Can’t wait for spring and summer to spend outdoor fun time with the family? Well, neither can we. So, we’ve gone right ahead and done some advance planning for you to take your little brood on a camping trip vacation! Even if you’ve never gone camping before—or at least not with kids in tow—we’ve got you covered with all the essentials. From your tent and sleeping bags, to food and water, to lighting and first aid, all the way to a camping board game.
So, start scouting around for a campsite you’d love to explore. Then, start getting all this gear together so you’ll be ready once camping season is here! (*this post contains affiliate links)
Camping Essentials for a Family Outdoor Adventure
1 – Roomy enough for a family of 4, the Coleman® Cortes 4 – Four-person Active Hiking Tent makes the ideal “home away from home” on a camping trip. It is expertly designed for efficient space, good ventilation, storage of personal belongings, safety from bugs and pests, and ease of assembly—as demonstrated in this video.
2 – Speaking of camping grub, we discovered this Breakfast Skillet freeze-dried food pack from Mountain House that you can take along and heat up on site. It includes hash browns, scrambled eggs, a pork sausage patty, peppers, and onions!
3 – Whether you choose to sleep inside the tent or out in the open under the stars, the YOUMAKO Backpacking Sleeping Bag for Adults & Kids (available on Amazon) is a great lightweight, waterproof, and comfortable choice for spring, summer, or fall camping, hiking, or traveling.
4 – If you want to bring along a pre-cooked dish, you can keep it nice and hot in this Stanley Adventure Vacuum Crock, 3 Quart from L.L.Bean. What a convenience despite your home kitchen being miles away!
5 – Yes, this Hershey’s S‘mores Caddy (available on Amazon) is considered a “camping essential”! Especially since it’s designed for toting along Hershey’s chocolate bars, graham crackers and marshmallows—all ready for toasting over the campfire.
6 – As the Boy Scouts’ motto says, “Be prepared!” So be sure to take along a Lifeline Base Camp First Aid Kit (available from Walmart) that contains the basics for cleaning, treating, and soothing the minor scrapes, cuts, bruises, and bites that often come with camping.
7 – A definitely serious essential while camping is drinking water. So be sure to fill up a Seattle Sports AquaSto BigMouth Collapsible Water Container Bag (available on Amazon) with clean, potable water. This BPA-free, food-grade storage jug holds 8 liters, and is freezable and foldable for easy packing away after use.
8 – Since the bugs are sure to bite out there, we recommend Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Balm (available on Amazon) to keep the kiddos safe and comfy. It’s DEET free and made with all-natural ingredients in a handy travel/pocket size.
9 – Finally, in case you get tired out by hiking, exploring, and the like, why not enjoy a family game of Camp (available on Amazon)? This educational board game challenges players, from the age of 4 and up, to "Get to camp" by answering trivia about animals and the outdoors.
10 – This battery-operated Stansport 18 Led Camping Lantern With Fan (available from Macy’s) does double duty of both lighting and cooling. Its built-in handle and hanging hook allow convenient use—whether inside your tent, on a table, or on the ground or hanging on a tree during outdoor activities.
11 – Cooking your camping grub outdoors is made easy with the portable Cabelas Stainless Steel Tabletop Propane Grill. It has a push-button ignition system, a stainless steel drip tray and lid with an integrated temperature gauge, and a CSA-approved regulator for 1-lb. propane bottles.
12 – Plates, small bowls, and cutlery for easy outdoor eating and clean-up are another must-have. The Ozark Trail 4 Person Table Set (available from Walmart) is a great choice for your family camping group.
Now that you know what outdoor gear, supplies, and “sustenance” you’ll be needing for your family vacation—camping season, here we come!