Getting your kids excited about camping may sometimes be a bit of a challenge. The lure of the great outdoors is sometimes muted by video games, computers, and other electronic distractions. That is exactly why every camping enthusiast with children needs to invest in some Best Camping Books For Kids! These fun, visual, and entertaining books are the perfect way to excite and educate kids about the delights of pitching a tent in the middle of nowhere.
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
To help you navigate your way towards the Best Camping Books For Kids, we’ve compiled a handy overview of 5 top-rated choices. There’s something for every age, preference, and reading level:
Gift them to your kids before an upcoming camping trip and reap the rewards. We can almost guarantee these books will help any kid get in the mood for some outdoor adventures and family camping time. Even when you tell them there’s not going to be WIFI available when you go camping… You’re welcome!
Best Camping Books For Kids – Overview
America’s National Parks (Lonely Planet Kids)
This children’s title covers more than 60 national parks, all across the continental USA, Hawaii, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands. There’s a fantastic mix of facts, stories, pictures, and illustrations: keeping kids entertained for hours at end.
We like that the authors of this Lonely Planet Kids book have kept a firm focus on what excites and thrills kids. Instead of merely translating an adult guide into children’s lingo, they’ve zoomed-in on everything kids love. For example, eery abandoned towns with spooky ghost stories, big and explosive facts on volcanoes, and adventurous activities such as rafting or kayaking in thrilling places. Don’t worry: the adventures included are child-friendly. Your kids won’t suddenly beg you to leisurely explore some grade VI whitewater rapids.
By adventurers, for future adventurers
And you know what else excited kids about nature? Animals. A topic that this Best Camping Book also has covered! America’s National Parks (Lonely Planet Kids) introduces readers to the animals in each National Park. From spotted salamanders to grizzly bears, gators to gray wolves: each park comes with a detailed explanation of the wildlife present.
We know this isn’t a title solely aimed at camping, but if you want to inspire your kids about all the wonderous joys of our National Parks: this is the book for you. Carefully designed and written by adventurers, for future adventurers. The combination of visual, educational, and entertaining content makes it even a fun read for adults. Take it from us: this is one book you won’t mind reading to your kids over and over again.
A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee
What makes A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee stand-out from other fictional children’s books, is the great blend between classic illustrations and rhyming text. Some titles are heavy on computer-animated images, as found in video games, but this book has slightly more of a retro-vibe. And we mean that in the best possible way. Beautifully illustrated, it captures the imagination without relying on gimmicks.
A rhythmic, read-aloud favorite
The fun, rhyming text makes it a great ‘read aloud’ title for nights around the campfire, or simply as an enthralling bedtime story. Let your kids join in and enjoy the lyrical flow of the story. Go camping with Mr. Magee and his loyal dog Dee, and find out what happens when suddenly they find themselves in a very slippery situation when their camper slides down the hill and teeters on the edge of a huge waterfall…
Another reason we had to include a Camping Spree With Mr. Magee by Chris van Dusen on this overview, is that this book is one of the highest-rated children’s titles on the topic. With nearly all 5-star reviews, other consumers are full of praise on the title’s quality, originality, amazing storytelling, and fun illustrations. Reviewers say it’s a fresh, fun take on a classic camping story and the perfect way to get kids excited about going exploring the outdoors on a family camping trip.
Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping
If you’re looking for a dedicated children’s camping book that covers all the basics, Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping may be the title for you. Cherie Winner, the author, answers all kinds of essential questions, explained in easy, understandable language.
Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping learns kids everything about setting up camp, building fires, making meals, what to do when ‘nature call’s and there’s no bathroom around, and more. It covers all the camping basics such as how to pick a campsite, what types of tents there are, and which camping gear is essential to pack. It’s the perfect guide to help turn indoor kids, into outdoor kids. Plus, it may also help motivate your children to help you pack and prep for family camping outings.
Maximize the outdoor fun
This educational read even offers tips on campsite entertainment once you’ve managed to successfully set up camp. Giving kids inspiration on how they can maximize their outdoor fun. Hint: no mobile phones or handheld gaming devices required.
Rated highly by other consumers for its educational purposes, fun storytelling, and handy tips, Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping is a great read for first-time junior campers. Plus, some reviewers also mention sneaking a peek once in a while to brush up on their basics, so who knows: you might secretly enjoy it just as much as your kids will…
Try Not to Laugh Challenge Camping Joke Book
This Best Camping Book option contains a great selection of camping-related jokes, appropriate for all ages. You can either choose to read them at random on a road trip or as campfire entertainment or tell the jokes in a special ‘Try Not To Laugh’ challenge game.
