It must be the age that our kids are but as I've been talking with friends who have children of a similar age there is a theme that at some point this summer the majority of us are heading of camping, some more local than others to try it out but we're jumping in feet first and doing it. We're the same, although I'm a seasoned camper - I lived in a tent on a beach in Greece for over a month, yes just me and my little one-person tent and my backpack but the kids have never stepped in a tent and my husband has spent two night under canvas. So here's our guide to Family Camping and what you actually need to pack.
Now there is no way that 4 of us and a dog - yes within the UK our lovely greyhound will be joining us - will fit into the tent I travelled with so I recently invested in the last year model (yes tents have last year models who knew!) that was a fraction of the cost of this years model tents and we're heading off in just over a week. But we've got to get everything, gone are the days when I can raid our family camping supplies, now we must own the family camping supplies but we don't want to break the bank there is always a chance that the kids or my husband won't enjoy camping.
Family Camping Checklist
But what do you really need for camping if you go into a camping store (and believe me I've done this recently) there is so many options and even simple things like sleeping bags and air mattresses come in such a wide range of prices that they are positively daunting and as you add up everything that the ever so helpful sales assistant and expert in camping and outdoors tells you, you need to start thinking about taking out a second mortgage. So we've broken it down and here's the list of exactly what you will need for an enjoyable camping trip with the family. To make it easy you can download the checklist as well here.
- A tent big enough for your family
- Mallet - a shoe won't hit those pegs in unless you're pitching on sand
- Spare pegs - you're bound to have lost some or bend some as you pitch
- Sleeping Bags
- Air mattress/Sleep Mat
- Pump for your air mattress if you are using one
- Pots and Pans
- Cooking utensils
- Cutlery for eating
- Plates, Bowls and Mugs
- Cool Box and Ice Blocks unless you plan on eating out
- Water container
- Dish Cloth, Sponge, Washing Up Liquid
- Washing Up Bowl
- Tin Opener and Bottle Opener
- Toilet Paper
- Table and Chairs
- Mini First Aid Kit
- Supplies of essential repair equipment, cable ties, string, duct tape and sewing kit
Check the weather before you go and pack your essential clothing based on that in the UK it can be so changeable even in the middle of Summer so remember to have your warm weather stuff, as well as summer stuff and waterproof clothes, are essential. I also pack a blanket to go over my sleeping bag as nights can still be a little chilly and we would normally have a couple in the car anyhow.
If you are camping with toddlers then there are few extras that it's good to bring and we've got your covered - head over to our Top Tips for Camping with Toddlers to find out our advice and what we recommend for your next family camping trip with the little ones in your life.
Speaking of changeable weather check out these ideas of simple activities to do with the kids when it rain whilst you are camping!
Check out our recipes for camping that we have tried and tested with the kids for inspiration of what you can cook.