Our favorite gear for camping with kids

Categories   Family Travel

One of the great joys of summer (to some!) is sleeping outdoors, under the stars. We couldn’t agree more! And since Kristina has just returned from her first camping trip with kids, we thought we’d share some of our must-haves with you, as well as a few photos from her family trip at the beginning of the month. It’s a stellar adventure for everyone and once you’ve invested in the gear, it’s something that your kids will look forward to every year.

Gear for camping with kids | 100 Layer Cakelet

1. A string of mini prayer flags because even the outdoors like a bit of decor!
2. Keen newport sandals are perfect for little toes prone to stubbing, plus they can be worn in the water… and to school or the park when you’re not away in the wilderness.
3. A kids’ trucker cap, naturally.
4. Have you seen these teeny animal flashlights? So fun for little ones to play with when the sun goes down, and they love having their “own” gear.
5. Falcon enamelware! Or if the price tag is too steep to stock your camping crates with their beautiful pieces, you can get a whole set of the classic camp enamelware from GSI on Amazon.
6. A spacious tent makes a world of difference when the whole family is trying to sleep well outdoors. Kristina’s family loves their REI Kingdom 6.
7. A kerosene lantern to style out your dinner table, or this standard issue from Coleman.
8. We’re big fans of the Honest Co. and their products make great additions to your camping gear too. Non-toxic bug spray!
9. Obviously you’ll be needing their adorable camping print diapers.
10. And a handy tip is to keep little items, (organized by theme – bathroom, kitchen, etc) in small zipper pouches so they can be easily found throughout the trip. Love this new one from Honest.
11. You can pretty much count on the kids rising early while you’re sleeping outside, which makes your coffee supplies of utmost importance. Love this thermal french press from REI.
12. The Phil & Ted’s Escape (or similar hiking pack) for even short meadow walks or a trip to the campfire show at the ranger station.
13. A solid camping stove. Seems like so much of your time is preparing or cooking meals!
14. Create an more “indoor” space outdoors using a shade tent and a plastic outdoor rug, so the kids can have a quiet space to play or rest when they need downtime during the day.
15. Love cast iron pots and skillets for their extreme durability and classic look.
16. Another tip we picked up from this article about the Scandinavian practice of napping babies outside… if you’re traveling with a little one, line their travel crib with a cozy, warm sheepskin. Especially if they’re not used to sleeping in a sleeping bag.
17. A few new, nature-inspired toys make for hours of entertainment around the campsite. Love this flower/leaf press and bug loup from Nova Natural.
18. A box to collect feathers, acorns, and other treasures. You can also make your own using a cardboard box and some tape.
19. Marshmallow roasters!
20. A butterfly or fishing net. Kristina picked up a few from the $1 bins at Target.
21. And finally it’s nice to bring a teeny bit of civilization to the dinner table with a cotton tablecloth for the picnic table. If you don’t already have an old one you don’t mind donating to the camping cause, you won’t be sorry if you purchase a new one to be your designated camping tablecloth.

Have any other favorite pieces of gear we’re missing? We definitely missing plenty from this list since camping with kids requires so. much. stuff. We’d love to hear your must-haves so we can add them to our next trips!

And if you’d like to see more photos of Kristina’s family camping trip to Kings Canyon, pop over to her personal blog right here.

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