Some of the fondest childhood memories we have are of times we spent camping with our families, and if you have children, you know how important it is to recreate them.
These days, there’s some truly cool camping gear for kids out there that can help them explore this love for the wilderness even further, and make matters easier for the parents as well.
What are the best pieces of kids’ camping gear?
Kids should have their own camping supplies to get them interested in the adventure ahead, including a camping chair, sleeping bag, canteen, headlamp, and hiking boots.
There are other cool bits and pieces you can also supply them with, like a bug catcher, tent light, and binoculars, depending on their interests and your family’s camping style.
To equip your child with the best equipment for camping, check out our list of favorites and see what they might like.
We’ve covered it all from safety, fun, and exploration, so you can guarantee that your child gets even more out of camping than you used to.
The Ultimate Camping Gear for Kids
Camping is even cooler than it used to be back in the day, thanks to some innovative products out there designed just for kids.
We’ve uncovered some of the best new products and some timeless classics that make up our list of the coolest camping gear for kids, so check them out.
#1 Hiking Boots
Most adults take along a trusty pair of hiking boots when they go camping, so why not treat your kids to some?
With their own rugged hiking boots, they’ll be able to keep up with you on any adventure and you’ll have peace of mind that their soles are supported and comfortable.
Choose your kids’ new boots with just as much care as you would your own, finding ones with the same quality of build and materials as an adult shoe.
They’ll last them for as long as they can fit into them, and you can pass the boots down to their younger siblings when they finally grow out of them.
There’s no better way to explore the wilderness than with your very own headlamp, and it can make your kid feel like a true adventurer when they’re wearing one.
A headlamp will allow them to explore dark places like caves and inside of trees, as well as find their way around the campsite at night, and they come with a decent battery life that’ll last the entire trip.
The best thing about these headlamps is not the illumination it provides, but the sense of independence it gives your child, and how it takes a lot of the work away from the parents.
If you feel comfortable with your kid finding their own way in the dark using a headlamp, this is one of the coolest camping gifts you can give them.
Having your own pair of binoculars is an undeniably cool feeling and with all of the sights there are to see on a camping trip, there’s no better time to be equipped with them.
Kids will gladly spend hours exploring the world around them with just a pair of binoculars, and you’ll find that it brings out their inner sense of adventure even more.
The range of kid-friendly optics on the market today is overwhelming, and they have everything from basic starter designs to professional-grade binoculars.
We recommend starting at the cheaper end of the scale while your child develops an interest in their new binoculars and then seeing if it’s worth an upgrade for the next camping trip.
#4 Camping Chair
At the end of the day when the family is sitting around the campfire and talking, it means a lot for everyone to have a special place to sit.
A good quality camping chair made for the unique needs of children is a smart investment and will help them feel like one of the adults, giving them a true sense of independence.
Kids’ outdoor chairs should tick all of the boxes that adults’ do, including weather-resistant materials, foldable and portable design, and lightweight to carry.
With a kid-friendly design and all of the right stuff in ergonomics and comfort, your child will love setting up camp next to the fire to roast some marshmallows in their very own chair.
#5 Bunk Bed Cot
If you’re looking to make the most of the space within your tent and still want to get your kids excited about camping, a bunk bed cot is a perfect solution.
These portable cots can be set up with a relatively small footprint so they won’t cram the tent, but allow the two kids to sleep stacked on top of each other.
This is a great choice for families who aren’t ready for their kids to get their own tent but still want to give them some space and freedom.
Just be prepared for the fights about who gets the top bunk in this new and exciting setup, because it’s bound to happen.
#6 Bug Catcher
Some kids are natural-born explorers and there’s no better place to get inquisitive than in the middle of the wilderness.
With a bug catcher in hand, they can learn even more about their environment and the local insect life by capturing a few of them, and seeing what else is out there in the world away from their own backyard.
If you’re looking for a fun activity to keep your kids entertained while camping, a bug catcher can provide it.
Not only will you keep them busy for hours, but it provides a solid education without them even realizing it, so you’re getting two benefits in one.
#7 Sleeping Bag
A quality sleeping bag can make or break a camping experience, so our kids deserve to have one that’s just as good as our own.
The market for kids’ sleeping bags has exploded these days and you can easily spend hours shopping for a new one thanks to all of the cool features.
