Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lessons Learned from Camping with Young Kids

We went camping for 2 nights last week with our 3 kids ages 6, 3, and 1 year old. We survived and actually had fun, but there were some lessons learned along the way!
  1. We were so glad we brought the little blue car potty I wrote about here so the kids did not have to walk all the way to the community bathrooms at night. That's the potty in the above photo, sitting right outside our tent for all the world to see!
  2. It is not the best idea to arrive to set up your camp at dark! We may or may not know that from experience!
  3. Little kids are wiggly and thus are likely to come unzipped from their sleeping bags many times while trying to fall asleep, and they are not able to rezip themselves back into the bag. So bring along a hefty dose of patience and estimate for a good hour of sleeping bag maintenance the first night!
  4. Camp in a beautiful place. You can see our pics. here of the river we were able to walk down to. The kids had a blast playing in and beside it and it is very rewarding to see them enjoying undisturbed nature!
  5. Bring along some ant killer. There were not ants at our campsite at the beginning, but after my kids ate a few crackers and spread their crumbs they showed up!
  6. Put your food in a sturdy plastic tub with a strong seal. We were visited by raccoons in the night, but thankfully they were not able to break into our food. Really it is best to lock the food in the car if you are parked near-by!
  7. Take shower shoes. We did and really enjoyed being able to shower the 2nd day. It had hot water and was really pretty clean!
  8. Take a lot of baby wipes! This is pretty much my philosophy for all of life with little kids, but camping even without little kids, there are so many ways wipees come in handy!
  9. If your kids (and husband) are prone to wading in rivers like mine are, it will be nice to have some rope you can tie between trees to make a clothes line and some clothes pins to secure drying items.
  10. Always have back-up plans. There was a burn-ban due to drought so we couldn't do a campfire, but could use our camping stove. However our brand new stove that we tried out at home and worked fine, didn't work the first morning camping. I was so thankful we had cereal, milk, and pumpkin bread as an alternative to the pancakes we'd planned!
  11. If you attempt this camping trip, your kids will talk about it nonstop for at least a week after.
  12. It is awesome to be camping near other families with kids because they won't be upset when your baby fusses at night or your older kids shout things to their dad outside the tent at 6 AM!
  13. There are many opportunities to share God with your kids during a camping trip -- pointing out stars and beautiful nature God created and emphasizing what a luxury and gift from God things like running water are!
I just found this post today that shares helpful tips about camping with little kids and it also proves that we are not the only crazy ones!!!!

Find more Thankful Thursday at Spiritually Unequal Marriage, Thousand Words Thursday at Cheaper Than Therapy, and Thursday {Thirteen} at Happy to be @ Home.


  1. Glad you enjoyed your camping trip.

  2. Well put. These are some great thoughts...maybe I will attempt camping this summer!! ;)

  3. Wonderful! We've never been camping but I know our children would have a blast! Maybe someday!

  4. Sounds like fun! We haven't been camping in many, many years.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I'm glad you had a great time! We like to camp, as well. :)

  6. Oh...I've camped a lot with our children and it's a challenge! Loved the post. Have a great day!

  7. I'm not at all a "camper" and I don't suspect to ever be converted. :) But this is a great, comprehensive list that will surely save quite a few people some headaches!

  8. We went camping last month with our two year old in tow! NEVER AGAIN!!! LOL He is a very busy, little fellow and we weren't able to really enjoy it for chasing him everywhere.

    I'm glad you had a better experience!

  9. I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip. Sounds like you learned a lot! Happy Thankful Thursday!

  10. I will have to come back and read this in July when our snow is all gone. I totally want to head out camping...(what am I saying I am not outdoorsy at all). See what your post has done to me!!!:)

  11. Great list! I'm not a camper at all unless it is camping in a hotel. LOL! :D

  12. Can't wait to have our first real camping adventure. Chris and I were big campers growing up, but we haven't attempted it with the kids yet....thanks for a little inspiration!

  13. Great Post! We love to camp and just started bringing our children along with us as they were born.Yes we were crazy enough to camp with infants! My children are currently 4, 5, and 6 and are seasoned campers. As long as we think it through and go prepared, and can handle a little unplanned change should it arise, we always have fun!!

  14. Wow! I totally would not have been able to camp with my 5, 3, and 9 month old- good work!

    However, my husband's family (8kids)camped for all their vacations as hotels were not in the budget. He said it was the time of his life :)

  15. I love seeing all of God's amazing creations when we travel! It's a perfect time to talk to the kids about it all! I'm so glad you had a good time and made lots of fun memories.


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