(credit: Yvonne Condes)

Camping can be great way to go on a family vacation without having to worry that the kids will trash the hotel room. It might be daunting for parents who have never been before, but kids love sleeping outside, getting dirty, and running around until they pass out from exhaustion. Special kids’ gear always helps, so here’s a list of what to get and where to get it.

(credit: thetford.com)

The Grant Boys

1750 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 645 3400
More Info

The Grant Boys has been family owned and operated for 62 years and everyone on the staff has been camping, said manager Randy Garell. He said that of course families need a tent, sleeping bags, and a stove, but the most important thing for campers with young kids is a porta potty that goes in the tent so there are no late night trips to a campsite bathroom. He recommends a Thetford Porta Potti.

(credit: Yvonne Condes)


1800 Rosecrans Ave Ste E
Manhattan Beach, CA90266
Phone: (310) 727-0728
Multiple locations in Southern California
More Info

REI, the outdoor recreation store, is gear heaven for adults and kids. But don’t get carried away with supplies that aren’t necessary. One thing kids do need is a sleeping bag. REI carries a few brands for kids including the REI brand, Lafuma –like the bags pictured here — Marmot, and Alps. Or buy an adult sleeping bag and they can keep it forever, just like the old days. If you don’t need your gear to be shiny and new keep a look out for REI’s used equipment sale.

(credit: Yvonne Condes)

Adventure 16

5425 Reseda Blvd.
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 345-4266

West LA
11161 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 473-4574
More Info

There’s nothing like a nature hike with a baby strapped to your back. These Deuter Kid Comfort packs are very handy. Not only can you carry a child on a walk, but you can also set him or her down and use the pack as a high chair. A16 also has knowledgeable staff that knows their way around a campsite or hiking trail.

(credit: Yvonne Condes)

Sport Chalet

100 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 657-3210
Several Locations in Southern California
More Info

Even kids need a place to put their drinks. This Kelty checker board outdoor table was inexpensive and adorable. The sports shop carries tents, tarps, clothes, and lanterns.

(credit: doughboyssurplus.com)

Doughboys Surplus

9826 E. Artesia Blvd.
Bellflower, CA 90706
(888) 867-2063
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Kids looking for camouflage pants and cool canteens can head to Doughboys. The family owned store also has tents, kids’ sleeping bags, and snow gear. Older kids will love the camo shade netting.

(credit: Yvonne Condes)

Sports Authority

897 Harriman Place
San Bernardino, CA 92408
(909) 884-7200
Multiple other locations in Southern California
More Info

Sports Authority has good prices on hiking boots and shoes by Timberland and Hi-Tec. Low top hiking shoes like the one here can work for light hikes and trips to the park. They are great for camping because they prevent kids from slipping on the dirt, rocks, etc. And if you’re camping out in the wilderness the kids will be ready for a long hike. Make sure to bring other shoes in case the hiking shoes get wet, because you don’t want that smell attracting wildlife.

(credit: Yvonne Condes)

Dick’s Sporting Goods

2753 Eastland Center Drive
Suite 2200
West Covina, CA 91791
(626) 331-8227
Multiple other locations in Southern California
More Info

If you want to keep your kid entertained for hours while you sit by the fire and drink beer, then a headlamp might be the camping accessory for you. A headlamp is great after the sun goes down. It keeps kids away from the fire and you can spot them from far away. And it works well for trips to a dark bathroom at night. Dick’s is known for sports gear, but also has sleeping bags, cooking equipment, tents, and of course, headlamps.

When Yvonne is not camping or shopping for gear, she’s blogging at Yvonne in LA or Moms LA.

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