How long should we stay?
Your first camping trip with the kids should be an overnighter. You just want to get them accustomed to sleeping in a tent and all of the other everyday changes camping brings. It’s always better to leave them wanting more versus thinking they’ve done it all.
What family-friendly extras should we bring with us?
Before you go, pack a few add-ons that can make a good trip great. A camera or cell phone will help you capture memories that you can reminisce about when the weather gets too cold to camp.
If your trip takes you anywhere near a lake, river or pond, bring some extra bread; the kids will have fun throwing crumbs into the water and watching the fish eat them (but check park guidelines on feeding first). Also, be sure to tuck away your kids’ favorite snacks; you’ll have some backup just in case you have to wait out a rainstorm.
How can we keep everyone safe?
Safety is always a concern, especially for those with small children. The good news is you’ve left all of the distractions of home behind, so keeping an eye on your kids will feel easier than you might imagine.
To be sure a toddler doesn’t run off, put some bells on his or her shoes; you’ll hear them if the little one decides to head off for some solo exploring.
Hand out whistles to the older kids so they can alert you if they get lost. Should they all go down for naps, put that old baby monitor inside the tent. You’ll be able to enjoy the serenity of the outdoors without worrying whether someone is awake and getting into the s’mores bag.
Finally, once you’re ready to pack up, make sure everyone is involved in cleaning up. Leave nothing behind but those tiny, adorable footprints.
More useful advice for first-timers
If you're new to camping or it's been a while since you last went, the Coleman Get Outdoors app has many helpful resources that can make your entire experience fun and memorable.
A parent’s guide to camping with kids
To get you ready for your first camping adventure with kids in tow, we answer three of the questions parents most frequently ask.
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