Tips for a Picture Perfect Family Camping Trip



Camping 2

We’ve all been there, right? Posting the picture of your kids looking cute around the campfire eating s’mores with a big smile on their face. Every adventurous parent knows that it took a LOT of work to get those smiles and possibly a few tears to get to the moment worth capturing and posting online to share with friends and family. I even catch myself using captions like “perfect night to take the family camping” knowing full well nothing about it was exactly perfect, but the memories were made and it is all worth it in the end.

Camping 1

The main thing to remember is that nothing needs to be perfect in order to have fun and all the ups and downs of the journey are usually where the best memories are made (post worthy or not).

If the trip doesn’t start with the dreaded question “WHEN ARE WE GOING TO LEAVE” (as you are sweating and trying to pack up the car) then it will inevitably be the infamous “ARE WE THERE YET?” once you are finally loaded up and trying to take a breath to relax and enjoy the drive into the mountains. Hopefully the below tips will help you start on your next “almost” picture perfect camping trip!

Our family has been trying to find the best tips and tricks of camping with kids (and a dog) for years and I hope some of these will help lead you on your next adventure!

5 Tips For a Picture-Perfect Family Camping Trip

  1. Pack Appropriately

    Money upfront on comfortable sleeping conditions is money well spent. Save yourself the headache of packing up the car in middle of the night to drive home because someone is cold or can’t fall asleep. Purchasing nice bedding and/or sleeping bags and packing the right clothing is key. Make sure to bring along any necessary medications and first-aid supplies.

  2. Meal Plan

    Plan your meals ahead and pre-cook as many things as possible. This allows mealtime to be more relaxing and less time is spent working around the campsite so you can enjoy the time with family while eating delicious food. (ex: Cook some taco meat ahead of time, cut up the veggies before leaving, prep some breakfast burritos)

  3. Involve the Kids

    Let the kids help choose the type of campsite or activities that they would like to bring or have nearby while camping. Kids love being part of the adventure and will be happy knowing they had some responsibility and were able to help the family have a fun getaway.

  4. Don’t Forget the Snacks

    Need I say more? Just like any outing with kids the more snacks, the better. We have found that saving the fun snacks for these adventures gets the kids even more excited and adds a special touch. Blue Gatorade is considered our “camping drink” and we save it for these special occasions. Oh and…DON’T FORGET THE MARSHMALLOWS!

  5. Bring Entertainment

    Bring books, toys, and different activities to enjoy around the campsite. This can be nice to keep the kids occupied while you are getting set up and preparing meals, but can also be fun for the family to enjoy together. We like to bring frisbees and our disc golf net or even just a soccer ball to kick around and play games.

I would be lying if I said the first few camping trips with small kids was a relaxing getaway, but now that they are older and sharing the memories with us and asking us to take them more it has made it all worth it. We have enjoyed teaching them about the environment and why it’s important to take care of it so we can continue to enjoy these adventures and seeing them take pride in caring about the world around them is a proud parenting moment.

We are so excited it is camping season again and cannot wait to head out on our next family adventure. We hope these tips and tricks will make it easier for you to take your family exploring and make memories in the great outdoors.

Don’t forget to take pictures and remember the moments whether you think it is post worthy or not. The memories will be captured forever.

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Paige Rankin
I’m originally from Kansas, but have lived in Colorado for 13 years and don’t see myself ever wanting to leave these mountains! My husband and I met at Kansas State (Go Cats!) and now have two wonderful kids who are 7 and 5. Although I work full-time as a Manager at an Oil and Gas company, I take every chance I can get to go to the mountains with my family where we can enjoy hiking, camping or just drive up to enjoy the scenery and fresh air (with some ice cream, of course!). I love to travel and see new places and try new food! When I’m not taking the kids to the park or planning our next trip, I really enjoy playing disc golf and going to see live music.


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