In the lazy days of summer, nothing beats taking the kids out of town for a camping adventure. Swimming, s’mores, sun — it’s a recipe for a great weekend.

Camping is one of the best ways to make memories you and your family will always treasure. A little planning is all you need to be sure your trip will go off without a hitch.

That’s where our checklist comes in.

Follow this family camping list, and you can focus on giving your family a camping trip to remember.

Shelter

If you’re renting a cabin someplace, great! Otherwise, you’ll need to make sure you have sufficient shelter for you and your family.

Tents are the classic way to protect yourself from the elements during a camping trip. You’ll need a tent that has enough room to accommodate everyone, so check the specifications ahead of time.

Check to make sure you have all the poles needed to put up your tent, as well as the necessary tarps and covers. A bonus tip for your family camping list: bring along a tent patch kit for a quick fix in case of a snag or tear.

Sleeping Arrangements

You don’t want to be left out in the cold. Make sure you bring sleeping accommodations that are appropriate for the forecasted weather.

Bring a sleeping bag and pillow for each member of your camping party, as well as air mattresses if you aren’t renting a space with beds. If the temperature is supposed to get chilly at night, bring along some extra blankets.

A good night’s sleep can make all the difference in the world, even when you’re roughing it.

Light Source

When one of your little campers insists on getting up in the night when nature calls, you’ll be glad to have an easy light source handy.

Flashlights are great when you need a portable light, and are often a pocket-sized option. If you need to keep your hands free for games, cooking, and assembling the perfect s’more, a lantern may also be a good choice.

Just be sure to shut off your light before you head into your tent, to avoid any unwelcome guests swarming around your sleeping bag.

Food and Water

Some campgrounds have dining arrangements nearby, but many require you to bring your own food if you want to stay on premise for meals.

Plan meals ahead of time that are easy to cook on a portable grill or over a campfire. Do most of your food prep at home to save yourself a hassle when you’re ready to relax beside a campfire. Here are some great family camping meals if you’re just not sure what to bring.

Don’t forget to bring plenty of clean water, as well. Especially if you’re spending time in the sun, you’ll all need to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to avoid heatstroke and dehydration.

Extra Supplies

Depending on where your family will be camping, here are some extra items that you may not want to leave behind:

  • Metal or plastic plates, bowls, and cutlery
  • Power source for phone charging
  • Toiletries (including toilet paper)
  • Trash bags
  • Can opener
  • Sunscreen
  • Citronella candles
  • Firewood and matches

Your Family Camping List

Even if you do forget a thing or two, don’t let it ruin your camping trip! You’re going out to have fun and make memories with your family. That’s what the camping experience is all about.

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