Camp Master Tips and tricks for camping with kids

Do you remember your very first camping trip as a kid? The way the campfire roared against the flickering night sky, the sparkling rivers felt crisper and more refreshing than they ever have before, and the nature walks felt like epic journeys into the very core of the wilderness. That trip was magical, and it created the memories that have driven your love for being in the bush ever since. Now, as a grown-up, you’ve got the opportunity to plant that same seed of outdoor wonder in the minds of the little ones in your life.

As wonderful as camping with kids sounds in theory, making that dream a reality can be a significant challenge. With kids come chaos, and introducing that chaos into natural areas without a strategy could prove somewhat overwhelming.

Thankfully, here at Camp Master, we’ve compiled a list of our top tips for camping with kids and making sure your family adventure is tons of fun for everyone involved.


1. Choose a family-friendly campsite

Every adventure-seeking family will inevitably end up with a list of favourite spots and hidden gems that get repeated visits. But what if you’re new to this whole “camping with little ones” thing and you have yet to stack up those ideal destinations?

We’ve got you covered. When you’re on the hunt for the perfect camping spot, keep your eyes peeled for a campsite that’s a haven for little explorers. Look out for exciting amenities like playgrounds where they can unleash their boundless energy, swimming areas where they can make a splash, and hiking trails that are kid-friendly and not too challenging.

We’d recommend staying away from sites that are too focused on more extreme sports, or appear to offer a “party culture,” as those tend to attract young adults looking to have very different sorts of fun (at different hours) to your family adventure. Some campsites (like the Dragon Peaks Campsite, featured in our blog earlier this year) even offer child-minders who facilitate holiday activities for kids, meaning you might get some well-deserved R’n’R when you visit. Finally.

2. Involve little ones in the planning process

Let’s face it, kids love feeling involved and being part of the decision-making process. Even if sometimes, their holiday suggestion is “Let’s go to the moon.” So, when you’re planning your camping trip, make sure to include them every step of the way (albeit taking certain suggestions with a pinch of salt.) Get their excitement for spending time away from their X-box and iPad soaring to a fever pitch by discussing the activities you’ll be doing, the yummy meals you’ll be cooking, and the things you’ll be packing.

The more you hype up your adventure, the more positive an attitude your little ones are likely to approach it with! By planning meals, itineraries, and travel plans alongside the whole family, you’re much more likely to spark an enduring and involved love of the outdoors in your kids. This makes them more likely to want to go on even more nature adventures of their own volition. You can even let your kids choose some of the brightly coloured, high-quality Camp Master Camp Junior gear they’d like to bring along. Who knows, with their boundless imagination, they might surprise you with some ways to approach an outdoor adventure that you’ve never thought of before.


3. Pack the right gear

When it comes to packing for a camping trip with kids, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Seriously. Being stuck out in the sticks and suddenly realising you’ve forgotten an essential bit of camping gear in the driveway has a much higher probability of ending in a tantrum when little ones are involved. Depending on the weather and location, make sure to pack extra layers to keep them cosy, as well as quality insulation at bedtime to beat the sundown chill.

We’d recommend a Camp Master kiddies mattress and sleeping bag in their favourite colour. You should also pack in rain gear to keep them dry, and if they want their own tent, grab them a Camp Junior Adventure Dome Tent. Sturdy footwear for all those outdoor adventures, and comfortable clothes for exploring and playing are musts, too.

For the daytime don’t forget the essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, and hats to protect their precious skin from the elements. For the evening, make sure to include a kiddies’ camp chair and headlamp for around the campfire. Remember, it’s always better to overpack than under-pack because you never know what surprises Mother Nature has in store! She’s lovely but unpredictable.

4. Plan age-appropriate activities

Now, let’s talk about keeping those little munchkins entertained. It’s kind of a full-time job at the best of times – and can be even more daunting out in nature, especially when you want a bit of a break, too. Depending on their age, it’s important to plan activities that they can fully enjoy and appreciate, which usually don’t include long, slow, quiet game drives for the purpose of spotting a rare bird.

We’re not suggesting scaling massive mountain summits (save that for when they’re older), but instead, think about nature walks where they can discover hidden treasures at their own pace (to stash in their Camp Master backpacks) and fun scavenger hunts that ignite their inner explorers.

You could also venture into fishing adventures to catch their first fishy friend, bird-watching to spot feathered beauties, storytelling sessions around the campfire, or even gazing up at the stars and trying to spot constellations. You can learn more about SA stargazing in our Astrotourism blog. And hey, don’t forget to bring along some of their favourite toys, games, and books to keep them entertained during downtime or if the weather decides to rain on your parade. We can’t always win!


5. Teach your tots safety and skills

As responsible camping parents, it’s essential to teach your little adventurers some important skills and safety tips. Trust us – everyone else in your campsite will thank you for it. Show them how to set up a tent like a pro, use camping equipment safely, and build a campfire responsibly (marshmallow roasting skills are a must!).

Nature is magical, but also significantly riskier than gallivanting about in suburbia, and your kids need to understand how to respect their surroundings to effectively stop them from getting injured or causing any damage. Your first camping trip as a family is a great opportunity to instil in your kids the importance of staying together, respecting nature, and following campground rules. Especially the last one.

As much fun as they may be having, nobody appreciates a rowdy bunch of feral kids running amok. By teaching them these valuable lessons, you’re not only ensuring their safety but also nurturing their love and appreciation for the great outdoors. Nature loves those who love her first.


Remember, camping with kids is all about creating amazing memories, fostering their love for nature, and having a blast together as a family. Also making sure they don’t pick up any poisonous frogs – that’s an important one.

So go ahead, plan that awesome camping trip with the help of quality, long-lasting Camp Master Camp Junior gear and get ready for an adventure-filled getaway that your little ones will cherish for a lifetime – hopefully. Plan ahead for the ultimate kid-friendly experience by stocking up at a Game, Makro or Builders’ Warehouse near you. You’ve got this, and we’ve got you!

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