Pack the gear and go: Camping with kids in Canada

To enjoy a camping getaway with kids, it’s important to plan and prepare carefully. Camping is a great way for families to spend time together with Canada’s beautiful outdoors as a backdrop to all the memories you’ll create. Your kids will love the time they spend in the campground and so will you!

summer camping

Get the Car Ready

First, you’ll probably want to inspect your car to make sure nothing is amiss. You don’t want to head into any remote areas and suffer a breakdown. If you’re in the market for a new family vehicle, Chrysler Ontario has a wide selection of family-friendly options that are perfect for road trips. Once you’re car is up to snuff, you are ready to get packing for your camping trip.


First, you’ll want to get your camping gear and essential items together. You’ll need a tent, sleeping bags, foam pads to lay under sleeping bags (optional but nice), cook stove (and pans, plates, utensils), food and water, outerwear, clothing (be sure you pack enough for layering in case it gets cool), blankets, towels, soap, hatchet or hand axe, first aid kits. If you plan to do any boating or swimming, you should also pack personal flotation devices. If you plan to hike, you’ll need a map of the area and a compass. Other items you might want to bring along include pepper spray (for bears), bug repellent, sunscreen, canteens, sun hats, tarp (in case it rains, you can use it to cover your firewood), pocket knife, and a cell phone.

meares island

Special for Kids

While many kids might be content to play in the dirt and gather sticks for the campfire, some may need some additional supplies to keep them content. You should plan to bring along some outdoor toys like shovels and pails and maybe a net for collecting leaves or acorns. Other items to consider are a deck of cards, books, and even a board game to play in the evening next to the campfire. Older kids might enjoy having a sketch book and art supplies or a nature journal to record their trip. Many families like to leave those technology gadgets at home when they go camping, but you might want to bring along a device for music or a camera to take pictures of the great views you’re sure to see.

Want more camping info? Get Pit Stops for Kids’ camping gear list!


Make sure that you bring along lots of snacks for your trip. You can carry snacks in your backpack when you take the kids on hikes. You might even have each child wear their own backpack and encourage them to pack their own snacks and needed supplies for their outdoor adventure. Also, it doesn’t hurt to bring along rain boots and extra shoes just in case your kids may need them.

Keep these ideas in mind as you prepare for your camping trip. Your kids are bound to have a great time and you’ll love the watching them develop their own appreciation and love for the Canadian wilderness.

Connie Brockington works as a dietician and is also a veteran outdoor enthusiast. She likes to share her insights online and her articles mainly appear on camping and family blogs.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.



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