Camping With Kids 

Three kids in sleeping bags inside tent set up in yard

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Get the Right Gear

Three kids in sleeping bags inside tent set up in yard
  • What: Camping Gear
  • When: Camping with kids
  • Why: Make every trip more fun and less hassle
  • Where: Next time you roam

If you have a camping trip coming up, and you plan to take the kids along, make sure you get all the best gear. From avoiding bug bites to a good night’s sleep, here’s to a season of fun in the great outdoors.

Child inside REI Nodder kids sleeping bag in blue with red zipper accents

Kids’ Sleeping Bag: Get a bag that can grow with your kids. Thanks to the adjustable length of REI’s Nodder and Kindercone lines, kids can pick from bright colors that leave plenty of room for growth spurts. These bags can go from toddler to tween, and most likely will last until they get ready for an adult sized sleeping bag. As a bonus, the stuff sack comes attached to the bag, so no more worries about keeping up with another item when you camp.

Cutter Skinsations insect repellent bug spray

Best Bug Repellant: Don’t let bugs get the best of your kids. Check out the best bug repellants that keep kids critter free, and won’t cause them any health problems down the road. Lower concentrations of the active chemical combined with an easy spray bottle means kids stay protected longer with less hassle.

Cocoon brand inflatable travel pillow air core packable

Inflatable Travel Pillow: Get all the luxury of sleeping at home without lugging multiple pillows around. Not only can traditional pillows take up lots of valuable packing space, but they get dirty, and who wants to sleep with a face full of dirt? Enter the inflatable travel pillow. You can get these packable pillows in a variety of sizes and textures, and they work great for camping and just about any other kind of trip, from a road trip with the kids to cross country flights. Simply inflate when you’re ready to use them. Otherwise, they pack down into a tiny sack about the size of a kiwi.

Eagles Nest Outfitters orange hammock with toddler and preschooler sitting inside

Pocket Sized Hammock: While far from a necessity, this packable hammock can turn almost any camp site into a playground or a great place to relax. A wide variety of attachments makes finding a spot to set up a breeze. Kids and adults will enjoy swinging, hanging out, and more once it gets installed. Since it packs down to smaller than a football, it’s easy to take along, and no big deal if you don’t end up using it. The fast-drying material also means you don’t have to worry about the weather.

Baby Stella relaxing in Alite designs mayfly chair in southwest pattern

Alite Designs Mayfly Chair: This compact chair design works great for kids, but will grow with them. Meant for adults, kids love the low profile, and adults love getting to use the chairs after the kids have retired for the night. Best of all, these chairs pack up into less than half the size of normal camping chairs, even the child variety, leaving you more room for other fun stuff and necessities. While the company went out of business in September 2019, if you can find a secondhand option, it’s well worth the search.

Sunscreen: Nothing ruins a camping trip like a sunburned kid. Keep your kids safe from damaging rays with their preferred method of application, from sprays to sticks to cream. No matter which one they choose, rest assured you can focus on the fun and not on soothing sore skin.

Yurt camping structure in front of woods with young child standing in open doorway

Camping Light: And of course, if you don’t feel like hauling all the gear (or investing in it either!), you can always get all the joys of the great outdoors with less hassle thanks to cabins and yurts. Yurts in particular offer all the joys of tents, with canvas walls and natural settings, but often include bonuses like electricity, making them suitable for a wider range of seasons. 

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