Family Camping Checklist

This list covers all the essentials to keep everyone happy, safe, and comfortable in the great outdoors.

Shelter and Sleeping

  • Tent (appropriate size for the family)
  • Ground tarp or footprint
  • Sleeping bags (rated for expected temperatures)
  • Sleeping pads or air mattresses
  • Pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Tent stakes and mallet


  • Weather-appropriate clothing (layers for warmth, rain gear)
  • Comfortable hiking shoes or boots
  • Extra socks and underwear
  • Hats and gloves (if needed)
  • Swimsuits (if applicable)
  • Sleepwear

Cooking and Food

  • Cooler with ice
  • Portable stove or grill
  • Fuel for stove/grill
  • Matches or lighter
  • Cooking utensils (spatula, tongs, etc.)
  • Cookware (pots, pans, kettle)
  • Eating utensils (plates, bowls, cups, cutlery)
  • Food storage containers and bags
  • Dish soap and sponge
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags
  • Food and snacks (pre-planned meals, easy-to-eat snacks)
  • Reusable water bottles or hydration packs

Health and Safety

  • First aid kit
  • Personal medications
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer and wet wipes
  • Whistle
  • Emergency contact information

Personal Items

  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap, etc.)
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Baby supplies (diapers, wipes, baby food, etc.)
  • Child-specific medications

Fun and Entertainment

  • Toys and games (for camp and travel)
  • Books or e-readers
  • Sports equipment (balls, frisbees, etc.)
  • Fishing gear (if applicable)
  • Binoculars (for bird watching or exploring)
  • Camera or smartphone

Miscellaneous Gear

  • Flashlights or headlamps (with extra batteries)
  • Camping chairs
  • Portable table
  • Clothesline and clothespins
  • Pocket knife or multi-tool
  • Maps and compass/GPS
  • Backpacks or daypacks
  • Camping lantern

Camp Setup and Maintenance

  • Campfire supplies (firewood, fire starters, etc.)
  • Portable camp shower (if needed)
  • Camping toilet or shovel (if primitive camping)
  • Biodegradable soap (for dishes and personal use)

Tips for a Successful Family Camping Trip:

  1. Plan Ahead: Make a checklist of items you’ll need and check the weather forecast.
  2. Engage the Kids: Involve children in the planning and packing process.
  3. Safety First: Ensure you have a well-stocked first aid kit and know basic first aid.
  4. Pack Light: Bring only what you need to keep the campsite clutter-free.
  5. Leave No Trace: Follow Leave No Trace principles to protect the environment.