What better way to encourage reading and a love of sleeping under the stars than by combining the two with books about camping that your kids can read by flashlight?
These are our favourite camping adventure books for kids from Grade 1 all the way up to Grade 9, although the adults in our home enjoyed the young-adult books just as much as our 12-year-old.
There are two lists, one of the books for Kindergarteners to Grade 4 and the other aimed at those in Grade 5 to 9. In addition, I’ve included a camping themed reading tracker for the kiddos to record their progress. It’s also a fabulous prompt for discussing the books at a later stage, either at home, at school, or at scouts/girl guides/ other social activities.
Following each of the printable lists, there’s a little about each book, as well as a link to where you can buy them.
Camping Books For Kids
Before you even leave home, the little, and not so little ones, can enjoy:
- Young adult fiction exploring the complexities of growing up in the modern world, while surviving in the wilderness.
- Upbeat, cute, and fun tales of campers who slept under the stars.
- Historic accounts of famous people and how camping changed them & the world around them.
- Spooky stories to share around the campfire.
- Guidebooks for kids who are about to explore the great outdoors for the first time.
- Tales of those whose amazing camping trips take place in the backyard.
- Camping themed alphabets and other educational tomes.
- Books which feature RV’s, fifth wheels, pop-ups and other kinds of camping.
Camping Books For K to Grade 4
A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee
Mr. Magee and his trusty dog, Dee, are enjoying a peaceful camping trip when all of a sudden they find themselves plunging down a mountain and teetering on the edge of a huge waterfall! How will they find their way out of this slippery situation? Chris Van Dusen, the creator of Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, has filled this new adventure with charming illustrations and a playful, rhyming text. A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee is a fun read-aloud for children (and adults!) on campouts or snuggling at home!
S is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet
S is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet takes readers on an A-Z trail exploring this outdoor pastime. Veteran camper Helen Foster James tackles topics such as unique camping environments, equipment necessities, famous conservationists, and national parks and other attractions. Whether your idea of “roughing it” is a blanket in your own backyard or the subarctic ecosystem of Alaska’s Denali National Park, S is for S’mores is a fun and informative guide that is sure to help campers of all ages make the most of their wilderness adventures.
Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping
Scaredy Squirrel is not too comfortable with the idea of camping? unless it’s on his couch! There will be no mosquitoes, skunks or zippers to worry about when he watches a show about the joys of camping on his brand-new TV. But first Scaredy must find an electrical outlet, and that means going into the woods! Will the nutty worrywart’s plans prepare him for the great outdoors, or will his adventure end up as a scary story told around the campfire? Read Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping to find out!
Curious George Goes Camping
Curious George Goes Camping is an entertaining story of the Great Outdoors based on H. A. and Margret Rey’s popular primate and painted in the original watercolor and charcoal style. George tries to be helpful, but he of course just ends up upsetting a nearby camper. As he’s hiding in the woods, he meets a forest creature who catapults the mischievous monkey into a chain of even more outrageous events
Froggy Goes to Camp
Froggy’s off to camp! He packs a lot into one week: archery lessons, food fights, and scary stories around the campfire. But only Froggy could also manage to lose his trunks during swim class and overturn his kayak with the camp director in it. Froggy will keep his fans laughing with his latest antics.
Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars
In Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars, the picture-book companion to Penny & Jelly: The School Show, Penny is invited to a slumber-under-the-stars sleepover! But there’s one small detail that derails the dynamic kid-dog duo: no pets allowed. Penny and Jelly have to think quick-if the real Jelly can’t go, then maybe a pretend Jelly can! A paper Jelly? Too rough. A yarn Jelly? Too soft. Jelly after Jelly just doesn’t work. But with a little creativity and a lot of heart, Penny figures out how to go to the sleepover-and bring Jelly along with her.
Bradford Street Buddies: Backyard Camp-Out
The backyard campout is tonight. Jada and Jamal Perkins have never slept in a tent before. Neither have their best friends, Carlita Garcia, and Josh Cornell. Camping is going to be so much fun. Or is it? It’s really dark in the backyard. And what’s that noise? It’s coming from the bushes. Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! Scrunch! Scrunch! Scrunch! Will an unexpected visitor ruin the Bradford Street Buddies campout under the stars? Grab a flashlight and find out in this neighborhood adventure.
Flat Stanley Goes Camping
Elementary-school kids love Jeff Brown’s classic character, Flat Stanley—the amazing paper-thin boy who can slide under doors, fly like a kite, and travel by mail.
