Camping trips with the family help create some of the best memories in life.
Whether your family is planning on taking a short or long camping trip this summer, it can be a bit overwhelming to get ready for it – especially, if you’ve never done it before.
Often times, families purchase more gear than they actually need.
Depending on how big your family is, you can end up having too little space in your car or bags (in case, you’re going to travel without a car) for packing all that stuff you bought.
The key to smart packing is to have only camping essentials.
If you’re going to camp with your family for the first time or you’re looking to upgrade your camping equipment, here are the best camping gear for families:
1. A High-Quality Tent
There’s a wide range of camping tents available on the market these days and choosing the most comfortable for a family can be extremely tricky.
When choosing a tent, size is the first thing to consider.
If you have a big family of 6 or 8, you’ll need a tent that will fit your family and have a bit of space for unexpected guests on a rainy day.
If you have a small family, there’s no need in purchasing a large camping tent.
The season is the second thing to consider. If you’re going to camp in spring or summer, regular tents might go a long way, while the fall and winter seasons require specific tents.
Avoid buying a low-quality tent since you risk living without a roof on windy and rainy days.
Your tent is going to become your temporary home, so ensure it is high-quality and won’t fail if a storm passes through.
Quality matters here. Moreover, consider the location where you’re going to camp and its weather conditions.
Ideally, your tent should be double-walled, waterproof, and steady enough to protect your family from strong winds.
Here are a few tents to consider:
If you’re going to stay in a certain campsite for several days or weeks, and your family will be doing some relaxing, eating, playing, and lounging around the camp, it’s vital that you choose the most comfortable tent possible.
Coleman Mountain View 12×12 Screen Dome is both a fully-enclosable screen tent and a comfortable sun shelter.
It allows you to unzip and zip each side of the tent, for screened-in comfort or open air.
Coleman Mountain View 12×12 Screen Dome will keep your family safe from winds, rains, and sun rays. We highly recommend it.
Available in different sizes, Kelty Trail Ridge can fit a family of 3 to 5 people – it best fits 2-3 adults or 3 to 2 kids. Moreover, this tent is a great value yet very high-quality.
Kelty Trail Ridge is great for summer camping as it stays cool during summer.
The tent can easily fit in the back of the car and it’s super easy to set up.
There’s a lot of storage space and it has an entry from both sides.
The living space will ensure your family feels comfortable during the cool, rainy days.
There are two undeniable reasons to choose the Coleman Carlsbad Tent with Screen Room.
First of all, it’s because the tent boasts modern technology that uses incredible materials to help block out rays and support sleeping in.
This is the perfect option for families with infants or toddlers who nap in the afternoon.
Secondly, the tent uses special technology that allows you to set it up about 60% faster than the majority of other tents on the market.
This tent is designed for a big family of 6, albeit you can find a similar tent for 4 people.
Coleman Carlsbad Tent with Screen Room is amazingly roomy and is renowned for its incredible screen dome vestibule.
2. Sleeping Supplies So You Can Rest
Besides a great tent, your family will also need sleeping bags, an air mattress, blankets and pillows to sleep. Again, it depends on the season.
Sleeping bags are perfect for cool and cold weather while air mattress is a good option for summer camping.
Here are a few options to consider:
Available in a great variety of beautiful colors, RevalCamp’s sleeping bags are perfect for family camping.
The biggest perks of choosing them is the combination of quality and comfort.
These sleeping bags are good for younger children and teens alike.
You can use these sleeping bags both indoors and outdoors – they offer enough warmth to comfortably sleep in 40-degree temperatures.
One sleeping bag weighs just 2 pounds, making it an excellent choice for big families.
If you’re looking for a comfortable, durable, and stylish sleeping bag for your child, Coleman Youth Mummy 30 Degree Sleeping Bag is definitely worth considering.
The bag boasts solid insulation and is ideal for sleeping in 30-degree weather.
Thanks to the adjustable hood, your child can regulate their temperature and modify the ventilation.
A small interior pocket allows your child to keep a flashlight.
This sleeping bag is designed for children up to 5 feet tall. The mummy-style design adds added warmth.
This sleeping bag is designed for adults and it’s wonderfully comfortable to sleep in.
This rectangular sleeping bag features the draft tubes, double-layer construction, innovative fiberfill, and mummy hood, which ensure warmth during cold nights.
Teton Sports Celsius Regular Sleeping Bag is recommended for camping in three seasons and has left and right zippers, making it easy to get in and out of.
If you have a large camping tent and you and your spouse don’t want to sleep apart, invest in this versatile Exped MegaSleep Duo Sleeping Bag.
This sleeping bag can keep you warm for years and can even be used as an additional sleeping option for your guests in your house.
The roomy rectangular shape can be used with an air mattress for extra comfort.
The sleeping bag features the durable polyester insulation, full length of zipper, and 3D anti-snag draft tube.
If the summer is super hot where you’re going to camp, a sleeping bag might not be the best option.
Plus, if your children refuse to sleep in sleeping bags, you can buy an air mattress instead.
It’s large enough to fit 2 to 3 kids and provides all the comforts of their beds at home.
