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The Ultimate Family Camping Checklist

This is a partnered post with L.L.Bean, who believe that, on the inside, we’re all outsiders. 

As an active family we enjoy spending time outside. This summer we’re all about camping and exploring the great outdoors! There are so many wonderful benefits to camping with your children. Not only is it all about creating lasting memories, but it’s just a simple way to reconnect as a family. Camping allows our family to create those meaningful moments, and our girls have so much fun on our camping adventures.

kids camping temecula, ca

The Must Have Family Camping Checklist 

Get Organized – 

It’s important that you get organized before you go camping. Pick your date and reserve your campsite. It’s also important that you know what things there are to do in the area. We always find the closest trailheads to go hiking, and since our girls love the water, we find out if there’s any nearby to explore. Knowing what there is to do allows us to pack accordingly.

Pack Your Gear – 

Being prepared means that you have all the gear you will need for your family to camp comfortably. We always pack a large tent, chairs, lanterns, sleeping bags, camping stove, flashlights, water bottles and backpacks. We always trust L.L.Bean products for camping because they’re made for the great outdoors.

Plan Your Healthy Family Meals – 

We always plan for breakfast and dinner while camping. For lunch we bring fresh fruits and snacks for the trail. We always pack plenty of extra food for meals because being outdoors and busy, our kiddos always get extra hungry. We bring extra large containers of water as well for drinking, dish washing and hand washing.

little girl camping cute hat

Camping really is all about our kids and having fun as a family. We like to involve our girls in every step, which allows them to learn and grow. We play games while hiking and we even create simple crafts. I also make a simple and fun kids’ camping gear checklist for our girls so they can help us pack for our camping trip.  Kids can easily circle the items as they find them at the campsite. This allows my husband and I time to get our tent and gear all set up while our girls stay entertained. Later we use the paper to help start our fire.

family camping checklist

Our Complete Family Camping Checklist 

Gear –

  • tent
  • sleeping bags
  • pillows
  • extra small blankets for kids by the fire
  • camping chairs
  • lanterns
  • water bottles
  • a bucket for washing dishes
  • reusable plastic dish wear & small container of soap and sponge
  • flashlights
  • firewood and lighter
  • trash bags
  • cooler with food
  • camera
  • first aid kit and sunscreen
  • bikes and toys

Clothes –

Best Healthy Snacks For Hiking camping kids

We always have the best time as a family camping. My favorite moments are early in the morning all warm in our bed. The air is fresh in the mountains and the birds start to wake up. You hear so many incredible sounds that early in the morning in the forest. There’s nothing quite like it, and these are the moments I hope our children always remember. You can shop outdoor gear and more for your next outdoor adventure at llbean.com.

What are your favorite memories of camping with your family? 


  1. Our Family World on August 9, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Thanks for sharing your tips and camping checklist. I am not sure if we will still be able to do some camping this year. However, if we do decide to spend a weekend camping, I will refer to this article for guidance.

  2. Heather on August 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Camping is one of our favorite ways to reconnect with nature. But it still can be stressful prepping. This checklist means the kids can help out in the packing.

  3. Dawn McAlexander (@TheNewClassy) on August 8, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    I like that you put to bring entertainment {as an instrument} on your list. It would be so much fun to sit around a campfire and have a jam session.

  4. Amy Desrosiers on August 8, 2017 at 10:51 am

    We have never been camping before. I might try it outdoors in my backyard sometime.

  5. briannemanz on August 8, 2017 at 9:48 am

    What a great list! I am determined to take my kids camping this summer!

  6. Carol Cassara on August 8, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Aside from the essentials, it’s always nice to have a camera with you to capture moments with the family especially the kids! This is a lovely list!

  7. AnnMarie John on August 8, 2017 at 7:23 am

    It’s been quite some time since the family and I went camping! This is a great list especially since it’s tough when you forget something that’s really needed.

  8. Kristi on August 8, 2017 at 7:05 am

    A great list, thank you. We just went camping out west, always an adventure but we love it. Just going for a few days as we always seem to find a bit of rain when we go.

  9. Annemarie LeBlanc on August 8, 2017 at 12:16 am

    We used to go camping a lot when the kids were still young. Now it is my sister’s turn to take her young kids camping, so I am sharing this post so she can have a checklist too. It would not be a good experience to find out you forgot something important and you are miles away from the nearest convenience store!

  10. Theresa on August 7, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    I have never been camping before, but would love to try it some day. This list will come in handy when we do!

  11. Meagan on August 7, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I wish I could be a camping person. I will have to pass this on to my friend. Her family loves to camp.

  12. Shannon Gurnee on August 1, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Looks like you guys had a blast camping! I’ve never been shopping at LLBean, but looks like they have some cute outfits.

    • Rosey on August 8, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      Agreed. I’m overdue to buy from them. I hear the quality is A+

  13. Rosey on July 30, 2017 at 7:12 am

    That is a good list, and some smart tips. I usually search inclusive things to do, but looking at what might be around the campground is such a smart idea!

  14. shelly peterson on July 28, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    The kids love camping, its a great family experience. Its important to be organized and make sure you don’t forget the important things.

  15. Crystal Bowley Reagan on July 28, 2017 at 8:09 am

    We love camping, whether it be in our backyard or far from home. I am getting better about packing the right things, but your checklist will help make it easier.

  16. Chei Pangan on July 28, 2017 at 3:26 am

    These are really great checklist. Though we rarely go on campings (due to to time scheds) but my siblings and son do have a yearly camping in school, I would def pack these for them.

  17. kellyhutchinson37920 on July 27, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Such a great camping checklist! I always forget the camping chairs!

  18. My Teen Guide on July 27, 2017 at 1:40 am

    You got pretty much everything covered! Camping is a fun family activity and to be able to go to your favorite campsite without having to be in need of something will guarantee a really nice experience for the kids.

  19. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place on July 27, 2017 at 12:27 am

    It’s important to have everything you need when camping! We make sure that we have a checklist for packing all the essentials! Love this one!

  20. Pam Wattenbarger on July 26, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    This is such a great packing checklist for camping. I would have totally forgot half these things.

  21. Liz Mays on July 26, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    This is really helpful! We’ve never gone on a camping trip as a family. I think I’d like to though!

  22. Catherine Sargent on July 26, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    This is a great camping checklist. I loved spending time around the fire making S’mores with the family.

    • Pam Wattenbarger on August 7, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      I love making SMOREs around the fire with the family too. Such great bonding opportunities.

  23. Bill Sweeney on July 26, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    I always use a checklist before I take the family out camping. The one time I didn’t use a checklist, we ended up forgetting the sleeping bags.

  24. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle on July 26, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    This is a great list. You should always use a checklist before going camping. Otherwise, you’re going to be in the woods without something important.

    • Liz Mays on August 7, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Forgetting something after a long drive to a campsite would be bad!

  25. Brandy (@brandyellen) on July 26, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    This is really great, glad you created a family camping checklist. I often forget things when heading out the door with kids, cannot imagine forgetting when we head out for a weekend camp trip!

  26. robin rue on July 26, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Awesome list for camping families. You thought of everything.