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Camping hacks for camping with kids; advice from Little Passports

Camping Hacks with Kids

Planning on taking a trip to the woods this summer? We’ve made your life a little easier with this list of camping hacks. From making convenient trail snacks to finding creative ways to use a thermos, your family will be camping like a pro in no time.

If you’re looking for play-based activities, look no further than our Summer Camp in a Box: Science Junior or World Edition! With enough activities to engage your child for five days, three to four hours a day, Summer Camp in a Box is the perfect addition to take on your next camping trip. Enjoy a week’s worth of screen-free fun, whether you’re in the great outdoors or the comfort of your home!

Hack #1: Make energy bites for a healthy and delicious trail snack

Energy balls are great on-the-go snacks, whether it be in the car or on the trails. They are packed full of protein and your kids will think they taste yummy, too! 


  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (for nut allergy, substitute sunbutter)
  • Optional (mix, match, or add your own):
  • 2 Tbsp. chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins
  • 2 Tbsp. almonds


Step one: Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl

Step two: Chill in the fridge for one to two hours

Step three: Roll into small balls

Step four: Your energy bites are ready to eat or take on the go!

Hack #2: Make single-use soap

Soggy soap bars are no fun to deal with in the middle of the woods. Make single-use soap instead! Use a vegetable peeler to shave thin slices from a bar of soap. Put them in a container, and use one when you need to wash your hands. The soap will disappear after a single use—goodbye, slimy soap bars!

Hack #3: Use a shoe holder to organize your kitchen

Use an over-the-door shoe organizer to hang your kitchen essentials. Use the individual pockets to hold things like spatulas, utensils, ketchup, napkins, s’mores stakes, dish soap, and whatever else you may need. Hang the shoe organizer on a tree branch or the door of your car for easy access.

Hack #4: Be creative with your thermos

Thermoses are traditionally used to hold hot water, coffee, or soup. But with a little creativity, a thermos can become anything you want it to be! Here are some innovative ways to use a thermos on your next camping trip:

  • Valuables container
  • Overnight oats maker
  • Rice cooker
  • Utensil holder
  • Hard boiled egg cooker
  • Salad shaker
  • Instant noodles maker
  • Face washing station
  • Socks & underwear holder
  • Ice bucket
  • Napkin or tablecloth weight

Hack #5: Prepare pocket dinners

Pocket dinners are everything you want in a camping meal—they’re easy, fast, and involve no cleanup! You can have the kids help prep them before the trip, or have them help “cook” them while you’re there. Below is a simple pocket dinner recipe to try the next time you’re in the woods. Add your own twist to our recipe, or use this handy foil hack with other recipes you already have. 


  • Potatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Sausage
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cheese
  • Foil


Step one: Cook and dice potatoes, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, and sausage and divide them into foil wrappers for each person

Step two: Add salt, pepper, and cheese on top

Step three: Keep them in a cooler during transportation

Step four: When you’re ready to eat, pop them on the fire and for an instant meal! Plus, you won’t need plates!

Bonus Hack: Have a disco party with glow sticks

What’s more fun than glowsticks? Bring along a packet of glow sticks to light up the night! Make fun and colorful lanterns with your kids by putting them inside mason jars, or bend them into necklaces and crowns. Have an impromptu disco dance party under the stars or in your tents with your funky light-up lanterns and glow stick jewelry!