Skip to Content

Tips for Successful Family Camping Adventures

Packing Tips for Successful Family Camping Adventures

Summer is a great time to try family camping. Kids love it, and as long as you are prepared, family camping can be a great experience for all. Here are some ideas to help you make your family camping trip a success:

Vacation Planning - Family Camping Tips

Tent Selection

If you have small children, you’ll likely want a tent that is big enough for the entire family. With older kids, you may want to consider separate tents. I am excited that my kids are almost at the age where my husband and I can be in our own tent. When it comes to tent camping, it’s a good idea to practice setting it up in the backyard so it’s not your first try while camping. Especially if there is any rain, you don’t want to be struggling to set up a tent you have never used before.

Selecting a campsite

Research the type of campsite you might want. Do you want to rough it or be near amenities? Many campsites online offer comprehensive information about the area. This will also help you know what equipment, clothing, and food you’ll need to take. Some campsites have preset tents or even cabins so consider these options as well.

Vacation Planning - Family Camping Tips

I recommend campsites near water. Kids love swimming, throwing rocks in a stream and seeing waterfalls. I planned an entire route around water stops. We stopped near ponds, oceans, lakes and streams. The kids loved it!

Vacation Planning - Family Camping Tips

Food Storage & Cooking supplies

We typically bring the following: frying pan, a pot or two, a bucket (for washing dirty dishes), a small charcoal grill orcamping stove, Ziploc bags, cooking utensils and a mess kit for each of us (these include a plate, bowl, knife, fork, spoon and mug).

Meal Planning and Snacks

For food, I recommend packing the easy stuff like hot dogs, burgers, pasta, etc. Cereal is easy for the morning. Also bring water, a can opener, a kettle or coffee pot, and a cooler with plenty of ice. Don’t forget to plan on snacking a lot during the day. Kids get super hungry on day hikes. For a typical hike, I’ll pack a water, sandwiches, fruit, cheese sticks, mini carrots and something that is a bit sweet as a treat. Lately, I am loving Nut Exactly Snack Bites.

Packing Tips for Successful Family Camping Adventures


Making sure you pack appropriate clothing is key. Depending on your location, pack clothing that will match the weather, but bring layers. Select clothing that wicks moisture and dries quickly. Cotton is not a good choice. Evenings can often be quite cool if you are in a desert or wooded environment. Plan for rain and mud too. Rain ponchos are helpful as they cover nearly all of your clothing so you can still enjoy a hike. Bring extra socks and shoes in case your footwear gets wet. If long hikes will be involved, be sure the entire family has proper footwear.

Packing Tips for Successful Family Camping Adventures

Other camping essentials:

  • Sleeping bags
  • first aid kit
  • flashlights
  • cell phone with back up charger or car charger
  • garbage bags
  • toilet pater
  • paper towels
  • toiletries – shampoo, toothpaste, etc.
  • sunscreen
  • ointments for bug bites, minor burns, cuts and scrapes
  • a map of the area
  • insect repellent
  • games for the kids
  • rainwear

 Setting up your Tent

Hopefully you have practiced at home as I recommended above. Many campsites have a clear area where your tent is supposed to be set up. Ensure there are no rocks or debris where the tent will be set up. Most campgrounds will post warning signs or instructions regarding specific animals and vegetation. Pay careful attention to storing your food at night so you don’t invite unwanted animal guests. Some guests are pretty cute though!

Vacation Planning - Family Camping Tips


While you are likely to run into some challenges, take a breath and enjoy the entire camping experience. Look at the stars and night. Listen to all of the natural sounds or your surroundings.

Vacation Planning - Family Camping Tips

Stop and see things off the beaten path. We found some really interesting things just stopping in random towns along the way. Make it an adventure and see if you an find something you’ve never seen or done before. Relish the time you are spending with your family that will create lasting memories for your children.

Sharing is caring!

  1. Emily Smith says:

    When camping with kids, always pack more clothes than you think you need. At least for us. My three boys make the most of being outdoors and we go through clean clothes in a flash!

  2. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    My tip is make sure you have someway to listen to music!

