What equipment do we need as a family going camping?

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A downloadable family camping checklist of basics for people just getting started with camping, as well as some helpful beginning camping suggestions.

If you’ve never been camping before – or at least not with kids – the prospect of gearing up for the experience can be a little daunting. Which elements are necessary, and which may be skipped? Is there any way to assist keep prices in check? The starting point family camping checklist The list below is a fantastic place to start. But before you take a peek at the list, we have some tips to help determine your family’s camping needs.

1. Do you have time for a “trial run” of backyard camping?

Backyard camping can let you test your equipment to identify what is lacking. It’s also a terrific opportunity for youngsters to get a taste of what “genuine” camping is like. Make time for it before the’real’ event if you can.

Camping checklist for first time campers

2. Can you borrow supplies from friends or family?

We rented two different tents from friends before purchasing our own to see which would be ideal for our family. It’s also how I discovered that unless I wanted to wake up with terrible back pain, I should get an air mattress. You may be interested in our list of family camping essentials .

3. What is your camping style?

Which do you prefer: auto camping, RV camping, or backpacking? Do you expect to camp in warm weather, cold weather, or both? The answers to these questions will influence what supplies you bring.

4. Can you reuse any of your pre-kid camping equipment?

If you’ve camped before, you might be able to put your former gear to use (think: sleeping bags, sleeping pads and camp kitchen equipment). Reusing a few extra things here and there saves money over purchasing everything fresh.

Beginning Family Camping Checklist

This is our very basic family camping checklist. Pick and choose from (and add to) the list to meet your family’s specific needs – there is a printable copy of the checklist below so you can print and check off supplies to make sure you have everything you need.

The Basics

These items are your “must-have’s” – and usually your big ticket items as well. When required, borrow or invest.

  • Tent
  • Ground cover/tarp
  • Sleeping bags (or sheets & blankets)
  • Sleeping pads or air mattresses
  • Portable crib for younger kids
  • Pillows & kids’ favorite items for sleep time

Clothing & Helpful Equipment

This list may obviously vary based on when you camp, the resources accessible on-site (bathrooms, water, etc.), and the length of time you stay.

  • Clothing (plus plenty of extras for the kids!)
  • Pajamas
  • Jackets, hats & gloves (it gets cold at night)
  • Diapers/nappies (if applicable)
  • Camp chairs
  • Beach blanket
  • Baby wipes (which may be used for almost anything)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Toiletries (for each member of the family)
  • Toilet paper
  • Camp towels (one per person)
  • Flashlights/headlamps (one per person) (one per person) Fire starting tinder, kindling & firewood for the fire pit
  • Matches or lighter
  • Insect repellant

Camp Kitchen

We prefer to keep our camp meals simple, so our camp kitchen is pretty minimal. You may add on as necessary.

  • Camp stove & propane/butane
  • Utensils, plates, and glasses (plastic utensils help to keep it simple)
  • Cooking utensils, pots & pans
  • Cooler with ice
  • Reusable water bottles for everyone
  • For smaller children, a portable high chair or booster seat is recommended.
  • Food items for meals, plus plenty of snacks
  • S’mores ingredients (graham crackers, marshmallows & chocolate)
  • Water & other drinks of choice
  • Formula or baby food for infants as needed
  • Paper towel
  • Trash bags

Fun & Games

Most children do not need much amusement. Being active and outdoors is usually plenty enough excitement but these items may come in handy:

  • Bubbles
  • Glow sticks
  • Scavenger hunt list or camping bingo
  • Play tent
  • Favorite games, coloring books & crayons
  • Deck of cards
  • Field journal and writing/drawing implements
  • Books for bed time
  • Camera
  • Binoculars (for stargazing & wildlife spotting)
  • Fishing gear/license and bait

Related Questions

  • What is a must to carry on a camping trip?

    To set up your campsite, you’ll always need a shelter, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad, which helps with warmth. Additional objects, such as chairs and cushions, provide a layer of coziness. Likewise, before you pack, double-check your campground’s facilities.

  • How can I make camping fun for my whole family?

    33 Awesome Family Camping Hacks & Tips

    1. Use glow sticks as nightlights. …
    2. Arrive before dark. …
    3. Place dry firewood under your car. …
    4. Use fans inside your tent. …
    5. For cold weather, use a heater. …
    6. Remove large objects on your tent site. …
    7. DIY Camp Shower. …
    8. Solar-powered string lights.
  • Which of the equipment in camping is the most important?

    Since you will use these goods on every trip, it is always a good idea to prioritize them when allocating your camping-gear money.

    1. Sleeping Bag. …
    2. Water Bottle. …
    3. Flashlight. …
    4. Multitool. …
    5. Survival Kit. …
    6. Tent. …
    7. Water Purifier. …
    8. Camp Stove.
  • What is the 333 rule for camping?

    So, recapping, the RV 3-3-3 rule broken down is to 1) drive no more than 300 miles each travel day, 2) arrive no later than 3:00 p.m. and 3) stay parked for 3 days. This RV driving regulation contributes to the safety of your RV vacation. Nonetheless, you and your companions will appreciate the voyage as much as the goal.

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