1. Go often, start your kids’ young, and make outdoor adventures a regular part of your life. This way outdoor adventures will become second nature.

2. Pack using a checklist. Kids are notorious in their role as packing distractions.

3. Let kids help. Small children can gather sticks for a campfire; older kids can pack their own gear and help plan. Having a job helps build self-confidence, responsibility and independence.

4. Turn the phone off. BE out there with your kids (unless of course your turning your phone on to use one of these fine outdoor apps).

5. If you have little ones, become a baby wearer. If your young ones learn to love the carrier they’ll feel at home no matter where you are (and it frees up your hands).

6. Don’t worry too much about kids getting dirty; it's inevitable.  But if you don't want to tuck your child into their sleeping bag looking like pig-pen check out these ideas for washing in the woods.

7. Food. Bring lots of it!

8. Manage (or dare I even say 'lower') your expectations. Resist the urge to cram in too many climbing routes, mountain biking trails, or peaks (as you did during your pre-kids days)… With kids, the ONLY expectation is to be camping. On some trips, don’t even expect to sleep….

9. If you have young kids who are not use to sleeping anywhere but in their beds check out these ideas for getting them to sleep outdoors. Have a sleep plan, and then bring several back-up plans.

10. Above all, when camping with kids bring your patience and a sense of humor.


Lindsey blogs at, a blog for parents dedicated to taking full advantage of the experiences the natural world has to offer their family. When she's not blogging she's relaxing at Lake Tahoe, biking the Sierras before dawn or corralling her boys at the wetlands behind her house.

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