Of all the camping adventures I’ve been on, the ones I cherish the most are the adventures with our kids.
Don’t get me wrong. Before children, my husband and I went on some epic camping trips across the country. However, now that we have two toddlers, camping feels meaningful and impactful for the kids too. But traveling with children is also challenging. There is a lot more planning involved, and packing up the RV often feels like we’re moving to another house — almost.
For our family, the most important things while RVing are eating, sleeping, and exploring. I’ve narrowed down our favorite essential camping gear for kids which has helped our family enjoy the camping experience more.
Safe Place to Sleep
It might sound obvious, but we all need a safe place to sleep at night. If your RV isn’t equipped with the right kind of beds for the age your kids are, then you need to adapt. Thankfully, there are lots of portable bed options that make it easy to create a safe place to sleep while on the go.
Snuggle Nest Portable Infant Lounger
We are big fans of portable “cribs” for babies. Think of it as a bassinet on the go. The Snuggle Nest Portable Infant Lounger can be folded up for easy transportation. Depending on what you prefer, it can be placed next to you on your RV bed, on the ground, or outside on the grass as a place for your littlest campers to lounge and hang out.
What kid doesn’t love a bunk bed? If you need two additional beds for your kids, Disc-O-Bed’s KID-O-BUNK® is the way to go. It’s a cot sleeping system that can be used side by side, as a bunk bed, or as a bench. There’s an organizer for each cot so that kids can stick their water bottles or bedtime books in the side pockets. Our son loves that he’s old enough to sleep in the top bunk while his sister sleeps on the bottom bunk. It’s also a spacious seating option around the campfire.
Coleman Kids 50°F Sleeping Bag
A kid-sized sleeping bag is truly essential. It’s more practical than a comforter. If your kids are anything like mine, they somehow manage to kick their covers off every night. Kids can stay extra warm and cocooned inside thanks to the comfort of the Coleman Kids 50°F Sleeping Bag. It comes in a fun, glow-in-the-dark design with a pocket to store a flashlight.
Kick Back and Relax
After a fun day of playing at the campground, everyone needs a place to kick back and relax, including the kids. A kid-size chair is essential because it fosters our kids’ needs for independence at the campground and the simple ability to get in and out of the chair is important.
Go With Me Jubilee Portable Chair
It’s a highchair, it’s a camping chair – it’s both! One of the struggles as a parent of two toddlers is trying to make sure they sit long enough to eat a meal. A portable chair makes traveling easy but when it doubles as a highchair as well as a lounge chair, it’s downright practical. The Go With Me Jubilee Portable Chair comes with a five-point removable harness, snack tray, and carry bag. Plus it’s made for babies all the way up to big kids.
Coleman Quad Folding Chair
A reliable, sturdy camping chair can last for years to come. The Coleman Kids Quad Chair is a classic folding chair with a mesh cup holder and armrest so kids can grab their water bottles whenever they need to. This colorful design is glow-in-the-dark and sits lower to the ground so kids can get in and out with ease.
Our kids are always extra hungry when we’re camping. That’s probably because we’re very active. We’re always out and about hiking, fishing, and exploring the area. An action-packed day makes for hungry campers.
Nordic Ware Meal Trays
Everything tastes better when camping. Hunger is the best seasoning of all, but our kids love it when their meal comes on a kid-friendly plate. We use divided plates at home so we love carrying that over to the RV with the Nordic Ware Meal Trays.
These are great for picnics or meals in the RV and are extremely durable. The divided compartments are helpful for scooping foods like applesauce or rice. I personally like it because I can visualize a well-balanced, healthy meal even while RVing. It’s microwavable and easy to clean up.
EcoVessel Frost Insulated Stainless Steel Kids Water Bottle
Whether they’re playing outside, hiking, biking, playing at the beach, or running around the campsite, kids need to stay hydrated. The EcoVessel Frost Insulated Kids Water Bottle is insulated to keep drinks cold for up to 36 hours. The flip spout and silicone bumper are handy features for the times kids drop their water bottles on the ground. After they quench their thirst, they can stick their water bottle in the cup holder of their camp chair.
Hershey’s S’mores Caddy
This one might not be on everyone’s essential list but it’s definitely on every kid’s list. The Hershey’s S’mores Caddy makes a regular appearance anytime we’re around the campfire. This convenient caddy holds chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows. We like to fill it with different kinds of fun-sized chocolate bars, cookies, and stroopwafel for a unique s’mores experience.
What is a camping trip without exploring? The beauty of camping is that it’s a time to connect with nature. We always look for ways to be creative during outdoor playtime and give our kids the freedom and space to move around and enjoy outside time comfortably and safely.
Kelty Journey PerfectFit Signature Child Carrier
No outdoor adventure is impossible for your little explorer with the right gear. The Kelty Journey PerfectFit Signature Child Carrier is truly the perfect fit for mom, dad, or whoever is up for carrying a kid on the trail. It’s extremely lightweight and keeps your kid secure with a five-point safety harness and padded aluminum roll cage. We have used ours at state parks, national parks, up and down hills, and even while cross-country skiing. There are plenty of pockets and compartments for water bottles and snacks.
Motorola Solutions Two-Way Radio
Walkie-talkies are a fun way to give your kids some independence at the campground but still be able to keep track of them without a cell phone. After all, depending on where you camp, you might not get the best cell reception. Whether your kids like to play in the woods or you’re on a hike and they’re outpacing you on the trail, a two-way radio like the Motorola Solutions TALKABOUT Two-Way Radio can give you peace of mind while giving your kids a fun tool to explore the great outdoors.
Thinking about RV camping with your kids? Take advice from full-time RVers who share the pro tips they’ve learned when getting their kids acquainted with RV life.
What’s on your camping essential list for kids? Let us know in the comments!