Best Camping Gear for Family Campers
There is nothing like bored, overtired, uncomfortable kids to ruin a family camping trip. Family camping trips can be a blast, but they take some planning. You can find a lot of tips on our Ultimate Guide to Family Camping, but today I'm talking about gear!
Family Camping is fun for the whole family, but having the right gear is essential. If everyone isn't comfortable and able to sleep then family camping can quickly become a cranky, unfun affair. Here is the gear we love best for family camping.
TOP FIVE MUST HAVES FOR FAMILY CAMPING
1. The Tent and Sleeping Bags
You need a tent with enough space for everyone to sleep comfortably. This means different things for different people. If you are a snuggle in bed together kind of family you might not mind being cozy in a smaller 6 person tent. We are we-need-our-own-space people and this Tahoe Gear Ozark tent works great for us.
It is a three room tent, although it can be opened up more if you wish. Right now each of our kids takes one of the smaller back rooms and we sleep in the front. We all have more than enough space which was our goal. We love things that will last and grow with our family as our kids get bigger. The height in the middle is 7' so my husband and I can also both stand - a huge plus for us. It would also be possible to put both kids in one back room, us in the other backroom and leave the front open for playing, hanging out, etc.
Our kids sleep in their Olive Kids Sleeping Bags when we camp and they love them. They are soft, warm, and cute.
2. Comfy Clothes
Camping clothes to me is all about comfort and layers. For tshirts, we are in love with our ROVI KIDS GOODS shirts for the kids. They are cute, durable, and comfortable. Our son wears his Rovi shirt all the time being a tshirt guy. Our daughter is in a bit of a dress phase (ie. the past two years) but even she was happy to wear this shirt on our camping adventure to Georgia.
3. Water Bottles
Camping usually involves a lot of hiking and other active activities. Staying hydrated is important, especially when you are camping during the warmer months. We love our NALGENE water bottles for grown ups and kids. I forgot to pack them on our last camping trip and missed them the whole time.
4. Flashlights & Other Night Lights
We have various flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns (my hubby is a bit of a camping gear collector) Our kids get the biggest kick out of headlamps. They tried the grown up ones on our most recent camping expedition and these simple Bug-Eye Headlights are now on our wishlist.
I also brought some glowsticks on our camping trip and they were a HUGE hit in the evenings. You can get both the bracelets and glowsticks pretty cheap on amazon. Our twins took them to bed with them as nightlights on the second night and it really seemed to help them settle down.
5. Games + Other Entertainment
Before we had kids I brought a couple books and spent the weekend hiking, taking photos, and reading books. I never thought about needed more entertainment until we started camping as a family. It doesn't require much, but bringing a few things along for waiting periods and quiet times is helpful. Think smaller things like a card game (we love Go Fish), simple art materials (beads and pipe cleaners were a hit for us), or a scavenger hunt are a great start.
Books about Camping for Kids on Look We're Learning
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Camping Packing List Printable on Frog Mom
STEM Camping Ideas Printable on Schooling a Monkey
Camping Word Search Printable on Tales of Education at Home
Camping Preschool Printables on Living Life and Learning
Homeschooling + Camping on Adventure Homeschool
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