Camping with children, especially young children, can be overwhelming. Knowing what to pack when you go camping can take down the stress level a few notches. So, let me take you through my personal camping checklist!
As you know, I camp with my littles! If you missed Monday’s post on Camping with Babies and Toddlers, click over to that now. You don’t want to miss my top ten tips. I currently have four children ranging in age from seven months to almost six-years-old.
This camping checklist will be helpful to all campers preparing for their next great adventure, but I will highlight some special tips just for camping with young ones.
I have to give credit where credit is due. Many of these tips have been passed down from my mother and most likely her mother, too! I come from a long line of amazing camping mothers. Also, a few great camping mom-friends have given me so many great pointers over the years.
I will run through the camping checklist here with some commentary, but at the bottom of my post, feel free to download a printable checklist to use for your next great adventure!
Just in case you have not heard…we are making this summer count with the #100daysofsummer2020 challenge! We are doing this camping trip as part of our summer challenge!
If you are new to this summer fun challenge, head over here for all the details and some cool downloads. (Also, if you want the week one update, click over here.) But here is the short summary of what we are doing this summer at A One-Room Schoolhouse:
That’s right! This summer is going to be amazing. To make it truly epic, I challenge each of you to do some really amazing things. Let’s grow! Let’s make a difference! Make ourselves a little better, our family a little better, and our world a little better. Head over here to get your checklist!
- Tent (Don’t forget to check your tent bag to make sure you have your stakes and your footprint. I forgot to check once and did not have my stakes…ugh!)
- Sleeping bags (For littles that can’t stay in a sleeping bag, go with a sleep sack like this one.)
- Sleeping pad (If you are bringing a pack-n-play for your little one, make sure you put a blanket or two UNDER the sheet for additional insulation.)
- Headlamps or flashlights (Don’t forget extra batteries!)
- Camp chairs (My kids love their little camp chairs and a pod for your baby is awesome! Honestly, though, if you have room, just through in your ExerSaucer.)
- If you are going to have a fire: wood (Make sure this is from a source near your campsite.)
- Stroller and/or baby carrier
- Near water? Life jackets/puddle jumpers
- A baby monitor with extra batteries (On the off chance your young one goes to sleep and you still have the energy to hang out around the campfire.)
- White noise machine with extra batteries (if you baby/toddler sleeps with one at home
Optional Campsite Gear
- Lantern (optional, but recommended)
- A sunshade is nice but optional
- An old camp rug for outside the tent, optional, but very nice.
- Table cloth for the table (Hack: grab some big rubber bands to fasten it to the table. You can also tape it down or buy table clips.)
- Clothesline (I bring p-cord for this. Make sure you know how to tie a good clothesline knot. You can watch this video for help.)
- Cots (But oh so nice! I have this one.)
Just in Case Items
- Duct tape
- Saw or ax
- Small broom and dustpan
- Stove and fuel (I bought this one a few years ago and I love it!)
- Matches or lighter
- Cooking pots (Don’t forget a potholder!)
- Eating utensils
- Cooking utensils
- Can opener
- Sharp knife
- Plates and bowls
- Cutting board
- Ice/ice packs for cooler (I have these ones and they are amazing!)
- Water bottles
- Wash bin
- Soap (biodegradable)
- Pot scrubbier
- Trash bags
- Portable high chair for baby (I just strap mine right onto the picnic table.)
- Sippy cups, if you have a baby that age
- Bibs, if needed
- SOOOO many baby wipes
- Ziplock bags
- Large water jug (I have this, it’s not fancy, but it does the job)
- Paper towels
I have this utensils kit for my family. It is tiny and it works perfectly for our family camping trips. It is small, but it does the job and knocks off a number of items on the above list. I have also really loved this cookware set.
Note: I am not including food, water, and other drinks in this checklist… but yes, bring those items! Especially bring food and drinks that your kids are familiar with and like.
Optional Kitchen Items (Depending on what you are eating)
- Camp grill
- Griddle (This one has been working well for us.)
- Dutch oven
- Roasting forks (get long, sturdy ones, not little wimpy ones)
- Large plastic bin to put all this stuff in (Optional, but HIGHLY recommended)
Fun To Have
- Binoculars (kids love these)
- Field guide
- Star chart
- Books (Some for you and some for the kids. Reading stories to your little ones while camping can be amazing. Someday I should do a post just on pictures books to take camping!)
- Notebook, coloring books, crayons, markers
- Music player and headphones
- Board games and card games (Don’t skip this! Nothing is better than sitting around camp playing games with your kids. Also, it is so important to have some “tent time” activities if it rains.)
- “Catching Items” (bug net, jars with holes in the lid, etc.) (Yes, just study them for a minute and then return them to nature. But your kids will love this!)
- Treasure bag for the sticks, rocks, leaves, and flowers your kids will find and never want to part with!
- Dog gear (If applicable)
- Fishing gear
- Glow sticks
- Solar lanterns ( My kids love these!)
Clothes and Shoes
- Outfits for every day, plus some (I take two complete extra outfits for every five days we are out)
- Undies and socks
- Hiking shoes, water shoes, rain boots (I feel like this combo works well for most three-season camping trips)
- Warm sleepwear (preferably including a good base layer)
- Rain jacket
- Warm jacket
- Sun hat
- Beanie and mittens (bring these even in the summer; it gets cold at night)
- Swimsuit and towel
I like to pack all my kids outfits in gallon size zip-lock bags. Each bag gets a complete outfit: socks and undies included. This keeps the clothes together, dry, and in complete outfits.
Toiletries and Health
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand soap
- Shampoo (if desired, adult and baby, dry is always a nice option)
- Detangler (if you have a girl with long hair)
- Hair ties ( very important for your little girls!)
- Quick-dry towel
- Paper towels
- Menstrual products
- Prescription medication
- First aid kit (This could be a whole post, but that is for another time. REI has a nice list if you need one.)
- Kid and adult medicine (Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl are the ones I bring)
- Sunscreen (I am a big fan of blue lizard)
- Lip balm
- Insect repellent
- Diapers and wipes
- Bags for dirty diapers
- A Go Girl seriously a game-changer
- Little potty especially if you have a potty training kiddo
- Baby wipes… just bring way more than you think
- Alcohol wipes
- Glasses/Contacts/Contact Case/Contact Solution
Oh Yeah, Don’t Forget These!
- Money, checks, and credit cards (seriously bring the checkbook, sometimes you need to pay for a campground with a little deposit box and an envelope. If you are out of cash or only have big bills, you will not regret having your checkbook along.)
- Cellphone and a way to charge it
- Campsite reservation confirmation
Download Your Free Printable Checklist!
Did I miss anything? Comment below and let me know!
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