Family Camping Checklist – Must Have Items When Camping As A Family

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Written By Jay Clatworthy

Off Grid Camping contributor.

Family Camping Checklist - Must Have Items When Camping As A Family

Why is camping good for the family?

Camping together with the family is the best way to reconnect with one another. It is one of the opportunities where families can have quality time with little to no distractions, and they can take a break from technology, work, or school.

According to statistics, teenagers enjoy camping because they see their parents unwinding.

Time will come when children grow up, and parents grow old. That is why it’s best to make meaningful memories while it’s still possible, and that can be established through camping out. 

Camping is, by definition, a physically demanding activity. It takes energy to set up tents, prepare food, and gather wood for a fire. It’s one way of exercising and maintaining good physical health.

One of the joys of camping is that it offers new outdoor skills. Grandparents and parents have a wealth of information to pass on to younger generations. Camping trips are just one of those occasions where they can impart some of that knowledge.

Pitching a tent together, cooking outside, and making a campfire are valuable survival skills and milestones. 

Lastly, the best approach to start new traditions with the family is to go camping. Having something to look forward to once in a while is a great way to lighten up anyone’s spirits. This is the most significant time to create any traditions that the family can remember as they grow older.

Must have items when camping as a family

Sleeping bags

It is advisable to invest in good quality sleeping bags to have a good night’s sleep. Technically, tent campers sleep on the ground, so having sleeping bags around helps to add a bit of cushion to provide more comfort.

There are many different sleeping bags to choose from, and it is important to know what they are and when they are best used.

Some perform best in hot climates, while others keep you warm when the temperature drops. You could end up shivering or sweating all night if you go camping with the wrong sleeping bag.

Right tent for your family

When it comes to tents, it’s a no-brainer to invest in waterproof ones to be prepared for any unexpected turn of weather events. Camping tents come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s important to choose a suitable tent for your family as this widely affects comfort. 

There are a variety of tents to choose from, which include:

  1. Basic ridge tents
  2. Dome tents
  3. Tunnel tents
  4. Geodesic tents
  5. Cabin tents
  6. Pyramid-shaped tents
  7. Multi-room tents
  8. Inflatable tents
  9. Pop up/instant tents

Cooking essentials and lots of food

Unlike a home kitchen, camping kitchens are scaled-down. Going camping with the family means having to prepare your own meals, so it is important to bring in kitchenware and utensils.

There aren’t many places around where you can buy food when you’re out in the woods, and you can’t always rely on pre-packed meals or canned products.

Planning meals ahead and investing in good kitchen equipment might just make any camping experience worthwhile. You would need all the energy you can get to fuel your body.

First-aid and hygiene kits

By nature, camping is an adventure. This entails being ready for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so having a first-aid kit on hand is essential. Although it is preferable to travel small when camping, first-aid supplies should never be overlooked.

On the other hand, hygiene kits help maintain proper hygiene while on the road or in the woods. Warm showers or bubble baths are simple pleasures at home that cannot always be made possible while camping, but this doesn’t mean that hygiene should be compromised.

Carrying a hygiene kit around doesn’t only keep you clean and fresh, but it also prevents the spread of infection. 

Survival tools

Camping is all about survival skills. It’s a primitive way of living. For instance, an ax would be useful to chop up firewood. Other items to consider packing for camping are fire starters, pocket knives, a compass, flashlight, and maps, all of which are critical survival items to have on hand, especially if the trip is longer than a few days. These tools might just come in handy. 

Tips for camping with kids

Prepare their meals early

It will be exhausting to cook meals after a long drive; that’s why preparing them ahead of time will make the evening routine much easier. Kids are picky eaters, and it’s essential to take into consideration the foods they want to eat.

Once you’re out in the woods, it’s challenging to find an accessible grocery store to buy ingredients for when your kids want something else to eat.

Preparing ahead of time will prevent this problem from happening. Also, in this way, kids can eat whenever they choose since their meals are already prepared, and it would just need a few minutes in the fire for reheating.

Prepare fun games and bring their toys

Being a kid is one of the best times in life. They are always bursting with energy. Being out in the nature, they play with dirt, pebbles, and bugs to keep them entertained.

However, after a while they will get tired of it—the thrill will disappear. Unlike adults, it is often more difficult for children to appreciate the countless benefits of being outside, so it’s up to the parents to show it to them.

Packing a tub full of camping-friendly, electronic-free toys, board games, or any other types of entertainment they may spend their time on is the best way to keep kids from growing bored and wanting to go home.

As a parent, it’s a good idea to think of kid-friendly activities that you may offer to your children while camping. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Bring baby wipes or antibacterial wipes

When you need to wipe down the kids but don’t have time to give them a full bath, it’s preferable to use baby wipes or non-toxic antibacterial wipes instead of loading them with hand sanitizers.