Family Camping Essentials list

This year we don’t have any foreign holidays booked but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to have lots of adventures. After the destruction of our tent at Camp Bestival last year we have already been looking at a selection of Tents to replace ours and allow us to get outdoors more this year. We are also on the lookout for some family camping sites to visit around the UK. To help us get the most out of our staycations this year I wanted to put together a family camping essentials list which I can use for all of our camping adventures.


As a family of four, we like a big tent and I mean a big one. We prefer a tent with separate rooms and lots of space. Our last tent was a pop up 8 berth tent and we loved it. Having a big tent means that you can really make it into a home instead of just somewhere to sleep. This is perfect when going on a family camping trip in the UK as if the weather is bad you can chill out inside passing the time without feeling cramped. We love the size of some of the Vango tents available from Simply Hike.

Sleeping Equipment

Getting a good night sleep when camping is not only really important but it is also quite hard to do. Last year we were introduced to Kid-o-bunks which means that the kids will be very comfortable the next time we go camping. As grown-ups,¬†we sleep on inflatable¬†mattresses but the amount of times these have deflated on us is a bit of a joke. This year I promised myself that we would either get a really expensive inflatable bed or get some large camping beds to make sure that I get a good night sleep as well. I would also recommend that when buying sleeping bags you don’t opt for the cheap ones. Getting a high tog sleeping bag even in winter will help to keep you warm when you are not used to sleeping outside. I am a lover of a mummy-style sleeping bag as it is great at keeping you nice and cosy.

Cooking Equipment

Last year was the first year that we really thought about cooking when camping. It made a huge difference to the cost of our trip and the quality of what we ate. We had a couple of single burner gas stoves with gas canisters and a set of camping saucepans. We do need to invest in some more cooking utensils and a decent sized frying pan would be good as well. We will also look at some of the standard kitchen equipment to add to our family camping essentials. A wipeable lightweight chopping board, a proper knife and a good quality can opener are all really important when you are wanting to feed your family.

Camping as a family doesn’t have to cost a lot as long as you are organised and you take the right equipment with you. See the list below for my recommended list of family camping essentials.

  • tent
  • sleeping bags
  • beds
  • pillows
  • blankets
  • picnic rugs
  • table and chairs
  • Gazebo
  • plates and cutlery
  • stove and gas
  • saucepans, kettle and utensils
  • torches/lanterns
  • washing up bowl and equipment
  • water container
  • cool box/food storage

Let me know if you can think of anything that I am missing from my list.