The rules for this game couldn’t be simpler:
- Pick a team
- Sit across from each other and make eye contact
- Take turns reading a joke to each other
- Whilst reading the joke, you can make silly faces, weird sound effects, or act it out to make it even funnier
- When your opponent laughs out loud, you get a point
- The first team or player to reach 3 points, wins
You can play the game in any configuration you want: parents vs kids, boys vs girls, or even in a family feud style when camping with other parents. Topics covered by this funny joke book are all outdoor-related, including gags on camping, hiking, backpacking, bigfoot, bugs, wildlife, and more.
The Try Not to Laugh Challenge Camping Joke Book is available in a very affordable paperback version: making it a cheap, cheerful, and lightweight addition to your daypack for an upcoming trip with kids. The book gets a big thumbs up from other campers, who confirm though some jokes are overly punny, there’s enough crafty/original content to bring the giggles.
S Is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet
S Is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet is written from a pure love of camping, nature, and wildlife. Author Helen Foster James was only 4 when she came up with the idea for the book during her first-time camping trip. She has since researched the topic both professionally, and leisurely, on more than 100 camping trips. From backpacking in the Grand Canyon, hiking the Sierra Mountain passes, and tumultuous canoe journey’s on the Colorado River: Helen is quite the outdoor expert. Her knowledge and expertise of working as an educator for 20 years translate in a guide that truly takes young readers on an inspiring journey. Teaching them the basics and essentials with the aid of captivating texts and dainty illustrations.
From ABC to famous conservationists
Young readers will learn camping basics and techniques, including how to toast marshmallows and pitch tents for campouts. But will also gain a bigger understanding of nature on a global scale by learning about national parks, famous conservationists, and ecosystems. Don’t worry, everything in the guide is written in an engaging, easy-understandable way. Plus, the beautiful, retro-inspired illustrations also make it a feast on the eyes, luring young readers in with their picture book feel.
Customer reviews on S Is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet are very positive. Campers agree that this is a great book to get youngsters interested in, and educated on, nature and wildlife.
Reviewers also confirm that this title suits a wide age-range. For example, toddlers can use it to learn how to identify letters. Elementary kids can learn new vocabulary from the simple verses. Whilst older kids can learn more details about how the verses and words relate to nature and go more in-depth on the different topics. We’d, therefore, particularly recommend this title for those with multiple children at different ages, as it’s an all-in-one solution for all your storytime needs!
Each of the options on this Best Camping Books For Children overview is a great choice to enhance your kids’ camping experience. Regardless whether it’s a funny joke book to add the laughs to your outdoor activities, or an in-depth guide on camping basics for junior adventurers: books are always a good idea.
Which is the must-read title for your kid, depends on age, preference, and what type of book your children enjoy most. For curious young campers who dream of becoming famous explorers, America’s National Parks (Lonely Planet Kids) is an amazing guide. Not only will they learn about nature, animals, and survival. But they’ll also marvel about the exciting outdoor activities possible in our country’s most scenic parks, like mountaineering and rafting. Similarly, Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping is a handy guidebook for aspiring campers, ideal for teaching them basic camping knowledge.
For campfire entertainment, we’d recommend a book that can be shared. For example, the Try Not to Laugh Challenge Camping Joke Book or A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee. This last-mentioned title features a special rhyming text set-up, making it a ‘read aloud’ favorite that the whole family can join in on.
Whichever of these Best Books option you choose: we guarantee you won’t regret it.
It’s nearly impossible to choose a winner from the line-up, as they are all great titles. But, if hard-pressed, our favorite would be the Lonely Planet Kids Guide on America’s National Parks. Yes, we realize it’s not necessarily about the camping basics, but we like it’s broader educational value. We think it’s the perfect book to inspire youngsters about the wonders of nature, the value of our National Parks, and the thrilling outdoor activities they offer.
We hold our National Parks very dear to our heart, and often explore them on holidays, hiking trips, and camping adventures. Which is exactly why this title is right up our alley: as it lets us share our appreciation with our kids in a visually stunning, fun, and entertaining book that will no doubt enthrall readers of all ages.