In his latest fun-filled adventure, Flat Stanley Goes Camping, Stanley and the Lambchop family take a trip to the woods. It gets a little scary when Stanley and his brother, Arthur, run away from a skunk—and straight toward the edge of a cliff!
Flat Stanley Goes Camping is an I Can Read book designed to engage and excite child readers. It is a Level 2 book, which means it is perfect for kids who are starting to read on their own but still need some help.
Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping
Ever since Amelia Bedelia made her debut in 1963, young readers have been laughing out loud at the antics of this literal-minded but charming housekeeper.
Amelia Bedelia has never been camping in the great outdoors before. She’s trying her best to do exactly as she’s told, but pitching a tent is not the same as throwing it into the bushes, and catching a fish with your bare hands isn’t easy. As usual, the mixed-up housekeeper makes Amelia Bedelia Goes camping one hugely entertaining adventure. This Level 2 I Can Read is perfect for kids who read on their own but still need a little help.
“No child can resist Amelia [Bedelia] and her literal trips through the minefield of the English language—and no adult can fail to notice that she’s usually right when she’s wrong.”—The New York Times Book Review
Maisy Goes Camping: A Maisy First Experience Book
Five in the tent! A camping trip with Maisy turns into a slapstick comedy of errors in this hilarious picture-book adventure.
When Maisy sets off to go camping in the country, it’s only natural that all her friends come along, too. But they soon find that pitching a tent is not an easy thing to do. Even if they do manage to keep the tent up, there’s the matter of fitting them all in — Maisy, Charley, Cyril, Tallulah, and finally, the huge elephant, Eddie. What a squeezy squish-squash! Goodnight, campers! Uh-oh-what’s that popping sound? Read Maisy Goes Camping to find out.
(A children’s Book on Camping Featuring RVs, Travel Trailers, Fifth-Wheels, Pop-UPs, and Other Camper Options.)
“Goodnight, Campsite” is an award-winning children’s book on camping, featuring more than tents. Our book highlights RVs – Travel Trailers, Fifth-Wheels, Pop-Ups, Class A, Class C, and other camper options.
The perfect gift for RVers, especially those looking for kids camping books or camping books for toddlers.
“Goodnight, Campsite” is set in a beautiful nature park, and the story follows visitors as they explore the park during the day (hiking, biking, fishing, etc.). Then the story returns with the adventurers to their campsite at night. There is an emphasis on RVs, which sets this title apart from other camping books on the market, which only feature tents.
Preschool-aged children will love the beautiful and colorful pictures – and searching for the squirrel hiding in the pictures. Rhyming text will keep children engaged, as they build sound associations and phonemic skills.
Also included in the book is a Campsite Bingo game!
Visit www.goodnightcampsite.com for more information and free printable camping activities.
The Berenstain Bears Go To Camp
This beloved story is a perfect way to get your own little cubs ready for an adventurous summer at camp.
Come for a visit in Bear Country with this classic First Time Book® from Stan and Jan Berenstain. Join Brother and Sister as they head to Grizzly Bob’s Day Camp for the very first time. The cubs will get to play soccer, go swimming, kayak, and even make crafts! The Berenstain Bears Go To Camp also includes over 50 bonus stickers.
Sam, Pam, Will, and Jill are crocodile friends with a camping plan but not much know-how. They get lost on their way to the campsite, get attacked by a swarm of bees, get all mixed up while trying to assemble their tent, and then get so frightened by nighttime shadows that their campout is in danger of fizzing out.
But all ends well, as it always does for this happy go- lucky crew. Camping Day is a breezy summer story that’s ideally pitched for prereaders or brand-new ones (as Booklist said of its predecessor, Rainy Day!).
When We Go Camping
When We Go Camping is a beautifully illustrated book, in which one busy family finds lots to do from sun up to sunset. At the campsite, there’s wood to chop for the fire and fish to catch. And there’s lots of time to explore, climb rocks, splash in the lake, and discover animals in the shadows of the woods. As afternoon turns to evening, supper needs to be made, and just before bed, stories are told around the campfire.
Camping Books For Kids: Grades 5 to 9
Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping: All you need to know about having fun in the outdoors
Where can I go camping? What gear should I take with me? What fun stuff is there to do? Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping has the answers for you! Plus, this book has a real working compass inside to help you navigate through the wilderness.
