastest, or have a contest to see who can set up the table the neatest. This not only makes the process enjoyable but also teaches your kids valuable camping skills.

camping with kids

3. Plan fun camping activities to enhance your trip

Keeping your children engaged with outdoor activities is the key to success when camping with kids. By providing them with opportunities to connect with nature and have fun, you can create lasting memories and instil a sense of appreciation for the great outdoors.

Nature walks and exploration is a great way to get your kids excited about the natural world. However, be sure to plan nature walks that are suitable for their age and interest levels, and encourage them to observe and interact with their surroundings. You can even create a scavenger hunt where they have to find specific items or identify different plants and animals.

Even when you’re back at the campsite, be sure to bring outdoor toys such as frisbees, or balls and come up with some games the whole family can play and enjoy. If you don’t want to bring additional items, you could play some of the classic games like tag and hide-and-seek. These games can be a fun way to pass the time while at the campsite.

4. Make your mealtimes memorable

Mealtime is an important part of any camping trip, and you can make it a memorable experience with your children. By planning easy and nutritious meals and involving your kids in the cooking process, not only can you make it memorable, but you can also teach them valuable cooking skills.

For your main meals, opt for simple, one-pot options for ease, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your ingredients and let your kids customise their meals to their liking. Similarly, when you’re out and about, aim to take easy and nutritious snack options that your kids will enjoy such as granola bars, and fresh fruit to keep them fueled throughout the day.

When cooking your meals, it’s a great opportunity to teach your children about the dos and don’ts so they can learn about health and safety when preparing and cooking food. For example:


  • Use your designated cooking equipment and area to keep things confined.
  • Use long-handled utensils and oven mitts to handle hot cookware.
  • Teach your kids about fire safety and the importance of staying a safe distance away from your camping stove.
  • Have a trial run at home before your camping trip to familiarise your kids with campfire cooking.


  • Don’t leave your camping stove unattended.
  • Don’t allow your children to use sharp cooking equipment on their own.
  • Don’t let your kids handle hot cookware without adult supervision.

camping with kids

5. Ensure everyone gets a restful night’s sleep

When camping with kids, it’s vital to ensure the whole family gets a good night’s sleep and this can be achieved by creating a comfortable sleeping environment and establishing nighttime routines.

Ensuring everybody’s needs are met when it comes to sleeping arrangements is important. From who sleeps where, to having high-quality sleeping bags or bedding, it’s critical that all the family feels cosy and comfortable. If you have particularly young children, you could bring their favourite blanket or toys to make them feel extra secure.

When you establish nighttime routines, it can help signal to your children that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This can include activities such as brushing their teeth, changing into their pyjamas, and reading a bedtime story. You could also make it a truly unique camping experience by using lanterns and torches to create a cosy atmosphere.

Ready to embark on your family adventure?

Camping with kids can be a memorable experience with proper planning and preparation and we hope our top tips will help ensure a smooth, fun and happy adventure for all the family!

If you’re ready to take the whole family out on a camping trip to remember, be sure to take a look at the campervans we have available right now. Or if you’d like to test the waters first, why not hire a campervan with us? Either way, you can be sure you’ll have the trip of a lifetime! If you’d like to learn more about our campervans or conversions, get in touch with us today and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help.


Camping with Kids FAQs

What is the best age for children to start camping?

There is no specific age limit for children to start camping. It depends on their individual readiness and comfort level. However, many families find that starting around 3-4 years old is a good time to introduce children to camping.

How do I address safety concerns while camping with kids?

It’s important to teach your children about fire safety, wildlife safety, staying hydrated, and staying within sight at all times early on. To ensure your children are safe when camping, you should ensure they wear appropriate footwear and clothing for outdoor activities.

How do I handle bathroom needs while camping with kids?

You should familiarise your children with using portable toilets or designated toilet facilities. Encourage them to use the toilets before bedtime and upon waking up, and bring along a portable toilet for emergencies if necessary.

What should I do if my child gets scared at night?

Be sure to bring comforting items from home, such as their favourite toy or blanket. Reassure them that they are safe and explain the sounds they might hear. You could also consider bringing a small nightlight for them too.

What should I do if the weather turns bad while camping with kids?

Always have a backup plan for indoor activities such as board games, reading or watching films. It’s also important to ensure your campervan and other camping gear are waterproof and secured down. It’s wise to monitor weather forecasts before your trip and be prepared to adjust your plans accordingly.

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