What to pack when camping with kids.


So you’re going camping with the kids. To a festival. Yay! Don’t be daunted, you’ll have an amazing time. However, do heed the old adage often spouted by someone in an anorak with a map in a waterproof bag.

To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail!

It really is true, as easy going and laid back as I may come across, (not to anyone that knows me irl trust me! 😀 ), I do like to be organised and from past experience, not having the necessary equipment can absolutely ruin a trip. Not just make or break but RUIN!! 😀

So I thought I’d write up our camping checklist, (this one is specifically for a festival we’re going to), and you can tell me if there is anything I’ve missed or that would make it a better experience!

I’m going to assume that you already have a tent, tent pegs, (plus spares!), a mallet and the instructions!

Essentials – If you take nothing else, take these!

  • loo roll
  • torch
  • rain coats
  • wellies
  • warm hats (even in summer, trust me!)
  • wet wipes
  • sun cream
  • sunglasses
  • phone charger
  • nappies if needed
  • sleeping bags
  • pillows
  • something to sleep on
  • rucksack – lugging your stuff around without a big bag or trolley isn’t much fun as you usually walk around a lot!
  • waterproof blanket to sit on when watching the bands
  • hand sanitiser, there is usually some in the loos but it runs out fast
  • Big bottles of water to keep at the tent & water bottles to decant it into/fill up at water points. (The water might be treated and taste a bit chemical-ly though)
  • Snack bars/cereal bars/crisps as kids like to snack a lot & it can get really expensive if you’re buying food every time you hear ‘I’m hungry’ 😀

Clothing

  • layers are best, especially in Britain when you could leave in baking sun and leave in torrential rain!
  • warm jumpers
  • warm socks, cold feet when camping are the worst of the worst

Extras

  • dry shampoo – can be a godsend to freshen up as although there are showers on site usually, the queues can be very long
  • flip flops for if you do brave the showers
  • fairy lights, a string of them around the guy ropes adds a magical touch and makes it easier to locate your tent in a busy field, if it’s a really busy festival, a flag on a long pole can also be helpful
  • onesies – not essential but we have a tradition where a festival means a new onesie and they love them

Dinoroars!! Perfect for chilly nights. I want one!!!!

This is not exhaustive, let me know if I’ve forgotten anything vital, I’m always open to new brilliant ideas! Remember that camping is often a fair distance from the car park and so something to put all your stuff in to lug it about is fab. You can get these brilliant folding trolleys with covers over that you can put all your stuff in to transport it from car to campsite and then use it through the festival to carry tired kids, put all your stuff in if it rains and, most importantly, keep all the snacks and beer in! 😉

59 Comments

  1. Such a helpful post cheers!

  2. I’d actually love to take the kids with us to a festival but I don’t think I’m brave enough! x #bigpinklink

  3. Love the idea of adding fairy lights! And yes dry shampoo is an absolute must I think! #bigpinklink

  4. OOOh great lists! Especially the hats, I am always far too blase when it comes to hats in summer and then night-time comes and we are all freezing! This has made me want to go to a festival now! 🙂 #bigpinklink

  5. Very useful information. I have never gone camping in my life but now that I have a baby this could be something I might try out when he’s a bit bigger. Love the idea of the fairy lights – might try that one with a tent in the back garden

  6. Oh I love lists! My phone is full of them on the notes page – i’d be lost without them! I think you’ve got this camping one covered – wet wipes all the way and love the safety measures for keeping the food and drink dry! #BigPinkLink

  7. Great advice. As you know we love camping and festivals and this type of list is great for encouraging more people to experience them as it give them the confidence to think they can do it. The photos of the Dinoroars are mega cute!
    Potty Adventures
    #bigpinklink

  8. A very useful post with loads of great tips thanks for hosting #bigpinklive

  9. Chuck in an extra bottle of wine…and a hidden chocolate stash. Sounds great. #bigpinklink

  10. This is useful – taking the boy camping in a couple of weeks, I shall definitely pack the onesie and get him some warm socks. #bigpinklink

  11. Zip lock bags. For toilet roll, phones, anything you don’t want getting wet or covered in mud / sand. Could be handy! Have a great time! #bigpinklink

  12. There’s nothing better than when someone has written a list for you – especially with something like camping with kids. I’m sure this will help an awful lot of people this summer 🙂 Alison x #bigpinklink

  13. So well thought-through I can’t think of anything else. Maybe som extra vino for the parents? #bigpinklink

  14. Great list Hun, great idea to bring own pillows. And I swear by dry shampoo, amazing stuff. Happy camping!

  15. You are very brave for even trying this!! I am too scared to camp outside the back garden hahaha
    Great Post
    Lx
    http://workingmumy.blogspot.com
    #bigpinklink

  16. We are planning on camping next year so will.save this list for reference 🙂 x #bigpinklink

  17. God, you are soooo brave – or have kids that don’t leg it off at the first chance to explore all the exciting stuff around. We’d love to try out a festival, but I think that’s a few years off yet.
    I always make my boys wear bright green these days if we go out anywhere and write my mobile number on their arm in case they do get separated from us.

