The Essential Guide to Family Friendly Kid Camping (2020)

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Camping is a great way to introduce the kids to the great outdoors (and maybe even get them off their iPads for a little bit). Kids can learn about nature, responsibility, independence, and how to share a tent with all of their siblings. But camping with kids requires some slightly different family friendly camping gear than what you may be used to.

As a lifelong camper and an aunt, I’ve started to research the best ways to include the little ones in my life in my camping adventures, and you’re about to get the benefits. Here are 10 essential items for making sure the kids get a great camping experience. This is the gear that will make your camping experience family and kid-friendly.

We hope you find these products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: We are a participant in the Amazon affiliate program and we may have additional affiliate relationships with some of the products featured here – as such, our company may receive a share of sales from links on this page. Prices on Amazon fluctuate so anything mentioned below might change as soon as we publish it!

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Babies and camping? It can be done.

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If you’re like me, you want to start the kids young when it comes to camping. But babies and toddlers have some special considerations when it comes to the great outdoors. Make it easier with this Go-Pod: it’s like a foldable camping chair for tots. You know where your little one is at all times, plus it has snack and drink holders to make mealtimes easy.

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Older kids need some comfort too

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If your kiddos are a little bit older, you’ll want to make sure that they’re comfortable as you sit around the campfire making memories. These kid camping chairs are a great way to get your kids on board with spending a weekend outside if they’re more interested in Youtube. Who wouldn’t want to chill on a chair that features an adorable sloth? Four different designs mean that no matter what kind of kid you have, they’ll fall in love with one.

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Leave nature as pristine as you found it

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If you’re a parent of younger children you might be asking yourself how you’re supposed to manage diaper changes in the middle of a hike. Who wants to carry the remnants of a nasty blowout for a couple of miles until you can reach a proper trashcan? This diaper dispenser is the solution. Not only is it small and easy to carry anywhere you go, its reviews also reveal something very important: these bags contain smell. You can finish your hike without having to smell the special odor of toddler turds.

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Keep it eco-friendly

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One of my least favorite camping experiences is meeting up with some pals for a week of camping and realizing that they’ve brought disposable plates and cutlery. It’s a massive waste and so bad for the environment. Of course if you’re camping with smaller kids, you probably don’t want to give them the standard metal camping cups and plates (speaking from experience, those things can be thrown at quite a velocity). This plastic set of dinnerware is the perfect solution. With a bag to keep it all in one place, two-in-one fork/spoons, plus color coding so everyone knows whose cup is whose, it’s great for family mealtimes.

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No camping meal is complete without s’mores

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This odd looking contraption is actually the most powerful dad tool around. With this baby you can toast multiple marshmallows at once. Adventurous families can try putting the chocolate on there too, for an especially ooey-gooey experience. No camping trip is truly complete without s’mores. And if you’re truly brave, you can even try it out with brats or hamburgers.

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Be a light in the darkness

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Let’s run through a few classic camping scenarios: It’s almost bedtime, but the kids want to tell scary stories in the tent before they sleep. Of course they need a flashlight for ultimate effect. It’s the middle of the night and your 5 year old absolutely has to get up and make a trip to the bathroom. You’re half-asleep and want the best lantern to ensure you don’t run into a tree. You’re sharing a tent with multiple adults and kids, and you need enough light for everyone to see. Instead of everyone having their own flashlight, you just want one lantern. Lucky for you there’s one product that will meet all of these needs: a 3-in-1 lantern and flashlight.

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Keep the kids safe with a first-aid kit

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Here is a basic fact of life: children are very good at hurting themselves. Put them outside in a camping situation, and they become great at hurting themselves. You absolutely want to have some basic first-aid supplies on hand when you take the family camping, because the moment you’re out of cell reach one of those kids is going to start bleeding. This kit is lightweight, and has a waterproof and airtight bag that keeps all the supplies clean and ready to go.

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Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

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Here’s a secret: when kids are dehydrated, they turn into cranky little monsters. Unfortunately, kids are entirely unaware of this fact. That means you have to be the superhero who keeps them happily hydrated. These water bottles are a great option for camping. As one reviewer said: “I’m really happy with this purchase, as all my kids can easily open the bottle (by pushing a button that opens the lid and pops open a spout) as well as easily close it (There is a small black locking feature so that if it is dropped and locked, water or liquid won’t spill out).”

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Get some shut-eye

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A kid who hasn’t slept is a kid that I do not want to hang out with. Harsh, but also true. If you want to make sure that your kids remain their best, rested selves during your camping trip, this is the gear you want. This sleeping bag is well made from a reliable brand, and cheap enough that you can outfit your whole family.

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Those kids can pull their weight too

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If you want to truly get your kids into the camping spirit, the best way to do it is with some gear that makes them feel like they’re participating. Getting them their own small hiking backpack is a great way to make a kid feel like a big kid, and to very literally lighten your own load. Nothing feels better than when your kiddo can start carrying their own supplies.

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