Now that you have made the decision to take your family camping only one thing stands between you and your perfect family getaway-packing the perfect gear. While it may sound simple, tent, food, clothes, in reality getting close to nature with little ones is best enjoyed when you have what you need to keep everyone warm, dry and well-fed. Luckily Pitched has put together a comprehensive packing list of all the must-haves for a great family getaway.
Sunscreen & Hats
You'll be spending almost every waking moment outside and with a bit of luck, you'll enjoy some sun. Make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen and hats to protect your little ones, and yourself!
Invest in a good quality tent
Spending quality time outdoors can lead to some wonderful deep sleep for you and your family, but that won't happen if you are wet or cold. Before you begin your trip, take the time to inspect your tent for leaks, mould, or anything else that could compromise your sleep.
It's also important to consider whether your tent is large enough to accommodate your whole family comfortably. While it may be cheaper to invest in a smaller tent when your kids are young, a heavy duty larger tent will accommodate your family now and for years to come. Investing in comfortable accommodations can help to increase the quality of sleep for everyone.
An item even seasoned campers could overlook, bringing a length of rope can be a literal lifesaver while you are spending your days in mother nature. Rope be strung between two trees for a makeshift laundry line to dry towels, swimsuits and clothing. It can also be used to hang food if you are in an area with bears.
While spending time in the fresh air can inspire some great shut-eye, the great outdoors is super dark and that can be scary for kids. Dimmable LED lanterns are a great option for a low level of light for kids to drift off to sleep in comfort. Kid-powered lanterns like this one from Ikea are also a fun way to light up your way.
Early to bed and early to rise is usually on the menu when you are living in the great outdoors with kids. Instead of resigning to a trip filled with instant coffee, why not bring along an upgrade? Bring some fresh ground coffee and a French press or camping espresso maker to have a great start to your day.
While the days may be hot, the nights will be chilly. Pack a few pairs of warm pyjamas to keep the little ones comfortable around the fire. Extra blankets will also come in handy to stay warm at night (and also in case of any accidents that happen at night!)
Attach a plastic or metal whistle to a lanyard and put it around your child's neck or through their belt loop. This will allow them to scare off any dangerous wildlife they encounter as well as help locate them if they become lost or separated from the group.
When spending time outdoors with kids, sensory play is always on the menu. Bringing along a pail and shovel are a great way to encourage your kids to spend some time engaged in some fun but a small shovel designated for discreet washroom visits is a must for remote campsites.
Camping doesn't always equal wonderful weather. The good news is that art projects while camping means no mess inside your house while your kids get to express themselves through the wonders of different art mediums. You can even let them experiment with products they are not normally allowed to use to make it an extra special activity. Just make sure it's non-toxic and biodegradable. If you forget your supplies, mud makes a great natural paint!
Just because there will be plenty of nature to explore doesn't mean you shouldn't pack some favourite toys. Not only will familiar objects help your kids feel comfortable in a new setting, but they will just add to the fun of playing in a new place.
Nighttime routines while camping with kids shouldn't always include ghost stories around a fire. Bringing some favourite books to read before bed can help to keep the nighttime routine consistent as well as provide a fun rainy-day activity.
Camping with kids is a great experience for the whole family, especially if you take the time to make sure the items you are packing will enhance your experience rather than take away from it. The most important thing you can bring with you on any family trip is a positive outlook. If you believe it will be an amazing experience for you and your family it will be.