10 Must Haves When Camping With Boys

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.

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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  1. 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:

Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent, Green

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.

Coleman CPX 6 Rugged LED Lantern, X-Large

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.

Victorinox Swiss Army Tinker Pocket Knife Small (Red)

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!

The Dangerous Book for Boys

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!

The Boys’ Book Of Survival (How To Survive Anything, Anywhere)

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.

Bicycle Playing Card Deck, 2-Pack

Mattel Games UNO Wilderness Game

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!

Carson BugView Quick-Release Bug Catching Tool and Magnifier for Children and Adults

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!

Discraft 175 gram Ultra Star Sport Disc, Bright Orange

Aerobie Pro Ring, Colors May Vary

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.

X-Plore Gear Emergency Paracord Bracelets | Set Of 2| The ULTIMATE Tactical Survival Gear| Flint Fire Starter, Whistle, Compass & Scraper/Knife| BEST Wilderness Survival-Kit – Black(K)/Purple(K)

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.

Glowstick, (600 Pcs Total) 250 Glow Sticks Bulk 7 Colour and Connectors for Bracelets Necklaces Balls Eyeglasses and More, Funcorn Toys Light up in The Dark Stick for Kid Party Birthday Halloween Gift

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!

Magical Flames 25-pack: TWICE THE COLOR, half the price! Creates Vibrant, Rainbow Colored Flames

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?

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