Kids Camping Gear
Many suppliers provide specific designs of tents, sleeping bag and accessories for children. Having their own gear to look after and learn how to use can add to a feeling of independence and make a camping trip more enjoyable.
For younger children a family tent may be the best option so you are able to keep an eye on the children at night and have everyone under one roof but as the kids get older it may be more convenient and more fun for them to have their own tent. There are a number of small child size tents available, some sold with sleeping gear and accessories. They are usually easy to set up, leaving the kids to independently set up their own area whilst you are setting up. You can also tuck the kids up early and not disturb them when you retire to bed.
Mats and Sleeping bag
A comfortable sleeping mat or mattress and a warm sleeping bag can be the key to a peaceful night sleep when camping with the kids. A smaller sleeping bag can ensure a warm night’s sleep as there is less area for a child’s body to heat up. Kids sleeping bags usually come in an easy to pack case and are lightweight so you can encourage the kids to look after and carry there own gear when necessary. These sleeping bags often come with a drawstring near the bottom so the length can be adjusted according to the height of the child. A sleeping bag with this feature will prove economical as can be adjusted as the child grows.
Spending time in the outdoors with the kids can lead to wet and dirty clothing. Muddy woods will be explored and water will be played in. Make sure you take plenty of spare clothing with you if you are not going to be around facilities for washing them. Consider investing in waterproof clothing if you are going to be hiking or even to wear around camp if the weather is bad as the kids will be miserable if they get wet.
An electric lantern is the best option for the kids to use, protecting them against any accidents with fire or fuel. A head torch is also a good idea as it provides hands free lighting and can be bought in small sizes. If you are worried about the batteries being left on at night, glow sticks are a good idea as can be used as a nightlight in the tent without running batteries and bulbs down.
- When choosing a location it is worth considering the surroundings if the kids are with you. An area rich in wildlife will provide entertainment and be interesting for them to learn about the environment
- Plan a location together; considering their interests can build their enthusiasm for the trip
- Involve the kids when setting up the tent/camp so that they learn how to use camping equipment
- Camp chores can be fun for kids: going off to collect wood, filling water containers and helping to prepare and cook meals
- Explore the area and plan activities, an interesting hike, a bike ride, wildlife spotting or fishing provide hours of entertainment and the fresh air and exercise will tire the kids out for a good night sleep
- Teach the kids outdoor ethics, ensuring they don’t leave rubbish, respect the wildlife and are safe at the campfire
Camping can quickly lose its appeal if the weather is bad so you should always plan ahead and have backup activities
- A tarpaulin set up providing a dry playing area is a good idea
- Plan some wet weather activities and remember to bring cards, puzzles, colouring books, board games, books and toys from home
- Make sure the kids have suitable waterproofs if they are playing outside
- Research local area to check out what there is to do if all else fails
www.arewethere.co.uk is a website full of travel games and other ideas to keep minds busy on long journeys, be it by bus, train, car or plane, because after all, getting there is half the fun!