20 Family Camping Essentials to Truly Enjoy Camping – All content (2024)

If you ask my family, including me in the living room, if we like to go camping, the answer is always a resounding “YES”.

Except for me, of course.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a party pooper. But being a mom and hearing the word ‘camping’ might not be as exciting as it used to be when you’re just a college student and your circle of friends came up with the idea of having fun in the mountains.

Being a mom and hearing the word ‘camping’ means an excruciating ‘planning’ and how you’ll execute the plan. I definitely have a husband whose muscle will help in getting that tent set up in the middle of the forest, but usually, husbands and camping activities are just words that go together. Since my partner in crime is in charge and more than happy to plan the camping activities this time, I’m the woman in charge of making sure that all camping essentials are ready.

It’s easy said than done. Forgetting one of these essentials would mean a camping activity is missed out, a part of personal hygiene is left out or in other words, utter disaster and stress.

So here, I compiled camping essentials in 4 categories to help you organize: Medical, Gears, Kitchen and Personal:

Medical Camping Essentials:

  1. First Aid Kit
  2. Allergy, Flu, and Other Over-The-Counter Medicines
  3. Bug Spray
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Topical oils and essentials

I guess being a mother in charge of camping essentials changes everything. It differs with having to list down the priorities in your camping. I would say and in my many, many experiences, as a mom or not, physical injuries, forgotten anti-allergy medicine, unbearable bug bites and the sometimes ferocious heat ruin a camping experience.

Too many campers, especially family campers are so focused on the fun that they forgot to bring some medical essentials. As a result, medical circ*mstances are unforeseen and many exciting and well-planned camping leads to early pack-up or worse, hospitals.

It’s not to say that we are expecting bad things to happen. Unfortunately, bad things DO happen. It may not be always but it’s good to come prepared. You’ll thank me yourself one of these days that this is on top of your list

Gears Camping Essentials

  1. Tent
  2. Portable/LED Lights and Flashlight
  3. Sleeping Bags, Inflatable Mattresses, Blankets, and Pillows
  4. Air Pump
  5. Rope

After making sure that all your medical emergencies will be attended properly if it happens, it’s time to plan about the camping itself.

After your family decided on the day, the place and until when you’ll be camping, it makes sense to list down the camping essentials that will take care of your temporary living condition in the woods. This will definitely include the type of tent that will accommodate all family members and/ or the number of tents you want to bring if your family would want a ‘shade’ tent if your spot is a bit open.

It’s also wise to prepare the lights inside and outside the tent as well as the flashlights that each of your family members should carry. My husband and I will debate whether or not sleeping bags are enough for camping. I will always say that if kids are involved, bring inflatable mattresses and sleeping bags. A good night sleep never fails to condition everyone for tomorrow’s camping activities. Please don’t forget the air pump if you decide to bring an air bed.

Lastly, a good amount of rope proved to have been really useful in many areas of camping. It’s a handy remedy for anything you needed to hang or keep intact in case the tent needs extra support.

Kitchen Camping Essentials

  1. Outdoor-friendly Cookware
  2. Disposable Utensils
  3. Portable Knives and Scissors
  4. Bags and Tupperware
  5. Jugs and Coolers

A good amount of my mom-energy is spent on the kitchen camping part. Also, my most debated list with my husband as he wants the whole camping experience which involves a lump of raw meat in a stick, grilled in a campfire.

As a mom, if bringing the entire kitchen of your house is possible, I would probably bring mine. Do you feel me?

I have narrowed down as many things as possible and if I am to give a general tip, your kitchen camping essentials should definitely be portable, disposable and outdoor-friendly. Beginning with cookwares, a portable cooktop, and propane for fuel are always a must-bring. Together with this, I carefully select lightweight pots for cooking dishes as you want something that can be cooked in one pot quickly and not sacrifice the quality of food.

Preparing the food is a different beast, especially when you’re not in the comfort of your home. Portable knives and scissors will make this easier for you. If not, you can always bring ziplock bags and Tupperware to store pre-cut food ingredients and also snacks! Bringing jugs will quench everyone’s thirst but be sure to make them bring their own tumblers while a cooler will keep the fave beverages cold and the lifespan of food.

Personal Camping Essentials

  1. Outdoor clothing and footwear
  2. Bath and Other Personal Hygiene Stuff
  3. Electronic Gadgets and Power banks/source
  4. Money, Lists and Paper Guides
  5. A good camping backpack

This is probably the time to make everyone responsible and provide them a checklist of personal stuff they needed. No excuses, everyone needs a good camping backpack and it’s a training ground for your kids to make them responsible to bring the stuff that they need and matters outside.

This will basically include the outdoor clothing and footwear everyone will use during camping and camping activities. Nobody wants to sleep with a stink, so advise everyone to bring toiletries and other products that will take care of personal hygiene. We often discourage phones and electronic devices but most of the time, they’ve become a helpful multi-tool. Just make sure that it’s confiscated when outdoor activity is a priority. It’s also wise to bring fully charges powerbanks or charging devices that use sunlight or physical energy to produce electric power for your devices.

I always prepare a budget when camping if auxiliary items are needed or worse, forgotten. And since mobile internet is sometimes impossible, a list of important stuff such as personal contacts, addresses, landmarks, and a paper map will be of great use to make your camping truly enjoyable.

20 Family Camping Essentials to Truly Enjoy Camping – All content (2024)

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