3 Best Things to Buy Before Camping With Kiddos
Camping is one of the best ways to spend time with your kids! They’ll learn new skills and gain a greater appreciation for the outdoors. You’ll learn how to help them adjust to unfamiliar circumstances, and maybe, just maybe, get some quiet time! The right gear can make a huge difference in your family’s camping experience.
Here are some essentials for camping with kids to consider picking up:
Sleeping bag. Every sleeping bag is rated for different temperatures. If you’re buying new sleeping bags for the kids, make sure the temperature rating is appropriate for where you’ll be camping. It can get a lot colder than you expect after the sun goes down! Sleeping bags are filled with one of two types of insulation: down (eider, goose, or duck) or synthetic (a mixture of man-made fibers). Down insulation offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio but can be very expensive. Synthetic can be just as warm, it just won’t pack as efficiently.
Hiking shoes. Nobody likes to suffer through cold, wet, or sore feet. A great pair of hiking shoes for you and the kids can help make a great trip better! The right footwear depends on where you’re camping and what time of the year. Water-resistant shoes may be a better option than fully waterproof to allow for breathability during the higher summer temperatures. Waterproof likely makes more sense if you’re considering the cooler and wetter fall or spring months. Look for shoes that feature a synthetic upper. They are lighter than leather, break in more quickly, dry faster, and usually cost less. The biggest downside is that they often show wear sooner due to more stitching. That’s probably okay, particularly for kids with growing feet!
Fun and functional stuff. What’s camping for if not to have some fun? Mix fun with functionality by packing multi-purpose items. For example, every camper, child or adult, should have a headlamp – not only for finding your way to the restroom in the dark but also for playing in the gloaming before the campfire starts. Or what about roasting sticks for s’mores? Why settle for a simple kebab spear when there are multi-colored telescoping marshmallow sticks? A large pot will work for cooking baked beans and serve as a handy collecting bin for rocks and pine cones. Or, a simple mason jar can serve as both a drinking cup or a home for fireflies.
Camping should be fun. The right gear can make all the difference! Who knows? Maybe after the first few trips, your kids will start planning the next few trips themselves. If you’ve already gone on a camping trip this summer, we’d love to see your photos!