What NOT to Do When Camping With Kids

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  1. You can plan, plan, plant to your heart’s content, but sometimes things can throw you for a loop, can’t they? That was what happened with our first ever camping trip in our half-renovated camper last weekend. I was planning this trip for months, and when it finally happened, it wasn’t what we expected. Let me share with you our story, what NOT to do when you go camping with your kiddos, plus a really fantastic Canadian contest from The Brick!

When we first bought our old camper early this Spring, I immediately booked a camping spot in Jasper so that we’d have a goal date to get the camper finished by.

Well, we didn’t get it done on time, but at least it was clean and safe for our first camping adventure.

Little did we know that we’d wake up to snow on our first camping trip with Our DIY Camper!

The campsite was so incredibly cold and wet that we ended up leaving early and coming home. We weren’t prepared, and we had to cut our trip short.

Thankfully we got a weenie and marshmallow roast in before it snowed, and the girls are still talking about our tiny camping trip with joy. They loved it, but I already know that I need to change some things before we go on our next trip.

Here are some things I did that I WON’T do the next time we go camping with our kids:

Not Packing A Variety of Clothing Layers

I packed a lot of summer items and rain jackets, but I didn’t pack extra socks, warm layers like sweatshirts and long johns, and undershirts. Whether camping in a trailer or tent, extra layers will be helpful for day or night (or extreme weather changes)!

Not Re-Booking Our Trip When Bad Weather was Imminent

In retrospect, I wish I would have looked at the Jasper weather forecast a few days in advance and tried to reschedule our trip. I realized that you can reschedule a spot at a Canada National Park campsite a few days in advance with no penalty AFTER our trip! The forecast called for rain and sleet, and I should have thought the trip through a little more.

Not Packing Easier Food to Cook

I planned on making a lot of things on the camp stove outside, so when it rained and snowed we were forced to cook in the tiny trailer. I wish I would have brought a few simpler things to make inside like cereal, canned food and sandwiches. We did have a fantastic eggs, bacon and pancakes breakfast in the trailer, though!

Not Packing Tarps

Extra tarps and ropes and things would have helped us stay drier when we couldn’t fully extend our trailer’s awning or get our picnic table dry. Tarps would be useful for lots of different situations on a camping trip, so next time we’re definitely bringing some.

Not Bringing Extra Towels and Blankets

We really could have used more dry towels and warm blankets on our trip. I think regardless of the weather, extra cozy textiles would make a camping trip more comfortable. We were so chilly and wet! On the bright side, we now know that our camper stays quite warm in the worst conditions.

Despite all of these things, we still had a pretty amazing time on our adventure! The girls were so excited to head into the mountains and have our brief stay in the trailer. We really did enjoy being together and playing board games, roasting hot dogs, and seeing all of the beautiful scenery. We sure love our Rocky Mountains, and we can’t wait to visit again when it’s a little warmer!

What’s your favourite spot to camp in Canada? Do you have any camping tips for me?

Everyone has a special place or memory here. For Canada’s 150th birthday, The Brick is celebrating being Canadian by giving you the chance to win a Canadian vacation up to $5000! To see how to enter this contest, click here. Good luck!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by The Brick. As always, all of the opinions here are my own.


  1. Thankfully there are people like you online that relate their real life adventures and not make everything out to always be some perfect, fantastical event! Your girls though, were no doubt, having a magical time. Nothing like the smell of mountain air in the morning and outdoor campfires to fill them with the best of memories.
    Thank you for always sharing with such honesty?.

    1. Thank you, M. Sharp for the kind words. Life is definitely full of messes and is not a pretty perfect picture. Christina is happy that you can relate to the chaois of this thing called life ?

  2. Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. The real benefit of camping is that feeling of stillness, clarity, awareness. You begin to really hear the river. The birdsong. You begin to notice things — the patch of moss turned golden in the morning sun. The slow steps of a great blue heron stalking through a shoal.

    You settle into this new rhythm to the degree that you “unplug” from the overactive mind — part of which comes from constant screen-time. Games, apps, and electronic devices used as “distractions” — whether for the car ride or waiting at the restaurant — only detract from the experience.

  3. These are great tips. We are going on our first camping trip for Canada Day long weekend with our 2 girls (9 months and a little over 2 years old), in our pop up trailer. I’m so excited but also terrified. Can’t wait.

    1. Hey Clara! How exciting, first camping trips are always so memorable… for better or worst. Just kidding, you guys will have a blast!

    2. Lol, we’ve had our fair share of camping trips like that!! Definitely makes those trips memorable ? Alberta can be so unpredictable in the mountains.
      I always have a bin full of arts and crafts and games to play if we’re stuck inside when camping, sure helps keep kids occupied in a fun way ?
      Hopefully your next trip goes better. Enjoy your summer ???

  4. Yes, snow in the Rockies in June… I’ve camped in that sort of weather lots!!! (Try heading out in April or May!) At least you had a trailer – we’d end up shoveling snow off our tent pad to pitch the tent, or knocking it off the tent in the morning. 🙂 And do your girls ever look like you! 🙂 Great tips, BTW. We definitely learned to pack at least 1 sweater per person (two is better!) and lots of socks, because winters in the mountains can be cool or cold all summer long. I agree with you on the easy meals too. 🙂

    1. Oh my goodness Bonnie, snow while camping in a tent. Now that’s what you call an adventure. Layering up would have been a must.

  5. I grew up camping in Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park. Every Victoria Day weekend we would go with my grandparents, Auntie and Uncle and bike and fish and roast everything we could on a fire, even in the rain and snow.

    Tarps are definitely a must-have! At least now you will have some stored away in the camper’s hiding places, and blankets.

    1. You must have amazing memories, Amie camping with family is a blast! Couldn’t agree more, tarps are a definite yes.

  6. You live, you learn – right? I have been on so many crazy camping trips in my life and I grew up camping in a tent. Waking up to snow, being woken up by torrential rain and trying to frantically cover the tent with a tarp, having tents almost blow away in the wind, our campsite being infested by massive spiders and on and on. But you know what? I wouldn’t trade any of it! That’s what camping is all about – especially in the mountains. Good times! I’m glad your daughters had fun regardless. Kids are so resilient!

    1. Oh wow, Larissa it sure sounds like you have had your share of camping adventures. Totally have to agree, it’s all worth it. So much fun!

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