Family Camping Gear List for Outdoor Adventures

Last Updated on April 9, 2022 by Ellen Christian

Need a family camping gear list? I have you covered. What should you keep on hand for camping gear? Get the free printable right here.

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While we are far from experts when it comes to camping, we do enjoy the occasional outdoor camping trip. We haven’t been since the kids moved out, but it’s on our list of things we’d like to try this summer.

Family Camping Gear List for Outdoor Adventures


Family Camping Gear List

So, what exactly should be on your family camping gear list? A lot will depend on the type of camping you like to do and where you go. And, you should also keep in mind the ages of the people coming with you. A family camping checklist for staying in tents will look different than an RV camping checklist.

What are the necessary things for camping?

You can break down your camping essentials list into a few categories:

  • Food and food preparation
  • Medical and emergency supplies
  • Shelter supplies
  • Communication
  • Entertainment

How much you need to bring along depends on how long you will be gone. An overnight stay at a local campground will take fewer supplies than two weeks in the mountains in January. 

Grilled Cilantro Vegetables in Foil

What do I need for camping with a family?

So, what kind of camping essentials do you need to have?  We have a small tent. It only holds two people but we figure the kids can use that and we’ll sleep under the stars.  We also have sleeping bags so everyone will be nice and comfy and warm should the need arise.  That takes care of the shelter.

What else should you have?  We have space blankets.  These are shiny, metallic-looking blankets that hold in the heat so in case it’s cold that evening, it’s a great way to stay warm.  Here in Vermont in July, it still gets down into the 50s at night. Of course, regular blankets work just as well if that’s what you have. Just be prepared for cooler nights.

scooping water out of a stream with a green cup

We also have a few extras on hand just in case we need them like a completely stocked first aid kit (actually we have several of these). 

We have a portable water filtration system in case the water we have access to is questionable.  We have a variety of stainless steel water bottles and a few sets of camping dishes. We have wind up lights and wind up radios in case there’s no power where we’re camping.

Then we have a few extras just in case like a solar shower.  We also have things like walkie-talkies for communications.  You may or may not need these depending on where you’re camping.

Need a family camping gear list? I have you covered. What should you keep on hand for camping gear? Get the full list right here.

Family camping gear list for shelter

  • Tent, tent poles
  • Sleeping bags, sleeping pad, blankets, pillows
  • Extra tarp just in case
  • Chairs, blow up mattress

a plate of s'mores near a camping fire

Family camping gear list for cooking

When we camp, we prefer to bring shelf-stable foods. I have no desire to deal with refrigeration and frying meat over an open fire. We tend to bring a cooler with ice for cold beverages and cheese. Other than that, we opt for canned baked beans, dehydrated foods, beef jerky, fruits, nuts, instant coffee, and of course s’mores. Because camping is never complete without chocolate and marshmallows.

If you want something a bit more filling, you can bring along things to make sandwiches, hot dogs, chili, and dehydrated soups. For kids, we bring cheese crackers and peanut butter crackers. 

Family Camping Gear List for Outdoor Adventures

Easy camping food

Family camping gear list food and cooking options include things like:

  • Camping stove or grill
  • Wood or another fuel source
  • Matches or lighter
  • Tablecloth
  • Pots, pans
  • Dishes, cups, mugs, silverware, can opener
  • Garbage bags, paper products
  • Food prepping implements
  • Cooler and ice
  • Environmentally safe cleaning products
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen & bug repellent

cooking food over a fire in a pot

RV camping checklist

If your idea of camping includes an RV, you won’t need to worry as much about things like tents and sleeping bags. You will want to be sure you bring along a grill depending on whether your RV includes indoor cooking options.  A family camping gear list for RVs isn’t a lot different. Just modify it for how decked out your RV is.

a picnic table in the woods

Family camping gear list extras

You will still need bedding, pillows, first aid supplies, personal care items, towels and things to keep you and the kids entertained. Check out my family camping checklist printable for a more complete list of what you might need while camping.

Family Camping Gear List for Outdoor Adventures & free ultimate family camping checklist

Download your free printable camping checklist here

We don’t plan a lot of activities. When we camp it’s more about getting away from the day-t0-day stresses and relaxing. If you have kids, it’s a little less difficult to do that.  Here are a few things to add to your family camping gear list.

  • Personal care items
  • Clothes
  • Rainwear
  • Warm clothes just in case
  • Swimwear
  • Water shoes and hiking shoes
  • Camera
  • Games and toys to keep the kids entertained
  • Pet supplies
  • Fishing equipment

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Related reading

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