Camping can be a great way to get away for the weekend, but what about when your family wants to come with you?
The time you spend in nature is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable, but when you’re traveling with the whole family in tow, there are a lot of different things to juggle.
At the very least, you’ll have to factor in and contend with extra luggage, additional supplies, entertainment that’s fun for all ages, and you might want to consider getting a bigger tent…
To avoid turning your staycation into a stressful and unsuccessful family camping trip, we’re here to help with some of our top tips that will ensure a fun family camping experience.
Prepare a Packing Checklist
The worst part about being the adult(s) in charge of a family camping trip is having to be responsible for making sure everything you need gets from A to B, as you’ll be the person everyone turns to when they can’t find what they’re looking for.
Putting together a packing checklist before you set off is a therefore great way of making sure you don’t forget anything important. Here are a few examples to start you off with:
- Tent(s) – unless you’re planning on sleeping under the stars – pegs, and a mallet.
- Sleeping bags/mats.
- Light sources like lanterns and/or torches.
- Camping chairs.
- Plates and cutlery.
- Games and sports equipment for outdoor activities.
- Weather-dependent accessories such as sunscreen and raincoats.
- Bin bags for your rubbish – don’t be that inconsiderate person who leaves their mess behind.
Tick each item off as you pack it and when you arrive, you’ll know exactly what you brought with you!
Find The Right Size Family Tent
One of the first things to think about if you’re planning a family camping trip is whether or not you will be sharing one big family-sized tent, like the Core 9-person instant cabin tent or the more affordable OT QOMOTOP tent which can house up to 10 people.
The best family tents will be sectioned off with different areas, some designated for sleeping, and others as a communal space. If you’re expecting poor weather, a family tent with an indoor area to hang out in while the weather passes will be invaluable.
If being trapped in a small, confined space with only a thin piece of material to separate you and your family members sounds like your personal version of hell, an alternative option is to take separate tents which you can set up next to each other to form a camp.
Setting Up Your Sleeping Arrangements
It’s best to set up your sleeping area when you first arrive, as that way you’ll immediately have an area in which to unpack, sort all of your stuff out, or simply relax after traveling.
Leave it to the last minute and you’ll end up regretting it! Not only could the weather change, meaning you’ll be setting up in rain and darkness rather than with sunshine overhead, but you’ll be less likely to run into arguments later on about who is sleeping where.
Cooking for your family when you’re camping is usually less of a stressful event than cooking at home, but there are a few ways to guarantee that’s the case.
Firstly, set up the cooking area somewhere that’s a safe distance from your tent and other campers to limit unnecessary hazards. Depending on the size of your family, there are a number of excellent options for both small camping grills and full-size propane gas grills.
Having a cooler on your camping trip will be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping food at cooler temperatures, so it’s worth investing in one that’s reasonably high-quality.
With so many different cooler options available, it’s no wonder that many people struggle to find a cooler that’s best suited to their camping needs, so we put together a review comparing Orca and Yeti coolers for you to consider their top models.
There’s no such thing as child-friendly fire, but seeing as how roasting marshmallows over the campfire has become synonymous with camping, it’s important to think about how you’re going to keep your family safe while the flames are burning and the mallows are toasting.
Having a first-aid kit handy at all times is great as a general rule for camping, particularly in the event of someone accidentally injuring themselves around the campfire.
It’s worth checking out what the rules are regarding campfires before you set off as not all campsites allow them for safety reasons. If you’re able to get one going, always make sure you put out your fire completely when the last of your camping party turns into their tent.