Gear Guide: Car Camping with Kids Near Lake Cushman

Camping may be the most kid-friendly activity out there: what’s not to love about skipping bath time? The Olympic Peninsula is home to a huge variety of camping sites to fit any age, size of family, and level of commitment. From remote, hike-in tent sites to ones with RV hook-ups, onsite showers, and playgrounds, the area around the Hood Canal has something for everyone. Check out our extensive list of area camping options for the location that best suits your family’s needs. If a cozy waterfront cabin or RV resort is more your style, we’ve got you covered there, too!

Whichever lodging option you choose, the following kid-sized and kid-oriented accessories will make sure your little ones stay organized, engaged, and safe on their Hood Canal adventure.

Lake Cushman Camping


1. Backpack/duffel bag

Take it to: Dow Creek Resort

Having kids pack their own gear can be a great way to get them excited about an upcoming trip, as well as to help them build responsibility. Providing a checklist (written and/or with pictures) will make this process more efficient. Do be sure that all the essentials made it into the bag before heading out! A sturdy duffel with a wide opening makes packing and double-checking easy—as well as staying organized in camp.

A kid-sized backpack makes a handy tote for the car ride and for day trips from camp. One with a built-in hydration system also eliminates the need for a separate water bottle to keep kids hydrated on the trails.


2. Sleeping Bag

Take it to: Lake Cushman Resort

It’s no secret that the Olympic Peninsula can be chilly after dark, even in the summer. That makes a cozy sleeping bag even more important. One designed specifically for kids is especially enticing after an evening of campfire stories and marshmallow-roasting. This sleeping bag even adjusts its size to grow along with your child, making it a favorite for many summers.


Games for the Whole Family

Away from the distractions of TV and electronic devices, camping is a great opportunity for families to bond over games that are fun for everyone. Whether you want kids running around to get tired for bed or quietly winding down around the table, these games are fun for all ages.



3. Lighted & Table Games

Take them to: Hope Island Marine State Park

The Olympic Peninsula’s towering conifers mean that dusk comes early to wooded campsites, even in the heart of summer. Light-up games transition smoothly from daytime to dark. In clearings, or where low-hanging branches don’t pose a hazard, a light-up flying disc transforms an ordinary game of catch. And while playing on a perfectly-groomed surface has its merits, the unpredictable terrain of the forest floor, especially with light-up balls, makes for an especially memorable game of bocce.

With a good table lantern, table games also make the transition from daytime to evening. The unique, round cards in Spot-It! games provide lasting entertainment for adults as well as kids as young as three. There’s even a camping version! Dominos and Uno also travel well and are fun whether you’re basking in the sunshine or dodging the rain from your tent or cabin.



Safety First

A few simple accessories can make sure your kids stay safe during their adventures in the great outdoors—and give you peace of mind.


4. Headlamp

Take it to: Dosewallips Campground

A headlamp makes everything from digging pajamas out of the duffel bag to successfully navigating the route to the bathroom much easier. Ones produced especially for kids are sized so that they stay on—and, with super bright colorways, look super-cool, too.


5. Whistle

Take it to: Belfair State Park

The woods are a big place, and the ability to get your attention right away, no matter where they are, will make your kids—and you—feel much more secure. A good safety whistle is the best way to make a lot of noise with a little effort. Educate kids about safety and what to do in emergency situations—and equip them with the necessary tools.

Whatever your family’s style, the Olympic Peninsula is an outdoor wonderland waiting to be discovered! Whether you experience it from the shelter of a tent, cabin, or hotel room, we hope you share your adventures with us. Tag #wildsidewa and #explorehoodcanal, and find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.