11 Ways to Slay Camping With Kids!!! + Free Downloadable Master Checklist

Another long weekend is upon us and what better way to spend it than to have an adventure with your fambam?! 

Driving down the south of Perth near Yarloop.

We've recently had our first camping trip with some mates and there were a lot of things I learned from that experience. We definitely had some hits and misses along the way and I decided to write 'em down for future reference and for first-time parents who are planning a camping weekend with their kids. Here are some of the things I learned and I hope it helps you plan your next big camping adventure! 

Arrival at the Camp site.

1. Practice and Prepare at Home

Before we went camping with Yo, Dada and I have been camping since we were teens. Our past camping experiences were helpful in preparing us for this new journey of camping with a toddler. 

If you haven't tried camping before, you may want to practice pitching a tent in your backyard. You may also opt to practice how to use your equipment i.e. portable cookware/stove.

If you don't feel like practicing, you may choose to camp with friends who have previous experience and who can teach you vital camping skills along the way. What I love about camping with friends (aside from more fun) is the availability of help in case of emergencies and someone to borrow equipment from in case I forgot to bring something.

Nothing beats camping with friends!!!

2. Check the weather

Checking the weather and picking out the perfect season for camping greatly affects the gear you will bring and the activities you will do on-site. It will be such a bummer if you've prepared for a weekend of sun, when there's a typhoon coming on your planned date. Here in Western Australia, we usually camp during the summer holidays.

We love camping in the summer holidays when there's lots of sun!

3. Arrive at the campsite early

Arriving at the campsite in the morning or arvo will give you the natural light you need to pitch your tent/s without drama and also have a "recon of the place," as my military dad would call it.

By doing a good recon, you will know where the toilets, grill spots, public faucet, and activity sites are in your chosen campsite.

4. Have a complete checklist

While writing this post, I seriously had a long list of things to bring on hand and you may access it for free by clicking this link. This checklist has been created with my camping buddy, Mary, who also has a toddler and school-age child. Here is a preview of my checklist:


This is my Camping masterlist sample. Click the link above to download it for free. xx

Having a master checklist allows you to pack the right things and the right amount of things. Mary suggests not to be over-packed as she did. And she also advises to keep updating the list and counter-checking it depending on the needs of the family.

Update: My friend Suzy from In The Lyons Den also suggests to bring an adaptor toilet seat for toilet training toddlers! Please add that special tidbit to your list! xx

5. Don't scrimp on Gear - Durability and Quality are Important!

As a mum on a budget, I often pick things that are easier in the pocket. However, what I learned with camping is to not be too stingy on gear. There are lots of affordable and durable camping products in the market and one needs only to do some research on the best gear for the family.

Pick the most durable camping gear for your family.

Also, pick camping  equipment that are collapsible or can be folded to save space in the boot. This would allow you to have more space for other things and also prevents back aches and injuries from lifting heavy items.

Another important thing is the bed. If possible, bring an inflatable bed which is lighter and would save lots of space.

6. Ensure that your Equipment works and its parts are complete

Some of our camping gear have been with us for years so it is important that we check them for damages before packing. It will be hard to have missing or broken camping gear in the middle of nowhere with a toddler in tow.

Make sure your equipment are working fine to keep the kiddos safe.

An important thing to check but often missed are batteries. You must have enough batteries to run your equipment or power bank for your mobile.

7. Choose the Most Appropriate Campsite

When I didn't have kids, I wasn't particular on camping sites. My husband and I would even choose camp sites without proper toilets! But now that we have a toddler, a toilet and a public faucet are both important and oftentimes non-negotiable amenities.

We chose to camp here with the kids because they offer a free public toilet and water supply.

Some camp sites offer a free grill area as well and many other amenities so you may want to check that when choosing an appropriate site to pitch your tent on.

Lastly, pick a camp site that is relatively flat and not very hazardous in case your kids wander off.

8. Keep your Tent Clean, Fresh, and Cozy

After playing outdoors, kids would often be tired and opt for a nap. We always remind them to shake the sand off or clean their muddy feet before entering the tent. Nothing is more irritating than sleeping on muddy and sandy sleeping bags. 

You may bring a mini broom and dustpan to sweep sand getting inside the tent or you may also have a mat or foot bath in the tent entrance to cleanse the feet before getting in the tent.

After outdoor activities, we make sure the kids wipe their feet and dust the sand off before entering the tent.

9. Food Matters - Seal them and keep them Fresh

With the intense Perth summer sun, we always make sure to bring food that doesn't easily spoil or a really good esky that keeps the ice frozen longer.

We also seal them properly so insects wouldn't infest our campsite and kitchen area.

10. Camp site near activities area

Kids easily get bored and it's important to pick the best spot near activity areas. We chose our camping spot since it is near amenities and at the same time, near the beach.

We chose a camping spot near the lake and swimming area.

11. Plan activities ahead of time

You may want to go camping unplanned and just wing it; but with kids, it is often a hard to do that so I often choose camp sites near the beach, bicycle path, or free space for nature play.


Free space to run around and have lots of nature play!

Also, bring board games and other travel games to maintain the fun even when everyone is tired from doing outdoor activities.

Guess who's winning Uno?!

Best tip of all: Even when the shit hits the fan and everything goes wrong, just shrug it off, learn from the mishap, and have fun!!!

Do you have any more tips to slay camping with your kids? Did I miss anything in my checklist that you would personally consider a must-bring?

Cheers to fun family trips!!!

Love,
Jacq

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