  3. Thomas Murphy says:

    Bring lots of good food!

  4. Birdiebee says:

    Use foam floor tiles for a softer, more comfortable tent floor.

  5. Hi Jenn, I hope its fine with you when I posted your Costo gift card giveaway on my site. Here’s the link of the post

  6. Janice Cooper says:

    Bring lots of goodies and blankets

  7. Stacey b says:

    We don’t camp a lot, but a great tip is to never forget the mosquito repellent!

  8. Laura J says:

    My camping tip would be if its getting colder at night…heat up warm water over the camp fire and put in plastic water bottles. Before you crawl in your sleeping bag…put a couple in there to warm it up for you!

  9. shaunie says:

    Never wear anything perfumed

  10. Elle P. says:

    My favorite tip is to bring sunscreen. It doesn’t have to be sunny to be needed and you will be outside a lot.

  11. Ellen Casper says:

    My favorite camping tip is to be games etc in case of rain and you’re stuck inside.

  12. Heather Dawn says:

    Dryer lint is a great fire starter!

  13. Tracy Robertson says:

    My favorite camping trip is to rent a hotel room and bring the Fisher Nut Exactly, LOL!

  14. Steven weber says:

    Make sure you know how to start a fire– it’s life/death at night because it gets COLD.

  15. Natalie says:

    Make sure to bring a lot of layers because the weather can change throughout the day.

  16. shelly peterson says:

    I am not a big camping type of person, think I have gone a few times in my life so I don’t really have any tips.

  17. Elena says:

    bring lots of snacks and water bottles

  18. Julie Wood says:

    When pitching your tent or setting up another type of shelter, be on the lookout for wasp nests and other insects and bugs. One year we did not know that there was a bee hive right by us! We had to find another spot away from the bees!

  19. Nicole Dziedzic says:

    My camping tip is bring plenty of bug spray and sunscreen when camping, very important to protect yourself against pesky bugs and the sun rays.

  20. HS says:

    My favorite is to make travel coffee bags out of coffee filters with pre-ground coffee.

  21. Kelly D says:

    I haven’t camped for several years, but my tip/plan is to get one of those pop-open tents that set up quickly.

  22. Debbie B says:

    sorry but i’m not a camper-

  23. Shannon S. says:

    My favorite camping trip is the one we took this winter to our family room when we got 7 feet of snow in 2 days. It made it fun for the boys and we turned on our fireplace and made smores.

  24. Nikki F. says:

    I loved going to Yogi Bear campgrounds with my family as a kid. Some of the best memories I have!

  25. Denise L says:

    Don’t forget the bug spray! A must have item here in Missouri.

  26. Donna L says:

    I would say don’t forget the mosquito spray.

  27. Sheila K. says:

    Hard to believe but I have never been camping!

  28. We have had very bad luck on camping trips. Once hubby almost cut off his finger the next one we got in a car accident. Left me on a walker and hubby in a wheel chair for 6 months. Now we only camp in a hotel

  29. Rosey says:

    My favorite camping tip is to let the kids camp in a tent outside of the RV. It gives them an even bigger sense of adventure!

  30. Kristin says:

    What great tips! We’ve never been camping, but maybe someday!

  31. Crystal says:

    We went camping last weekend and had so much fun. I wish I had that blueberry recipe. Saving it for our next trip!

  32. Scott says:

    We always to make sure to bring a tarp, mainly to put under the tent. That way if it does rain, the water doesn’t seep into the tent.

  33. Liz Mays says:

    When camping and being active outdoors, it’s really important to stay fueled up with energy. Nuts pack in that protein so this is a great snack.

  34. Jeannette says:

    I’m going to be honest…I’m not big on camping. But we do hike a lot (one day hikes) and those snacks look perfect for that!

    • Jenn says:

      You have to try “glamping” in a prefab tent. It makes it so much easier. Our tent had two king sized beds with black out tarps. It was amazing!

  35. Nicole says:

    I’ve never experienced an adventure like this before. Sounds like a fun thing to try with my family.

  36. Those are some great tips. Those nut clusters look really good too.

Comments are closed.