ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kid-Safe Camping and Campsite Layouts

Updated on February 27, 2018
Kid-Safe Campsite layout
Kid-Safe Campsite layout | Source

Consider the Kids When Setting Up Your Camp Layout

Camping with kids always involves a little more thought and preparation than when just a bunch of guys go, and setting up a safe campsite from the start will help make sure you don't hear this....

Who left the camp food cooler open?

Hey! No running around the campfire!

What do you mean your tent is too smokey to sleep?

Don't touch that camp stove, it's hot!

With kids in camp, those are just a few of the things you might hear, or say, if you don't give some thought to a smart, kid-friendly layout before you start setting-up your gear

Face the fact that no matter how much you warn them, or how sternly you lay down the rules - kids will almost always act like kids. You can avoid, (or at least reduce), potential problems with a camp set-up that let's them act like kids without causing, or getting into, trouble.

Camping Safety First
Camping Safety First | Source

Kid-Friendly Campsite Layout

Even in commercial campgrounds you usually have some flexibility in how you layout your campsite, and making it as kid-safe and kid-friendly as possible is your first step to ensuring a safe and enjoyable camping trip for everyone.

Your site will probably have the following distinct areas: (at least)

  1. Sleeping - (tents or camper vehicle)
  2. Eating - (picnic or camp table)
  3. Campfire
  4. Camp Kitchen - (designated cooking area)
  5. Gathering - (probably the campfire or the same as eating area)
  6. Entrance/Exit to campsite

Your first thoughts should be where the most activity will be - which is usually the campfire and table areas, and then look at the traffic patterns that will be linking them together with the rest of the campsite areas; sleeping, cooking, and camp entrance(s)..

Then make sure you consider the kid's traffic patterns. From their tents to the food, the campfire, running in and out of the campsite, getting drinks, and so on.

With those thoughts in mind, you will have a better idea of how to layout your campsite to avoid unnecessary kid-hazards. Like that hot camping stove, or repeated forays into the food coolers. Or in the worst case, tripping through the campfire while playing.

This doesn't mean major or inconvenient reorganization. Sometimes just moving something, (the campfire, the tables, the tents), a few few feet one way or the other can make a huge difference in the flow of traffic through camp.

For instance; placing the coolers at the edge of the cooking area instead of right next to the grill or stove. Or angling the table so the campfire is off the end of it instead of broadside to it.

A Kid-friendly Camp Layout
A Kid-friendly Camp Layout | Source

Campsite Layout Tips

Think of Likely Traffic Patterns

Thinking about the paths the kids will use as they travel through the campsite all day and night. The campfire, cooking area, and tents should not be in, or interrupt the major traffic areas of the site. (notice the illustration shows a layout with an open traffic pattern that allows access to all areas, and in & out of camp, without having to cross through other major areas.

Where are the Most Active Areas

  • The campfire and eating area will be major gathering points in your campsite, and kids should not have to trample around the tents or through the cooking area to get to them.

*a separate drinks-only cooler by the table or campfire will lessen traffic to the food storage/cooking area, and notice that the table is between the camp kitchen and the campfire, so camp food could be served from either area, and the table provides more "gathering" seating near the campfire

Consider the Most Hazardous Areas in Camp

  • The cooking area will be where most of the heavy, and potential hazardous equipment will be, so be smart, and, save your back.

Set-up you camp kitchen and food coolers close to the entrance, (and vehicles), but on the perimeter of your campsite. It will reduce the distance the gear has to be carried, and it will lessen the opportunity for constant kid traffic through the area. (this is also the area where you will have your "gray-water" disposal, and major trash collection)

Consider When and Where Activities Will Happen

  • Unless wind direction makes it unworkable, the openings of the kid's tents should face the campfire. (as in the #1 position in the illustration)

It allows them to finish their day, and start a new one, with a view of what some consider the best part of camping - the campfire. It will also offer a degree of security for younger campers; they can see camp activity when they look out of their tent, instead of woods or brush.

*The above kid-friendly campsite layout illustration is from a resource guide at Campingwithgus.com, you can see more details and a numbered-explanation guide to this campsite set-up at:Camping with kids - Campsite Layout

Kid-Safe Camping Tips

Tips to Make Your Campsite Safer for Kids

Source
Foil flags on camping tent guy lines
Foil flags on camping tent guy lines | Source


  1. Always mark all tent or tarp guy-lines for visibility - A strip of white paper towel, or small square of foil, tied about knee-high makes guy-lines easy to spot, and less of a trip-hazard. The small foil flags will even reflect moon or campfire light at night.

    As in the photos, a small square foil flag, (see Fig. 2), works easier and better than a lot of foil wrapped around the line, (see in Fig. 1), which will be frustrating to remove when breaking camp.

  2. Mark any hole or deep depression in the ground with an upright pole - also flagged with a white paper towel. (or other visible flagging material)
  3. Rope-off any totally off-limits areas - like; Poison Ivy or Oak, brier patches, wood chopping area, etc. (again - flag the ropes for visibility)
  4. Keep a clear campfire area - have at least 6 feet, (10 feet is better), of cleared ground around your campfire, and make sure there are no low-hanging tree branches over the fire.

*you should also have a full bulk-water container near the campfire - like a full 5-gallon bucket

Flagging Tape - $3 Well Spent!

Caution and Flagging tape for camping
Caution and Flagging tape for camping | Source

100's of uses in and around camp

If you camp with young kids - this could be the best $3 you ever spend. These little rolls of surveyor flagging tape are non-adhesive, and easy to tear. And so inexpensive you discard used pieces when you break camp.

Use them for the camping tips mentioned above, or for marking trails, or dozens of other in and out of camp uses.

The best part is that even kids as young as toddlers understand these colored tapes mean something. You just have to tell them what.

You can even use different colors for different purposes. Orange or yellow for "no-no's" and red for hot or danger.

The rolls are 1" x 150 feet - and only weigh a couple ounces.

Note: Just scroll down the Amazon page and you will see options to buy other colors.

U.S. Park Service tips for camping with kids

Safe Camp and Campsites Layouts for Camping with Kids Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ken Budiarto profile image

      Ken Budiarto 

      21 months ago from Jakarta, Indonesia

      Thank You very much for camping tips. It helps me find more save activities on my family journey. Especially for some games like scavenger hunt...really challenging for kids. I've tried it and my sons is very happy with that. Make my camping moment is become colorful. Thank You. May you have an opportunity you can visit my place in Indonesia. Please check my website www.selarasadventureland.com for reference.

    • Camping with Kids profile imageAUTHOR

      GA Andereson (Gus) 

      7 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @Denise - Thanks for the compliment. The two worst mistakes I've seen people camping with kids make are: 1. Setting up the cooking and gear storage areas right in the center of the campsite, (then they get frustrated when the kids end up playing and romping around the stuff), and 2. Putting their campfire too close to the tent entrances.

      Gus

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      I like your format here-bringing the message and setting up a few 1, 2, 3's for easy recall. Nice job and interesting subject matter.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)