When it’s not camping season, you want something to tide the little ones over so they keep their interest in the great outdoors.
That’s where a good book comes in.
Sometimes, a great adventure book is exactly the kind of thing that’ll get your kid begging you to pack up the car and hit the road together for a weekend in nature.
Doesn’t that sound a whole lot better than the screen they’re always looking at?
Yep, we agree.
If you’re looking to ignite your child’s passion for reading, or get them excited about the beauty of nature, you’re going to want to check out these amazing camping books for kids.
15 Best Camping Books for Kids
We've broken this section into multiple parts: chapter books for kids who like to read on their own (don’t worry, even if they don’t like to read now, they will with one of these in their hands), and picture books for younger children.
We’ve also included the best survival guides if your kid is looking for something more technical, and a few books for preschoolers if you’re planning a read aloud.
Chapter Books (Ages 6-12)
1. The Campground Kids by C.R. Fulton
The Campground Kids series blends all the excitement of thrilling mystery, survival, challenge, and rescue with the sweeping beauty of America’s greatest National Parks.
The first book in the series, Grand Teton Stampede follows 12-year-old Isaiah Rawlings and his friends as they uncover the real cause of a massive stampede the night before.
The Campground Kids series features characters your kid will follow as they travel through the National Parks (books 2 and 3 are set in the Smoky Mountains and Zion).
These books are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, and they’re especially great if you’re planning on visiting one of the parks featured in the books. The descriptions are so vivid, your child will appreciate even more what they’re seeing when you’re actually in the park.
And if you’re not planning a trip to one of the Nation Parks? Well...you may have to book some tickets after your kid finishes the first book in the Campground Kids series. It’s just that good.
2. Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
Be Prepared is actually a graphic novel, so it’s an excellent choice for apprehensive readers, or kids who process stories visually.
While all her so-called friends head off to the rich kids camp, Vera is stuck going to a second-rate camp where she has to juggle drama and learn to embrace herself.
Available in hardcover and paperback, Be Prepared is a compelling and uplifting read for kids aged 8-10.
3. Greyson Grey: Camp Legend by B.C. Tweedt
This popular series is jam-packed with action. Greyson Grey goes off to sports camp for the summer and is forced to make tough decisions to help stop mysterious forces of evil.
When he could make a bad decision, he ultimately chooses what’s right. And for that, he becomes a living-legend.
If you’re looking for a story that teaches morals, the entire Greyson Grey series is a must-read. This book is best suited for pre-teens (9-12), and your kid will absolutely love the fast-paced energy.
4. Camping Journal for Kids by Kim Andrews
So this isn’t so much a chapter book as it is a series of journal prompts, but it earns a spot on our list because it’s such an invaluable addition to any camping trip.
Not only does it help your kid learn to love writing, but they’ll also clarify their thoughts and crystalize memories that will last a lifetime.
But it’s not just a journal. Camping Journal for Kids is filled with interesting facts and useful information that may come in handy when your kid is out in nature.
Camping Guides for Kids
5. America’s National Parks by Alexa Ward and Mike Lowery
What a way to explore America’s 60 National Parks! This illustrated guide to the National Park system (made by Lonely Planet---the famous guidebook series), dives into all the fun facts about the most beautiful land in the world.
Your child will learn about the animals, vegetation, and the history of geological formations found across the country.
If your kid is a budding scientist, this book will be nearly impossible to put down.
And if you’re going to a specific National Park, America’s National Parks makes an excellent companion with the Campground Kids series. Once they’re hooked on that good story, they’ll want to know everything they can about the next National Park they’re headed to.
6. Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping by Cherie Winner
Filled with amazing information like how to pick the best campsite and how to build a fire, Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping is a must-have for teaching your kid the basics of the outdoors.
We wish we had this book when we were kids, because the skills taught in this book will stay with your child throughout their entire life.
7. Ultimate Survivor Guide for Kids by Rob Colson
I’m willing to bet that when you were a kid, quicksand seemed like a pretty terrifying ordeal. But you know exactly how to get out of it, don’t you?
