Staking Down Your Family-Camping Packing List

Your first family camping trip should be memorable for all the right reasons. To ensure that outcome, you need to prepare carefully. Guidebooks, camping outlet employees and camping partners can all give you advice. In the meantime, here is a basic checklist for what you need not just to survive but also to thrive in the pines.

Camping Gear

Take stock of the weather for your destination and purchase gear rated appropriately for the conditions. Minimally, you need a tent and its connected flaps, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and cooking stove. For comfort, pack folding camp chairs. Additionally, stock all-purpose tools such as a cutting utensil from folding knives supplier Canada,  portable shovel, mallet (or hammer), saw, lantern and flashlight.


When camping, think in terms of layering and weatherproofing. You can always shed clothes, and you need protection from rain and wind. Pack lightweight, breathable fabrics. Cotton tends to stay soggy longer than polyester and other newer, high-tech coverings. Fill the car trunk with jackets, hats to protect from the sun, swimsuits, towels and extra shoes — sneakers, boots and sandals — for hiking and bopping around the campsite.


In addition to your stove, for food preparation take along cutting boards, eating utensils, soap and disposal bags. Pack food in plastic containers and make sure perishables stay on ice. Don’t forget treats and snacks for when campers become hungry between meals.

Fun Stuff

When you are hanging around the site, you will want ways to stay engaged. Choose your form of entertainment, including board games, active games such as a bean-bag toss or flying disc, books, cards and binoculars.

Safety Items

Finally, you need comfort and survival gear: First aid supplies, sunscreen, lip balm, medications, bug spray and toilet paper.

Keep in mind that these are minimal camping necessities. Take stock of the comfort needs and abilities of those on the adventure and personalize the packing as necessary. If you plan carefully for your camping excursion, you will not find yourself wishing upon a clear-sky star for that one item you wish you had included.