Camping with Kids – Pack and Prep

Mr. CainTravel is a lot braver than me – he loves camping and being outdoors, and he’s starting to try it with our kids. Without me.  Not that it’s personal – I love being outdoors and hiking, exploring, and getting off the beaten path – but when it comes to sleeping, I prefer a nice bed. Schedules and other events have also been a problem, and I’m sure I’ll buck up and get out there at some point, but for now it’s been nice bonding and 1-1 or 1-2 time for him with the kids. He’s been taking our son a few times with Cub Scouts, and now is taking both solo for brief overnights at local campsites and up in the mountains.  I wanted to highlight a few tips and some great gear he’s picked up to make this process more comfortable and fun for all…

Let’s start with talking warmth… a big concern up in the mountains. Our California son is very stubborn about ever even wearing long pants when it’s freezing in the mornings for school, so getting him to recognize the need to bundle up when it’s actually cold (something we don’t get much of in So Cal) in the mountains and overnight takes some planning. These skeleton gloves he picked out on Amazon are great, plus he has some double layers going on with open finger tips which are fun to play with, but will come in handy when it’s actually getting chilly.  When it comes to sleeping, the Kindercone bag from REI is the perfect fit for our tiny 4year old who gets cold even when out of the pool on a blazing hot day.   They are excited about their new accessories and these purchases have definitely come in handy and made outdoor life easier, according to Mr. CT.


Because Skeleton Gloves Make Everything Fun! 
They are double layer, perfect for our 7yo


This adorable Kindercone bag from REI is rated for 30degrees
and will suit our little 4yo nicely

When it comes to practicality, we decided after our son took a few sliders on the trails in his normal day to day tennis shoes, some basic hiking shoes/boots were probably worth the purchase.  If you spend any amount of time out in the mud or on the trails, especially with unpredictable weather, these are a good investment for kids.  He also now has his own day pack from REI to take on hikes, which is adorable and even notes hiking essentials on the inside, with organized compartments for each.  This overlaps well with his Cub Scout Six Essentials training, and has gotten great use both camping and for day excursions during our travels.



Merrell Hiking Boots for Our Cub Scout, whose normal day to day tennis shoes are more slip and slide style 🙂 

IMG_3769.jpg          IMG_3770.jpg

Love this little hikers pack from REI, with a place for his water pouch and other essentials. He loves feeling like a big shot 🙂


Do you have any favorite pieces of gear for outdoorsy travel and camping with kids?  Or any travel must haves, for that matter?  Would love to hear your ideas to help others as they plan their journeys!


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