Fun for the Whole Family: How to Get Started Wheeling (and Camping) with the Kids

As with anything involving kids, camping with kids means packing even more stuff into your rig for a weekend on the trails.  The trick is to keep everyone happy and rested along the way, to ensure more trips to the trails in the future. We’ll walk through our favorite tips, and show you the best tools of the trade.

  1. Pop up tent:

When you get to camp after a long drive to go adventuring with the family, you won’t want to waste time bumbling through camp setup in the dark.  You can count on hungry people, and struggling keep track on small people in the dark isn’t a struggle we’d wish on anyone. So skip the celebratory beers (you can have those after you have camp setup), and get your home away from ready to go in a hurry.  

The best way to do that when you’re out on the trail is to use a pop-up tent like Rightline Gear Pop Up Tent.  You won’t have to worry about fumbling with tent poles and trying to beat the darkness. You’ll have a tent setup in under a minute, complete with a no-see-um mesh roof so even the newest campers will get to see the stars they’re sleeping under, from bug bite free comfort.

2. Stackable sleeping space

When you’re sharing space with little ones, you’ll be happy to make that space stretch as far as possible.  One of the most innovative products on the market to help you do just that is the Disc-O-Bed stackable beds, which turn what looks like a standard camping cot, but allows you to make bunkbeds when you’re in a tent in your trailside camp.  

Even better than the way that they stack, they can still be used as a cot, or a bench for maximum comfort whether you’re making up beds or hanging out around the campfire after a long day of wheeling.  If you decide they’re cool enough, Disc-O-Bed comes in adult sizes, too.

3. Storage Space (Stay Organized)

Even with kids taking up less space in the tent, you’re definitely going to find yourself with way more stuff than you’re used to–more clothes, more food, more games, and things to keep everyone entertained for hours of outdoor enjoyment.  Go for plastic storage bins with locking lids so you can keep things safe and secure, whether they’re protected inside a tent, or stashed outside to clear up space in the tent.

When it comes to storage inside of the tent, add some storage cabinets to your Disc-O-Beds.  You’ll be able to keep a change of clothes, books, flashlights, and anything else you want close at hand when you head to bed for the night.

4. Treats for Camp

When you were a kid, you enjoyed the heck out of s’mores around the campfire.  Your kids are going to feel the same way the first time they make their own sticky, delicious marshamallowy mess the first time.  

Pro tip: pack some baby wipes – they’ll help with clean up after the mess-making around the campfire.  

For an alternative to the campfire classics, you can always include a funky treat like the Mountain House Ice Cream sandwich for something a little bit different.  Space age astronaut food packs easily, and you don’t even have to worry about keeping it cold.

5. Stuff to do at Camp

After a long day on the trails, the kids are going to be looking to stretch their legs and do something a little bit different around camp.  Make sure to avoid the cries of “I’m bored!” with plenty of games to play with family.

If you pick Lasso Golf or Cornhole, everyone will be having a blast in no time, kids and adults alike.  

6. Cooking Supplies for the Whole Crew

When you’re heading out on the trail solo or with a group of buddies, cooking is easy–if it exists at all.  Some pop-tarts or a freeze-dried meal and backpacking stove to boil some water, and you’re ready to go.

When you’re bringing the whole family, though, it’s a whole different ballgame.  Make sure that you’re ready for cooking for a crew with a Camp Chef Pro 6.0 stove.  Since it’s compatible with full-size propane tanks, you won’t have to worry about fuel for an entire weekend, and you’ll have the space you need to churn out pancakes for everyone.  Pair it with a Camp Chef Hot Pot, and you can ensure that everyone’s got the coffee or cocoa they need to warm up and start their day.

7.  Know the Safety Rules and Have The Supplies (Whistles and Flashlights)

Establish some ground rules when you get to camp about what to do if you get separated while you’re out and about.  Campsites can start to all look alike, and rangers see lost kids all the time, even within the campgrounds, close to their site.  

Pick up a flashlight or a headlamp for everyone, and store them somewhere agreed upon. Make sure that everyone’s got a whistle handy, like the Vargo Titanium Neck Whistle.  Everyone in your group will know that if someone’s missing, to pay attention for a whistle in the distance.

With just a little prep, you can keep everyone prepared and safe for a fun weekend in the while.

8.  Bath Station

The last step in keeping everyone comfortable is to add an outdoor washroom (complete with a commode) to your campsite.  Having a warm shower at your disposable will help to keep sticky, smelly kids from stinking up the tent, and it will help everyone settle down a bit at the end of the night.

If you’ve got people, especially kids, with you who are less willing to, erm, handle their business in the great outdoors, add a toilet bucket to your camp setup.  Just think through the cleaning process before you make that kind of commitment.

If you need to get your family out on the trail, but you need a little help with where to get started — we’ve been there, and now we’re here to help.  Give our helpful team of offroading enthusiasts a call, or shoot us an email, and we will get you on the trail as fast as we can, with the gear that makes sense for you.

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