A complete guide to family camping: essentials and hacks

The most awesome thing about camping is that you basically just need to love nature. All the other stuff can be tailored to your particular preferences and circumstances! Moreover, no matter the style of camping you find best – staying at a campground and relying on its infrastructure or camping out wild and free – there are some basics you can’t do without. In this article, we’ll have a thorough look at how you go camping with your whole family, what essentials are a must-have, and some hacks that will make this experience comfortable, safe and unforgettable. Let’s dive in.

The quintessential camping checklist

  1. A tent. Duh. No camping trip has ever been complete without a tent! Make sure to choose the finest one depending on which season it is, how long you intend to camp out and how many people are staying with you. It’s a no-brainer that the bigger a family, the harder it is to find something to fit your needs perfectly. Let’s say you want the best 6-person tent with a vestibule, and there are so many things to consider that it’s preferable to get advice from professionals: they’ll make sure to take everything into account. It’s not just that 6 people need space. It has to be easy to pitch, well-ventilated, waterproof, and much more!
  2. A tent stove. Keeping you warm and dry in chilly weather as well as cooking right in the tent – that’s what you need this bad boy for. Double-check for heat-resistant panels for stoves, as it’s a game changer. You may choose glass panels and enjoy not only the soothing sound of crackling wood but also watch it burn inside. A mesmerizing experience for adults, leave alone children! You also need to ensure that a particular stove, no matter how cool looking, suits the design of your tent.
  3. Campfire must-haves: wood, charcoal, lighters, cooking kit and matches. Even when you camp at a private campground, you still have to make sure you bring that stuff, and moreover, you’ll have to calculate the number of supplies based on the length of your trip. Having these essentials is what provides you with food and warmth, so they’re definitely at the top 3 of our list and should be on yours as well.
  4. Sleeping bags. You are not completely cozy and even safe in your tent without proper sleeping bags. Apart from the obvious aspect of making the kind of environment you’re spending the night at not so different from your bedroom, a sleeping bag protects you against cold, moist, and even bugs and reptiles, so neither you nor the kids have to worry about some unpleasant guests crawling in your tent at night!
  5. Sources of light. Though it’s fantastic to observe the night sky filled with stars, campers must know that lack of light may actually cause considerable inconvenience and danger: a badly-lit campsite is like an invitation for wild predators. In order to keep everybody safe, remember to bring flashlights and lanterns. You may even decorate the tent with lights: kids would absolutely love the activity!
  6. Flasks and bottles. A water supply system is definitely a luxury at most campsites, leave alone in the wild and staying hydrated, cooking food, washing the dishes, and so on are integral to proper camping. Don’t forget your water bottles!
  7. Clothes and blankets. This one seems self-evident but what most fail to recognize is the importance of appropriate, comfy, and warm yet breathable clothes, as well as not forgetting to always have extra with you. We’re talking an extra pair of basically everything. You need at least two long sleeves to wear during the day and to bed, extra underwear, minimum of two pairs of socks, and that’s just the bare necessities. Don’t underestimate the weather’s changeability and people’s clumsiness: you might get something dirty or wet, so it’s better to be on the safe side and think this through. Blankets can also become a life-or-death item to have on your camping trip: they keep you warm and cozy during chilly evenings and nights.

With acquiring a rough idea of the main things to consider before embarking on a camping adventure AND having your family tag along, you may also want to take a look at some hacks that’ll make it an unforgettable experience. These hacks seem like something so minuscule, yet if you apply them on your little (or not so little) getaway, we promise it’ll make everything much easier to handle!

Tips and tricks for a fire family-bonding campout:

  1. Arrive before dark. First things first, you don’t want to pitch a tent in complete darkness and be rushed around by exhausted and already sleepy family members. Arriving at the campsite in the morning is key: you’ll have plenty of time to find your spot and get everything ready without haste and really enjoy those preparation moments.
  2. Make your tent site clean. It means removing anything like pinecones, rocks, sticks, and so on to ensure a flat area to sleep on. This may be a fairly long and tedious task, but imagine not doing that and having to put up with stuff poking you back in the middle of the night.
  3. Bring LOTS of bug repellent and sunscreen. People often seem to forget that these two things are what makes camping actually enjoyable, especially if you have young children and don’t want them to be annoyed at mosquitos constantly biting them or getting sunburnt and, either way, dreading nature altogether!
  4. Pre-cook as much as possible. Yes, you have that handy-dandy tent stove but having to spend time chopping vegetables and marinating the meat and so on takes so much time you’d rather spend having fun with your family, right?
  5. Buy solar-powered string lights. You will not have to worry about access to electricity or to bring in extra batteries. Nonetheless, your tent and campsite will be beautifully lit in the evening.

Now, equipped with the list of essentials as well as hacks, the camping experience with your family is bound to be a success!

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