Top 7 Tips for Camping With Kids Like a Pro

13 Sep 2023

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If you’re new to camping (or possibly even new to kids), then setting off on a camping trip may seem a little daunting at first. Don’t let the nerves hold you back though because there’s not many things better than relaxing around a campfire and creating memories in the outdoors with your family.

From someone who has been there and done that, there is however, a few things you can do to make the family camping trip go as smooth as possible. Here’s how to go camping with your kids like a pro.

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Image credit: Jessica Palmer from Family Holiday Destinations

Tip #1 - Check the weather before you leave

Always check the weather before you go because if there is severe weather forecast, it’s worth postponing your camping trip with the kids for another time. If there’s just a few afternoon showers forecast, it’s easy enough to throw in an extra tarp for your tent and extra towels. Regardless of whether the forecast is sunny or showers, I wouldn’t go camping with the kids without an awning. Why? Because it will provide much-needed shade on those hot days and also shelter you from the rain if an afternoon storm rolls in. Check out Rhino-Rack’s handy Awning Buying Guide to help you decide which awning is right for you.

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Tip #2 - Bring some entertainment for the kids of the outdoor kind

Remember the days when you would ride around the neighbourhood on your bike with your friends? Well, those days might be gone but they live on in the humble caravan park or national park camping ground where you’ll still see plenty of kids riding around. Carting the family bikes around is easy peasy with a Rhino-Rack Hitch Mount Bike Carrier which can fit up to four bikes ranging in size from kids through to 29ers.

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Image credit: Jessica Palmer from Family Holiday Destinations


Tip #3 - Choose your location wisely

If you’re new to camping with the kids, choose your location wisely. By this, I mean select an easy location to test the waters so you can build on your experience from there. Head to a local caravan park, a national park camping ground with toilets or somewhere not too far from home for the first trip. Alternatively, choose a camping ground that specifically caters to families as Cobb and Co Nine Mile Camping Grounds near Gympie in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands.

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Tip #4 - Free up space in your car by storing stuff up top

Long distances, and sometimes even short distances, with the kids can be a little rough around the edges. Do you know what’s worse? When the car is packed in tight and nobody has any wiggle room. Free up space in your car by storing lightweight, bulky stuff up top in a luggage bag. Rhino-Rack has a range of weatherproof luggage-bags just for this. They’re perfect for the trip home to keep all of your dirty, wet clothes in. Speaking of wet gear, if you’re hitting up the snow these school holidays, you’ll also want to check out Rhino-Rack’s Ski & Snowboard Roof Boxes

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Tip #5 - A camping with kids adventure is best shared with friends

Camping trips with kids are best shared with friends for a number of reasons. The kids will have other kids to play with, you’ll have other adults to chat around the campfire with, and you can help each other out by watching each other’s kids when you need five minutes to go to the bathroom by yourself. All in all, it’s a win-win situation.

Tip #6 - Don’t forget the water toys

Camping near the ocean or a river is always a great way to occupy both kids and adults alike. This means you’ll need a way to carry and tie down your fishing rods, kayaks, SUPboards and any other recreation items you might want to bring along for fun. Check out Rhino-Rack’s fishing rod holders for your vehicle and their range of accessories for securing water sports items to your roof racks.

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Tip #7 - Be prepared for illness… but prepare yourself to avoid it

Kids and illness go hand in hand but it’s always extra tricky when you’re camping. Pack a well-stocked first aid kit that includes standard medication for the kids such as panadol, and make sure to throw in some sick bags for the back of the car. Even if your kids don’t usually get car sick, throw them in just in case. When it comes to germs, it’s better to just avoid them altogether. With this in mind, make sure to set up a hand washing station at the campsite. This is as simple as a bucket of water (you can even buy them with a tap), soap and a hand towel on a table. For more tips and tricks on camping with kids these school holidays, check out these blogs by our ambassadors Finch Touring and Escape the Daily on packing for school holiday road trips.