So you'd like to...

take your kids camping

A guide by spanishoats "spanishoats" (PA)

Products sampled from this guide:
I have been surprised by the lack of good links for what to take hiking/camping with a kid. My husband and I used to do UL camping, with only bare essentials. We're changing our tune somewhat now that our 4 year old is ready to go camping with us, as it's hard to get kids camping gear that doesn't weigh a ton, and we'll need to bring along some things to entertain him that we would otherwise consider unnecessary. That said, we are definitely a hike-in and camp kind of family, not a car-camping kind of family, so we need to be able to carry everything easily. We already have low weight tent/sleeping bags for us, but we are needing to get/modify gear for our son. Here's what we're doing:

For the kid to carry
Kids polyester pack: it's important that it's small, comfy, and NOT COTTON so that it won't get sopping wet K-Cliffs Small Polyester Outdoor Backpack for Kids and Adults
Kids binoculars: rubber around the eyes, unbreakable, adjustable Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Binoculars
Kids camera: unbreakable, our son abuses this camera and it puts up with everything Fisher Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera - Blue
Lightweight flashlight / lantern: with a lot of kids stuff, there is no choice about weight, but with this there is, do not choose a heavy light Coleman MicroPacker LED Mini Lantern
Multi-function educational distraction: magnifier, thermometer, compass & emergency whistle Coghlan's 4 Function Whistle For Kids Camping Gear we can't wait for this to arrive, what a great way to spend time while out on the trail not just when camping but for our regular hikes as well!
More entertainment/distraction for the little ones while on the move: Melissa & Doug Harmonica
Crocs for when we set up camp / go in water: Crocs Unisex Classic Clog
12 oz steel water bottle: Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle also holds up to a lot of abuse, you can get a neoprene sleeve, so that you can put hot chocolate in this and not burn your hands, or keep a cold drink cold longer, 12 oz is small enough that it's not too heavy for little hands when full.
Our son will also carry in his pack:
-sun hat
-sun glasses
-rain jacket/wind breaker
-snack of some sort, so that he can help himself

So far with day hikes he's done a great job at keeping up and carrying his own stuff, we'll be trying out hiking followed by camping this summer but I expect it will be much of the same, as we'll cover about the same distance and he will be carrying very little more.


What the adults will carry
We're suckers for this game: Uno Card Game
Depending on how long you're camping for and how spread out you like to be at your campsite, you will need 1-3 of these votive candles to keep the bugs at bay Yellow Citronella Votive Candles, Set of 20
We made our own version of this fleece sleeping bag, with a fleece blanket and use a compression sack to help compress & keep it dry Fleece Sleeping Bag/Mat - Baby Frogs it's not water-proof, but we're able to check the weather before camping and can cancel if there is going to be rain.
For a sleeping pad... we have an older model inflatable pad of mine that he'll be using.
We'll be carrying the rest of his clothes (including a bathing suit & SPF shirt) as well as one paperback bedtime book of his choice.
Our packs are older versions of this Dakine pack and are WONDERFUL, I highly recommend this pack as being comfortable for both men & women, and withstanding years of harsh conditions without wearing out DAKINE Poacher Snow Pack

Products mentioned include:
For the kid to carry
1.  K-Cliffs Small Polyester Outdoor Backpack for Kids and Adults  by K Cliffs
Out of stock
4.0 out of 5 stars   (35)
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2.  Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Binoculars  by Fisher-Price
$26.49 Used & New from: $20.99
4.2 out of 5 stars   (469)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
3.  Fisher Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera - Blue  by Fisher-Price
Used & New from: $16.52
3.7 out of 5 stars   (47)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
4.  Coleman MicroPacker LED Mini Lantern [CD-ROM]  by Coleman
$9.50 Used & New from: $7.89
4.3 out of 5 stars   (729)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
5.  Coghlan's 4 Function Whistle For Kids Camping Gear  by Coghlan's
$7.68 Used & New from: $5.33
4.4 out of 5 stars   (13)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
6.  Melissa & Doug Harmonica  by Melissa & Doug
$2.39
3.4 out of 5 stars   (77)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
7.  Crocs Unisex Classic Clog  by crocs
$14.99 - $49.99
4.4 out of 5 stars   (2,892)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
8.  Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle  by Klean Kanteen
$13.86 - $721.34
4.3 out of 5 stars   (2,185)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
What the adults will carry
9.  Uno Card Game  by Mattel
$5.29 Used & New from: $2.25
4.7 out of 5 stars   (532)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
10.  Yellow Citronella Votive Candles, Set of 20  by Candle4Less
$16.99 Used & New from: $14.85
4.1 out of 5 stars   (9)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
11.  Fleece Sleeping Bag/Mat - Baby Frogs  by INI
Out of stock
4.0 out of 5 stars   (1)
  Add to wishlist
12.  DAKINE Poacher Snow Pack  by Dakine
Out of stock
  See buying options  Add to wishlist

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About this Guide

 

Author

spanishoats "spanishoats" (PA)
Qualifications: teacher & mom
Last updated: 2/10/10
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