The mattress is lightweight, self-inflating, and very thick.
The vertical sidewalls let you mate 2 pads, creating a huge sleeping pad for two adults. This camping mattress is available in 2 sizes.
Looking for a great, high-quality camping air mattress? Etekcity Camping Air Mattress is worth taking a look at.
It’s available in two styles – queen and twin – and raises nine inches from the floor, protecting you from the wet and cold ground surfaces.
Constructed of the non-toxic PVC material, Etekcity Camping Air Mattress includes a variety of nozzles and an air pump for a fast and easy inflation process.
Despite its bulky size, the mattress is lightweight and easy to pack.
If your kids want their own beds, purchase these phenomenal sleeping pads for each of them.
These pads are compact, lightweight, and have an attached pillow.
They’re available in two colors and feature extra length and width so if you or your little ones tend to move around during the sleep, you shouldn’t worry about slipping away from the pad.
The best part is a few sleeping pads can be connected together with buckles, forming a huge sleeping area for the whole family.
3. Daypacks For Everyone
When you have an infant or a toddler, camping and hiking might seem impossible or uncomfortable.
Thankfully, we live in a modern world where technology makes nearly everything is possible.
Investing in a baby backpack carrier will help you walk easier and buying small backpacks for your children will help you pack more gear and snacks.
Here are a few daypack options to consider:
Whether you’re going to car camp or camp or in the woods, Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack will help you pack a lot of things while saving plenty of space in the vehicle.
It’s ergonomically shaped for a great fit and features the reinforced shoulder straps, which help when you carry heavy loads.
Despite its large capacity, it’s lightweight and great for family camping trips.
Constructed of 600d oxford cloth and lightweight yet durable metal frame, this toddler backpack carrier is a life-saver for new parents who want to camp and hike.
This backpack will allow you to carry your little one in a padded cocoon with stirrups, safety straps, and double protection safety jacket.
Moreover, it features a retractable canopy that you can keep in the back bag to protect your baby from the outdoor elements.
On a rainy day, you can take advantage of the full rain cover to keep your toddler dry and warm.
This backpack carrier is designed for kids from 6 months to about 4 years.
TeckCool Store Hiking Backpack Carrier has thick padded shoulder pads, a number of great pockets, 2 side water bottle holders, and a padded waist strap.
Plus, it features an extremely big back pocket for keeping necessities and diapers.
You can remove a rain or sun canopy anytime and use this carrier in your daily life, too.
One of the perks of camping with a family is that you don’t need to carry tons of gear yourself.
However, you need to make sure that you have two things on you at all times – camping gear essentials and water.
Despite its small size, Osprey Packs Daylite Daypack can fit a lot of things and you can then use it for hiking.
The daypack features a slot for a hydration bladder, a large main compartment, a comfortable back panel, side mesh pockets, and one front pocket.
It’s perfect for teens and adults.
Now your kids turn to choose their daypacks! Let your child help you carry some things without overloading them.
Deuter Kids Fox 40 Hiking Backpack is an excellent choice for family camping.
It’s lightweight, child-sized, comfy, fully adjustable, and has a 40-liter internal capacity.
Besides being hydration system compatible, this backpack features comfortable soft-edge and S-shaped shoulder straps, attachment loops on the lid, gear loops on hipbelt, lid pocket, side bellows pockets, and an emergency whistle on the chest strap.
MAYZERO Waterproof Backpack is ideal for camping, traveling, hiking, daily use, and even school.
Made of top quality, lightweight and waterproof nylon fabric, the backpack is durable and wear-resistant.
It offers great capacity and unbelievable comfort thanks to adjustable, padded thicken shoulder straps.
The backpack also features prep bag vice-home bag, main pocket, 2 side mesh pockets, and second pocket.
4. Camping Hammocks So The Family Can Relax
Camping hammocks are incredibly versatile.
You can hang out in a hammock, use it as a rain cover or as a comfortable bed for relaxing in and taking naps.
Most importantly, kids love hammocks! Camping hammocks are tricky to choose, but here are a few suggestions you might like:
Active Roots Double Camping Hammock is one of the most lightweight, high-quality, and durable parachute hammocks available on the market today.
It’s designed for 2 people, albeit you can easily relax with your little ones.
Made of breathable, durable, nylon parachute fabric, this hammock can support a whopping 500 pounds.
The hammock features the full suspension system, making it easy and quick to set up and also takedown.
We think it is one of the best camping hammocks available now.
Once you see this hammock, you’ll instantly fall in love with it. It’s just perfect – literally.
You can enjoy the hammock’s perks for many years to come – especially if your family loves camping all year long.
The winner of the prestigious Gear Of The Year Award, Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge Camping Hammock and Tent is lightweight, durable, bug-free, and waterproof.
If you have a small family, you can use this hammock as a tent if the weather permits. Imagine sleeping under the stars together!
Looking for a high-quality, amazing hammock? Your family will love this Lost Valley Camping Hammock.
It features a roomy storage pocket that keeps your valuables close and safe while sleeping and added ventilation that ensures a proper airflow inside, preventing the hammock from getting stuffy and hot.
