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Traveling with Children: Family Camping Checklist

Traveling with Children: Family Camping Checklist

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Traveling alone can be overwhelming. Unpredictable weather, a heavy backpack, and mosquitoes are only a few challenges you face during the trip. And still, you endure such unpleasant things with a thought about a bigger purpose – reaching the top of the mountain, or watching the shore of the sea, or just enjoying the silence, existing only out of the city. However, children don’t usually share the same expectations as you. Moreover, they face unique inconveniences that make them suffer and complain throughout the trip. That’s why a tour with children must be thought out in detail to ensure the best experience.

In this guide, we combine two parts of advice: preparing for a backpack or car trip in general and what adjustments you should make for traveling with children.

The body of equipment

Here we list the main things that people usually associate with a trip and some more details to give children the best experience. Of course, depending on your camping site, you will have access to different amenities. If you are glamping, nearly everything will be provided for you. But if it’s an outing on the usual camping spot, where there’s nothing except the even ground and broad sky, you’ll need to prepare some gear.

1.   Take a large tent

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Definitely, the size depends on the number of travelers. If it’s a family of four, a small two-person tent won’t work, but if you travel alone with one child – it’ll work perfectly. There is one more thing – consider choosing one from the category of outfitter tents. These accommodations have four vertical walls that allow you to move freely inside. For children, it’d be a great option to run around and enjoy their time inside. Moreover, it’ll enable you to eat comfortably inside if the weather is unpleasant.

2.   Find sleeping bags with the appropriate temperature range

Alas, you can’t just buy any sleeping bag and use it during all seasons. Each of them is designed to work in a specific temperature range. However, your body makes the final judgment because everyone emits heat differently. That’s why experts recommend making a short first trip to understand your body’s peculiarities and choose the right gear. However, it’s even harder with children because their bodies emit less heat than adults and require better protection. At the same time, you don’t want to put them into a sauna inside their sleeping bag. That’s why we recommend you purchase a sleeping bag appropriate to the temperature, but to take with you a blanket that will help adjust to the environment.

3.   Take a sleeping mat for every member of the team

There are several options to put something as a protective layer between your sleeping back and the ground. You can buy a simple foam mat that can be in the form of a roll or an accordion, which is easier to pack. Another option is an inflatable mattress that gives incredible comfort during your night in a tent. Check the RBM Trading to find options for camping in cold seasons.

4.   Various light sources

We’re used to the thought that our phones will save us from the darkness. However, it may work fine in the city environment, where there are numerous street-light sources. In nature, only the sky will emit light, and it won’t be enough to find a towel in the backpack or play board games in the evening. We recommend purchasing headlamps that will free your arms to do any required chore. Moreover, you can take a lamp to hang it on the tent’s ceiling. 

If you don’t want to buy everything at once, rent the equipment. Most travel stores offer the option of renting some of their gear. It will allow you to test several items and decide later what to buy. Also, it will reduce the spending, and the spared money can go to more pleasing or required things that we describe below. 

Essentials to adjust the trip for children’s needs

Now we’ll tackle the child question – how to organize everything right and create a fantastic trip for your beloved ones. 

1.   Prepare a first-aid kit for the whole family

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Children are super active, and in nature, they tend to be more careless. Scratched legs and arms are common injuries during the outdoor trip, so be prepared to tend to the child’s needs. This category also includes hygienic necessities like towels, napkins, and creams. Moreover, take a bar of soap and any needed cleaning products to wash away the mud and sweat after an active day.

2.   The best clothes are the layers

We’ve already mentioned a blanket as a savior during the night. The same idea applies to the clothes. Take with you several layers of garments, like a fleece jacket and macintosh to hide from the wind and rain. And the most important – take several additional pairs of socks! They are bound to get wet and will ruin the whole camping experience. Ensure that you have at least a spare pair of wool socks for the day and one especially for the night.

3.   Take board games for fun in the evening

After the dark sets in, you’ll start to wonder how to engage your children and distract them from ruining the tent. Board games are a great option to have fun and tighten family bonds. The Wirecutter prepared a list of notable games for you to try.

4.   Don’t forget a teddy bear

Small children have a special attachment to their toys, and without these items, they will feel lost and uneasy. You can ask your children to prepare essential things they want to take with them. Moreover, it’ll help children to get to sleep without trouble and bad dreams.

To wrap it up

Listen to your kids. They will tell you what is wrong and often – how you can help them. And remember to enjoy the trip because you can’t predict everything, but you can find joy in every moment of the journey.


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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