Remember when camping was all about living the simple life, exploring nature up close, and packing light? That mostly goes all out the window when you're camping with kids.
Where the outdoors and children are involved, it’s all about cramming as much as possible into your backpacks so you can replicate home-life out in the wild. You want to balance modern amenities with roughing it. That involves bringing more than just the basics and choosing the right campsites for your adventure—and we’re offering solutions for both.
A real solution for the family’s designated pack mule—
When you're off exploring the beaten path with kids in tow, you're not only lugging around your stuff; you have to assist with theirs too.
Fact is, kids can only carry so much on their tween shoulders. If your children happen to be even younger, good luck trying to get them to carry their own packs at all.
It doesn't matter if you're an expert camper; if you have to carry your kids' gear along with your own, plus all the camping supplies you'll need for the trip, it's going to take all the fun out of your idyllic outdoor adventure.
So here are three practical camping packing tips that we'd like to share--
1. Pack and organize everything in clear plastic tubs
Packing for a camping trip is not the same as packing for your usual family vacation. Remember, you’re not checking into a hotel room when you arrive at your campsite. You won’t have closets or shelves to organize everything into once you’re settled in. And you might not even have access to the corner shop if you forget anything.
To that end, write everything you need to bring on a piece of paper and organize them into these categories:
- Cooking supplies
- Food and snacks
- Bathroom and bathing (be sure to load up on baby wipes and antibacterial wipes)
- Tents and sleeping bags
- Clothes and towels
- Toys and entertainment
- First-aid supplies
- Evening supplies
Now, to keep everything handy and within reach, be sure to pack them all in clear plastic bins that are clearly labeled. It's an excellent time-saver. You don't have to rummage through backpacks for what you need when you're at the campsite and for packing everything away once you get home.
2. Don’t forget to bring entertainment
Yes, the whole point of camping is to enjoy the outdoors. And trust us, you’ll do a lot of that with your kids. You’ll enjoy the views, trek, swim, and run amid nature. There’s definitely a lot to do and explore, but it won’t hurt to pack some entertainment for your kids--just in case.
Electronics are the parents' first go-to option—video games and iPads, for example. But to make sure that they don't spend the whole time glued on their mobile devices, remind them that they have limited access to electricity while camping.
Other equally entertaining options to pack are face paints, skipping ropes, frisbees, puzzles, and coloring books. If swimming is available at your site, be sure to bring snorkels and inflatables too. Try packing binoculars and magnifying glasses as well so they can explore nature up close.
3. Don’t forget The Wanderr™
So you have all your camping gear organized in clear tubs, and you’re all prepped with toys, gadgets, and entertainment options for the kids. The question is, who’s going to carry it all?
Here’s our answer to this age-old family camping dilemma—The Wanderr™.
The Wanderr™ is a 5 in 1 chair—first-of-its-kind outdoor product—that can easily cart 250 pounds of gear and transforms from a cart to a reclinable lounger, low beach chair, and a higher field/ camping chair—creating its own category in the outdoor recreational chairs market.
But, possibly the greatest function of The Wanderr™ when camping is that it also converts into a comfy camping cot. This 5 in 1 chair can go from a cart to haul your gear, to a lounger by the fire, and then a cot to get you off the ground in the tent… just like magic!
It's engineered to easily trek through the toughest terrains easily, so you don't have to worry about hoisting everything on your back or running back and forth your car to your campsite. Simply load it up with all your gear, cart everything with you as you trek to your destination, and enjoy the adventure.
Now you're ready to go to the perfect family-friendly camping spots in South Carolina—
Fortunately, the state is a beautiful destination that’s steeped in history, brimming with uninterrupted views of nature, and offers lush trails and campsites. Check out our top picks below--
1. Andrew Jackson State Park - Lancaster, SC
Here’s a site that offers a little bit of everything—from history to art, to family-friendly outdoor and community activities, it’s no wonder the Andrew Jackson State Park often lands at the top of every family’s go-to camping list.
The park maintains 25 camping spaces that they've conveniently paved for better road access and hooked up with water and electricity. This makes it significantly easier to bring the whole family along for a nature adventure.
They also have a 20-acre lake close by, with options for boating and fishing. Hiking is a favorite activity for anyone camping, with trails that are relatively easy to navigate and lots of covered picnic areas all around.
2. Burrells Ford Campground - Mountain Rest, SC
The site is open all year round and is free, which is one of the biggest draws of the Burrells Ford Campground. Getting to the site however, can be quite a trek—visitors have to walk a quarter-mile along a scenic route--but think of it as getting your adventure started early. Besides, the gravel surface makes it a really easy hike, perfect for children of all ages.
There are lots of facilities all around, including picnic tables, fire rings, lantern posts, and even pit toilets. But most people love this site because of how picturesque the trails are and the impressive view of the Chattooga River.
3. Calhoun Falls State Park - Calhoun Falls, SC
The park is home to 86 campsites, with generous views of the forested shoreline. Because it is both picturesque and secluded, the park is a popular destination, considered one of the most idyllic camping sites in South Carolina.
The site has access to the big Savannah River Lake, with picnic and camping grounds, a tennis court and playground, accessible trails for hiking, and a seasonal swimming area.
4. Campground at James Island County Park - Charleston, SC
Campground at James Island County Park is open year-round and is just a short drive from downtown Charleston. It's arguably one of the more modern campsites available, making it perfect for families. The site has 24-hour staff, bathhouses, activity centers, paved roads, picnic tables, fire rings, laundry facilities, even free WiFi.
It’s home to miles of paved trails for biking and walking, which great for families just dipping their toe in the great outdoors. And there are lots of other activities to choose from as well including swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding on their freshwater lakes; or hanging out in their waterpark, open during certain seasons, and picnicking.
5. Cheraw State Park - Cheraw, SC
Each campsite at Cheraw State Park is gravel-packed making it easy to trek. It features individual water and electrical hookups, with access to hot showers. They offer 17 campsites surrounding the beautiful Lake Juniper shore so you can enjoy great waterfront views on your adventure.
Activities at the park vary, but you can take your pick from fishing, kayaking, paddle boating, swimming, biking, and hiking.
6. Devil’s Fork State Park, Lake Jocassee - Salem, SC
The popular camping destination is home to two campgrounds with picturesque views of Lake Joacasse. The main campground offers 59 paved sites with water and electrical hookups and laundry facilities making easier for campers with little children in tow. And good news, in 2020, Devil’s Fork will start allowing pets in designated villas.
So there you have it. There’s lots of family-friendly camping spots to explore in South Carolina and we hope our tips make your next family adventure more enjoyable and convenient.
If you want to know more about The Wanderr™, click here or leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.