coleman phoenix 10-person tent.jpgPlanning to venture out camping with the kids? That can be a daunting task, particularly if you don’t have technology to keep them busy.

Luckily, there’s plenty of gear that can help make the trip much easier, and more fun, for you, and your young ones – from babies to preteens.

Coleman Phoenix 10-person Tent

You’ll want to keep the kids close, which means getting a nice, big tent that everyone can fit in. The Coleman Phoenix tent can accommodate up to 10 people in three “rooms.” It can fit up to three queen-sized airbeds. But it can even come in handy with fewer people if you have a baby, for example, who will need frequent diaper changes. You can change your bambino away from the elements, and in the privacy of the tent. And have plenty of room to set up a little indoor mobile change station. The tent is easy to set up thanks to the snag-free pole sleeves and shock corded poles, and uses a WeatherTec system to help keep it dry, even during heavy downpours.

Coleman Seyvlor Convertible Inflatable Water Lounge

coleman stearns swimaid puddle jumper.jpgEnjoy some down time away from the kids with this comfortable lounger, which you can take out for a quick float on the lake. Or, use one to quell the inevitable “I’m bored” cries from an older child. It’s made from heavy-duty PVC, and includes multiple air chambers in case of a puncture. You, and the older kids, can take turns floating out on the lake for some quiet “me” time.

Coleman Stearns Swimaid Puddle Jumper

You’ll want to keep the little ones safe when out in the water. This cute Puddle Jumper can be used as a flotation device for kids between 30 and 40 lbs., so up to about 4 or even 5 years old. This way, you can ensure kids will be protected at all times, even if they’re just splashing and playing at the water’s edge.

Sportcraft Bungee Ladderball

Kids these days always need something to keep them busy. And without video games and electronic devices, the creativity will have to come out. Help them occupy a day at the camp site with this fun Sportcraft Bungee Ladderball, a variation of ladder golf or ladder toss lawn games. Stand the ladder up straight, then take turns throwing your bola wraps toward it, trying to get them sportcraft bungee ladderball.jpgaround each rung. It comes with a carry bag, so you can easily throw it in the trunk along with the rest of your camping gear. And all components remain attached, so you won’t have to worry about missing parts. Set one up, and the kids can enjoy hours of fun as you all compete for the ultimate ladder tosser. Loser has to wash the dishes, and winner gets extra iPad time on the drive home!

Napoleon TravelQ 12,000 BTU Portable Gas BBQ

There is no camping without barbeques. And while the ideal way to cook is straight on a fire, a portable grill can come in handy for frying up some eggs and bacon in the morning, or getting some quick burgers and hot dogs made in the rain. The Napoleon TravelQ is a good option for the campsite because it’s super-portable, even coming with its own carry bag. And it can make up to 18 burgers at a time on its ample 285 square-inch cooking surface. It’s great to feed the hungry kids who might need a quick snack in between their early dinner and nighttime Smores.

Reliance Wash N’ Go Portable Sink

I like to go, what they call, “glamping.” That means campsites that also have washroom facilities nearby, complete with napoleon travelq 12000 btu portable bas bbq.jpg
showers, toilets, sinks, and mirrors. But this isn’t always the case. And you can still keep relatively clean, and ensure the kids keep up with their hygiene, at the most remote campsites by using a portable sink like this one. Pop open the toolkit-like box to reveal everything you need to wash up in the morning or before bed, including a sink that can hold 11 litres of water, a small vanity mirror, built-in soap dish, cup holder, and slots to hold everything from toothpaste and toothbrushes, to shavers. There’s even an LED light built into the lid so you can comfortably wash up before bedtime.

World Famous Screenhouse

It’s happened to everyone at least once: you wake up in the morning one day while camping to find that some kind of animal – a raccoon, perhaps – has massacred your food supply. This screenhouse can help keep the buggers out, serving as a dedicated tent for your valuable food and other items while you sleep. Then, use it as a spot for the kids to eat during the day, free from bugs. The frame holds up with steel poles, and there are two, full-length zippered doors. It measures 12 feet wide by 12 feet long by eight feet high – large enough to accommodate the whole family. Plus, it comes with a carry bag for easily adding it to the camping gear.

Reliance Flushable Looreliance flushable loo.jpg

If you’re at a campsite that’s completely remote, with no bathroom facilities, you’ll need a comfortable place for the kids to go – especially when you’re talking about toddlers who are potty training and you want to keep things consistent. Set up this 5.7-gallon portable toilet and the kids can relieve themselves when they need to. It has a 12-litre top water reservoir and 10-litre bottom holding tank, and comes with secure slide clips and sealing gaskets to help prevent leaks. Grab some of the Double Doodie Plus large toilet waste bags for easy cleanup.

Phil+teds Parade Back Baby Carrier

If you’re planning to head out on a hike, or even a short, brisk walk while camping, you won’t want to lug a stroller around. Instead, bring along a baby carrier so you can keep baby safe and secure, and close to you, using the ergo-fit harness system. It even comes with a detachable backpack where you can store snacks and essentials for your baby or toddler. It can phil and teds parade back baby carrier.jpghold children up to 40 lbs., and folds flat when not in use.


JoJo Maman Bebe Pack-Away Waterproof Pixie Jackets

While you want to be prepared for inclement weather, packing extra clothes is the last thing you want to worry about for camping trips. The car will already be full of great essential camping gear. So when it comes to clothing, you want to pack light. Make sure to bring along a waterproof jacket for the kids that they can put on overtop their clothes should it rain, or if you’re planning to play around in the dirt and mud. It’s breathable, packs up small, and you can wash it off and hang it up to dry to wear the next day. It comes in three sizes, to fit babies from 12-18 months, 18 months, or two years.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we’ll talk about 10 more essentials for camping with kids.