Everything you need on your family camping checklist
If you are planning a family camping trip then you want to rock up with the right camping equipment. Whether you are checking your camping gear ahead of the season or are going camping for the first time, here is our family camping checklist with everything you need for your holiday under canvas.
Planning a camping holiday during COVID-19? Here’s some tips for safe camping.
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What do you need for camping?
It’s a good question that anyone planning their first camping trip should ask. You may be carrying your own equipment or have very limited space in your vehicle.
Overpacking is a real problem. I’ve put together this list with that conundrum in mind. It’s split into the essential equipment you need for camping, some extra luxury items, groceries and things you’ll need to consider packing when camping with kids.
Essential camping equipment list
This is your list of essential camping equipment – don’t leave home without these!
- Tent, including all poles and pegs
- Camping box*
- Mole grips* for pulling pegs
- Water container* and pipe
- Camping stove
- Electric cool box*
- Cooking utensils*
- Pots and pans*
- Mugs and plastic glasses
- Bottle opener*
- A sharp knife and cutting board*
- Washing up bowl*
- Tea towel
- Folding camping table*
- Folding chairs*
- Solar lights* to put around your guy ropes
- First aid kit*
- Fire extinguisher and blanket*
Sleeping gear for camping
If you are camping in a tent you’re going to need more of these items than you would if you were camping in a van or caravan. Here’s what you need for camping in a tent:
Luxuries to pack for camping
If you don’t mind filling your car with camping equipment, here’s some extras you might like to add to your family camping checklist for comfort and convenience:
- Electric hook up cable*
- Portable washing line*
- Portable toilet* and toilet liquids
- Tent carpet*
- Tent organiser*
Check out our 10 simple camping tips for advice on how to pack your car.
Groceries for your camping trip
It’s easy to pick up groceries on the way to your campsite or when you get there, but you can save yourself time and money if you take some groceries from home. Here’s some of the kitchen basics on our camping essentials list:
- Kitchen roll
- Toilet roll
- Tea and coffee
- Cooking oil spray
- Squash/fruit cordial
- Cling film
- Tin foil
- Breakfast cereal
- Washing up liquid and sponge
- Antibacterial wipes or spray
- Bin bags
- Hand wash
- Washing detergent.
If you are planning your menu before your trip take a look at these camping food ideas.
Must-haves for family camping
If you are camping with kids then we can recommend adding these practical items to your family camping checklist:
- Sun cream
- Insect repellant
- Hayfever medication
- Sun hats
- Swimming costumes
- Warm blankets
- Picnic blanket*
- Layered clothing
- Camping games
- Pencils, colouring pens and paper
- Wellington boots
- Hiking shoes
- Bikes or scooters
- Camping games.
Must-haves for camping with toddlers and babies
Some of our first family holidays were in our caravan. Here are the essentials for camping with toddler and babies that we always packed:
- Nappy bags
- Rash cream
- Baby wipes
- Milton cold water steriliser* bucket and tablets
- Compact travel stroller*
- Baby/toddler carrier*
- Travel cot*
- Floor seat*
- Portable highchair*
For more packing lists for travel with babies, toddlers and children take a look at my ultimate guide to family holiday checklists.
Tips for camping with kids
If you are new to camping and even if you’re not, that first trip of the season needs some forward planning. Here’s some of our tip tips for camping with kids:
- make sure you seal or reseal your tent each season
- practice pitching it at home – you can check you have all the pegs and poles
- pack your tent last – it will mean it’s easy to get out the car when you arrive at your campsite
- Don’t forget torches and spare batteries
- Bring a potty and avoid nighttime dashes to the toilet block if you don’t have your own porta-potti.
Find more things to help you smash camping with kids in my full camping tips post.
More family camping checklists
Camping comes in many different shapes and sizes. If you are going glamping or away in a caravan, motorhome or camper van then you might also like to check out these other camping packing lists:
- What to pack in your camper van
- Glamping packing list
- Packing list for a mobile home holiday
- Caravan equipment checklist
You might also want to check out these common camping mistakes you can easily avoid.
More camping blog posts
Here’s some more caravan and camping blog posts you might enjoy:
- 10 tips for camping like a pro
- Our full guide to caravanning with kids
- A family guide to glamping with kids
- Caravan beds for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers
- What to pack for caravan holidays with babies
- Essentials for caravanning with a toddler
- Camping games
- What’s the difference between a caravan and camper van?
- Why get a camping trailer?
- Top tips for buying a camper van
- What to pack for a camper van holiday
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links marked with *. If you click on one of these and make a purchase I may earn some commission. This does not affect the price you pay.
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