Camping with Kids… 4 Things I Don’t Go Without


Know when to splurge and when to save!

You can be a frugal camper by gathering gear as you go…don’t worry about getting everything for the first trip…ask around and borrow from family or grandparents for the first few times to help you know what you like to use. Keep an eye out at garage sales, and thrift stores they are great for finding discounted camping gear. There are some things that I have learned to save up for, and what I could pass on.

Here is a list of 4 things I do not go without:

  • Splurge on good quality gear —> Sleeping bags, hammock, wagon, hiking pack for the little ones.


Quality Sleeping Bag: If you or your kiddo is cold during the middle of the night it’s no fun for either of you. We all got used to sleeping in mummy bags right away and we stay toasty warm. My very favorite sleeping bag for my kids is the REI Kindercone. You can get a membership with them and will periodically receive 20% coupons, making this about $50. (**Right now there are a few colors on sale for $43!!) Amazon is also a great source. Be sure to read the review and look for good ratings. Here is a list of highly rated, 10º to 35º bags that are under $25!

Portable Parachute Travel Camping Hammock Two Person (405x540)

A hammock a GREAT place to relax, read, or just spend some time chatting with your kiddo. We have one of these and it’s the most popular place to hang out! 🙂

INVEST IN A WAGON! We have used our Radio Flyer wagon for 8 years and if it’s not pulling around kids, we use it to haul water, firewood, and gear from the car to the tent. Seriously worth every penny! Right now this Wagon is on an amazing sale!

Screenshot 2015-03-24 at 10.31.00 PM

A hiking pack will get well used if your family likes to hike and explore while camping! We were able to find one at a kids re-sale store so a Kelty one only cost about $30. I just sold ours online, and it was a bittersweet parting…so many great hikes and exploration for all of my kids in that pack!

Those are some things we have found make a big difference for us when camping. What are the things that your kids/family love? Share in the comments.

Don’t waste your money on these:

  • Save —> Skip the hiking shoes, expensive new toys or activities for the kids.
    • Unless you are doing some major back country hiking you can skip the expensive hiking shoes. Their regular gym or running shoes will work just fine – Yay!
    • Don’t spend tons of money getting new toys or games to take with you. The kids will have so much fun with rocks, dirt, and sticks that the new toys will get left in the car. (I learned the hard way on this!!) Instead, if you want to have a few new toys, head to the dollar store and pick up a few things that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Learn more tips about camping with kids.

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