When you’re camping with kids, you want to make sure that you do as much as possible to ensure easy nights. From the tent that you choose, to how you set it up, and even the accessories and lighting – there are ways that you can make tenting easier (and more enjoyable). As we head out into our last road trip of the year, I wanted to share some of the tips that we’ve learned (and used) to create a kid-friendly camping trip – starting with the tent.
Setting up the Tent
The tent needs to be large enough to accommodate everyone, and their stuff. That’s one of the reasons that we prefer cots over inflatable mattresses – there’s the instant built-in ‘storage’ under the cot. The tent also needs to be easily set-up, without a production that’s going to take you an hour once you get to camp. The Woods Big Cedar 8-person tent fits the largest of families, with enough room for everyone to sleep and accommodates four cots with ease. The fast foot connector and swift buckles made setting up the tent simple.
Cots Mean Storage and Comfort
Cots benefit everyone on the camping trip because they’re comfortable, especially when you use a padded self-inflating mattress on top, but also because you’ve got the added bonus of having additional storage under the cot, for everyone’s bags, toys, and everything else that seems to come along on the camping trip.
The Woods instant camp cot is one of our camping staples. Folding easily enough to fit with the rest of our camping gear in the Thule, and quick to unfold, allowing me to set up (and take down) the entire inside of the tent in five minutes, they’re a comfortable way to create an organized and kid-friendly tent. If you’re tenting, you need to try camping with cots – it’s much easier to sleep at night (and to keep everything organized).
Bring a Folding Side Table
Not only is a great solution for holding lanterns and bottles of water during the night, but it’s going to create a space that’s inviting inside the tent. Put it in between the kids (but make sure that it’s on level ground) to avoid fighting over the lantern at bedtime, while it’s still on.
Get the Right Sleeping Bags
On our last trip to the mountains, we realized just how important it was to pay attention to those ratings on the sleeping bag. With temperatures that dipped close to zero I’m sure, I froze all night long, despite the fact that I was fully dressed and inside the sleeping bags. The kids didn’t seem to feel it, as they were sharing a sleeping bag, but next time around, we’re going to be shopping for sleeping bags that are warmer rated than five degrees.
Find the Right ‘Glow’
During the night, you’re not going to want to have the entire tent lit up with a lantern, so choose something like 200 hour glow sticks for the camping adventure. Kids can choose their own colors, and they’re just the right amount of glow to give the kids comfort, without disturbing the sleep of everyone in the tent.
Put the Parents Near the Door
Putting the parents near the door of the tent means you’re not going to have any escaping little children during the night or in the morning. We have four cots that we use, and prefer to arrange them around the outside of the tent, or with the kids sleeping beside each other, to provide us with lots of space in the center of the tent for getting changed, or for the kids to play in the tent.
Contest: Win a #WoodsExplorer Camping Package
I’ve teamed up with Woods Canada to bring you everything you need to get comfortable on your next camping trip – and use these tips for next season. Enter for your chance to win, below: