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Camping with kids: your must-have gear

Camping with kids: Baby BackpackCamping with kids takes additional effort – and gear – to make sure everyone is healthy and happy. The payoff of watching children interact with nature is worth the little extra planning, though. Plenty of adventures with my crew have led to improved planning and this must-have gear list.

Baby carrier or backpack

If you spend the majority of your time hiking and walking on dirt and gravel trails, you probably rely on a baby carrier. For lighter children (under 15 pounds) and day hikes, you can usually get away with a soft structured baby carrier. For longer backpacking trips or heavier children, an investment in a framed baby carrier optionwill serve you well for longer. It also allows you to bring about eight pounds of additional gear with you, but the price tag for high-end versions is much heftier.

Camping with Kids: Portable Chairs

Portable chairs

Picnic tables are typically provided at each campsite, but not always. Consider where your children will eat their meals. You could use items you already have at home – such as an exersaucer, or a foldable high chair. For children aged two years and older, a folding kid’s camping chair can be a good and inexpensive option. They are thrilled to have their own chair, just like mom and dad.

Camping with kids: outdoor play

Outdoor play toys

When you need a quick distraction for your little one while camping, the outdoors offers up a variety of play toys from pine cones to sticks. If you are camping in a more urban area or in a poison ivy covered playland, pull out your handy bin of outdoor play toys. Our favourites in the bin include bubbles, sand toys, and Tonka toys.

The basics

Never overlook the basic needs of every family member. As the Girl Guides of Canada teach – be prepared. 

  • Toques are a must-have for chillier nights around the campfire in spring and fall
  • Rain gear to keep little bodies warm and dry during a downpour
  • The essential duo of bug spray and sun screen is always a must

Water, water and more water

You’d be surprised how much water you and your thirsty camel crew can guzzle through in the matter of a few hours. Make sure to take lots of water with you on your trip, or ensure that there is a water source nearby you can use without having to boil it first.

Useful links

Try searching for baby carriers, toys and camping gear on your local city site.

Holly is a mountain mama, who shucked off life in the urban jungle to live in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. She is obsessed with all things outdoors & active. In her free moments, you will find her hiking and geocaching with her children & border collie, renovating her home, camping and trying to whip up the next DIY project and healthy meal for her family.

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