Are you prepared for camping with kids? Do you have a camping checklist for all the gear you need? Do you have age-appropriate camping activities planned? Do you know what camp food to take?
If you can’t answer “yes” to those questions, then you have some work to do.
Taking the kids camping might be a spur of the moment decision, but preparing for a successful camping trip takes planning and preparation. Just one forgotten item, (like the camp stove fuel), or one unplanned-for event, (who knew there would be bees), or one unexpected turn of the weather, (slight chance of rain?), can turn the great adventure you envisioned into a disaster everyone struggles to survive.
The Real must-haves for a camping trip with kids.
Everyone seems to have helpful camping tips; about what is needed, what not to forget, and how to do things, but the real must-haves for them might not be the must-haves for you! They need pacifiers and baby wipes, but your kids are well past that. They need Dutch ovens and Pie irons, but you are planning on hot dogs and burgers. They need this, but you need that – the only real must-haves for you, and everyone else, are:
- · Specific plans and camping checklists!
Grab a pad and pencil, and a few minutes of quiet time. Write down your plans.
- When are you going, where, and for how long?
- How long will it take to get there?
- What’s available at the campsite; water, electric, facilities, and what will you have to bring relative to what’s available?
- What activities do you have planned; swimming, hiking, biking, fishing, or just relaxing, (you wish), etc.? ps. Don’t forget to plan in-camp activities for the kids
- What type of camp food and meals do you want? Big meals, lots of dishes, campfire cooking? Or easy burgers and hot dogs, hobo foil and 1-pot meals?
The Camping Checklist:
A camping checklist should be the very first thing you get – you can easily find free printable ones online. These checklists will not only help you think of things you need to pack, but will also remind you, (or enlighten you), of things you need to prepare for. Like preparations and activities for bad weather, or specific foods or snacks to get.
A checklist will also point out those specific must-haves, (what you were looking for to start with); like the kid’s flashlights and safety whistles, or what clothes to pack, or camping gear to get. But the trouble with most checklists you find is that they are either too short, (you already know about the basics), or too complicated, (no, you are not bringing the kitchen sink). You need a camping list designed for you. Luckily customizable checklists are available. They start with everything you could ever possibly need – including the kitchen sink – but are documents that you can edit to create a personalized list to fit your camping style and needs. Here is an example of a free printable MS Word camping checklist that you can customize to make your own.
Now with your plans and expectations firmed up on paper, and that long all-inclusive checklist ready, you can begin to go down the list and see exactly what camping gear you need, (and be reminded of gear you had not thought of), and exactly what camping accessories are needed for your camping plans. Plus, all those dozens of little details, (clothes, toys, teddys and dolls), that are related to kid’s camping, will be listed right in front of you.
When you’re done, just edit out the camping list items that don’t pertain to your kids, or your camping trip, and you have a list specifically for you to use to gather and pack everything you need for a great camping adventure.