Camping is one of our go-to summer activities. There is something about pulling the camper out to a treed in space, with a lake nearby & living a simpler life for a few days. I know a couple of friends who would take an RV battery with them but I prefer not to, I like the simplicity of camping.
One of the first “trips” that Eric and I took as a couple was on a family camping trip out to Loon Lake with his family. We tried to do it every summer since, but the past couple of years we’ve missed out due to work commitments, thumbs down. Back then we were camping with one toddler. Now we are camping with 3 kids, 2 of whom are boys who are older and prone to get bored. One thing they love to do while camping though, is to explore!
I’ve put together a list of 10 things you absolutely NEED when camping with boys. These items have helped keep our boys busy and it also feeds their adventurer spirit!
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- A Tent
What?! Why a tent if you have a camper? Well, when the 12 yr old turned 8 we bought him a 2 man tent for his birthday. He sets it up on site, and sleeps in it all but the stormy nights that we camp. He loves it. It’s his own space to chill out in throughout the day & to wind down at night. Although the color is different, this is the tent we bought him:
2. A Good Durable Lantern
You can’t expect a kid to sleep in a tent and try to go pee in the dark now do you? He absolutely needs a lantern in case nature calls throughout the night. You can adjust the brightness of this lantern which is great if your boy likes to read before bed to wind down.
3. Swiss Army Knife
My boys have had utility knives since they were roughly 6-7 yrs old. We’ve talked about the specific uses that an item like this would be needed for and other than some small nicks, they have been great with them! This Swiss Army Knife has a little bit of everything, a screwdriver, bottle opener, file, small knife. It’s perfect for when they are out exploring or if they are making traps or forts in the woods. You can buy some pretty elaborate knives, but they really just need the basics.
4. The Dangerous Book for Boys
If there is one book to buy your pre-teen, this is that book. It covers everything from learning how to fish, to skipping stones, making a bow and arrow, & knot making along with a tonne of other useful skills!
5. The Boys Book of Survival
If you’re going to purchase the Dangerous Book for Boys, then you will need the Boys Book of Survival to accompany it. This book teaches you how to send an SOS, track an animal, treat a snakebite and make a map!
6. Deck of Cards & Other Card Games
For those rainy days, a couple of decks of cards on hand will be a lifesaver. We recently taught our boys how to play Speed (THE best card game) & it has been so much fun to play with them. One of our other favourites is UNO. This Wilderness UNO will definitely keep you in the spirit to camp.
7. Carson Bug Catching Tool
This Bug Catcher is so handy to have around. Boys love bugs! This tool allows them to catch a bug, view it through the magnifying glass on the top of the catcher and then release it! No mass bug graves left around everywhere. They can fill that curiosity and see all the different bugs that nature bestows on your campsites!
8. Frisbees or Disk Rings
Throwing a Frisbee around is something fun the whole family can do, It can be done in a field, on the road in front of your site and even in the water! We love the traditional Frisbee but also have some disk rings on hand. They are easier for little hands to catch and don’t sting as much if you miss your catch and get surprise attacked by the Frisbee!
9. Paracord Compass Bracelet
This paracord compass bracelet is a must have. It has a built in compass, whistle, & fire starter. The fact that they able to wear it on their wrist is super convenient.
10. Glow Sticks & Magical Fire
Glow sticks are a camping staple! Fun to play with when it’s dark, they are also great entertainment if you’re in an area where there is a fire ban.
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If you aren’t experiencing a fire ban then magical fire is where it’s at. The best campfires to tell stories around, are the ones where the flames are throwing off some color!
These items will definitely help your trip go a little smoother along with feeding their imagination and unleashing the adventurer in them! What are some of your camping go-to’s with boys?