Planning A Family Camping Vacation

A family camping vacation can be a lot of fun once you finally get set up at the campground.  The hardest parts are figuring out where and when to camp and what you will need to bring with you.

It is usually best to find and reserve a campground a few months in advance of your trip, because they fill up quickly. When you are choosing the campground, look at all of the amenities that are included and pick one has things that you want to do while camping.  Most people like to be near a pond or lake, so that they can go kayaking or swimming.  It might also be best if you choose a campground with running water, especially if you have not been camping before.

planning a family camping trip

A few campgrounds that are popular in the United States are Jellystone Park Camp Resorts, Herkimer Diamond KOA, Blue Bell Campground and Ventura Ranch KOA.  They may be a bit of a drive for some people, but if you are looking for a true camping experience, these places are definitely worth the trip.

A week before your camping trip, you will need to look at the weather and then make a list of what you will need.  Everyone likes to camp when the weather is beautiful, but there is always a chance of rain and you will need to be prepared.  Besides appropriate clothing, your list should include a tent, tarps, sleeping bags, pillows, first aid kit, flashlights, extra batteries, camp stove with fuel, cooking gear, dishes, cooler, sunscreen and insect repellant.  If you really want to rough it, then you can pack firewood and matches and build a fire for cooking and roasting marshmallows.  It’s also a good idea to pack a couple of board games or a deck of cards, so that your family has something to do if it starts to rain one day.

After you have your main list of essentials done, you will need a separate list of what food you will be taking.  It helps if you plan a menu of what you are eating every day and then list all of the ingredients that you will need.  When camping, it is easier if you make meals that only take a pot or two for each meal.  Spaghetti and chili are popular for dinner, egg sandwiches are good for breakfast and lunches can be extremely easy if you plan on sandwiches.  Remember that your family usually snacks throughout the day, so make sure that you plan on taking snack foods as well.  This is a great way to get your family to eat more fruit, because apples and oranges are easy items to pack.

Start getting all of your gear together a couple of days before the camping trip.  By starting to pack early, you will have time to realize whether or not you are forgetting anything.  On the morning of your trip, load up the car and head to the campground.

Once you have arrived at the campground, you will want to set up your tent right away.  There is nothing worse than playing all day and then trying to set up the tent when it is dark.  Place the tarp under the tent and make sure that the edges are tucked underneath.  This will keep the rain from pooling up under the tent if it happens to rain.

After you have the tent set up and everything else is where you want it, then go explore your surroundings and enjoy your family camping trip.  You worked hard getting ready for it and it is now time to have some fun!

When was the last time you went camping?


  1. Laurie P says

    I haven’t been camping in a few years….I really should fix that lol

  2. yeah the last time we went tent camping it was late when we finally got there, (its a long drive to say the least) and it started raining…so, yeah no fun..and it was COLD…we ended up getting a pop-up camper, selling that one and getting a very old (70’s from the fabric designs) hard camper (but its heavy as heck so costs about $400 for us to drive all the way there and back for a 3 day weekend!!)

  3. Russ Lovell says

    Tip: RV rental by owner, delivered and set up in advance of your arrival. RV owners near your destination campground share their gear and RV. You simply arrive and start enjoying your trip. – It’s mostly in California now but hopefully more RV owners all over North America will start sharing. Cheers!

  4. Very useful information in this post and in the comments as well!

  5. Great tips for camping!

  6. We went camping on Mothers Day weekend – except we rough it at unserviced forestry areas. Then you have to add drinking/cooking water and ‘port a potty’ fixtures to your camping list!

  7. janicour says

    Love camping, it is a way to get away from technology and learn to listen to each other.

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