  18. this is a long list! you ARE organised lol – Im not a huge fan of camping and so have managed to avoid this particular activity, normally sending the kids with other family members haha.. I’ll pass this post on to my sister 😉 #bigpinklink

  19. That list sounds about right! I haven’t done camping with the kids yet but it’s on our to-do list. Now that we’re past diapers and naps it’s probably a good time to start. The one thing I hate is that I’m always the one doing all the packing! #bigpinklink
    ~Jess

  20. All this talk of taking children to a festival is making me want to take mine more and more!!! We are doing tribute festival next month but not braving camping. When we eventually do brave it I will be sure to use your expertise! Thank you! #bigpinklink

  21. I’ve yet to brave camping, I’m just not sure it’s going to be my thing. However, I do fancy trying a festival so this will be a handy starting point for me! Thanks for sharing and for hosting #bigpinklink

  22. Excellent list! I want to go to a festival now! We went to a local one just for a day. We’re going away this summer with my family in my in-law’s motorhome and I have been thinking about what bits we will need – it’s much easier than going in a tent though so it should be fine. I’ve bought the little man a big rain suit thing so he can crawl around even when it’s wet, think that was my essential item for our summer trip haha. #bigpinklink

  23. We’re going camping for the first time as a family of 4 in a few weeks. The kids are super excited (as are the adults!). We are going to be in Wales so waterproofs are DEFINITELY essential! Even when we go out for day trips I pack their waterproof trousers as it means they can go down the slide even if it’s soaking wet! #bigpinklink

  24. Thanks for that. A useful guide, and when I can persuade my husband camping with our 2 little ones is a good idea I will definitely use this 🙂
    #bigpinklink

  25. Haven’t taken the kids camping yet but this is a great list. I’d definitely add wine and chocolate to the essentials! Thanks for hosting #BigPinkLink xx

  26. Super useful, thanks!! Am going camping with 2 kids for 2 weeks soon! Hadn’t thought about hand sanitizer or fairy lights 🙂 #bigpinklink

  27. A fabulous list Lou!! I love the idea of fairy lights-I’ve always had fairy light envy when I’ve seen other people do this when they’re camping!! And yes-you can never have too many layers!! Although when we’ve been camping with the children before, it’s been boiling when they went to sleep at 6.30, then I’ve had to wake them up a couple of hours later when it’s freezing, and put a tonne of layers on them! I’ve invariably woken up and been worried that they’re too hot/cold!! It’ll be easier now they’re older and they can tell us/or just go to bed later when it’s already cold!! I love your onesie tradition too-I now also have onesie envy!! Thanks for the fab co-hostessing skills!! X

  28. Looks like you have it covered! I haven’t braved camping with the kids! I’m a bit more of a glamping girl myself!! #bigpinklink

  29. You forgot the bathroom sink! LOL! That’s what my aunt used to say whenever we went camping in the summer. She would say, “I packed everything but the bathroom sink!” I would add bug spray to my list. My boys and I get bit all to hell if we don’t pack bug spray. The mosquitoes love to eat us, LOL! Thanks so much for hosting #bigpinklink

  30. Excellent advice! I can’t wait to take my girls to a family friendly festival, we’re not able to do it at the moment because of my husband but as soon as he’s mended we’ll be going and I’ll be back to see what to take!
    Nat.x

  31. Hmmm… I have yet to be convinced on the camping thing ( we do the caravan a few times a year which I can just about bear if I have wine and chocolate!!) Kids love it though. Ibuprofen, Calpol sachets, antihistamines, sudacream and plasters, basically every time I leave the house!

