10 Essential Tips For Camping With Kids In The USA

Camping with kids can be a challenge, but it’s also a great way to introduce your children to the wonders of nature. Here are some tips for making it easier on both you and your little ones:

10 Essentials for Camping with Kids
Tips for Planning a Successful Camping Trip with Kids
Best Campgrounds for Families in the USA
Top Family-Friendly National Parks for Camping in the USA
Fun Camping Activities for Kids
Essential Tips for Camping with Kids in the USA

Start Small

One of the best ways to begin camping with your kids is by starting small. Even if you’re a veteran camper who has been sleeping under the stars for years, it’s important to take things slow when it comes to introducing your little ones to the joys of nature. 

While you may be excited about getting out into nature and experiencing all that it has to offer, there are plenty of benefits for both parents and children alike when camping is approached slowly and with care.

Start small means starting with short trips that don’t require too much gear or planning. This can mean choosing a nearby park rather than driving across town or state lines for your first camping trip together as a family; choosing a campsite in an area where facilities such as restrooms are close by; and bringing along only what is absolutely necessary (food, water bottles). 

These little steps will help ease everyone into their new surroundings without overwhelming anyone along the way.

Planning a camping trip with kids can be challenging, but with a few expert tips and tricks, it can be a fun and memorable experience for the whole family. Check out our guide on how to plan the perfect camping trip with your kids to ensure that your next outdoor adventure goes smoothly.

Know The Area

It’s crucial to know the area you are camping in. Before you go, do your research on what to expect, and be sure to plan accordingly. Knowing the wildlife, weather conditions and plant life will provide you with a better understanding of how best to prepare for your trip. For example:

Know what animals live there. If you’re camping in bear country (or any other area where there are specific wildlife concerns), make sure everyone knows how to behave if they encounter any of these creatures.

Know when it rains—and when it doesn’t rain in the area where you’ll be camping out so that you can plan accordingly based on previous experiences from other campers who have been there before. 

While we don’t want people worrying about making sure their tents don’t get wet or having their sleeping bags filled with water by morning, knowing whether or not it’s going to rain is important information for those who don’t want their belongings ruined by bad weather conditions during their outdoor adventure!

Know The Area Table

AccessibilityProximity to major roads, airports, public transportation
TerrainHilly, flat, rocky, sandy, wooded
ClimateTemperature, humidity, rain/snowfall, wind conditions
WildlifeType and prevalence of wildlife, including bears, snakes, insects
FacilitiesRestrooms, showers, picnic areas, campsites, water availability
ActivitiesHiking, fishing, swimming, cycling, kayaking, hunting, other outdoor activities
Local attractionsMuseums, parks, historical sites, cultural events, shopping and restaurants

Keep The Kids Involved In Preparations

You want to get your kids involved in the process of planning and preparing for your camping trip.

Have them help with packing. What do you need to bring? Which items are a must-have, and which ones can be left behind? You can use this question as an opportunity for some fun family brainstorming sessions or even create a list together on paper or using a shared Google Docs spreadsheet.

Get them involved with cooking and setting up the tent. If you’re going on an overnight trip, this will give them something to look forward to and allow them a chance to feel like they have some control over what happens next (which will build their confidence). Plus, it gives parents more time off their feet!

If you’re looking for the best campgrounds for families in the USA, look no further than our comprehensive guide. From amenities to activities, we’ve got everything you need to plan the perfect camping trip. Discover the top family-friendly campgrounds on Unified Camping and start planning your next adventure today.

Be A Prepared Leader

Be a prepared leader. You’re going to be the one in charge, so you should plan ahead and have everything ready before leaving for your trip.

Consider what kind of leader you want to be: a strong but fair leader, or someone who leads by example?

Be a Prepared Leader Table

NavigationGPS device, compass and map, trail markers
CommunicationCell phone, satellite phone, two-way radios
Emergency equipmentFirst-aid kit, fire extinguisher, satellite messenger device
GearTent, sleeping bag, backpack, camping stove, water filter/purification
Weather gearRain jackets, warm layers, sun hat, sunglasses
Food and waterAdequate supply of water, meal plans, snacks, emergency rations
Knowledge and skillsWilderness first aid, CPR certification, survival skills, backcountry ethics

Get Some Campfire Stories Ready

When you’re camping with kids, the best way to get them to sit still and listen is through story time. It’s true that bedtime stories can be great for this purpose at home, but they’re even better when they involve things like bears and wolves!

You can tell plenty of stories on your own, but if you need a little extra inspiration or are looking for something new to spruce up your repertoire (you know, just in case), we’ve got some suggestions right here.

