Planning a camping trip with your family and wondering what to pack??? Check out this family camping packing list for everything you will need for a great trip!
We are starting to plan our next family camping trip and I am so excited! We will be heading off to the beach again, four kids in tow and all.the.stuff.
I have planned on writing a packing post since our last beach camping trip. Because when you are already doing without a roof, electricity, and any number of other conveniences, the last thing you want is to realize you forgot to pack something important.
We have camped as a family since my second son was a baby, so for about five years now. It is one of my absolute favorite things to do together as a family. (Read: I think it’s totally worth the effort!).
Last year at the beach. Our first time camping with four kids!
I have put together a very thorough packing list, but there are a few things I want to note before we get to the list.
- First, we typically go camping for at least 4 days, usually 5-6 days. If you were only going camping for a few days, or even overnight, then you could certainly pare down your list a little. The following list reflects what a family with several children of various ages would need for about a week.
- If you don’t have the supplies you need, try not to let that hold you back! Borrow gear from friends or family, find deals on used supplies, or come up with creative solutions!
- Pack what you can in laundry baskets and clear plastic totes with lids. Laundry baskets are great for collecting toys and gear around the campsite. Clear plastic totes make excellent containers for kitchen supplies, food, and other gear you will need frequent access to, and which needs to remain dry and free of bugs.
- Some of the links below are affiliate links. Purchasing items through these links is no cost to you, but helps to support the cost of maintaining this site!
- If you think something is missing from the list, please add it in the comments!
Keep reading to see the Family Camping Packing List and find a printable version at the bottom of this post! Be sure to check out the other camping and vacation resources on This Pilgrim Life too. Find tips on how to camp with small children, what to do, sample menu plans, and more!
This post from Parent Inn is also VERY thorough and has tons of great tips and ideas for new campers and experts alike! Check it out!
Family Camping Packing List
- tent (we have an 8 person tent but will soon be expanding)
- tarps (one for under the tent, one to stretch over the eating area, and one extra)
- hatchet (use the backend of the hatchet as a hammer)
- caribeeners to hang things
- lantern (battery powered, or bring fuel)
- flashlights (one for each person) and headlamp (so useful for cleaning up after dark!)
- extra batteries
- first aid kit
- multi-tool/ pocket knife
- car chargers for charging phones while you drive
Around the Fire
- leather gloves
- camping chairs for adults and kids
- sparklers/ glow-sticks
Telling stories is a MUST when camping!
Cooking & Eating
- cast iron pans
- camp stove (our Coleman stove is over three decades old and still going strong!)
- long lighter
- fuel for camp stove
- 5-10 gallon water jug
- bumbo/foldable booster seat
- hot dog skewers
- basins for washing dishes (one for soapy water, one to rinse)
- dish soap
- paper towels
- plates and utensils (we use plastic plates and silverware)
- trash bags
- extra ziploc bags
- spatulas, tongs, chef knife & paring knives, cutting boards
- stainless steel camp mugs
- french press (be sure to buy ground coffee or grind beans before you leave)
- cooking oil, seasonings, & food (see our beach camping menu plan)
- reusable water bottles (we have nalgenes for us and camelbaks for the kids)
- vinyl tablecloth for the picnic table (optional)
Sleeping and Resting
- air mattresses
- air pump
- sleeping bags for each person
- books/e-readers (our Kindles are amazing when laying in the tent waiting for the kids to go to sleep, sitting around the campsite, etc)
Fun & Adventure
- framed backpack toddler carrier
- carrier for smaller babies (my Ergo and ring sling are my personal favorites)
- bug repellant
- essential oils
- nature guides
- frisbee and/or other camp games (I love this camping version of SpotIt!)
- sketchbooks and watercolors/crayons/colored pencils
- plastic trays (perfect for traveling in the car and playing around the campsite– we use them ALL the time!)
- magnifying glass & binoculars
- bug/lizard/creature container
- bug & butterfly net
- toy shovels, toy weapons, hiking sticks
- seasonally appropriate clothes that can get dirty (I can get all our clothes for six people in one suitcase)
- rain jackets
- water shoes
- hiking boots
- swimming/water clothes (quick dry)
- socks for boots
- bath soap
- toothbrushes & toothpaste
- shampoo & conditioner
- hair brush & hair ties
- baby wipes/ cleansing wipes
- bath caddy for keeping everything together
- beach towels
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