Healthy Camping with Kids; 5 Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier

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I’ve got two boys who are constantly up to mischief.  I love being a boy mama and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but some days I feel like I scold them all day long.  They are usually filthy, my house is constantly in shambles, and they’re always sure to come up with some activity that puts them on the edge of a near death experience.  

Camping with our kids has become my favorite thing to do during the summer.  The minute we get to our campsite I can finally exhale.  We get out of the heat, the boys get as messy as their little hearts desire, and it’s an outdoor adventure that completely supports our healthy lifestyle.

Love these camp tips from, totally agree with number 4!

WARNING:  Camping with small children is pretty much exactly like a marathon race.  You prepare, prepare, prepare. The day comes and you’re so pumped and excited. There are some REALLY horrible parts when you feel like quitting, but the end comes and you can’t wait to sign up for the next one!

If you want to make this camp trip a happy, healthy experience, before you head out the door, here are 5 tips that will make your life easier while camping with your kids!

1.  Get involved in the Junior Ranger programs.

Kids can become Junior Rangers at lots of state and national parks!  A lot of the materials can be found on the National Park Services Website and be downloaded ahead of time.  You should also be able to grab materials at the Ranger Station for your camp site.  Your kids complete the fun activities assigned and get an awesome Junior Ranger badge.  Our last camp trip was at Cottail Cove State Park right outside of Lake Havasu in Arizona.  One of the highlights of my 4-year-old’s camp trip was completing the Junior Ranger Activity book that allowed him to earn his Junior Ranger button.

Love these camp tips from, totally agree with number 4!

2.  Pick up the hiking trail maps.

My boys LOVE maps almost as much as they love smores, and no healthy camp trip would be complete without a few hikes.  Not only is hiking a great way to burn calories and gain muscle, but I love that hiking with my kids helps develop their appreciation for health and fitness at an early age.  We put our youngest in the hiking pack and give our oldest the map to navigate and off we go on another adventure.Love these camp tips from, totally agree with number 4!

 3.  Pack a Camping First Aid and Wellness Kit.

Like I said before, my kids are wild.  It really wouldn’t be a normal day in the life of a Gifford boy without a few bumps, scrapes, and bruises.  Before I head to the mountains, I head to Walgreens for some of my favorite Johnson & Johnson Healthy Essentials products.   

Love these camp tips from, totally agree with number 4! Be sure to keep your First Aid Kit easily accessible.  These are a few of my must haves for our camping wellness kit.  All of these products can be found together at Walgreens on the end cap of the first aide aisle.

Band-Aid Flex Fabric 100ct:  Can’t have enough band-aids on hand.  After all they instantly fix every boo boo.  Even the ones that aren’t bleeding (according to my kids).  

• Neosporin Original Ointment: I always keep a few of these bandaids and Neosporin ointment easily accessible in my hiking pack.  

• Benadryl Children’s Cherry:  We’ve had to use this children’s Benadryl on a few occasions.  It’s our go to medicine for any type of allergic reaction while camping.

• Zyrtec 24 Hour 10mg: Great for seasonal allergies.  My husband takes one a day especially when he knows he’s going to be outdoors for an extended amount of time.

• Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 70 Lotion Suncreen: We never leave the house without our sunscreen.  Be sure and try to get a camp site with shade if you can, but regardless you’ll be exposing yourself and your little ones to the sun.

Love these camp tips from, totally agree with number 4!

Walgreens launched Balance Rewards for healthy choices in an attempt to help its 80+ million loyalty cardholders modify behavioral risk factors associated with the most urgent public health issues.  Be sure to download the Balance Rewards for healthy choices app!  You can earn points, by sharing fitness data to your account.  Earn Balance® Rewards points just for doing everyday healthy activities like walking, running, cycling, hiking. You’ll get 20 points any time you record an activity, 250 points when you set your first goal, and 250 points when you connect a device or app.  Your camp trip is sure to get you lots of Balance® Rewards points!

4.  Bring another family along for the fun!

In my book there is really nothing more fun than camping with friends.   My good friend Lee Ann and I have been taking our families camping together for just about 3 years now and I know I will treasure the memories we have made on the campsite for years to come!  Our kids play together and will entertain each other for hours.  After a day full of play, we put the kids to bed and head out for some quality {kid-free} time around the campfire.  We also usually take turns watching each other’s kids, so we each can get in a great hike that might be too much for our little ones.  More people, means more hands to help with set up, clean up, kid duty, etc. You can bring fewer items because you can divide up what you’ll need!  The list goes on and on!  Bring some friends, you won’t be sorry!

Love these camp tips from, totally agree with number 4!

5.  Meal Prep.

My good friend and I usually get together for a play date about one week before the camp trip.  We plan our healthy meals, divide up the responsibility and get cooking!  I get into the kitchen and prep whatever I can ahead of time.   The more I prep ahead of time, the easier it is!  Stay Fit Mom is bringing you a Healthy Camp Series with recipes, must haves, and activities for kids that will help the whole family stay healthy at your camp site!  Stay Tuned!

Each time my family camps together we make new memories that we will treasure for a life time.  There’s never a dull moment, it’s a great way to stay healthy this summer, and your kids will have a blast!  Be sure to check out to get points today for your healthy activities!  Let us know how your family stays healthy in the summer and don’t forget to log those activities in your Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices App!

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  1. This looks awesome! I like the tip to bring a friend. My husband and I went camping by ourselves and we kind of got a little bored after a while. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing! We are planning on taking more camping trips as soon as our littlest guy can sit up on his own Hiking with two kiddos will be even more of an adventure. Gonna save this article for reference. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

    1. Sure thing, Shandra! It can be work with two little ones, but definitely worth it! You’ll have two little hikers trained in no time! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. My son would love if I would get into camping, but I just haven’t had the nerve to do it. I should follow your tips and make a successful camping trip! #client

    1. Janet, I know exactly how you feel! Once you get past that first trip, you’ll be surprised how much easier it is the second time! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!