The Best Camping Essentials for Kids & Teens This Summer

Grab the whole family and get outdoors for some summer fun with these kid-friendly tents, sleeping bags, safety equipment and entertainment.

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June 21, 2023

Whether you're spending a night in the backyard or a week at a national forest or park, camping with your kids is a great way to connect and experience nature together. And one of the easiest ways to get those little explorers excited from the outset is by providing them with their own equipment. Having kid-sized camping gear will help them navigate the outdoors, foster some independence and ensure that they end the trip feeling oh-so accomplished.

While you make arrangements and corral the kiddos, we've put together the ultimate packing list. Here's the best camping gear for kids, ranging from tents and sleeping bags to essential campfire entertainment.

From $59.99

Whether you're camping with one kid or several, the Coleman Sundome Tent promises to keep everyone comfortable. Its quick and easy assembly allows your family to settle in seconds, while an integrated awning offers shelter from the sun and rain. Large windows and a ground vent keep air flowing at night as well.

$24.99

Your little ones will feel as snug as bugs in a rug thanks to the Oaskys Kids' Three-Season Sleeping Bag. This top-rated bedroll is crafted from durable nylon with a weather-resistant outer shell and an ultra-padded interior. It also features a half-circle hood with an adjustable drawstring to maintain your kiddos' body heat during extreme conditions. (So you can enjoy the extra peace of mind.) The sleeping bag is suitable for all ages and available in 14 colors.

$69.99 $59.98

If you ask us, the best kids' camping chair has a comfortable seat, a sun shade and a removable snack tray. In other words? It's the Baby Delight Go With Me Venture Portable Chair. This camping chair sets up in just a few seconds and actually grows with your child. We also love the Pop 'N Sit for infants, the Cutie Pie Butterfly Camp Chair for toddlers and the Inflatable Lounger Air Sofa Chair for older kids.

$26.69

The beauty of a kids' hammock is that it can be anything: a place to rest, a reading nook, even a tree house with a little imagination. And this Wise Owl Outfitters Kids' Hammock is the best around. Not only is it incredibly lightweight (so they can carry the piece on their own), but it's also made from durable parachute nylon with triple interlocking stitching for added safety. Plus, the hammock comes in three fun color combinations.

$10

Nothing will get your kiddos excited for an evening under the stars like having their very own lantern. We love this little yellow lamp because it's easy to operate, easy to hold and it's made from plastic, so it won't crack if they trip. The small bulb inside also doubles as a gentle nightlight. And if you need more options? Shop more of our favorite kid-friendly lights down below.

$18.99 $16.15

If your family is full of serious campers, then we suggest snagging a few of these kid-friendly "mess kits." Together, the nylon plate and bowl form an airtight seal that keeps food or trash safely within. (What a great way to reinforce "pack it in, pack it out.") Meanwhile, the three-in-one spork is easy to grasp and secures to the top for quick storage.

$17.47 (Set of 5)

These campfire roasting sticks were just made for kids. Each skewer features a long telescoping handle to keep little fingers away from open flames, plus "protector tips" to cap those sharp edges. What's more, the vivid rainbow hues help identify whose skewer is whose and (hopefully!) reduce arguments come dinnertime.

$19.95 $14.95

You can never be too careful when camping with your kiddos. Manage skinned knees, splinters, surprise poison ivy and more with this universal first aid kit. Inside, you'll find everything from bandages and blister pads to metal tweezers, medical scissors and even an emergency blanket. It's so compact, you can toss it right in your backpack.

$21.99 (Pack of 25)

Want to protect your kids from mosquitos without introducing harsh chemicals? We hear you, and we've found the perfect solution: these top-rated DEET-free bracelets. Each wristband is infused with citronella, geranium and lemongrass essential oils, which repel the pests for hours. Plus, the wristbands are individually wrapped and resealable, so you can use them more than once.

$15.99 (Pack of 16)

Say goodbye to painful and unnecessary sunburns! These innovative UV stickers go on clear with your preferred sunscreen and turn purple as the protection fades, so you know exactly when it's time to reapply. No more guessing, only relishing in the peace of mind.

$39.99 $23.99

If you're looking for a pair of trusty camping binoculars, then you should know that THINKPEAK makes the best for kids. (Seriously!) In addition to a non-slip grip for little hands, these binoculars have rubber eyecups and a breakaway neck strap for added safety. The binoculars are also easy to adjust and will help your child engage with their surroundings. And since they're so bright, they'll never get lost in the backyard or on the trail.

$20

Camping is all about quality time, right? Dial up the fun and promote some good old-fashioned family bonding with a stash of outdoor games and activities. This table tennis set converts any picnic or card table into a mini ping pong court for hours of outdoor play. Walkie-talkies, bubble wands and "toss and catch" games will also get the job done!

$25.74 (Pack of 25)

Dinner and a show? Let's go! Wow your kids with real-life magic (or one mesmerizing science lesson) using these fire color-changing packets. All you have to do is toss the pouch onto the flames and watch as they shift from orange to shocking purple, blue and green. The display lasts for up to an hour.

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