Tips For Camping


There’s no doubt about it, camping is hard work. Organizing gear, getting a reservation, preparing food for several days ahead, packing the car, and making sure there is enough to do to entertain the whole family—it can overwhelm. But it’s worth it! You’re guaranteed to make lasting family memories, enjoy lots of laughs with the family, and get plenty of outdoor time for the kids.

To help you get out under the stars, we’ve put together some tips for camping with the family and a camping checklist of what to take.

Tips for Camping with the Family

First, get a camping date on your calendar. Campgrounds can fill up quickly so plan ahead to get a spot. And try to leave early in the day on Friday (or head out during the work week) to avoid commuter traffic and have a better chance of setting up camp before it gets dark.

Invite friends. Camping with kids alone is great. But camping with another family or bringing your kids’ friends along helps keep everyone happy and occupied.

Prepare the gear. Use the camping checklist below to make sure you take what you need, but not much more. Check the tent, stove, matches/lighters, and lanterns beforehand for damage and working condition.

Prepare the food. The checklist doesn’t include food—you’ll have to create that yourself. Here’s a tip: Write down what you plan to eat for each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner.) Then prepare what you can at home—marinate the meats, cut the vegetables, wrap the potatoes in foil. You’ll be thankful once you get to camp.

When you pack the cooler, set out the foods meal by meal, thinking about how you’ll serve each meal so you don’t forget condiments and necessary utensils, can opener, etc.That’s it for the tips! Now on to the checklist. Have fun!

Family Camping Checklist

CAMPSITE GEAR

Tent, poles, stakes

Tent footprint (ground cover for under your tent)

Extra tarp or canopy

Sleeping bag for each camper

Sleeping pad for each camper

Repair kit for pads, mattress, tent, tarp

Pillows

Extra blankets

Chairs

Headlamps or flashlights (extra batteries)

Lantern

Lantern fuel or batteries
        KITCHEN

Stove

Fuel for stove

Matches or lighter

Firewood

Frying pan

Pot

French press or portable coffee maker

Corkscrew

Tablecloth

Roasting sticks for marshmallows, hot dogs

Food-storage containers, bags

Trash bags

Cooler

Ice

Water bottles

Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives

Cups, mugs

Paring knife, spatula, cooking spoon

Cutting board

Foil

Biodegradable soap

Sponge, dishcloth, dishtowel

Paper towels

Extra bin for washing dishes
         CLOTHES

Clothes for daytime

Sleepwear

Swimsuits

Rainwear

Shoes: hiking/walking shoes, easy-on shoes, water shoes

Extra layers for warmth

Gloves

Hats

PERSONAL ITEMS

Sunscreen

Insect repellant

First-aid kit

Prescription medications

Toothbrush, toiletries

Soap

OTHER ITEMS

Camera

Campsite reservation confirmation, phone number

Maps, area information

Bikes, toys

Pet supplies and food

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