If you’re like most kids who love the outdoors, you want to do more than go on picnics or hike a nature trail. You don’t want to go home at the end of the day. You want to stay out in the woods, mountains, or desert. What you want to do is camp! With Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping, you’ll learn how to make roughing it easy. Inside are great tips for choosing the best campsite and setting up your home away from home. Once you’re done reading this book, you’ll know why you may want to get a self-supporting 4-season tent or a “mummy” sleeping bag with a specific comfort rating. You’ll know how to pitch your tent, build a fire, make a meal, and entertain yourself after it gets dark. And maybe most importantly, you’ll know exactly what to do when “nature calls” and there are no bathrooms around!
The more you learn about camping, the more fun you’ll have on your next camping adventure. So read the book, and then head for the great outdoors and use the compass to help you find your way. Happy camping!
The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks
Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein captures the majestic redwoods of Yosemite in the little-known but important story of The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a trip to Yosemite. Camping by themselves in the uncharted woods, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment of our National Parks.
Spooky Campfire Stories: Outdoor Myths And Tales For All Ages
A family-friendly collection of some of the most classic and entertaining scary stories–perfect to share around the campfire. The stories in Campfire Tales For Kids can be read aloud or easily retold; either way, your fellow campers may want to sleep with your flashlight on.
Curious Kids Nature Guide: Explore the Amazing Outdoors of the Pacific Northwest
Filled with fun facts and 100 full-color, beautiful, and scientifically accurate illustrations, this nature guide will inspire kids to go outdoors and discover the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest.
Did you know that baby raccoons are smaller than a bar of soap? Or that salmon smell using little pits in the front of their eyes? Curious Kids Nature Guide is filled with full-color illustrations and fun facts about the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest, encouraging kids to discover and explore nature in their own backyards and beyond. Organized by habitat–forest, beach, freshwater, and backyards and urban parks–this book will teach kids about some of the most intriguing flora, fauna, and natural phenomena of the region while also sharing ecological lessons.
Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival
Anyone can get lost while camping or on a hike and Survivor Kid teaches young adventurers the survival skills they need if they ever find themselves lost or in a dangerous situation in the wild. Written by a search and rescue professional and lifelong camper, it’s filled with safe and practical advice on building shelters and fires, signaling for help, finding water and food, dealing with dangerous animals, learning how to navigate, and avoiding injuries in the wilderness. Ten projects include building a simple brush shelter, using a reflective surface to start a fire, testing your navigation skills with a treasure hunt, and casting animal tracks to improve your observation skills.
The Sign of the Beaver
Although he faces responsibility bravely, thirteen-year-old Matt is more than a little apprehensive when his father leaves him alone to guard their new cabin in the wilderness. When a renegade white stranger steals his gun, Matt realizes he has no way to shoot game or to protect himself. When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand their way of life and their growing problem in adapting to the white man and the changing frontier.
Elizabeth George Speare’s Newbery Honor-winning survival story, The Sign Of The Beaver, is filled with wonderful detail about living in the wilderness in the 1700s. Now with an introduction by Joseph Bruchac.
My Side of the Mountain
My Side Of The Mountain tells the story of Sam. Terribly unhappy in his family’s crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude-and danger-of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.
Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson, haunted by his secret knowledge of his mother’s infidelity, is traveling by single-engine plane to visit his father for the first time since the divorce. When the plane crashes, killing the pilot, the sole survivor is Brian. He is alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present.
At first, consumed by despair and self-pity, Brian slowly learns survival skills—how to make a shelter for himself, how to hunt and fish and forage for food, how to make a fire—and even finds the courage to start over from scratch when a tornado ravages his campsite. When Brian is finally rescued after fifty-four days in the wild, he emerges from his ordeal with new patience and maturity, and a greater understanding of himself and his parents.
In Be Prepared, all Vera wants to do is fit in―but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range―Russian summer camp.
Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!
The Swiss Family Robinson
“For many days we had been tempest-tossed…the raging storm increased in fury until on the seventh day all hope was lost.”
From these dire opening lines, a timeless story of adventure begins. One family will emerge alive from this terrible storm: the Robinsons—a Swiss pastor, his wife, and four sons, plus two dogs and a shipload of livestock. Inspired by Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, this heartwarming tale portrays a family’s struggle to create a new life on a strange and fantastic tropical island. There each boy must learn to utilize his own unique nature as their adventures lead to difficult challenges and amazing discoveries, including a puzzling message tied to an albatross’s leg. But it is in the ingenuity and authenticity of the family itself, and the natural wonders of this exotic land that have made The Swiss Family Robinson, first published at the beginning of the nineteenth century, one of the most enduring and imitated stories of shipwreck and survival.
So, there you have it, the Redheaded Patti “Camping Books For Kids” top picks and I hope you and your family will enjoy them. If I’ve missed a fabulous camping book for kids, please share it in the comments below.