The United States is home to some of the most breathtaking national parks in the world, and many of them are perfect for family camping trips. Check out our guide to the top family-friendly national parks for camping in the USA to explore the stunning natural landscapes and enjoy quality time with your loved ones.

Plan For Bug Bites

Wear long sleeves and pants. This will protect your exposed skin from the sun, but also from those pesky mosquito bites.

Bring a bug spray with DEET. The higher the percentage of DEET in the bug spray, the longer it will last before needing to reapply. 

The downside is that it can be more toxic than other types of mosquito repellents on the market if you’re concerned about your health and aren’t sure what to use, simply ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice!

Pack Up Well

Before your family sets off on its adventure, you should take some time to pack up well. Like anything else, there are a few things you can do ahead of time (and a few others that may happen as soon as you arrive).

For starters, it’s important to pack light. You’ll be carrying everything with you for several days, so don’t make it any heavier than necessary by packing too many clothes or extraneous items. Next, make sure each person has their own first aid kit complete with bandages and medications like ibuprofen or Benadryl for allergies. 

Along with that comes a flashlight for each camper you never know when darkness will come early! Also bring along rain gear in case of weather changes; this way everyone stays dry and happy at all times during their trip together outdoors…

Keeping the kids entertained during a camping trip can be a challenge, but with these 15 fun activities, you’ll never run out of ideas. From scavenger hunts to stargazing, there’s something for every age group. Get inspired with our guide to fun camping activities for kids and make your next family vacation one to remember.

Be Mindful Of The Rules And Environment

Before you set off on your camping adventure, it’s important to be aware of the rules and environment of the area. Make sure that you have the right equipment for where you’re going (e.g., when camping in a desert region, remember a hat). 

Be mindful of local wildlife and weather conditions. Also check out any local advice from rangers at ranger stations!

Remember To Have Fun!

The most important thing to remember when camping with kids is to simply have fun. It can be easy to get bogged down in the details and forget that you’re supposed to be on an adventure with your family, so make sure you take plenty of time for yourself and your loved ones. 

Whether it’s hiking, swimming or simply enjoying each other’s company around the campfire, camping should be a relaxing experience for everyone involved.

Remember also that this is still a camping trip—there will still be some chores! While it’s important not to allow chores like meal preparation and tent setup take over your trip (or else it’ll feel more like work than vacation), make sure everyone helps out by pitching in where they can. This could include setting up a tablecloth on which everyone can sit during meals; maybe even giving kids their own little jobs like bringing plates from inside the house outside so they don’t have far to walk later on? 

You could also let them bring out snacks or drinks during breaks from playing games or exploring nature!

Camping with kids requires careful planning, preparation, and a little bit of creativity. Our guide to the 10 essential tips for camping with kids in the USA covers everything from safety to meals and activities. Follow our expert advice and enjoy a stress-free camping trip with your family.


If you’re looking to plan a camping trip with your kids, we hope these tips will help. We know how difficult it can be to find the right balance between making sure they’re safe and keeping the whole experience fun but we believe that the key is in preparation. 

The more you know about your destination and its rules, plus any special equipment needs (like bug spray), the better prepared everyone will be for an exciting trip full of fun and adventure!

Further Reading

If you’re looking for more tips and ideas on camping with kids, be sure to check out these helpful resources:

Camping with Kids: 16 Tips to Make It Easy – This article provides practical tips for camping with kids, including advice on gear, packing, and activities.

Camping with Kids: How to Get Started – REI offers expert advice on camping with kids, from choosing a campsite to setting up camp and cooking meals.

19 Tips for Camping with Kids – Parents.com shares proven tips and advice for a successful and enjoyable camping trip with kids.


How do I choose a family-friendly campground?

When choosing a campground, look for one that is family-friendly with amenities such as playgrounds, hiking trails, campfire pits, and showers. Also, look at reviews from other families to learn about their experiences.

What gear do I need for camping with kids?

While the necessary gear can vary depending on the age of your children, some essential items to pack include a tent, sleeping bags, camping chairs, camp stove, cooler, and headlamps or flashlights.

How can I keep my kids entertained while camping?

There are numerous activities to keep kids entertained while camping, such as hiking, fishing, swimming, playing games, storytelling, and stargazing.

How do I ensure my kids stay safe while camping?

To ensure your kids stay safe while camping, follow all campground rules, supervise them at all times, teach them about wildlife safety, and keep a first-aid kit and emergency supplies on hand.

What food should I pack for a camping trip with kids?

You should pack easy-to-prepare meals and snacks that your kids enjoy. Some great options are hot dogs, hamburgers, trail mix, dried fruit, and s’mores ingredients.