Are you planning a family camping trip soon? One of our goals for 2023 is to have more family camping trips, so I’ve been planning and researching all the best camping gear for kids, along with cool accessories, gadgets, and fun camping toys and games. In this blog post, Gifts for Camping: Kids, I’m sharing our top picks for camping gear for kids along with some other fun gift ideas for camping activities.
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First, let’s tackle the essential camping gear kids will need for a family camping trip: a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad or a camping cot (or both), a backpack to stash their belongings, and a water bottle.
Gifts for Camping: Kids’ Gear
Kids love to have their very own sleeping bag! Choose between a warm-weather bag, such as this one which is offered in a variety of colors, or opt for a backpacking-friendly, cold-weather sleeping bag like the ones made by Big Agnes.
A sleeping pad will ensure your kids get a comfortable night’s sleep. Klymit offers a variety of backpacking-friendly sleeping pads. Simply choose the one that best fits the needs of your family!
A camping cot is another excellent gift option for kids who love to camp. This one weighs 13 pounds, making it a great option for car-camping families where kids can carry it to the campsite and set it up themselves. Plus, they’ll appreciate the large organizer pouch to keep their personal accessories and gadgets.
The REI Co-op Tarn 18 Pack is regarded as one of the best hiking backpacks for kids. Among its many features, several internal pockets, a dedicated spot for a water bottle, and a padded hip belt with pockets will be a hit with kids.
We’ve yet to be disappointed with the YETI Rambler Jr. 12. oz Kids Bottle. Our kids use them nearly every day of the week, and they’re still as good as new. I like the straw cup for little ones, as it does help to minimize leaks.
Next, here are some cool camping accessories for kids to have on a family camping trip. A headlamp or a camp light tops the list, followed by a pocket knife, a pocket microscope, a nature notebook, a first aid kit, a compass, and a camping mug and personal utensils.
Note: Always use discretion before giving your child access to a pocket knife. You know your child best. Because we’re a Montessori family, we do believe in using real tools from a young age — under close supervision at all times of course.
Gifts for Camping: Kids’ Accessories
My kids love playing with flashlights in the dark. These headlamps are more compact, making them travel-friendly. Choose between a traditional headlamp like these that feature both white and red light, or opt for a cute fleece headband in the shape of your kid’s favorite wild animal.
I’ve chosen the Opinel Outdoor Junior No. 7 Pocket Knife for my oldest daughter because it has both a locking mechanism and a slightly rounded blade to increase safety. It also features an integrated safety whistle as an added bonus!
A pocket microscope is a fun camping accessory to gift a child. Because it’s compact and lightweight, kids can keep it stashed in their backpack so it’s readily available the next time they’d like to take a closer look at something along the trail or around the campsite. Pair it with a pocket guide to increase its educational value.
Choose between a specially-made nature notebook like this one with guided questions, or simply pick up a pack of blank notebooks like these. The most important thing is to encourage kids to get into the habit of observing what’s around them, recording what interests them, and asking questions.
First Aid Kit
Welly makes the cutest first aid tins. Choose a small tin for your kids, and then grab the Welly First Aid Kit for your family. Then you can simply divide the bandages to create a mini custom first aid kit for your little ones. We love Welly because the bandages are soft and do not hurt to remove.
My kids love to use a compass while we’re hiking. This Christmas I’ll be gifting them this cool compass and thermometer carabiner they can attach to their backpacks.
Camping Mug & Utensils
There’s nothing more relaxing than sipping hot chocolate by the campfire on a chilly night. These enamelware mugs will help keep your kids’ hands toasty warm. Its small size makes it a perfect addition to a Christmas stocking.
Here are a few useful gadgets to gift kids for family camping adventures. Since none of these are exclusive to camping, they’re sure to be used year-round, too.
Gifts for Camping: Kids’ Gadgets
Make sure to grab a pack of walkie talkies before you head out on a family camping trip. Unlike some other camping-specific gifts, walkie talkies are lots of fun for kids year-round, indoors or out.
A camera is an excellent gift for camping kids. It allows them to take pictures of the things that are most memorable to them during a family camping trip. For younger kids, consider an easy-to-use, shockproof camera like the Kidamento Instant Print Digital Camera. For older kids, consider a Fujifilm Instax Mini or even a slightly more advanced digital camera.
Our kids love to look up at the night sky, especially when we’re away from the light pollution found in the city. A star finder is a fun educational gadget to include on family camping trips. Pair it with a book of tales about the constellations for a cozy storytelling night around the campfire.
Kindle Paperwhite for Kids
More portable than books, a Kindle Paperwhite is a great gift to give kids who spend time camping. When it’s time to settle down for the night, kids can snuggle in their sleeping bag and spend a bit of time reading. I recommend the Kindle Paperwhite because it’s easier on the eyes, especially while reading in the dark.
It’s always nice to have a few toys and games handy for kids to play while camping, especially if you end up encountering a day full of rain. These gifts help to foster togetherness and connection, through creative storytelling, thought-provoking conversation, classic games, and fun.
Gifts for Camping: Kids’ Toys & Games
Campfire Stories Deck for Kids
As a family create memorable stories together while camping using the Campfire Stories Deck for Kids: Storytelling Games to Ignite Imagination for inspiration.
Knot Tying Game
Learn how to tie 40 of the most essential and useful knots with Channel Craft’s Campers Knot Tying Game.
Camp: Travel Edition
Based on the popular board game, Camp is now available in a travel edition. Take it along while camping with your family to learn fun facts about the great outdoors.
Skillmatics Card Game: Found It! Outdoor Edition
Here’s another card-based outdoor scavenger hunt game for kids, except Found It! offers additional learning prompts. It’s designed for kids ages 4-7.
Of course I couldn’t leave books off the list! Here are a few recommended books to check out before you head out on a family camping trip together.
Gifts for Camping
I hope this Gifts for Camping: Kids guide helped you find some fun, unique gift ideas for your little ones who love to camp. May you have many fun family camping trips together soon!