Did you know that in 2020, data predicted that 2.4 million people would try camping for the very first time, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and limited opportunities for safe getaways, a total of 10.1 million people decided to give camping a go with no previous experience! Whether you and your family gave camping a shot for the first time in 2020, or are long-time fans of exploring outdoors, we’re excited to bring you our list of camping hacks that make it easier to enjoy time outside with your families, especially young ones!
Where to Camp
There are quite a few family-friendly campgrounds across the US, but for families looking for waterpark fun, themed stays, local attractions, and a less primitive camping experience, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park locations are an incredible option no matter where you’re headed.
Additionally, National or State parks often offer incredible accommodations depending on the type of camping experience you’re looking to have. You can find a comprehensive list of National Park locations here.
In addition to considering where you’ll camp with your family, it’s important to take timing into account, as certain months and seasons present different opportunities for great camping. Depending on where you live and where you’re headed, you’ll want to choose a time of year when the weather isn’t too hot or cold for little ones. Avoid stormy seasons in wetter areas, and do your best to consider your abilities to regulate your temperature and your kids’ temps before you book a trip.
What to Pack
When it comes to packing, there are quite a few extra useful things you can pack to make sure that your kids are happy and add tons of fun to your family adventure. Some of our favorite things to pack for family fun while camping include:
- Glow sticks and string lights for additional lighting options
- Extra sunscreen and bug repellant
- Travelable toys and activities like bubbles, chalk, and sand toys
- A portable potty if needed
- Plenty of first aid supplies, just in case
- An extra plastic storage bin or bucket to use as a tub if needed
- A speaker for soothing sleep sounds, music around the fire, and more
- Lessy Messy outdoor mats, trunk protectors, or diaper pads to make camping clean up even easier
In addition to making sure you’re prepared and packed with all of the right stuff, there are a few hacks you can take advantage of when away from home with little ones. It can be a big adjustment for kids to learn to rest and sleep in an unfamiliar space, especially one as unique as the great outdoors. Consider these hacks before your next outing:
- Pre-pack meals to cook over the fire – this takes a lot of the guesswork out of mealtime and can make it easier to get meals ready when kids get hangry
- If you packed portable hammocks, they can double as clotheslines when things need to dry
- Freeze distilled gallons of water and use them as ice blocks in your cooler – when they melt, you’ll have extra water on hand
- When in a pinch, baby wipes are a great way to clean off kids (and adults) after a few days without a great shower
- Use your Lessy Messy outdoor mat to keep dirt, sand, and mud out of your tent