Do your kids pack for themselves?

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by jasba, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. upstate family

    upstate family Member

    Jul 20, 2016
    Central New York
    I have a 7 year old and 11 year old. They pack and then I check to make sure they have everything. The trip we took this week they did a great job. Of course my 7 year old didn't match everyday, but she has her own sense of style and I just go with it. The day she had diagonal multi-color striped skort and a horizontal red striped shirt was interesting, but it's one of her favorite outfits. Pictures will make for interesting conversations when she gets older.
  2. sanrico

    sanrico New Member

    Jun 16, 2014
    I have a 5-year-old boy. He does not pack for himself. We have a system in place and a checklist and we fly through it. I just feel like there is so much to pack and forget, I don't want to leave it to chance.

    However, I certain understand the good lessons that can be learned! I'm going to talk to my wife about this and see if we can implement a system for him. This is a good idea.
  3. ny_rocking_chairs

    ny_rocking_chairs Active Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    Webster, NY
    Yep, sons are 7 and 9 (8 and 10 at the end of August, yikes), and they have been packing for themselves for a couple years. We still go over what they packed and need to remind them of certain items from time to time.
    We switched to the sterilite drawers this past camping trip and DS #1 even insisted on using that to pack for his annual trip to his grandparents cabin too [LOL]
  4. 4my2girls

    4my2girls New Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    I tell my kids we need 5 day time outfits and 3 pjs. For cold or warm weather. And so many socks and panties.. when they are 7 and under I sit with them as they layout their outfits and we count together. You need a warm jacket and cooler jacket or swimsuit... now mine are 9 and 11 and I send them off only with a verbal list 5 day outfits 3 pj's and 6 socks.. they bring to trailer.. I'll glance at what they packed and I will add more things they missed and then while on the trip when they realize they are missing things. I repeat didn't I ask for 5 day outfits! That's why your short you only packed 3.. so they get that moment of wow I should have packed better cause now I am miserable.. then I show them the extra stuff I have for them.. and tell them to pack better next time. My 9 year old hates not to have what's needed and she is a real good packer now. Even works when we take a trip to see family or grandma. My kids have packed their own stuff since 3 years old. It helps them make choices I never pick their outfits. Long as it weather appropriate other wise I retell them not a summer shirt but a winter. And don't forget layers
  5. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    My husband still doesn't pack for himself. [LOL]
  6. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    My 5 year old daughter packs her things, she takes enough cloths for the time we are going to be gone same with me. Now the DW on the other hand, packs enough (her stuff) for 10 days for a 5 day trip, drives me crazy.
  7. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Active Member

    Nov 25, 2016
    Chicago suburbs
    My 12 and 8 year olds get a list and an empty large Sterilite drawer and pack it themselves. I pack for the 4 year old and the hubby! Each kid also gets a small tote bag to pack with toys. So far so good!
  8. 3hooligans

    3hooligans Member

    Jul 27, 2014
    We have carried this over into our skiing trips this year, the 9 year old still needs to have his bag double checked, but the 11 and 13yo do really well, i write a list and they pack it, the added part with the ski trips is that they also need to make sure thier ski bag is all set. All five get double checked by the wife and or I otherwise it could ruin the trip with a missing helmet or ski jacket.
    I also have to double check the wife if she coming off a tough week of night shifts ;)
  9. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2013
    Jacksonville, FL
    We just did our first trip of the year (4 nights) and each of the DD's (7 & 9) have a small travel bag on wheels that they initially pack themselves with a little guidance from the DW. Packing the PUP is ME, Menu and Food is the DW while the DD's pack their bags and toys. We've done this so many times that the girls know the basics and my DW does a final check before I toss them into the minivan. The more you camp and the older they get the better they'll get at it.
  10. fourhallatts

    fourhallatts Active Member

    Jul 18, 2015
    North Syracuse, New York
    My boys (16 and 22) always got their own clothes ready for a trip. I would tell them how many days they needed and they would get it ready. Underwear and socks folded inside pants/shorts, inside a shirt. If we were only going on a weekend trip we would only take one suitcase (it expands) for longer trips they packed their own bags. They also had to pack their own bathroom bags, ie. toothbrush, comb/brush, deodorant, shower puff. I would pack the toothpaste, body soap, shampoo and conditioner. Once the essentials were packed they could add extras (if it didn't fit it didn't need to come!). They also would pack a small electronics bag (Gameboy and later tablet). They are both champion packers now that they are older.
  11. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

