Best Camping Tips for Families

You drove a couple of hours to get to the campsite that you reserved for the weekend. You’ve also made plans for fun activities, meals, and swimming at the nearby lake or beach.

If this is your first time going camping, or going camping as a family, there are all sorts of other things to think about. Did you forget the bug spray or the matches? Do you have an extra tarp for your tent if it decides to rain? There are all sorts of little things like this that can really change the atmosphere of a camping trip. Here are some of our top tips on how to camp for families in the most efficient way.

1. Pre-Cool your ice chest
If you’re taking a cooler camping, you will want to chill it for at least 6 hours beforehand with ice. When it’s time to go, consider switching out the ice for fresh bags of ice, or adding to it. This will dramatically increase the cooling performance of the cooler.

If you take your food and ice bags and place them in the cooler at the same time, it will take at least an hour or and a half or so for the cooler to be at the optimal temperature to chill your food; however, precooling it before hand will get rid of that.

2. Organize everyone’s clothing
It would be way easier to have everyone bring their own personal duffel bag or backpack with their hygiene and clothing items beforehand, rather than bringing Jimmy’s underwear in Dad’s backpack, and Amy’s T-Shirt on Bob’s duffel bag, etc.

3. Store your gear properly
Plastic storage bins and containers are a great way to store all of your cooking equipment, sunscreen, bug spray and other similar items. Picking up some cheap plastic containers from the nearest container store and labeling them properly can save you a serious amount of fuss and frustration when it comes to finding the items you need.

4. Make sure you care for your tent
Some, but not all tents are waterproof; the majority of semi-cheap summer tents are not made with a waterproof coating. So, if you want to keep your tent dry and away from any moisture trying to sneak in, place a tarp under your tent before nailing it down into the ground to adequately protect it from dew, and also keep one in your gear bin in case it rains. However, be sure that your tarp (the one you will use if it rains) is the right size and will adequately cover the tent.

5. Keep your sleeping bags dry
In case someone spilled water on their sleeping bag or had an exciting, sweaty or wet day from swimming and got their sleeping bag a bit wet, open it up and let them air-cool during the day to wick away any moisture left over. This is essential, because nobody wants to sleep in a damp or wet sleeping bag, but nobody wants to be cold, either. Consider bringing an extra sleeping bag or two, in case anything happens.

Also, make sure that you have proper amounts of deodorant, sunscreen, bug spray and fuel for your portable grill (if you decide to bring one). Have fun!

For more camping fun and ideas see video below!