Planning a camping (or “glamping”) trip with your kids this fall? Check out my 6 must-have items for less-stress camping with kids! I think you will find some unique items that may not have crossed your mind! Plus, don’t forget to download my handy packing checklist. This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase from one of these links, not only are you getting a great product (because I only recommend things that I love), but you are also helping to support this blog, at no additional cost to you! (Your cost is the same, but I may receive a small commission.) Please check out my disclosure policy for more details.
My husband and I have made it a tradition to take our kids on a camping trip every fall. Though, some people might be offended that we term it “camping.” We actually stay in a cabin. Having three young children an no easy access to a toilet seems like a disaster waiting to happen. 😬
So, we have been making the rounds, staying at state parks that have cabins available and are within a short traveling distance. (There are so many state parks in Oklahoma that we have been able to keep our travel time to around 2 hours!) This weekend will mark our 7th fall family getaway, and as I began to prepare for our trip, I began to think about the things we bring with us that make these trips a little easier and more fun.
–> Read more about our past camping trips and the 5 activities we include in every fall family getaway.
6 must-have items for less-stress camping with kids
1. DIY fire starters:
The thing our kids look forward to the most about these trips is building a campfire. They help us scavenge for fallen branches and twigs, sort them into piles by size, and my husband builds the fire. However, we have a little trick to getting the fire started easily – home made fire starters!
These fire starters are super simple to make out of items you would normally be throwing in the trash (or recycle bin if you are a better person than me 😆 )! All you need is newspaper, toilet paper or paper towel rolls, and dryer lint.
Simply stuff the lint inside the toilet paper roll, wrap the roll in newspaper, and twist the ends. When you begin to build the fire, place the fire starter in with the small twigs, and light the ends!
2. Roasting sticks:
The main reason for building the fire is to roast hot dogs and marshmallows! Instead of taking the time to find and make roasting sticks, we bring our own. Saves time and ensures everyone has a stick. Plus they are inexpensive! This pack of 8 roasting sticks are collapsible for easy storage, and reviewers say they are easy to clean and the handle doesn’t heat up! I may be ditching our short all metal ones and buying these!
You have probably seen the Snackeez two-in-one drink and snack cups in the “As Seen on TV” section at Walmart. But have you used them?? I bought one for each of my kids. Having to keep up with this two-in-one cup instead of a drink cup and a snack cup is da bomb! 😆 This is great for traveling in the car and at the campsite!
4. Glow Bracelets:
I recently read a tip about using glow sticks to mark off your campsite to make it easier to find in the dark. We are not tent camping, but I thought this would be a great idea for keeping track of things around our campfire! Instead of glow sticks, I am bringing glow bracelets to place around cups, flashlights, kids… anything I want to keep track of after dark! (Plus the kids LOVE these!)
5. Hand Warmers:
My kids hate being cold… Who am I kidding? I hate being cold! One of the things we love to do on our camping trips is to explore and take nature hikes. If the temperature looks like it might be a bit chilly, help prevent whining and bring along hand warmers! Place them in coat pockets to keep those little fingers warm!
Games are great for passing time when the youngest are napping, when you’re hanging out in the cabin after dark, and if you’re cooped up because of rain. Card games take up little space, so are easier to pack. In addition to a deck of playing cards, check out these camping themed games:
- Uno Wilderness Game : The classic Uno game with a wilderness theme!
- Spot it! Gone Camping : This game is actually five games in one! The cards come in a handy tin.
- Camp Daze Mad Libs: Who doesn’t love Mad Libs?! And these are camp themed!
- Toasted or Roasted Card Game : This is the only game on the list that I haven’t personally played, but it looked so cute that I wanted to include it in this list! It’s a combo board/card game that comes in a resealable bag for ease of travel. The first person to start their campfire and roast three marshmallows wins… but watch out – your opponents can rain on your campfire, blow your fire out, or burn your marshmallows!
The final and MOST IMPORTANT item you will need for less stress camping with kids…
a PACKING CHECKLIST.
I love organization – spreadsheets, checklists, etc. However, there was one year that I was feeling completely stressed out (blaming it on pregnancy hormones) when preparing for our camping trip, and I decided to forego creating the packing list and just wing it.
I forgot to pack all of the cold items. So we had the fixins for s’mores, but no real food. And as there was no grocery store nearby, we had to make do with what we could find at the nearest gas station. 😬
Don’t make this same mistake! (I never will! 😆) I have created a printable Family Getaway Packing Checklist, and you can download it for free!
Please share if you have found these tips helpful! Click on the social sharing buttons to share to Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and more! Thank you!