When Is The Best Time To Go Camping With Kids In The USA?

Camping is one of the best ways to spend time with your family. It is not just about enjoying the outdoors but also spending quality time with each other while doing something different. 

How do you ensure that your camping trip goes as planned and doesn’t turn into a disaster? Here are some tips to help you prepare for a successful family camping trip:

When To Go Camping (Best Season!)
Camping trips with kids can be challenging but rewarding.
Proper planning and preparation are key to a successful camping trip with children.
Choosing the right gear and equipment is crucial for comfort and convenience.
Engaging kids in fun activities during camping helps create memories and strengthen family bonds.
Staying safe in the wilderness requires essential skills, knowledge, and equipment.

The Best Children’s Camping Clothes Should Be Chosen With Care

Choosing the right camping clothes for your children is an important consideration, as you want them to be comfortable and easy to clean. You also need to be sure that they’re durable enough not to fall apart on the first day of use.

The best children’s camping clothes should also be practical, but still look good. The last thing you want is for your kids to feel embarrassed by their outfits or worse yet, too hot or cold because they’re wearing something inappropriate for the weather conditions.

And finally: Be sure that your children know how important it is that they take care of their belongings while camping (and everywhere else). 

Here are some basic rules: Don’t throw things around; don’t jump up and down on them; don’t leave them out in direct sunlight for extended periods of time; wash everything regularly with gentle soap and warm water after each use; check pockets frequently for small items like rocks or berries which could get lost if accidentally swallowed!

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Choose A Family-Friendly Campsite

You’re going to want to choose a campsite that is close to water. A good campsite will have places nearby where you can go fishing and kayaking, as well as swimming spots if there are no lakes or rivers nearby. 

You’ll also want a campsite with good facilities, like bathrooms and showers. This will make it easier for you when it comes time for cleaning up after meals and taking care of personal hygiene needs. 

Finally, your family-friendly camping trip should include a site with a good view so that everyone can enjoy the outdoors!

If possible, I would recommend booking your family-friendly camping trip during the spring or fall months but remember that these seasons vary depending on where in America you live! So look at our guide below carefully before planning your trip:

Recommended Family-Friendly Campsites

CampsiteLocationAmenitiesPrice Range
KOAVarious locations in the US and CanadaFull hookup, Wi-Fi, pool, playground, laundry facility$30-$90 USD per night
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone ParkVarious locations in the US and CanadaFull hookup, water park, mini-golf, game room, planned activities$30-$150 USD per night
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & CampgroundOrlando, FloridaFull hookup, pool, playgrounds, horseback riding, fishing, Disney transportation$60-$200 USD per night
Great Wolf LodgeVarious locations in the US and CanadaIndoor water park, mini-golf, arcade, family-friendly dining$250-$500 USD per night
Kampgrounds of America (KOA)Various locations in the US and CanadaFull hookup, Wi-Fi, pool, playground, pet-friendly$30-$90 USD per night

Note: Prices may vary based on season and location.

The above table provides recommendations for family-friendly campsites that cater to different budgets and preferences. These campsites offer amenities such as full hookup, Wi-Fi, pools, playgrounds, water parks, and planned activities to keep the whole family entertained during camping trips.

Pick A Camping Trip Destination

Once you’ve decided to head out on a camping trip, it’s time to pick the destination. In general, there are two types of locations that families can choose from: more urban or less urban. 

Urban locations may provide access to more resources in case of an emergency but they also tend to be more expensive and crowded. 

If you’re staying closer to home, consider choosing one of these national parks or forests as your campground destination:

  • Yosemite National Park (California)
  • Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming/Montana)
  • Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

Camping with kids is an adventure that requires careful planning. Check out our guide on glamping with kids where we share tips on how to make it a fun, safe, and memorable experience for the whole family.

Plan Your Activities In Advance

Before you go camping with your kids, it’s important to plan ahead. You’ll want to have activities planned that will appeal to all ages, including teenagers and adults. 

If possible, choose activities that allow everyone in your group to participate throughout the day; this will help keep everyone busy and happy.