  32. I love camping! That’s a good list. The showers can be so disgusting that is true and I can imagine with kids there are no stress-free times but I always find something so relaxing about being outdoors. #bigpinklink

  33. I don’t have kids (yet?), but I always pack most of what you listed whenever I go camping and later “save” my friends because they mostly forget half the stuff they would need haha
    #bigpinklink

  34. I haven’t been brave enough yet to attempt camping with a 1-year-old – I’m not sure I’ll ever be brave enough. Then again, maybe I just need to suck it up -she’d love nothing more than to spend a few days running around outdoors. #bigpinklink

  35. Good tips! I love the fairy lights and flag idea. I don’t camp in this country but love to camp a few 1000kms south ie the med! In this country top of my list would be a hot water bottle!! Also love the onesies tradition! #bigpinklink

  36. Brilliant! We’ve only made it as far as the garden so far (in the day time). My other half is very keen to go further and to sleep in the tent! 😀 I will save this list for then. Thank you! (I think heading south as per the comment above is a great idea…). #bigpinklink

  37. I’ve never been camping because I am terribly indoorsy, but this post makes me think if I took your advice and then tried camping I might actually survive it! #Bigpinklink

  38. So handy! We are hoping to go camping in August, so I will be referring back here! #BigPinkLink

  39. I would love to take my kids camping, you won’t be forgetting anything with a list like that #bigpinklink

  40. I remember going to V Festival when I was 26 with a friend. We had no kids but could’ve done with this list! We were so naive about how far away the car was! I don’t know if I’d dare do it with children but I love that you have a onesie tradition!! Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  41. We always take plastic ponchos to festivals. Light and portable and can be whipped on quickly when there it starts to chuck it down. Never done a festival with kids though. I think I would, but I might not camp… Hope your reading went well. #bigpinklink

  42. Oh fab list – we haven’t braved camping yet but the onesie is such a fab idea! Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink xx

  43. Aaaaaaand the Indian in me just went “Lovely…so I’ll book a hotel”.

    Power to you. If they can just put a roof over the whole thing so I don’t get rained on, I’m there like a shot 🙂 #BigPinkLink

  44. Love the onesie idea. Your kids are probably a bit bigger than mine, he’s crawling not walking, a all in one boiler suit style waterproof has been invaluable to camp in so far as he can crawl Around in the dewy grass / wet grass to his hearts content! Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  45. We’ve still never braved camping with the kids but if we do, this list is perfect! I would forget so many things, love the fairy lights idea, sounds magical! #bigpinklink

  46. This is a fab list, it looks like you’ve definitely got yourself organised for your latest festival, I’m sure the kids are going to have a great time! #TheBigPinkLink

  47. Fabulous list! I just had a flashback to my Reading festival days 😉 Thanks for sharing X #bigpinklink

  48. when the kids were littler we used to go away loads in our caravan, but we don’t have it anymore, I have camped once with them and it was great fun, we need to do it more. Growing up we camped at least twice a year it was the best! #bigpinklink

  49. Can’t say I’m much of a camper personally and the thought of doing it with two babies scares me a little. However you do have a very comprehensive list here that I am sure will very useful! Enjoy your camping trips xx #bigpinklink

  50. I love camping but have never done a festival, it sounds like so.much fun!I love the idea of putting fairy lights of the tent and adding a flag. Those Dino onesies are amazing xx

  51. My little ones want to camp in the garden this summer….I’ll probably still end up packing a rucksack & lugging everything from your list down to the bottom of the garden! #bigpinklink

  52. It sounds like a lot written down We’ve not braved camping yet, but plan to at some point. #bigpinklink

  53. Writing down a list so you are prepared is essential. Thank goodness for dry shampoo which is a saviour for camping out. Hope you have a fab time away X #bigpinklink

  54. Hi Louise, someone is organised! I do find it funny that you have to pack raincoats and warm hats for a camping trip in the UK. I remember camping as a child and we took everything bar the kitchen sink.

    The only things I would add to your list would be tea, coffee and Marmite.

    xx

  55. I have never actually been camping or to a festival but I am always being berated for literally packing everything but the kitchen sink! I also never go away in the UK in the summer without raincoats and wellies ever, oh and of course dry shampoo is an absolute must #bigpinklink (sorry I am late with my commenting)

  56. Fab list, I had always wondered what to pack and how you go camping with children. My friend is going camping at Sheffield Park National Trust site with her baby tomorrow for the weekend. I’m interested to hear how it went. Claire x #bigpinklink

  57. What a brave soul you are, camping with loads of others, and did I mention, camping? Nice list. I’m afraid Little, Big and the Mrs. would see/hear/imagine too many things crawling/lurking in the night. I think I may with right along side them! #BigPinkLink

  58. Not braved camping with kids &, indeed, I don’t enjoy camping in general – I would definitely want to be very prepared if I was camping with kids! #bigpinklink

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