Camping trips are an amazing time to bond with your children, learn something new about your partner, and get a little dirty along the way. There’s something magical about turning off your phone, roughing it outdoors, and just enjoying the serenity of each other.
To prepare for the perfect camping trip, there are a few essentials that you must bring. Here, we’ll share the ultimate camping packing list for your family trip to ensure that you stay safe, comfortable, and have fun while doing it.
The Camping Gear
Obviously, the first thing you should pack when going camping is your gear. What you bring will depend on the weather conditions, how long the trip will be, and what type of camping you prefer. RV camping will require different gear than camping with a pop-up camper or just camping in a good old tent. Below are some essential pieces of gear that you can’t leave home without when planning your trip:
A tent - You’re going to need a place to sleep while camping! When we say tent, we also mean all of the components that go with your tent (don’t miss a single pole!). Your tent may come equipped with a waterproof top, poles, stakes, a cover for the ground under your tent, and an extra tarp. Bring it all to be well prepared.
Your Pack - After your tent, your pack is the most important piece of camping gear you should bring. How else are you going to carry everything you need to survive out in the wilderness for a few days? Your trip will determine the type of pack you should bring. For example, a rock climbing trip will call for a specialized mountaineering pack, while you should be fine with just a duffel bag for a short weekend trip.
Sleeping bags - In addition to your tent, you don’t want to forget your sleeping bags for you and the kids! If you have room, you could also bring along an air mattress (and repair kit in case it pops) for even more comfort. There are specialty air mattresses made for camping that are designed to fit into tents. Don’t forget the extra pillows and blankets, too.
Flashlights - Flashlights are crucial when camping because they'll be your only light source to stay safe after dark. You could bring different types of flashlights, such as ones with batteries, solar-powered flashlights, or ones that you can charge in your car. Even more savvy campers might even bring a lantern with extra fuel to really light up the camp site.
Technology - Although camping is a great time to disconnect, it may be helpful to pack some kind of technology in case your young children get scared or restless. Technologies to pack may include tablets, cell phones, mp3 players, or portable CD players.
The Cooking Utensils for Camping
Equally important as your camping gear is your food and what you’ll use to prepare your food while camping. There likely won’t be many stores around the site, so pack everything that you might need ahead of time to make sure everyone in the family is well-fed. Here are some cooking essentials you’ll need on your camping trip:
A stove - You’ll want some way to cook your food while camping, and a little portable stove is perfect. You can cook a number of meals on this outdoors stove, including eggs and bacon for breakfast, steak dinners, hamburgers, hot dogs, and much more. No one said that you can’t have delicious food, even while camping! Don’t forget the fuel for the stove, as well.
A pot - You’ll also need a pot to boil water and cook food while you’re camping. This is a camping essential for the whole family.
A frying pan - Mm, we can almost smell the bacon sizzling in the morning. There’s nothing quite as good as freshly cooked breakfast and waking up with the sunrise in the middle of nowhere.
French press or coffee maker for camping - To go with that freshly fried up bacon, don’t forget to bring a way to make your morning cup of Joe. French presses are great for camping because all you need are coffee grounds, boiling water and a mug.
It’s nearly impossible to include everything you’ll need for your successful camping trip, but here are more suggestions:
- Food storage (plastic containers or bags)
- Trash bags
- Water bottles
- Plates and cups
- Cutting board
- Sponges and dish towels
- Biodegradable soap
- Paper towels
- Washing bin
A Camping Grocery List
Now that you know everything to bring to cook your food, let’s look at some common food to bring. Again, every camping trip will be different, but having an essential grocery list will be great for the whole family. Here are our favorite grocery items to bring:
Breakfast - Pack some bacon, pancake mix, milk, cereal, fresh fruit, and oatmeal. Check out these breakfast recipes that are perfect for adventures on the road.
Lunch - Lunch is what’s going to get you through the day while camping, so make sure to bring stuff for sandwiches, wraps, and plenty of snacks! A campfire and tinfoil are going to be your best friend for making tasty camping meals.
Dinner - When you go camping, you can’t miss the classics like burgers, hot dogs, spaghetti, and roasted veggies and potatoes. These dinner favorites taste so delicious when cooked over an open flame. And don’t forget the s’mores supplies! Your whole family will love indulging in those gooey treats.
Camping is a chance to take a break from our daily routines and spend time with family. Before you hit the road, make sure your car service is up to date and don’t forget to bring the best car seat protector if you have the children. Head out completely prepared to spend more time having fun on your outdoors adventure and less time stressing about the details.