These ideas can help:

  • Plan for evening activities for when the kids are tired after a long day of exploring nature. Ensure these activities don’t take too long; otherwise they might not get done at all!
  • Create an activity list filled with things that will appeal specifically to each member of your family or group of friends; keep this list handy when planning for each day’s adventures so no one feels left out!

Recommended Camping Activities for Families

ActivityDescriptionRecommended LocationsDuration
HikingExplore nature on foot with scenic trails and diverse wildlifeNational Parks, State ParksHalf-day to full-day
FishingLearn a relaxing and rewarding skill while enjoying the outdoorsLakes, rivers, streamsHalf-day
Campfire storiesCreate memories and bond with family members around a warm fireCampsite, BackyardEvening
Star gazingDiscover the wonders of the night sky and constellationsCampsite, ObservatoryEvenings
KayakingPaddle your way through serene lakes or raging rapidsLake, River, CoastalHalf-day to full-day

The above table provides recommended camping activities that are family-friendly and cater to different interests and ages. These activities include hiking, fishing, campfire stories, star gazing, and kayaking. The table includes a short description, recommended locations, and estimated duration for each activity to help families plan ahead and make the most of their camping trip.

Make The Best Use Of Your Time On The Camping Trip

As with any holiday, you should have a plan for how to best use the time on your camping trip. If you are traveling from far away, it’s a good idea to allow for unplanned stops along the way so that your children can stretch their legs and explore new places.

Once at camp, it might be tempting to take advantage of having no schedule and relax into an aimless routine of reading in between siestas with your eyes closed. 

However, this is not what holidays are made for! Your kids need structure in their lives just as much as they need freedom and fun time.

 They will feel happier if they know what is coming next rather than being left wondering when something exciting might happen. 

You can still incorporate relaxation into ‘routine’ activities like reading or swimming in a lake but make sure there are plenty of opportunities for exploration too!.

Camping with children is a great way to bond and explore nature. Learn how to plan the perfect camping trip with your kids with our comprehensive guide that covers everything from choosing the right gear to fun activities for the kids.

Packing Is Easy When You Have A Checklist

The best way to pack for your trip is to create a checklist of all the things you need. The checklists I’ve created for my kids and I include items suitable for any weather condition (it may be hot, cold, or rainy), plus clothes that can be worn during our planned activities.

We use this checklist before every trip:

  • Clothes (including shoes)
  • Towels and other bathroom supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Sleeping bags and blankets
  • Food items (such as snacks)

What To Bring For Food?

The type of food that you bring with you is also important. Keep in mind that all meals should be nutritious and easy to prepare. The food should be easy to pack, clean-up after and store as well.

If you are camping with kids, then it’s best to pack things like peanut butter sandwiches, bagels and cheese sticks. You can also buy ready-made sandwiches from the store and heat them up at home before packing them into a cooler for the trip as well.

Keeping kids entertained on camping trips can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Discover 15 fun activities to keep your kids entertained while camping that will make your camping experience more enjoyable for the entire family.

Check That You Have The Right First Aid Kit

You should also ensure that your first aid kit is well-stocked and contains everything that you may need to treat an emergency. 

“Make sure you have the right first aid kit for your trip,” says Dr. Christopher G. King, founder and medical director at Peak Performance Sports Medicine in Bend, Oregon. “I recommend having one on hand even if you are just going out for a day hike or ride.”

In addition to a well-stocked first aid kit, Dr. King also recommends including a snake bite kit and all medications (including pain relievers) that you may need as part of your camping trip preparation so that they don’t get forgotten when packing up at the last minute! 

Additionally, make sure to include equipment such as bandages, cotton balls and gauze pads within your camping supplies so that no matter what happens while out there on the trail – whether it’s skinning knees after falling off bike tires into cacti or needing stitches from falling down rocks during hiking – there will always be something available nearby when needed most!

