If you’ve never been camping before, or at least not with children, the idea of preparing for the adventure might be scary. Which elements are necessary, and which may be skipped? Planning a family camping vacation does not have to be difficult. A useful family camping checklist can help you plan a trip. From selecting the right family camping supplies and all the creature comforts to organizing activities for everyone, Life in Tents provides this at-a-glance summary to help you start packing and planning the ultimate family camping trip, as well as some important advice to consider.
This is a simple family camping checklist. Choose from (and add to) the list to match your family’s particular needs.
Family Camping Tent
Choose the finest family camping tent size for your family camping vacation; making sure everyone has enough space to sleep and store camping goods (without being on top of one another) will make a family camping vacation a lot more enjoyable. Canvas bell tents are large and ideal for family camping.
- Ground cloth
- Entry Doormat
- Rainfly cover
- Fans – Use a camping tent fan in the summer to keep the family tent cool and bug-free, and a tent stove or heater in the cooler months.
Camp Furniture and Sleeping Essentials
Camp furniture, such as sleep cots, folding chairs, and hammocks, provide added comfort for parents and children, so include these in your family camping checklist. Extra Tip: Using a variety of sleeping setups allows you to conserve room in your tent.
- Cots and air mattresses – Make sure everyone has a good night’s sleep on their own sleeping pads, a camp cot, or an air mattress.
- Folding chairs – Bring one camp chair for each person to sit in or around the fire at night.
- Hammocks – Perfect for reading and napping in the afternoon!
- Sleeping bags/blankets – For a glamping experience, choose a suitably rated sleeping bag and a thick wool or down blanket.
- Sheets and pillows — Avoid cotton and go for moisture-wicking fabrics that will not sweat.
Flashlights and Other Lighting
A campsite’s lighting is very significant. It creates a well-lit trail around the space to avoid scraped knees, makes it safe for children to sleep at night, and produces a nice ambiance. Consider including the following camp lighting equipment on your family camping checklist:
- Headlamps and flashlights – One for each person and spare flashlights
If want to keep your camp meals simple; our camp kitchen is rather small. You can add on as needed.
- Camp stove& propane/butane
- Plates, cups & utensils (Plastic utensils help in keeping things easy.)
- Cooking utensils, pots & pans
- Cooler with ice
- Reusable water bottles for everyone
- For younger children, a portable high chair or booster seat
- Food items for meals, plus plenty of snacks
- S’mores supplies (graham crackers, marshmallows & chocolate)
- Water & other drinks of choice
- Formula or baby food for infants as needed
- Paper towel
- Trash bags
Meals and Snacks
Every family’s taste varies, we won’t go into detail about meal planning here. Keep perishable goods to a minimum when meal planning to avoid overfilling your cooler. Just remember to include the following items on your family camping checklist:
- Breakfasts – Pancakes, oatmeal, bacon and eggs
- Lunches – Think easy sandwiches or wraps, hamburgers, etc. Or grab some Mountain House adventure meals.
- Dinners – Round up your day with a full meal of grilled meats, hot dogs, or vegetarian burgers.
- Desserts – S’mores (a classic) or a simple apple crisp in your Dutch oven
- Snacks – Dried fruits, jerkies, granola, trail mix, or fruit.
- Condiments – Bring all of your favorite spices, such as ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.
- Coffee – Beans, grinder, filters, and a portable coffee maker
- Plenty of Water! – One gallon per person per day
Camp Bathroom and Toiletries
When there are no campsite facilities available for family camping, portable bathrooms are a useful option.
- Portable toilets – compostable toilet paper, hand sanitizer
- Portable showers – shampoo, soap, quick-dry towels
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Hairbrush& hair products
- Baby wipes
Each individual should bring an overnight backpack. Remember to dress for the season, but always double-check the weather, especially for rain and low temperatures at night. Remember to pick outdoor-appropriate textiles that are moisture-wicking, breathable, and give UPF protection when packing clothes for camping. It also doesn’t hurt to pack more than you think you’ll need so you don’t have to worry about your children getting a bit soiled.
- Shirts – Casual long-sleeve shirts and tees.
- Shorts – Pack a few pairs of breathable shorts
- Long pants or light leggings – Long pants protect legs during hikes
- Coats – Raincoats or wool coats
- Underwear or thermals
- Hiking boots and socks
- Sandals – For the shower and campsite
- Sleepwear and pajamas
- Sun protection – hats, bandanas, etc.
- Cold weather protection – Beanies, gloves, scarves, base layers
- Rain gear – Umbrellas, waterproof hat, rainboots
- Swimsuits, rashguards
- Laundry bag
Activities and Entertainment
Family camping vacations are an excellent opportunity for introducing children to nature and the great outdoors. Here are some more fun objects to improve the experience, whether day or night.
- Books/magazines – Think field guides and guides to constellations.
- Binoculars & telescopes – For spotting wildlife and stargazing.
- Cards, board games, coloring books/crayons
- Glow sticks
- Fishing rods, bait, licenses
- Music – Bluetooth speakers, downloaded LiT Spotify Playlists, instrument
It’s enjoyable to plan activities and pick out sleeping bags, but don’t forget to include the Essentials items to keep your family safe.
- First aid kit – Purchase a kit from an outdoor recreation retailer to guarantee that you have all of the outdoor-specific necessities.
- Emergency blankets
- Extra water
- Walkie-talkie radios – To keep track of kids’ whereabouts, they double for fun activities
- Personal medications – Epipens, allergy medicine, etc.
- Insect repellent
- Sun protection – Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats
- Extra batteries
We’ve already covered all of the essential family tent camping gear. Depending on your camping style, these are a few more items to consider adding to your checklist! Visit our website https://www.deermaple.com/ for complete camping gear varieties.