Well, the Ultimate Survivor Guide for Kids by Rob Colson is exactly the kind of book kids love. This book details 24 emergency situations and gives survival checklists, “fast facts,” “life savers,” and alternate scenarios so that your child is ready for anything.
Some of the emergencies are a little far-fetched (like quicksand), but others are extremely important, like what to do if you’re lost on a hike, or what to do if you’re bitten by a snake.
This book also details some basic survival skills like finding food in the wild, tying knots, and how to build a fire.
8. The Young Adventurer’s Guide to (Almost) Everything by Ben Hewitt and Luke Boushee
As much as you were looking forward to teaching your kid how to poop in the woods, you don’t have to. The Young Adventurer’s Guide to (Almost) Everything has you covered.
This book is a little less “emergency-focused” than the Ultimate Survivor Guide for Kids, and a little more everyday-practical. For instance: how to poop in the woods.
But there are also some other useful tips like how to find your way home without a GPS, and what to do if you’re being chased by bees.
Picture Books (Ages 3 - 5)
9. Flashlight by Lizi Boyd
Flashlight is entirely images---no words. It’s perfect for imaginative kids who are interested in exploration. With beautiful illustrations, this picture book makes for a fun parent-child activity.
10. Camp Tiger by Susan Choi and John Rocco
Camp Tiger made the New York Public Library’s 2019 list of best books for kids, and there’s a good reason why: it blends lyrical prose with stunning illustrations. And the story has unexpected twists and turns you don’t normally find in simple read aloud books like this.
11. Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische
Set around a campground, this book by award-winning illustrator Jessica Hische is a stunning visual work that will definitely leave an impression on your child.
The words are uplifting and affirming: this book gives you a chance to discuss courage, adventure, creativity, and confidence with your kid, and that’s never a bad thing.
12. The Dowd’s Adventures: Summer Camping by Dineo Dowd
Summer Camping centers around what your little one can do to help you set up camp. What a concept, right?
This is the perfect book to help explain all the little details of what goes into preparing for a fun camping trip, and how little helpful acts can add up. Also, if you have a dog, your kid will love this book.
Camping Books for Preschoolers
13. A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen
Mr. Magee is back at it again! And this time he’s bringing his dog, Dee along for a ride in their camper van. When they meet a marshmallow loving bear in the woods, things get pretty wild.
14. Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Melanie Watt
So maybe your kid isn’t gung-ho about camping. Maybe they’re a little anxious. If so, the Scaredy Squirrel series is amazing for them, as Scaredy Squirrel shows how to live with a bit of discomfort and still have a fun time. There are 9 books in the Scaredy Squirrel series, but Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping focuses entirely on the trepidations your child may have with the great outdoors.
15. Curious George Goes Camping by H.A. Ray
Classic. Curious George Goes Camping introduces your kid to a character you probably grew up loving. This book also comes with fun activities you can do with your kid if you’re out camping.
Expect equal parts charm and outrageousness from Curious George. You know he’s always good for it.
Are There Any Books that will Teach My Kid to Camp?
The most practical book for camping specifically is Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping. There are a few survival tips, but it also covers basics like how to pick the perfect campsite and how to pitch a tent.
But if you’re looking for something that’s a little more story-driven, books like Grand Teton Stampede weave in a mystery narrative and also teach little tips and tricks your kiddo can make use of out in the wild.
And really, why not pick up both? You’ll wish you had more books once you hit the third hour of driving to the campground.
Ready to go Camping?
We hope you’re ready to go camping.
Because once your kid gets their hands on one of these books, they’re going to beg you to pack the car up and hit the road.
Whether you want an exciting chapter book that introduces them to America’s beautiful National Parks like Grand Teton Stampede and the entire “Campground Kids” series by C.R. Fulton, or you want something more technical, there’s a book on this list that will ignite your child’s passion for reading.
What books are popular with 9 year old kids?
The Campground Kids series is popular with 9 year old kids. These three books follow a group of young adventurers as they solve mysteries in America’s National Parks. The stories are fun and exciting, and they’ll learn a bit about nature along the way.
What are the best camping books for kids?
For fiction, our favorite camping book for kids is Grand Teton Stampede by C.R. Fulton. For non-fiction, We like Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping by Cherie Winner.