Recommended First Aid Kits for Camping

First Aid KitDescriptionContentsPrice Range
Adventure Medical Kits UltralightLightweight and compact kit with essential medical supplies for up to 2 peopleBasic first aid supplies, medications, bandages, survival tools$15-$30 USD
First Aid Only 299 Piece All-Purpose KitComprehensive kit that includes first aid supplies for up to 50 people with a soft carrying caseBandages, pain relief medication, antiseptics, cold packs, scissors, tweezers$20-$35 USD
REI Co-op Backpacker Extended First-Aid KitDesigned for groups of up to 6 people on extended trips in the backcountrySupplies for broken bones, wounds, blisters, and other emergencies$35-$50 USD
MyMedic The SoloWaterproof and compact first aid kit designed for one person on short tripsBandages, antiseptics, medication, emergency tools, and supplies$20-$30 USD
Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid KitLightweight and compact kit with supplies for up to 2 people for up to 3 daysBandages, emergency tools, antiseptics$15-$20 USD

The above table provides recommended first aid kits for camping that are designed to address different needs and requirements. These kits include Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight, First Aid Only 299 Piece All-Purpose Kit, REI Co-op Backpacker Extended First-Aid Kit, MyMedic The Solo, and Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit. The table includes a short description, contents, and price range to help families choose the right kit for their camping trip.

Take Enough Batteries And Light Sources

When you’re camping with kids, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. With that in mind, make sure that you have plenty of batteries and light sources from headlamps to flashlights. 

If you don’t have enough power on hand, portable power is also an option if your campsite has power outlets available.

If there are some stormy nights at your campsite, emergency lighting can be very useful as well. Just in case!

Staying safe in the wilderness is crucial for a successful camping trip. Get expert advice and useful tips from our guide on staying safe and surviving in the wilderness that covers essential skills, safety tips, and equipment needed to stay safe in the wild.

Plan Ahead For Emergencies And Bad Weather Occasions

If you are going camping with kids, make sure to plan ahead for a few emergency situations. The best way to do this is by having a kit that contains everything that you might need in an emergency.

It should also contain a flashlight and battery-operated radio as well as other items that can help you signal for help in case of an emergency.

Since many things can go wrong when camping with kids, make sure to have first aid equipment ready in case someone gets hurt or sick. In addition, let your children know what they should do if they get lost while exploring someplace new on your trip. 

This will give them confidence and allow them to feel more secure while they’re exploring on their own during the day or nighttime hours when everyone else is asleep!


An important thing to remember is that you’ll probably want your children to be involved in all parts of the camping process. 

This way, they will feel more like an integral part of the trip and have a better time overall. If you plan well in advance and make sure everything is taken care of before leaving for the trip, then there shouldn’t be any problems. 

So, go ahead! Get out there with your little ones and have fun!

Further reading

If you want to learn more about camping season and when to go camping, check out these resources:

When Is Camping Season?: This informative article covers the different seasons and regions that are ideal for camping, as well as gear essentials for each season.

The Best Time to Go Camping: Discover the best times to go camping and tips on how to make the most out of your adventure with this article.

When Can I Camp by the National Park Service provides information on the different seasons and weather conditions that affect camping, as well as guidelines for making campsite reservations.


When is the best time of the year for camping?

The answer to this question depends on various factors, such as location, weather, and personal preference. However, spring and fall are often considered the best times to go camping due to milder temperatures and fewer crowds.

What are the essential camping gear?

The essential camping gear includes a tent, sleeping bag, camping stove, cooler, first aid kit, flashlight, and other items depending on the type of camping and personal needs.

How do I book a campsite?

To book a campsite, check the National Park Service website, state park websites, or private campsite reservation systems. It’s important to plan ahead as campsites can fill up quickly, especially during peak season.

What are common camping safety tips?

Common camping safety tips include researching the area beforehand, packing plenty of water and food, keeping a clean campsite, using designated fire pits, being mindful of wildlife, and keeping an emergency kit in case of unforeseen situations.

Can I bring my pet camping?

Yes, you can bring pets when camping. However, it’s important to check the campsite policy regarding pets, keep them on a leash, and pick up after them.