    Aug 28, 2012
    SW Montana
    My wife is not a big camper, so to make it easier on her nerves and anxiety, I said all she needed was to pack her clothes and toiletries. I'd take care of everything else (including the grocery shopping and cooking). That was the only way I could get her to come along because she HATES the prep and DESPISES the cleanup. This was about 5yrs ago and its been great ever since. But, that meant that I didn't always have time to check the kids bags. At some point, I don't remember when, I finally had to tell the kids that if they didn't put it in the truck, I wasn't going to be responsible for making sure they had clean socks/underwear, their favorite toys, or whatever. They got the point when someone didn't pack their pillow and I didn't give a hoot. Their fault, not mine. I gave plenty of warning. IIRC, my youngest was maybe 7 or 8 at the time. Plenty old enough to learn responsibility. If its important to them, they won't forget.
  12. RoseTheJinx

    RoseTheJinx New Member

    Jun 21, 2016
    Umm. No. I pack for everyone. My husband is not capable (I am scared) of making sure he has what he needs for 3 days. He forgets undies, socks, sometimes shirts. I learned that I don't handle it very well when he cries about missing something and I have to smell socks worn for 3 days.

    The older 3 are working on it. They get a list. I double check it as I pack it up into the tote. Oldest is a 9 year old with ASD and a 8 year old with ADHD. The 5 year old does the best. I just tell her how many shirts, she comes back, I give her how many pants, and so on. One at a time. Also a picture list works well for her.
  13. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Active Member

    Nov 25, 2016
    Chicago suburbs
    I need to change my answer slightly: I have recently informed my husband he is now packing for himself!
    Tracy D. likes this.
  14. Tracy D.

    Tracy D. Member

    Jun 24, 2016
    London, Ontario
    My DD is now 16, and the same thing always happens!
  15. kevin g

    kevin g New Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    Quispamsis, New Brunswick
    lol, this past weekend I was in charge of packing (mine and 3 kids clothes) while my wife was out. My daughter (4 years) saw that i was packing and was insistent that she needed to help and wanted to pack her own suitcase. I let her carry on, with the intention of going through and modifying after...i forgot. She had 9 pairs of pants and a hoodie. I'm not allowed to pack anymore.
    jonkquil, GreatBigAbyss and BirdsNest like this.
  16. Kettlebelle

    Kettlebelle Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    I just wrote a blogpost about how we pack... and stay organized and mostly sane ;) Pictures of what I described in reply #15 here, only don't have the same kind of camper anymore, so we no longer use the Sterilite drawers.
  17. GreatBigAbyss

    GreatBigAbyss Member

    Apr 12, 2017
  18. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    Ours are all grow now and camp with their kids, at about 8 I made a list for them to check off when we were going, One of us wold check the list when they said everything was packed and after awhile it became 2nd nature to them to pack.
  19. Jenkamus

    Jenkamus Active Member

    Oct 17, 2015
    Surprise, AZ
    my 5 year old decided to pack his own bag for an weekend trip, he was so proud.

    When I checked, it was 2 pairs of shorts and 15 stuffed
  20. jonkquil

    jonkquil Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Portland OR
    I always would pack for my daughter (only child, totally pampered) as once she hit around 8 she was always on the cusp of not really liking camping(tent campers at the time), so just so we could go camping and all enjoy it I would make it as easy for her as possible. I'm ashamed to say it as well I used to pack up her things at the end too (I know, what a sucker!!)
    When she was 10 we went away on a weekend skiing trip and I foolishly let her pack her self. We were about half way to our destination when I noticed she was sat in the car in her socks. I asked what shoes/boots she had packed and she replied "I was supposed to pack shoes??" We ended up having to buy her new boots at resort prices!
    I'm happy to report that she is now a very independent 22 year old, who can set up the pup all by herself.

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