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What to Bring on Your Family Camping Adventure

May 10, 2024

We’ve compiled a list of all our camping must-haves all in one place with shoppable Amazon links, you’re welcome 😉

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We’ve compiled a list of all our camping must-haves all in one place! We are excited to get out every chance we get this year and we will be bringing our two kids and two dogs with us. With a 4-year-old, we want to make sure we are prepared as much as possible. You can read about our summer plans here.

Tents: When shopping for tents consider the size and set up. Personally, we do favor the old pole style vs pop-ups, but if you are looking for a quick setup option then a pop-up style is for you. And take my word for it, but I always say that when it comes to size, a 2-person tent really is only enough space for 1 person, and a 4-person tent is better for 2. Of course I love my family but I also love my space when sleeping 😉

  • Here is the tent we have. For our family of 4, we went ahead and ordered two 4-person tents.
  • This tent caught my eye too and looks like a great and popular option.
  • This tent is a #1 best seller on Amazon.
  • This one is an Amazon pick with over 20,000 reviews.

Hammer Multi Tool: This is handy for the stakes and anything else that might pop up if you need it!

Cots: I’ll be the first to admit that I am getting to that age where sleeping on the ground is far from enjoyable, even an air mattress doesn’t sound exciting! These cots have a great base that supports up to 600lbs and a nice cushioned pad for comfortable sleeping.

Portable Camping Side Table: I’ve found this is just great to have and easy to store up. You can never have enough places to set or store things when you’re out there.

Camp Stove: Personally, we plan to camp in areas without grills provided. But if you’re camping on a campground, there is usually a charcoal grill set up. In my opinion, there is nothing better than a campfire hot dog, but most of the time we want to make a nice breakfast and other items during our trip so we’ve found this to be helpful.

Camp Griddle: We like to bring pre-made pancake batter, bacon, eggs, etc. This makes it easy to cook a lot at one time, especially when feeding a family.

Portable Utensil Kit: This has everything you need plus a super fun case to hold them all.

Enamel Kitchen Set: We love this 24-piece set for eating on, it’s super durable and easy to wash and reuse.

Compact Cookware Set: These are great for cooking outdoors and come with a mesh bag to pack up when traveling back and forth.

Roasting Sticks: A must have for making smores and roasting hot dogs over the campfire!

Camp Shovel: Super great to have on hand, you never know when you’ll need something like this when camping in the great outdoors.

Bear Spray: An absolute must-have if you are camping in bear country. This two pack is perfect for you and your partner to both be prepared for any encounter. It also comes with two holders to help keep it on you with easy access.

Bear Safe Food Bag: Again, super important for bear country camping. Did you know that black bears can smell a food source up to a mile away? Don’t store it in your car either, they can and will break in! This food bag is super helpful so you don’t have to worry about the bears sniffing down your food.

Head Lamp: We love having a couple of these headlamps on hand, especially once it gets dark out.

Wipes: Refresh and wipe dirty hands and feet with these wipes.

Pop Up Garbage Can: You can always just use a garbage bag, however I like this because it pops up and can be more easily tied down in place.

Water Jug: BPA safe and food grade with a spigot. We bring two of these which are great for brushing teeth, quick clean ups and rinses.

Cooler: Always a must!!

Camping Chairs: These can also double for any sporting event or outdoor event, so you’ll likely get great use out of them!

Camp Towels: Great for lake and beach camping trips.

Two Way Radios: Not as important, but we thought this would be a fun thing the kids could utilize too. Just remember to teach them proper usage as well.

Fire Starter: These make getting your fire going really quick and easy!

Waterproof Lighter: A waterproof lighter is always a great idea to have on hand when camping to start fires, use when cooking, etc.

Camping Containers for Organizing: You will need a place to keep everything so it is easy to grab and go without having to search everywhere in your garage the next time you leave for a trip.

Dog Travel Bag: Comes with bowls for food and water as well as storage containers to keep extra dog food.

Dog Electric Collar: Now I know this one is controversial, but I can contest that our dogs get much more free range and enjoyment with these verses on a chain that always gets in the way and wrapped up. Our dogs are very happy outdoors while wearing these!

Waterproof Dog Mat: If you’re bringing your dogs, you might consider bringing this to give them a comfortable place to sleep throughout the day and night.

REI has sooo many great resources for camping, I’ve found their family camping checklist to be super helpful. If you want to make sure you have everything you need before you leave for your trip, be sure to check it out here.

What to Bring on Your Family Camping Adventure

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