Moreover, the hammock protects you from insects and bugs thanks to its high-quality mosquito net.
5. Camping Cookware For Your Meals
While you can pack some cookware you find in your kitchen, it’s smarter to invest in special camping cookware. Why? First, it saves space.
Second, it contains all the items you need for cooking outdoors somewhere in the woods, for instance.
Choose your camping cookware based on how small or big your family is.
Here are our top picks for you to consider:
This non-stick cookware is ideal for family camping.
The set consists of 4 bowls, 4 insulated mugs, 2 nylon strainer lids, 9″ frypan, 2-liter pot, 3-liter pot, a stuff sack/welded sink, a folding pot handle, 4 sip through lids, and 4 7.5″ plates.
The pots are made of hard-anodized aluminum and are highly durable.
This compact 11-piece set for camping features a non-stick Teflon coating and is high-temperature as well as friction-resistant.
The set includes serving spoon/spatula, a personal bowl, serving ladle, 1 qt. tea kettle, 6.4″ frying pan, and 2 qt. large pot and lid, which are all made of lightweight aluminum oxide.
The Terra Hiker Camping Cookware Set features a deep boiling pot that can boil 400 ml water in about 2 minutes.
Constructed of imported hard-anodized aluminum, this 10-piece camping cookware is wear-resistant, non-toxic, and non-stick.
There are two options to choose from – for 2 to 3 people and for 5 people.
6. Adventure Gear & Toys For Children
Sometimes it’s hard to keep kids entertained when you camp in the woods, far away from Wi-Fi and video games.
Luckily, there are some fabulous adventure gear toys for children you can pack in your child’s backpack.
Check out the following options:
Let your child dress up for a fun, outside adventure as a paleontologist or a safari explorer.
The kit is ideal for children age 4 to 10 years old and includes a compass, whistle, binoculars, working magnifying glass, flashlight with batteries, Safari hat, and Safari khaki cargo vest.
The gear is safe and durable. What could be more fun than having a safari day in the woods?
Made of top quality materials, Norsy Toys Outdoor Exploration Set is safe and durable.
Go out for camping with your adventurous kids to explore nature and teach them about it. Your children will forget about their video games and smartphones in a jiff.
7. Camping Flashlights For Night-Time
Even if you’re not afraid of the dark, you’ll need at least one camping flashlight – especially when you’re going to camp with children.
If you don’t have any special flashlights currently, check out the following options:
This high-quality flashlight gets about 6 hours of non-diminishing light while camping. This rechargeable flashlight is compact, lightweight, yet astonishingly powerful.
It features the zoom option, with a 1000-feet max distance. There are 5 different settings, such as high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS.
Apart from its sleek design, Fenix Tactical Flashlight is lightweight, high performance, and pocket-sized.
Its LED bulb has a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. Constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum, this flashlight is known for its durability.
8. A Firepit For Ghost Stories & S’Mores
If you’re new to camping, you might forget to pack a fire pit.
Portable fire pits make camp-cooking easier and more comfortable, plus wood and propane burning are the two major fuel sources for fire pits.
Here are some fire pits perfect for family camping:
If you’re going on a camping car trip, consider packing this fire pit for easy and fast cooking outdoors.
This portable fire pit burns cleanly and has a 10-foot hose with an attached regulator.
It features the long-lasting decorative lava rocks that finish the look for extra visual appeal. You might need to invest in a cover, though.
One of the most compact fire pits, UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit folds to easily fit in a regular backpack.
It’s stainless-steel and thus durable enough to survive daily cooking for the whole family.
The fast 30-second setup makes this fire pit one of the essential pieces of equipment for family camping.
9. A Camera To Capture Beautiful Moments
Capture those amazing family camping moments with a compact camera.
Although your smartphone might already have a camera, it’s best to have a professional camera, like:
With image stabilization and 12x optical zoom, this compact camera from Canon that allows you to shoot at 1080p high definition.
It’s lightweight, well-built and offers NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Thanks to the increased low-light sensitivity, sharpness is improved even without a flash.
We highly recommend bringing a high-quality camera, so you can reflect back on the wonderful times you and your family had in the great outdoors!
What Else Do You Recommend Bringing For Family Camping?
Obviously, there are tons and tons of things you can bring camping with your family.
As thorough as this guide is, it is only really scratching the service!
The first thing we recommend is to bring some games – a deck of cards, a checkers board, a chessboard. Whatever your family likes to play.
Additionally, we also highly recommend bringing a few tarps. If it starts to rain, you can use these tarps to shield your tent from the downpour.
Check out our article on camping in the rain if you believe you are going to deal with inclement weather.
We also recommend bringing plenty of sunscreen, bug spray, and water.
You can also temporarily fix almost anything with duck tape, so make sure you pack some for your trip. Make sure you also have a first aid kit!
There you have it – the best camping gear for families. We love camping, and we hope you have enjoyed reading this article!
Have a wonderful time in the great outdoors with your loved ones, and make sure you stop by ATO often for the best information and guides on nature, hunting, and more.
Lover of hiking, nature, camping, bird calls, and more. I run ATO and do my best to provide interesting information for my readers to help make their outdoor adventures more fun.