Skip to Content

What to Pack: Camping with Kids

I loved camping as a child. So far Mattias and Markus love it too. But their camping experience is more like “glamping” as we lovingly refer to my parent’s 36” Toy Hauler Fifth Wheel (you can see a photo of it below!). We are fortunate that it is parked at Kawkawa Lake Resort and RV Park for the summer. We have been lucky enough to enjoy a few weekends up there already this year (and were glad for the heater over the Easter long weekend)!

What to Pack: Camping with Kids

Camping with Kids: "Glamping" in Action!
“Glamping” in Action!

I have camped my entire life and I am so happy to be able to go camping with my kids. Whether it be RVing, car camping (driving to campsites to camp), hiking and tenting (carrying in everything on your back), beachfront camping (arriving by boat) and camping with Girl Guides as a child, I’ve done it all! Very recently we even experienced camping in Tofino, on Vancouver Island near Pacific Rim National Park.

Are you planning on camping in British Columbia Parks? You can use their reservation system here. I will warn you, the popular sites fill up quick!

The Camping and RVing in BC has a good list of camping options as well.

camping with kids: pack the hot dogs
Camping with Kids: Hot Dogs on the Fire

My boys are almost 2 and almost 4, so my list caters to the smaller kids. I have not mentioned food, tenting equipment or clothing as that all depends on where, when and for how long you are camping for! But in addition to those items, these are the things we always bring along. I hope you find the list useful!

Camping with Kids Checklist:

1. Camping Chair kids love having their own chair around the campfire (even though they will probably sit in yours too!)

2 Rain Gear  it can rain anytime of the year in Vancouver. We ALWAYS have rain gear and boots!

3.Bathing Suit you never know when they are going to want to play in the lake! And it can be spare clothes in a pinch.

4. Bug Spray we make our own with essential oils, but anything is better than buzzing mosquitoes around your campsite

5. Sunscreen a sunburn on the lake will ruin anyones afternoon

6. Wipes  even if you don’t have kids in diapers, these are great for sticky marshmallows or quickly cleaning dirty faces

7. Play pen / Blankets from Home  Markus still sleeps in a crib so it makes naptime and bedtime much easier when he is sleeping in something familiar

8. Marshmallows  because it isn’t camping without these sticky messes!

9. Water Bottle for the Kids something they know is theirs, so it can be left out and they can help themselves whenever they want!

10. A Hat  good to keep the sun off and will protect against ticks and other bugs

11. Bike or Outside Toys while nature will keep them entertained, a bucket and shovel, or a bike will help if you need some time for them to occupy themselves.

12. quiet Book / Activity – we pack a deck of cards (UNO is a favourite), playdoh and a colouring book. these are great for a bit of downtime or during those rainy days.

Are you going to be at the beach as well? Check out our What to Pack for the Beach list here.

If you happen to be camping in the Metro Vancouver area, check out these posts on  What to do in the Fraser Valley with Kids, What to do in the Rain in Vancouver, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail

Did I miss anything? What is on your kids camping list? Feel free to share in the comments?

Are you prepared? Check out this post on Dealing with Emergencies While Camping from Waking up Wild!

Camping with Kids Ultimate Packing List for your next family camping trip
What to PackCamping with kids: Toddlers or Preschoolers and older children

Sharing is caring!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Robin says:

    This list is perfect! We love camping with our kids.
    I’ll share a couple more must-haves on our list as your kids get a little older (ours are 4&8).
    1. Bikes! (or ride on toy) They are the last thing in and the first thing out.
    2. Washable paint. When they’re sick of coloring, we paint rocks. I have a coffee can with supplies in the trailer.
    3. Good quality walkie talkies. Gives them that little bit of freedom they crave without terrifying you lol

  2. Thanks for sharing… Simple list. Sometimes these lists have 500 things on them and I imagine an ikea commercial with a jam packed car!

  3. Jessica says:

    Love this

  4. Dawn Kealing says:

    I love camping, it probably helps that I have lived in British Columbia my entire life and it’s a pretty common pastime here. 🙂 There’s so much beauty and wilderness here it makes camping so amazing. <3

  5. I am glad some people are teaching their kids the wonder of camping. Great tips.

  6. My kids are adults and we never went camping, but many of the items listed are great tips for any trip!

  7. This is a very helpful list! I don’t have kids myself but I can for sure, say that you have this lit spot on! 🙂

    P.S. Your kids are adorable!!

  8. I definitely lean more to ‘glamping’ than a night under canvas (unless it’s a luxury African Safari tent of course) but my kids keep talking about camping so we’ll have to go soon. I will remember this list for when we do! I’m also a big fan of activity books, we always travel with Usborne activity pads and sicker books.

  9. Thank you for a super informative post. We always have great troubles to decide what to pack when taking the wee one with us, so it is great to hear about other peoples experiences.

  10. noel says:

    I love that campfire picture, it really tells the whole story and your packing tips are great!

  11. Alyssa Ramos says:

    This is great! Your family is absolutely adorable!