Thanks to everyone who read Part 1 of My Camping with Kids Series My 6 Top Must Haves For Camping With Kids. Today in Part 2, I’m sharing My 7 Tips & Tricks for Camping with Kids.
With a few decades of camping trips under my belt, and a couple of years now with kiddos in tow, I have managed to come up with a few things that I hope help you on your next camping adventure.
My 7 Tips & Tricks for Camping With Kids
1. Pack in Ziploc Bags: Although we try to minimize how many plastic bags we use at home on a daily basis, ziploc bags are great for packing for camping. They keep things clean and dry and can be reused after the trip. Pack a bag for each category eg. a bag for toilet paper (plus an extra emergency roll); a bag for sunscreen & bugspray; a bag for books & cards etc.
*Please Note: Anything valuable eg. Cell Phone, Camera, GPS, should be kept in something that is guaranteed to be waterproof like a Pelican case.
2. Freeze Water, Wine & Juice: When you’re camping with kids a cooler of some type is usually necessary. To save space and weight, freeze your water bottles, tetra packs of wine and juice boxes, and use them as freezer packs to keep your dairy, meat and produce cold for a few days. Works like a charm.
3. Make Baggie Pancakes: We love to make banana blueberry pancakes while camping. To keep it simple I pack the mix (homemade or store bought) into a large ziploc freezer bag and write how much water to add on the outside of the bag. When it’s time to make breakfast I add the water directly into the bag, toss in a ripe peeled banana, zip it up, and have fun mushing it all around. When mixed and ready, I cut a hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze out the mixture onto a hot greased pan. I recommend adding the blueberries by hand, as they tend to block the hole, and if the hole is made too big your mix will pour out too fast.
Cook over the fire or on a camping stove & watch your kids devour them.
4. Pack Clothes You Don’t Mind Getting Dirty: Camping is really really messy. Way messier than you think. Plus campfire smell is pretty strong and can stay in fibres for a long time, even after being laundered. In order to embrace the mess that comes with camping, you need to ditch your kid’s favourite fancy duds at home and bring breathable, comfortable, dark coloured clothes that your kids can have fun in.
5. If You Don’t Have The Gear, Borrow It Or Rent It: If you’re lacking a specific piece of equipment and can’t afford to invest in it right away, reach out and see if any friends or family can loan it to you. Another amazing option is the MEC Equipment Rental. For only a few dollars a day you can rent tents, sleeping bags & food barrels, as well as additional gear for water sports, climbing, snow sports etc. It’s a great option for those needing a short term piece of gear.
6. Keep Snacks Accessible At All Times: Kid’s get hangry (hungry + angry), especially when you’re on the go. Make sure to keep some protein rich snacks and water close at hand, so you can feed them at all times. It’s no fun listening to a kid scream for an entire paddle, portage or hike cause they’re suddenly STARVING!!! Everyone on the lake will thank you for this one.
7. Be Prepared for Emergencies: Minor bumps, bruises, cuts and burns are bound to happen when you’re out exploring the wilderness. Being prepared with a proper 1st Aid Kit is important, but it’s also essential that you know how to deal with some of the more life threatening emergencies that can come up. As a Heart & Stroke Foundation Instructor I highly recommend taking a 1st Aid & CPR Course from an accredited group every few years. Shameless Plug: Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to register for one of my scheduled workshops, or are interested in having me come to teach a workshop for a group in your space (email firstname.lastname@example.org). I offer CPR workshops for families, the general public, employees & health care providers.
I hope My 7 Tips & Tricks For Camping With Kids help you and your little ones have fun & stay safe on your next family adventure.