Over the summer, our family spent each weekend at the river. We happen to live just three minutes away from a beautiful spot, so packing up the kids each Saturday morning became a ritual that we all looked forward to. The weather is starting to cool off here in Nashville and sadly our weekly trips to our secret river hangout have become a thing of the past. But, the bugs have disappeared, the leaves are turning, and now we are looking forward to going camping before it gets too cold and the snow starts falling. We’ve never taken the little kids camping before, so we are excited and a bit apprehensive for our upcoming trip. We don’t want to go to a fancy campground. We want to find something that is secluded and peaceful. I put together a fun list of dreamy camping must-haves, along with some outdoor toys for the kids and our favorite gear to bring along.

We were given an amazing yurt-style tent from Stout last year and have yet to take it out for a test-drive. It’s huge, so there is plenty of room for all six of us. I am overly excited about getting a camping stove—there’s just something about cooking outdoors! We usually grill when at the river, but this little compact stove-top will be perfect for making coffee and cocoa, hot soup, proteins, veggies, and more. Here are some other things that I’m thinking we should take along: A lantern, a folding table for food prep and card games (ahem, Uno!), air mattresses and plenty of blankets for comfort. A thermos and enamel mugs, cooking gear, hobo knives (travel silverware), a flask for the adults, warm sweaters and socks, sling shots and jump ropes for the kids. All-natural soap, a first aid kit, dog bowls for Frances, and, of course, a good cooler to keep our food fresh—Aubrey has always wanted a Yeti because they stay refrigerator-cold for up to six days, but there is no way we will be camping with small kids for that long. We will just bring along our trusty Coleman. Of course, we can’t forget the marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars!

Foot note: This post was really fun to put together. Now, I can’t wait to plan our trip! Happy camping!


  • Kaitlen

    Although they aren’t the coolest looking things on the planet, headlamps are always in my camping pack. Makes late evening camp dinners, night time pee trips and digging in the cooler after dark independent and stress free endeavors :)

  • Ashlee

    I want that sweater and those socks!

  • Fay

    That sweater looks so good!

  • Sarah

    I love the native american navajo style blanket! We have “wild” camped with our three kids twice now, we found a secluded spot and hoped for the best. I blogged all about it here!Wild-Camping-with-the-kids/c1a1n/55e60b070cf29a3653be2f0e
    Enjoy your camping – it’s such a great experience for kids x

  • Taylor K

    I loooove that tent! And I agree, headlamps are a must. A hammock is always fun to have up too :)

  • emily

    I love the tent! We use our little coleman stove when we go camping and love it.


  • ali

    Oh I’m so tent jealous! What a beauty!
    Will they do a giveaway?
    I so want one.

    Enjoy your adventure <3

  • G

    I took our coleman cooker with us across the country on a road trip- it’s a great investment, we found we were able to do SO much with it. Good memories…

  • Laura

    I’m not much of a camper, BUT, I LOVE that tent, lol!!!


  • kelly rae

    looks like a great tent-we have a bell tent and we are quite happy with it especially as a almost family of four.

  • Nicole

    Love this! We camp a lot out of the back of our truck, but that teepee looks amazing!

  • alex o

    i love camping! great round up of gear too. i don’t have a Yeti (a bit out of my price range), but my friend does and it is amazing. and who know knows, your husband just might get lucky -my friend FOUND his Yeti half submerged in a riverbank on a kayaking trip!

  • charlotte

    Oh this so makes me want to go camping!!

  • emilyanne

    No lie, my co-worker picked up a yeti cooler at a yard sale for $10!! Our theory/ joke was apparently some very upset wife decided to sell her husband’s things at a very discounted rate. In any case her husband was thrilled with her find!

  • Leigh Ann

    EmilyAnne: Oh my gosh!! That is crazy!! I would be livid if my yeti was sold for $10!!! That is insane! Anyways, love camping but not in tents anymore. I love to curl up with my heated blanket in my motorhome. :)

  • Christina

    My father has a Yeti cooler and he absolutely loves it!

  • Stella Maria Baer

    love the yurt style tent! we’ve been jonesing for a yeti too but settled on a coleman… are those horn or black and white marble cups above the jump rope and below the flask? they’re beautiful – what’s their story? :)

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