10 Things to Take Camping with Teens

10 Things to Take Camping with Teens

For any parent spending time with your teen can take an act of God. Trying to get them off social media has been compared to wrestling a chicken from an alligator. When you do finally get their attention most their answers are accompanied by an eye roll. So now it’s time to tell your teen that your family trip this year will be a camping trip and there is no WiFi…….

Let the meltdown begin……

Let me start by saying that it’s not the end of the world. You and they will survive with a little planning, creativity, and ingenuity.

There are several items that we never leave the house with when we go camping with our teens.

  1. Bikes– No matter how old your kids are you can never go wrong with a bicycle. We enjoyed roaming the campground on our bikes scoping out the mega campers, looking for wildlife, and meeting new people.
  2. Sidewalk Chalk–  I know sidewalk chalk for teens is not the first choice, but its a must. If you have younger children it’s a great way for them to bond and hang out. Keeping points for games, Tic-Tac-Toe, or doodling the name of their newest love are all ways to have fun.
  3. Sand Toys– I know you wouldn’t think of sand toys as a must for teens, but everyone enjoys making a giant sand castle. Dads even thrown down a castle or two.
  4. Rope– This is the most versatile item (next to duct tape) that we keep in our arsenal. Give a couple of boys (and dad) some rope and the next thing ya know you have a rope swing, a tightrope, or a survival shelter. A rope will keep them busy for hours!
  5. Frisbee/ Hackey Sack / Football–  If it can be thrown and caught…Pack-It!
  6. Cards– Sit at the picnic table and play Penny Poker or Uno. Not only is it great family time, the kids really get into it.
  7. Pocket Knife– Or a whittling knife. My boys can carve nothing on a stick for hours. It can be set down and picked up later and the shavings make great tinder.
  8. Kayaks / Inflatables– If you camping at the lake or beach kayaks or inflatable boats are a great way for teens to explore, burn off some energy, and you get a break from the Eye Roll!
  9. Fishing pole– You don’t have to be an expert to fish. Some corn, a hook and a pole and you have an afternoon adventure. Remember to check with your states fishing regulations for licenses.
  10. Snorkel and Fins– Beach, lake, or river there is a whole underwater world to explore.


11. Hammock– Let face it, if you have a teen then you know their number one activity is sleeping. A hammock allows them a place away from the family to relax and it keeps them out of the tent….everyone’s Happy

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While all these things are great to have, the most important thing is to go camping with the mindset that you are going to have a great time. Your teens won’t be around much longer. Ignore the eye rolls and the smarty mouths and the heavy sighs and just enjoy them and make the memories.

What are your must-haves while camping with teens. I’d love to hear your great ideas!!!!







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