Must Haves for Camping with Kids

The very important must haves for camping with kids. From personal stuff to camp stuff and everything in between to help make making memories out in nature the best thing for everyone!
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Camping with kids is a lot different than camping when you are the kid. I remember riding my bike endlessly. Reading from morning til night. Exploring and eating all the junk food. This time – it was chasing my toddler around while constantly kissing boo boos and patching them up. It was playing baseball, swing ball – all the games you could. It was heart jumping moments every time they got too close to the fire, sponge baths in the trailer after making their beds again. It was exhausting. But the memories I have – and hopefully the ones they have was all worth it. Every second. Packing all the essentials definitely helped. I made a list about 2 weeks before the trip and kept adding to it as the weeks went on. From personal stuff to camp stuff and everything in between to help make making memories out in nature the best thing for everyone!

son and dad on a boat with a fish on the hook

Things we packed:

You can sign up at the bottom of this post for a whole printable checklist. And shop a few of our favorites HERE.

I mainly just had to pack for us thank goodness. My mom and dad have a camper that we stayed in for the second half of the trip. Mal stayed in it the whole time. Jesse and I (with Jude) slept in the van which was a whole new experience and one I’d do again. Him not so much – it was a bit tight for tall people. But not having to pack things like stoves and pots and pans was really nice.

son and dad playing ball
kids looking at a dead fish being filleted

So obviously – clothing

– Shorts and tanks (muscle shirts) as everything outfits.

– sweats, sweaters, jackets, hats, toques as extras depending on weather. It was high 20s all week into 30s so we didn’t have much use for sweaters because nights and mornings were still quite warm.

– Pj’s for night time – long sleeve ones is what I packed.

– Shoes; runners, water shoes, sandals.

– Towels

– blankets, stuffies, pillows, air mattress, sleeping bags, sheets

– diapers, wipes, underwear, socks

mom and kids playing with bubbles
kids at camp sitting under umbrella


– sand/dirt toys

– fishing stuff; It was Mal’s first time and it was so cute! He loved it so much!

– bug nets/containers (just from the dollarstore)

– bubbles and glow sticks – great for night lights too

– indoor activities like wipe clean books, coloring books, reading book, little monster trucks, puzzles – just stuff for the rainy days

– swim stuff; bathing suits, sunscreen, hats, swim diapers, life jackets


– snacks

My mom brought most of the food, I made some stuff before we left and brought that.


– camera

– chargers, phones

– books, games

And most importantly – grace and your sense of adventure. Let your little kid spirit shine through. There is going to be super late nights, tantrums, big emotions, tired little minds and bodies. Give yourself grace and just have fun!

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and get a free checklist with all the things to pack to make this a fun adventure without the stress of what to pack! ;P

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camping list with tent and car over it

Thank you for your support!

Love Crystal

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