Camping with kids

What gear do we need to take our kids camping comfortably?

January 19, 2016

Pre-kids we did a lot of camping. When Dwane was guiding he would sleep in a tent more nights than in a bed during a year.  When we met we had two of everything, two tents, stoves, etc.  Now it feels like we don’t have the gear we need in order to take our kids camping.

What do we need? To start with a bigger tent.  How big do we go?  We have seen huge family tents and while the two bedrooms and living room seem nice when the tent is set up in our backyard is that really what we want to take into the wilderness?  We do want to be comfortable, we imagine stormy days where we could be tent-bound all day and the kids will literally be bouncing off the walls.

Next we need a canoe. We live on an island and we don’t own a boat anymore so we need to fix that.  We would love an ocean-worthy motor boat which we could zip around the islands and visit all the campsites in the Southern Gulf Island National Park and beyond.  This is out of our budget at the moment so we have to stay with something self-propelling.  The kids are two young for kayaking so we would like a canoe.  We had three different canoes when our first child was a baby.  The first one we bought was quite tippy and I flipped it trying to get into it with baby Molly in my arms (oops).

After the flipping incident we bought a 17.5 foot Clipper which was more stable, but was still a little small with our two dogs in it.  We traded that in for an 18.5 foot Clipper which was probably fine.  Our one big paddle out of Burgoyne Bay involved me was sitting up front holding baby Molly, the dogs running around in the middle and Dwane was paddling us all in the cold ocean.  I didn’t find it much fun at the time.  Now the kids can sit still, we have a dog sitter if we are going on long trips and we are ready to find the perfect canoe.

Everything else – kids sleeping bags, thermarests, clothes, bug shirts, kids hiking boots (do they make such a thing).

We are planning a lot of camping, paddling, hiking and exploring this summer and this winter is the time to research what we need and to get geared up.

If anyone has any “definitely need this” or “don’t buy this” advice please feel free to add it to the comment section below.

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