Camping with kids is one of the great summer activities. And if you enjoy it as much as I do, it’s a tradition that’s easy to create and maintain.
Camping builds on itself. Each time you buy a new piece of gear, it adds to your camping experience for years down the road and saves you money. Add to your equipment as the days and months go by, and before you know it, you’re a pro, ready to make a break for the forests in minutes.
Centralize your gear
One of the early lessons I learned about camping, is to save your time packing at home. Having everything you need at a moment’s notice increases the odds that you go camping.
Here’s what I do: Get a large plastic tub, put everything you need in there and let it rest until you need it. In mine, I keep all the clothes I will need, including various layers, socks, hat, warm camp pants for the night time, dop kit (toothbrush and stuff like that) sleeping bag, tent, tick/insect sprays, sunscreen, a small medical bag with a few basics. The idea is to have as much ‘stuff’ as you can think of in a single place ready to go and then select what you’ll need.
Check out this list from one of my favorite stores in the world, REI: Checklist
Recommended sites and stores: Husky, Hudy, Decathlon
Don’t go cheap on these items:
4Good multi-tool knife
Just spend the money, these items will last you years. (Personal note, This year, I thought I could survive another year with my ’30+ years old tent’. Well, the rain hit, my tent leaked and everything got soaked. Had to make a break for home on a Saturday evening. Keep your gear up to date…)
If you’re going to want a fire, plan ahead.
I like to sit around a fire when camping. But wood may or may not be sold at the campsites you choose. You may have to scavenge for it, if you can, or buy it at the gas station on the way. Call ahead and ask!
If you plan to cook, ask if they have grills. If they don’t, you can get small grills at any hardware store for a few hundred Crowns. Don’t forget the charcoal!
A cooler is your best friend.
Make your camping experience special by taking the time to prepare your favourite snacks and food, paired with your favourite beverages. Your campsite will probably be a hot place in the summer, and a cool snack washed down with a cold drink is a wonderful thing.
Pack Nutritious food for the kids. They’re going to burn a lot of energy and they’ll need some healthy fuel. A cooler can keep your carrots and veggies crisp and cold.
Install a Kitchen
Everything you take out of the cooler is either ready to eat or will need preparation. Packing some kitchen basics will make your camping life enjoyable.
In my ‘Ready Box’ I keep a big cutting board, a chef’s knife, cutlery, kitchen towels, wet wipes, cutlery, reusable plastic plates and cups. You might consider a fold out table too!
We can’t possibly list everything you’ll need, and some things will be unique to you, so share any and all things you think will make everyone’s camping a better time!
Get camping already!