Get your children involved in choosing their sleeping bag so it gives them a sense of ownership, but make sure it has the right stuff for camping and the conditions you travel in.
Look for features like the right warmth rating and size, and then give them some freedom to choose the rest.
Water is one of the most crucial parts of any camping trip and if you’re letting your child off on their own to explore the surrounding environment, you’ll want to make sure they have access to it whenever they need it.
With a kid-friendly canteen, you can do just that, and there are loads of options out there that make them the right amount of fun, portability, and practicality for your children to want to use.
To find one suitable for children, you’ll need to look at the size, whether the cap can remain attached to the bottle once it’s unscrewed if it has an adjustable sling for wearing, and how easy it is to refill.
These will all ensure your kid’s canteen stays with them and doesn’t lose a drop of precious H20, no matter where they go with it.
Once your child is old enough, you might feel comfortable letting them carry a hiking backpack along on a camping trip as well.
Not only does this give a boost to their self-esteem but it frees up your own backpack, now that they’re able to carry their belongings.
There are loads of child-friendly backpacks out there made just for camping and hiking, with plenty of compartments, weather-proof materials, and enough durability to hold whatever it is they want to carry.
Get them involved in the packing stages of a camping trip so they start to take ownership of whatever is in their backpack, and you’ll be giving them the best introduction possible.
Giving your kids their very own multitool can be a daunting experience for a parent, but it will equip them with everything they need to excel in camping and survival skills.
A multitool features a number of different items like a screwdriver, knife, and tweezers, making them the perfect camping accessory.
Unlike an adult multitool, child-friendly ones are smaller sized, with less dangerous tools in them, and easier to maneuver for little hands, plus you can choose one that’s suitable for their specific age group.
To ensure they’re using it safely and effectively, provide them with a guide about making the most of their multitool, and set up some simple challenges on your next camping trip.
#11 Walkie Talkie
The joy of camping can be made even better with a cool walkie-talkie, and for your kids, it adds an element of fun to communicate with others in your party.
Walkie-talkies are great for speaking over far distances and feeling like you’re part of some secret operative training organization, which is even more believable when you’re planted in the middle of the wilderness.
Choose a pair of walkie-talkies with good battery life, a sizeable range, and kid-friendly functions that make them easy to operate, plus the option to add on more devices if you need them.
Then, you can set them loose in the wild to have some fun with their new favorite communication tool, and even keep one for yourself at base camp if you want to check in on them periodically.
#12 Glowing Water Bottle
There’s nothing worse than fumbling around in a tent in the middle of the night trying to find your kids’ water bottle, so knock this problem on the head before you go.
With a glowing water bottle, they’ll always be able to find their next sip of water, and all without waking you up from your slumber.
These glowing water bottles use LED lights at the base and illuminate the bottle, and some of them feature cool designs to make them even more appealing to kids.
Better still, they’ll be more inclined to take regular sips of water because they love their new glowing bottle so much.
The right camping gear can make or break an expedition, but knowing exactly what you need to bring and what can be left behind is a challenge.
To help you pack efficiently and effectively for your next camping trip, we’ve answered some FAQs that can teach you a few of the basics.
Do I Really Need a Compass Camping?
A compass is a smart item to take camping, provided you know how to use it, and it works best in conjunction with a map.
Some people may prefer to use a GPS device for a more modern approach to navigation, but with many of them requiring batteries and sometimes an internet connection, they might not always be reliable.
Are Tents Necessary For Camping?
Taking a tent gives you an easy and comfortable way to get shelter on a camping trip, but it’s not the only way.
Some people prefer to use tarp, hammock, or rooftop tent to cover them and rely on natural materials like cliffs and trees to make up the rest of the shelter’s structure, provided the weather is permitting.
What Weight Should A Camping Backpack Be?
A backpack’s weight should be determined by your own body weight, the length of the camping trip, and the type of camping you’re doing.
A good rule of thumb is to carry no more than 20 percent of your body weight in a backpack for a camping trip but there can be some exceptions to this rule.
George Cummings enjoys connecting with nature, meeting new people, and making friends from all over the world. RVing and camping create the perfect opportunity for [him/her] to take part in these activities. After spending several years on the road and exploring the great outdoors, George Cummings shares some of his best pieces of advice on how to make the most of your time while camping. TourTheOutdoors is his way of helping outdoorsy individuals like [him/her] start on a right footing with amazing recommendations and buying guides.