It is camping season again and if you are like our family, camping is one of the top reasons we enjoy the summer.  It is simply wonderful and invigorating to get away from the beeps and lights of all our distracting electronics and the general busyness of our lives.  We live in such a beautiful world and taking a few days here and there over the summer to just enjoy it is a great reminder of God and His love for us.

Plus, camping naturally and in a fun way helps us practice and use essential survival skills that we could need in a disaster situation.

But I’ll be honest.  Camping can also be very stressful.  So much so that it wasn’t until recently that I even tried it with our kids!  In order to keep my sanity (you know I’m a bit OCD, right?), I created an organized camping system that works well for us.  I packed a few different tubs with our camping supplies.  I never really unpack the tubs so I don’t actually have to pack and repack everything or even spend much time thinking about what we’ll need.  It is just all right there.   I have loved this system and since I posted it last year it has become one of the most popular posts on my site.

 

camping with kids

 

But there is always room for improvement!  I learned a few things while camping last year, and I’ve spent some time this spring searching for additional ways to make our camping life better: simpler, more fun, more educational, tastier etc.  I’ve found a few additional ideas I will be trying this summer.  I hope they will improve your family camp outs as well!

 

13 Tips and Tricks for Camping With Kids:

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Kitchen-Camping-List

Ultimate Family Camping List

Pack once and never pack again!  Keep your camping supplies organized into tubs that stay packed and simply get restocked each time you get home.  Just grab your tubs, pack a cooler and GO!  Includes printable lists of suggested supplies.

paper towels

Paper Towel Holder

We have a pretty good hand washing station with a paper towel holder, but inevitably, they always fall on the muddy ground at least a few times.  This year, I will be hanging my paper towels using a bungee cord!  Idea found here (#18) via pinterest.

Keep Cooler Cold

Keeping your Cooler Cold

If you are going camping for an extended period of time or where it is especially hot, you will face the challenge of keeping your food cold.  These tips from Lynn Bremner, a desert road trips expert should help!

Camping Pancakes

Pancakes

Who doesn’t love pancakes when camping?  This year, I will be pre-making our pancakes (restaurants do this…the batter will last 4-7 days) and putting the batter into a ketchup bottle.  Less time, less mess and less space!  Win. Win. Win.

Camping Planner

Meal and Activity Planner

Even with my prepacked tubs, I still have to plan (and pack for) our meals and activities.  I LOVE this planning system that Sarah over at Mean Mommy Academy created.

Ouch Pouch

Ouch Pouch

I have a first aid kit in our camping supplies, but I LOVE the idea of having all the basics in a small little pouch  I can keep handy and use for small “owies.  It even includes a few suckers b/c sometimes that and a “mommy kiss” are the only things that really make it better.  You can buy an ouch pouch on etsy here, but I will be making my own!

Camp Caddy

Camp Caddy

One problem with my tub system is that it can be hard to access things on the bottom once AT camp.  This year, I will be adding a shoe organizer to our supplies so I can “unpack” the tubs at camp and have all my supplies ready to use!

Camp Songs

Camp Songs

One of my favorite childhood memories is singing around a campfire.  But when we took our kids last year,  I couldn’t remember many camp songs.  This year, I’ve printed this list and will bring it with us..

bingo camping cards

Camping Bingo Cards

I want my kids to notice what is around them when they are camping and gain an appreciation for all God has given us.  These cards help make that FUN!

Camping Tic Tac Toe

Camping Tic Tac Toe

The kids need something to do while my husband and I set up / take down camp.  I love this simple, fun and free activity idea from 86 Days of Summer.

explorer journal

Explorer Journal

I love this simple little (and free) printable journal from Fleece Fun.  My kids love to explore and they love to talk about it.   This journal turns that all into a great experience they can write about and have as a great memory / keepsake.

Camping Activities

Free, Simple Family Activities

I like activities that bring us together as a family, but don’t cost money or require me to bring anything extra / special when we are camping (cause we already bring enough, right?)  Most of the activities on this list from Real Family Camping are free and can be done with things right in your camp.

Camping Recipes

Easier Camping Meals

I like to eat.  I’ll admit it.  I do.  In fact, I love it.  I especially like to eat well while camping.  Doing so is much easier if you are able to make at least part of the meal at home before you get to the campground.  Most of the recipes on this list from One Sweet Appetite fit that requirement.

 

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Camping with kids can be fun.....and overwhelming. These 13 tips and tricks should make make camping with kids less overwhelming and more fun!