Family Camping Checklist: A Complete List of Essential Gears

Family Camping Checklist: A Complete List of Essential Gears
Pavlo Lysyy May 02, 2022 4 mins read time

Make a Camping Checklist

A hiking or hunting trip is one of the healthiest and most exciting weekend and holiday activities. You can either camp alone or bring your friends and / or family members along. Besides, there are different options that suit a variety of preferences. Some campers appreciate national parks or campgrounds that have some infrastructure, while others would choose to camp out in areas that are completely wild and divine.

Campgrounds have some infrastructure, which includes parking lots, roads, passageways, picnic tables, barbecue racks, tent pads, escapes from rain and sun, etc. Wild places have none of these. It is up to you to decide what style you prefer and, consequently, how much stuff you want to take along. So, depending on the type of your chosen campsite and camping style, you should make a checklist of gear items and appliances you will need to use during your trip.

There are items, which you will need anyway, so make sure they are on your checklist. Let’s have a look!

camping list family

A tent

This is an integral part of such a trip, so you cannot do without it. Be sure that the package includes stakes, poles, and ropes (depending on the size and type of your tent), as well as the footprint and a few extra tarps. These should keep you and your gear dry in case of a heavy rainfall and if the canvas turns out to be damaged.

Sources of light

You should keep your place lit when night falls because you will hardly turn in right after that. There is always some work to do at night, so please prepare flashlights, lanterns, charged batteries, power banks, fuel. Lack of light brings a lot of inconvenience and danger: wild predators are less likely to approach and attack a well-lit campsite.

essential family camping gear

Lighters and matches

No good hiking trip goes without a campfire. It is going to provide you food and warmth throughout your trip. For this reason, matches and lighters are must-have things, even if you are going to a well-equipped private campground. (You don’t want to borrow matches from staff members, do you?)

Wood and / or charcoals

In order for your campfire to burn steadily and for a long time, you should prepare a supply of firewood and/or charcoals. Please calculate the needed amount of supplies depending on how long your trip is going to last.

camping lists for families

Bottles and flasks

Water is something you cannot do without. Since your campsite probably won’t be equipped with a water supply system, it is imperative that you include flasks and/or bottles in your checklist.

Sleeping bags and sleeping pads

A sleeping bag provides additional protection to campers, since they have to sleep in a kind of environment that is far from a warm bedroom. A sleeping bag should protect you against cold and moist. Besides, it provides extra protection against bugs and reptiles (snakes, lizards, etc.).

A tent stove

You’d better purchase the right type of stove that suits the design of your tent. There are tents with so-called “stove jacks” – rimmed holes, to which the smoke pipe is attached and through which it is run outside. A tent stove should heat up your tent on a frosty winter day.

family camping gear list

A barbecue rack

You need to take it if you have chosen a wild campsite with no infrastructure. It allows you to burn a campfire in a safer and eco-friendlier way. If barbecue is integral to your camping style, do some browsing and look for a compact and lightweight rack. There are websites and online stores offering high-quality products, which you can purchase online.

Clothes and blankets

You should bring extra dry clothes in case the weather gives you more rain than sun. Besides, it is advisable to take wool clothes because they can keep you warm at night and protect you against bugs. Do not forget about blankets, either.


Not unlikely, you are going to have to do some repair work or strengthen your tent and repair your gear. There are tools and items that must be part of your checklist, such as an axe, a saw, a hammer/mallet, ropes, threads, needles, nails, screws.



🏕  What is the difference between camping in a private campground and in the wild?

Private campgrounds provide some infrastructure, which includes campsites with basic items and facilities, such as tent pads, barbecue racks, picnic tables, sometimes electricity and water supply systems. When camping in the wild, you cannot count on these, so in this case you have to make a longer gear list.

📦  Would it be possible to arrive to a privately owned campground without any gear?

No. There is always something you need to bring with you, including but not limited to a tent, sleeping bags, blankets, clothes, lighters, matches, lamps, flashlights, water bottles, etc.

💡  Do I need to take a barbecue rack along?

Yes, if you are going to camp out in a remote location without any infrastructure. Private campgrounds offer campsites with barbecue racks, grills, etc.


Kristen Young

Kristen Young said:

Family camping is always fun!

Clinton Patel

Clinton Patel said:

I’m all for solo trips

Mckenzie Curtis

Mckenzie Curtis said:

Thanks for the checklist!!

Sami Fraser

Sami Fraser said:

BBQ rack is the best item on the list, honestly

Teddy Thorpe

Teddy Thorpe said:

Be careful with matches and lighters if you’re travelling with kids

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