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12 Useful Tips For Camping With Kids

Make the most of your time in the great outdoors.

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From what to pack and prep before your trip to how to set up the perfect campsite, these tips for camping with kids can help your family enjoy time together with less mess, fewer struggles, and way more fun.

Research your campsite. Once you know where you’ll be camping, check to see what amenities are available. Are there RV hookups? Shower facilities on site? This info can help you decide what to pack and make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible.Onfokus/E+/Getty Images
Pack activities like bubbles, balls, books, and cards for kids. It’s always a good idea to bring along some boredom-busters in case your kids need something more than bird-watching and stargazing to hold their attention, or in case of rain. ArtistGNDphotography/E+/Getty Images
To avoid having to figure out exactly how to set up your tent or other equipment on site, do a trial run at home before your trip. This lets you easily get set up and get to the fun part of camping faster.Sorrapong Apidech / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

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Pre-make easy-to-heat meals like chilis and soups ahead of your camping trip. Kids love to roast hot dogs, but sometimes you need more options. Store prepped meals in gallon baggies or reusable containers and heat over a campfire or on a camping stove.

To keep kids organized, group outfits by day when packing. Place smaller items like underwear or socks inside of tops and bottoms and place inside of a gallon baggie so that it’s easy to grab altogether and won’t get wet.Marc Romanelli/Tetra images/Getty Images
Keep hand sanitizer or wipes in an easily-accessible spot for kids. To really get at tough dirt and germs, make DIY a hand-washing station with a jug of water with a spigot on the edge of a table, soap, and towels.Nathan Bilow/Photodisc/Getty Images

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Plastic storage bins can double as a portable bathtub for little kids when camping. Use them to store your food and gear, but also have it on hand if your little one gets super messy and the showers are full.

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Pack single-serve personal care items. Instead of using a soggy roll of toilet paper while camping, fold up some TP in snack-size bags for individual bathroom trips. Use a similar method with soap, toothpaste, and other toiletries.

Bring a portable potty. Even if your kids are past potty-training age, a small toddler potty is an easy way to avoid a long walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night or during a bathroom emergency.Tatyana Tomsickova Photography/Moment/Getty Images
Glow sticks are the perfect camping accessory to have on hand with kids. Use them to see where you’re going at night, help kids who are afraid of the dark, or even to mark tripping hazards like tree roots around your campsite.Mark van Dam/Moment/Getty Images

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Use outdoor rugs to keep dirt out of your tent. Having your kids take their shoes on and off when they enter the tent is a pain, but rugs around the tent and inside its entrance can reduce the amount of dirt getting dragged in.

Place foam floor tiles that connect to one another (like the ones used for baby play areas) under your tent before setting it up to cushion the area underneath when camping with kids. This way, your kids will have a comfy, padded play space on the ground.gdinMika/E+/Getty Images

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