Family camping essentials [+ free checklist to download]

Family Camping Checklist

Even though I am a late adopter of family camping, and our very first experience of camping as a family was an absolute farce (I’ll tell you more about that another time) I want to make similar memories to those I have from my childhood for my three children. I have such fond memories of making friends and camping and caravanning spots around the east coast of the UK and northern France.

After a painfully steep learning curve, we usually camp without electricity for maximum adventure, and we love those sites around the UK where you can pitch where you like, and make your spot into your little home from home. Think bunting, fairy lights, kitchen area, washing area, sleeping area. We do make sure our trips are as comfortable and hygienic as possible, so we always take a few home comforts like a portable toilet and nice bedding.

However, we do not have infinite room in our car boot, so we have to be clever with what we take, and everything has to have a purpose! Our family camping essentials checklist will come in handy whilst packing your absolute don’t forget items, so make sure you pin this post or download the checklist to print out for yourself. It’s absolutely free, so scroll down to get your copy or download below…

Free family camping essentials checklist

Download this free checklist with all your essential camping items so you never forget anything ever again!

The ultimate checklist for family camping essentials

Family camping essentials

What absolute essential items do you need on a camping trip? Instead of you having to think of your own list, this is mine that I use time and time again to make it easier to pack! So, let’s get stuck in…

Setting up your camp

  1. Tent
  2. Tent poles (if they are in a separate bag to the tent – easily forgotten!)
  3. Tent pegs
  4. Mallet
  5. Tent Carpet/Rug
  6. Awning/Porch
  7. Windbreak
  8. Doormat
  9. Dustpan & brush

Sleeping essentials

Sleeping beauty in a tent
  1. Sleeping bags
  2. Pillows
  3. Spare blanket per person
  4. Your beds of choice (i.e airbed, camp bed, self-inflating sleeping mat)
  5. Air pump (the ones you can plug into your car are good, and save some sweat!)
  6. Equipment repair kits

Camping furniture

Furniture to take when camping
  1. Camping Chairs
  2. Folding Table
  3. Storage Unit
  4. Toilet (I don’t go anywhere without my portable loo! They are so handy when camping with a family – who wants to treck to the toilet block at 3am?)

Kitchen and cooking essentials for camping

  1. Kitchen
  2. Water carrier
  3. Thermal flasks
  4. Stove
  5. Fuel (gas, coal, wood, etc.)
  6. Matches or lighter
  7. Plates and bowls
  8. Cutlery
  9. Kitchen foil
  10. Paper towels
  11. Bin bags
  12. Washing up liquid
  13. Containers for food
  14. Tupperware boxes for leftovers
  15. Pots and frying pans
  16. Kitchen knife
  17. Wooden spoon
  18. Seive/colander/sieve spoon
  19. Serving spoon
  20. Tin opener
  21. Bottle opener
  22. Corkscrew – we used tent pegs and a mallet to un-cork a bottle of wine last time when we forgot the corkscrew – so unless you want to look like a desperate alcohol-swigging crazy person, don’t forget the corkscrew 😀
  23. Scissors
  24. Vegetable peeler
  25. Oven glove
  26. Mugs/cups
  27. Salad/Mixing bowl
  28. Cutting board
  29. Cool box
  30. Ziplock bags
  31. Washing up bowl
  32. Tea towels
  33. Scourers
  34. Cooking oil
  35. Seasonings/spices/condiments/sugar (I find small sachets or tiny pots very handy – I save them up over the year for our camping trips!)
  36. Hot chocolate/teabags/coffee

Camping clothing must-haves

  1. Wellies
  2. Flipflops or sliders (for the showers!)
  3. Sun hat
  4. Rain gear
  5. Swimming kit

Family camping cleaning essentials

  1. Towels
  2. Face cloth (get one that removes dirt and makeup with only water – very handy indeed.)
  3. Normal Shampoo
  4. Handwash
  5. Shower gel
  6. Toothbrush
  7. Toothpaste
  8. Deodorant
  9. Comb/brush
  10. Razor
  11. Sunscreen
  12. Lip balm
  13. Toilet paper
  14. Hand/baby wipes
  15. Nappies

Don’t forget these other camping essentials

Washing hands whilst camping using a water bag with a tap hung on a tree
  1. Camping towels (the ones that are thin and dry really quickly)
  2. Water bag with a tap (great to set up a hand-washing station)
  3. Portable potty
  4. Medication
  5. Supplements
  6. Cards/games/toys/balls/frisbee
  7. Tablet
  8. Device chargers
  9. Bluetooth speaker
  10. Bikes/helmets
  11. Electric hook-up cable
  12. Battery power packs
  13. Notepad/pen
  14. Torches/Lanterns/solar fairy lights/head torches (I find you can’t take too many lighting solutions!)
  15. Extra batteries/bulbs
  16. Insect repellent/candles
  17. Water filters/purification
  18. Rucksack
  19. Washing powder
  20. Clothes Pegs
  21. Collapsible clothes drying rack
  22. Rope/clothesline
  23. Safety pins
  24. Sunglasses
  25. First aid kit
  26. Pocket knife/multi-tool
  27. Water bottles
  28. Umbrella
  29. Pocket sewing kit

Download our free family camping essentials checklist

This family camping essentials checklist comes in very handy when you’ve got excited children flying around; trying to sabotage your packing mission!

Free family camping essentials checklist

Can you add anything to the list? What am I missing, and also what are your favourite items to take? Let me know in the comments and I will update the list! Thanks for reading, and enjoy your camping trip.

Pin this for later