In the first part of this two-part series, I discussed some of the essential gear for surviving a camping trip with kids, from a spacious tent, to a portable toilet and sink, puddle jumper, and fun game to pass the time. Here, I’ll look at 10 more must-haves for your next family trip to the great outdoors.
Sportcraft Resin Bocce Ball Set
There’s no amount of boredom that a good game of bocce ball can’t fix. Grab this perfect travel set, complete with a carry bag, and toss the eight, 4” resin balls to see who comes closest to the pallino (the small white ball). It’s a fun game for kids of all ages, and can allow for some competitive family fun. The best part is that you can keep it in the garage, and bring it out during backyard barbecues at home, too. Or, the adults can play a quiet game once the kids are asleep in their tents: losers have to chug their beers!
Sportcraft Kids Camping Chair
Sitting around the campfire is a staple of any camping trip. It’ll be nice for the kids to have chairs of their own to join in on the fun. This one from Sportcraft has swivel footing to help the chair stay steady on uneven ground, and easily folds up to be placed inside its polyester carry bag. Foam padding on the seats and armrests adds to the comfort. And the centre mesh channel will drain water out should you get stuck in the rain. Plus, there’s a swiveling beverage holder for their water bottle.
Carson Optical AdventurePak
For older kids who want to explore and play ranger, this set would make a perfect gift to pull out and surprise them once you arrive. They can play detective on the camp site, or bring the set along on a hike or bike ride around the local trail. It includes a compact pair of 5x30mm binoculars that can see up to 312 feet away at 1,000 yards field-of-view, along with a flashlight, lensatic compass, and signal whistle/thermometer.
Igloo Super Tough Hard Sided Cooler
Food, food, and more food is required for any camping trip. And chances are, the adults also have a cooler fully stocked with beer and another libations. Grab a large-sized cooler like this one from Igloo that can hold everything you’d need, from hamburger meat and toppings, to kids cold snacks, like yogurt, cheese, and fruits, and milk for the baby. It’s made to last, with bolt-through-body side handles, heavy-duty backup plates, and heavy-duty stainless steel hinges. With the stainless steel latch, no pesky animals will be getting into your food supply. It can hold up to 68 litres of food and drink, and keep ice in tact for up to four days at 32-degrees Celsius.
Classic Accessories Teton Float Tube
If dad and son want to have some bonding time, take a look at these Teton float tubes, which can be taken out on the lake for some fishing. Each one includes a quick-release stripping apron with a fish ruler, and a horizontal rod holder to secure the fishing rod when you aren’t using it, and D-rings for attaching extra gear and creel bags. Armrest pockets hold other essentials. With a maximum 250 lb. capacity, dad and young son could go out together on one to see what they might be able to reel in. For added safety, there’s a safety flag pocket, and safety labeling as per ABYC standards.
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator
Power everything you need on the campsite, from a portable speaker for music, to yes, even smartphones and tablets should the kids need something to keep them occupied before bedtime, or during a rained out day when they’re stuck in the tent. The Yeti 400 Solar Generator from Goal Zero can recharge from AC power or 12V from your car (car charger sold separately); or simply grab the optional solar panel to gain a charge from the sun. Once it’s powered up, you can use it to charge all of your devices – just plug them in like you would plug them into the wall. At 396Wh, it has enough juice to recharge a smartphone 30 times – more than enough to keep everyone’s devices fully charged for a one-week camping trip. Your tweens and teens will thank you.
KO ODYSSEY 650ml 6-in-1 Filtration Water Bottle
Keeping kids hydrated is highly important at any time, but particularly when they’ll be out in the hot sun all day, and being very active. This handy water bottle comes with two levels of filtration built in so you can ensure your young ones are getting clean drinking water, no matter where it comes from. The filters help rid tap water of chlorine, taste, and odour, and removes 99.9% of bacteria. But what makes the cup extra cool is that it comes with a flashlight attachment that doubles as a lantern, and includes a strobe mode so you can use it as a beacon in case of emergency. All that’s required is three AAA batteries (sold separately.) It can hold up to 650 mL of aqua, plus use the storage unit at the bottom to hold food or small necessities, like medication. Or, just use it as a drinking cup. A convenient handle on the top lets you hook the bottle to a tree or tent
Aleva Naturals Bamboo Hand ‘n’ Face Wipes
If you’re extra paranoid about taking your little baby camping, you’re not alone. Lots of new moms are. The worry about dirt, germs, and the inability to keep baby squeaky clean is evident. Bring along a couple packages of these wipes so you can rest easy when you need to wipe baby’s mouth, or refresh her in the morning, without using potentially harsh lake water or the campsite bathroom’s tap water. They are made of soft bamboo fibres, and include organic aloe vera and chamomile oil to sooth baby’s skin as well. There are no chemicals, dyes, and perfumes. This won’t take the place of a true clean of baby’s face. But they can tide you over when you need to wipe away some spit-up or residual ketchup from baby’s mouth. Chances are, the adults will find that they come in handy for quick wipes, too.
Munchkin Travel Bottle Warmer
Good luck trying to serve your baby warm milk before bed at a campsite. If this is part of your daily routine, so you can still keep it up on the campsite with a bottle warmer like this one from Munchkin, which can heat up from your car’s 12V adapter, then warm the naptime or bedtime milk within minutes. The flexible heating band wraps around a standard-sized bottle, and fits inside most car cup holders, so you can serve baby some warm milk on the long ride home and back as well. No worries about late night feeds: a timer display will light up to help you keep track of proper warming times.
Napoleon TravelQ 12,000 BTU Portable Gas BBQ with Scissor Cart
In this first part of this series, I covered this Napolean TravelQ portable gas BBQ. This version adds a scissor cart, making it even easier to cook while standing up. The grill uses a standard 1.2lb. propane cylinder, or can be connected to a full-sized tank if you wanted to use it back at home. It has two stainless steel burners that can cook up to 20 burgers at a time, and the cart includes all-terrain wheels and a locking lid.
For more great ideas on camping gear to bring along for the kids, check out Part 1.