Camping with kids can be an unforgettable and rewarding family experience. Spending time together in the great outdoors, roasting marshmallows around the campfire, and exploring nature are memories that can last a lifetime. However, camping with kids also requires careful planning and preparation to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable trip. In this blog post, we’ll provide tips and tricks for a successful family camping adventure, from choosing the right campsite to packing the essentials, to entertaining your little ones and ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-time family adventurer, we hope this guide will help you create unforgettable memories in the great outdoors.

Choosing a Campsite

When choosing a campsite for your family, there are several important factors to consider to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. First, look for a campsite that offers amenities suitable for families, such as playgrounds, swimming pools, and clean restroom facilities. Safety is also a top priority when camping with kids, so look for campsites with well-maintained trails, adequate lighting, and secure access points. Location is another key consideration, as you’ll want to find a campsite that is easily accessible and in a scenic location that offers opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. By carefully considering these factors, you can select a family-friendly campsite that provides the perfect backdrop for a fun and memorable family camping adventure.

Researching and booking campsites in advance is essential when planning a family camping trip. South Africa has some incredible child friendly campsites but, these tend to get booked out very far in advance… Peak seasons can also be a very difficult time to get availability, so be prepared to book well in advance to get into your favourite site.

When researching campsites, consider the amenities, location, and safety features, as well as the availability of activities suitable for your family. Check online reviews from previous campers and look for feedback on the quality of the campground’s facilities and customer service. Additionally, make sure to read the fine print on reservation policies and cancellation fees before booking. By researching and booking campsites in advance, you can avoid the stress of last-minute planning and ensure that your family has a safe and enjoyable camping experience.

It’s also very important to keep checking weather conditions – arriving or staying at a campsite with adverse weather conditions will definitely put a “damper” on the mood!

Cooler filled with food for a camping trip.

Packing & Preparing

When packing for a camping trip with kids, it’s important to bring along all the essentials to ensure a safe and comfortable trip. A good quality tent and sleeping bags are crucial for a good night’s sleep, especially when camping in cooler climates. It’s also important to pack suitable clothing for all weather conditions, including rain gear and warm layers for chilly evenings. A well-stocked first aid kit is also a must-have to deal with any unexpected injuries or illnesses. Don’t forget to include items like sunscreen, insect repellent, and a basic camping toolkit for setting up and maintaining your campsite. By packing these essentials and carefully planning for your family’s needs, you can ensure a successful and stress-free camping trip.

Involving kids in the packing process can be a fun way to build excitement and encourage responsibility for the upcoming camping trip. Start by creating a packing list together that includes items like clothing, snacks, and activities to keep them engaged. Allow them to pack their own backpack or duffle bag with their favorite items, such as a favorite toy or stuffed animal. Assign specific tasks to each child, such as packing the first aid kit or helping with meal planning. This will give them a sense of ownership over the trip and help build their confidence and responsibility. Make sure to praise and acknowledge their efforts and contributions throughout the packing process. By involving kids in the packing process, you can help build excitement for the trip and make them feel like an important part of the planning process.

Preparing for any unique needs of your children is crucial when planning a family camping trip. If your child requires medication, make sure to bring enough for the duration of the trip and pack it in a safe, easily accessible place. If your child has a special diet or food allergies, plan your meals carefully and bring along any necessary snacks or supplements. It’s also important to research the local area for medical facilities and emergency services in case of an unexpected situation. Make sure to inform the campground staff or park rangers of any special needs your child may have and carry emergency contact information with you at all times. By preparing for any unique needs of your children, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping trip for the whole family.

Campsite Set-up and Safety

Campsite set up and safety are essential for a successful and enjoyable family camping trip. When setting up your campsite, choose a level and clear area that is away from hazards such as cliffs or steep drop-offs. Make sure to properly secure your tent and other gear to prevent them from blowing away or collapsing in high winds. Familiarize yourself with the campground’s fire safety rules and regulations and never leave a fire unattended. Keep your campsite tidy and store food in secure containers or bear-proof lockers to prevent wildlife from getting too close. Always keep a first aid kit and emergency supplies nearby and make sure to have a plan in place in case of severe weather or other emergency situations. By following these campsite set up and safety guidelines, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping trip for your family.

Activities and Entertainment

Camping provides endless opportunities for fun outdoor activities for kids of all ages. Younger children will enjoy nature walks, scavenger hunts, and making s’mores around the campfire, while older children may enjoy hiking, fishing, or kayaking. Plan activities that suit your family’s interests and abilities and consider bringing along equipment such as bikes or frisbees to encourage outdoor play. However, it’s also important to prepare for downtime and inclement weather by bringing along books, board games, or other forms of entertainment. Encourage children to explore nature and use their imagination by building forts or telling stories around the campfire. By balancing outdoor activities with indoor entertainment, you can ensure a fun and memorable camping trip for the whole family.

Sleep and Bedtime

Make sure to bring comfortable sleeping bags, pillows, and sleeping pads or air mattresses to provide a comfortable sleeping surface. Try to maintain a consistent bedtime routine, such as reading a story or singing a lullaby, to help children wind down and fall asleep. If noise or light is a concern, consider bringing earplugs or a sleep mask to block out distractions. Make sure to dress appropriately for the weather to ensure a comfortable sleep and consider layering blankets for additional warmth. Encourage children to use the bathroom before bedtime to minimize nighttime disruptions. By prioritizing sleep and bedtime routines, you can ensure a well-rested and happy family during your camping trip.


Camping with kids can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it also requires some planning and preparation to ensure a successful trip. In this blog post, we’ve covered a range of tips and tricks to help you plan and enjoy a camping trip with your family. We discussed the importance of selecting a family-friendly campsite, researching and booking campsites in advance, and packing essentials such as a tent, sleeping bags, clothing, food, and a first aid kit. We also explored the benefits of involving kids in the packing process and preparing for any unique needs your children may have. Finally, we covered the importance of campsite set up and safety, fun camping activities for kids of all ages, sleep and bedtime routines. By following these tips and tricks, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable camping trip for the whole family. So, get outside, explore nature, and make some unforgettable memories with your loved ones!