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How to Plan a Family Camping Trip

June 15, 2020

How to Plan a Family Camping Trip

Summertime is here, and while it may look a little different this year, it still comes with the desire to head outside with the family for some great adventures. Whether you are planning on hiking, heading to the beach, or even staying closer to home, camping can be a great part of any family summer fun. While camping is often thought of as a tent in the woods, camping is so much more than that. So how do you enjoy camping as a family? We have some tips on how to plan a family camping trip to help you out.

How to Plan a Family Camping Trip

The type of camping trip you plan will vary greatly depending on the area you choose to visit. These tips and tricks should help you to make the most of a family camping trip wherever you decide to go camping.


Research a Variety of Campgrounds and Campsites

There are a variety of camping locations you can choose for a family camping trip. Each of these locations will have a variety of amenities and pricing options. Before booking a camping trip you will want to spend some time researching the different campsites and what they have to offer. These will vary depending on the location and the season you visit. Reaching out to each of the different types of campgrounds and campsites can help you to pick the best possible camping location for your family.

National Parks - Many national parks have a variety of camping options available to the public. You will want to make a reservation in advance in order to take advantage of any of the campgrounds, cabins, or campsites. If you want access to power and water you will want to go to an RV site.

Campground - You can find a variety of campgrounds throughout the country. Many will require a reservation booked in advance. Speak with the campground you are considering booking in advance to find out what amenities they do and do not have available such as electricity, water, showers, or restrooms.

Campsites - There are also some unique campsites out there to be found around the country. There are campsites in caves, on a beachfront, or in the middle of the woods along a trail. Some of these campsites will require that you book in advance. Others will give you the freedom to camp where you find a spot. When planning your trip you will want to decide if you want to have a scheduled campsite or find something on your adventure.

Pack a First Aid Backpack

When camping, you may encounter more situations that will require a basic first aid kit. Instead of doing a smaller first aid kit, you might consider putting together a first aid backpack. This backpack would help you to be sure you are ready for any first aid needs your family might have. Depending on where you choose to camp, you might encounter different things that you might need first aid for. We have a few suggestions of items you should include in a camping first aid kit.

What to Pack in a Camping First Aid Kit

  • Bandages, BAND-AID®s, and gauze of various sizes including gauze rolls.
  • Antiseptic creams and ointments
  • Sterile wipes and rinse solutions
  • Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Inhalers
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Tweezers, scissors, safety pins, pocket knife
  • Sunburn relief spray or gel
  • Anti-diarrheal medication
  • Antihistamine for allergic reactions (for children: pick one that has a dissolvable tab for under the tongue)
  • Eye drops and eye wash to rinse objects from eyes
  • Blister relief creams and bandages
  • Duct tape
  • Super glue
  • EpiPen®
  • Prescription medications
  • Spare towel
  • ACE™ bandage for sprains or joint injuries
  • Snacks/food items for blood sugar related issues
  • Pedialyte® or rescue hydration options to use on the go
  • Emergency blanket
  • Backup batteries for phones or loaded portable chargers to call for help if needed

Packing for Kids on a Family Camping Trip

When packing for a family camping trip there are some items that are very important to pack for children. When parents pack for camping they often forget certain items that kids might need. While it can be easier to plan for a camping trip for parents, there are a few must-have items for kids. But remember to pack a small bag for easy carrying, so a backpack is ideal. Here are some of the items you might want to put on your packing checklist for the kids.

Things to Pack for Kids When Camping

  • Multiple layers of clothing - Weather can change throughout the day and night. Pack layers for children so that you can adjust to the weather you encounter. 
  • Lovies - If your child has a favorite blanket, teddy bear, or other lovie, make sure to pack these items. Camping isn’t the time to wean them from these items. 
  • Flashlights and nightlights - Camping can be darker than kids are used to. Make sure to bring along flashlights and nightlights so that kids who might be afraid of the dark can feel safe. 
  • Fun and games - Bring along board games, card games, or other ways for kids to have fun on downtime while camping. This will help you avoid the words, “I’m bored.”
  • Plenty of snacks - Children will want snacks. Make sure to pack items like trail mix, fruit pouches, or other snacks that are easy to grab and give to kids.

Setting Up and Tearing Down Camp

When you choose to camp you will have a variety of options at your fingertips. Depending on whether you choose a tent or a cabin, you will have to set up and tear down everything. When you get to the portion of camp for setting up and tear down there are some simple things you can do to enjoy it more. Start by having a plan for trash disposal, food storage, and overall safety with the kids. It can help to use this time to help kids understand the boundaries of the camping space so that they can enjoy it safely.

3 Things to Keep in Mind During Setup and Tear Down

  • Plan for safe storage for food and trash. - Setting up a simple plan for storage of food and trash will help you to clean up at the end of the trip.
  • Educate children on boundaries at the beginning of the trip and then reinforce it throughout the trip.
  • Give everyone a job so that set up and tear down are less stressful. - Everyone in the family can help with the setup and tear down of the campsite.
By having everyone involved in some portion of setup and tear down you will avoid a more stressful process. 

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