Camping Trip

Shopping for a camping trip for the whole family

There's nothing like a camping trip when you want to have fun as a family. Shopping for the right stuff before you hit the road will ensure you have everything you need to keep kids and adults alike happy throughout the adventure.

Pack the right clothes for weather and activities

You want to make sure the whole group is dressed appropriately for the activities you have planned. Likewise, you'll want to keep the weather in mind when you're packing. Decide on activities ahead of time to make sure you and the kids have the gear you need. Then check that weather report!

If it's going to be cooler, make sure you have warm clothes and sleeping bags on your list of things to pack. On the other hand, if the group is planning on swimming, bathing suits are a must. Packing layers is a great way to make sure you're prepared for anything. That favorite sweatshirt for each of the kids will go a long way on chilly evenings.

In fact, you should plan to have clothing that combats tougher weather even if you only have sun in the forecast. Waterproof coats and warmer layers will keep you safe and cozy if the weather takes an unexpected turn. You don't want to get stuck unprepared.

Plan gear based on activities

Once you know what you plan to do during your trip, you can better prepare the things you need. Does your family like fishing? Make sure you have a tackle box and fishing rods for everyone. Looking forward to a long hike? Don't forget to pack hiking boots.

No matter what you have planned, though, there are certain things everyone will want to take. Flashlights, headlamps, or battery-powered lanterns will help you move around the campsite once it gets dark — and they certainly come in handy if kids get frightened at night. Make sure you pack extra batteries, too.

Stock up on food

Shop for meal supplies and snacks before hitting the road. You'll want enough food to keep you energized, though the type of food you'll take with you may change depending on how you plan your trip. If you're camping with your RV, consider taking foods like meat and eggs. They'll keep you fueled up, and since you can refrigerate them in your RV, they'll stay fresh and tasty.

On the other hand, if you're just driving to a campsite, you'll need to rely on mostly canned foods like vegetables, soups, and beans. Bring snacks that won't spoil, and don't forget your can opener.

Try to prepare as much as possible before heading off. Once you've bought the food you need, you can slice your veggies, marinate your meats, and wrap your potatoes in foil (another must for the shopping list).

Prepare your shelter

Buy your tent. And then test it out. You don't want to get to the campsite and struggle while the kids wait impatiently nearby. Try setting it up a couple of times in your yard so you're ready to get your getaway off on the right foot.

You'll also want to get a tarp. You can put a tarp on the bottom of the tent for added protection, or you can stretch it over the tent to keep things drier. Shop for a tarp that fits the size of your tent.

Test your supplies to see what else you need

Before setting off on your trip, test out what you have to make sure everything's in working order. Then replace or upgrade your supplies as needed.

If you're taking a portable gas stove with you, test it out before you pack it. You may need to get a replacement gas canister, and you want to know this before you get to the campsite! Likewise, turn on all those flashlights. Now is the time to replace batteries if they're dead.

Put lighters on the list if the lighters you have are out of fluid. And if your GPS or alarm clock uses batteries, test those out, as well. It doesn't hurt to have extra batteries with you even if everything seems to be working just fine.

Verify what you can and can't bring

Before finalizing your shopping list, check regulations for your campsite. Different places will allow different kinds of activities.

If you're allowed to have a campfire, it's a great activity for the whole family. It will warm everyone up if it gets chilly and let you spend some quality family time swapping stories, singing songs, or roasting marshmallows — so put marshmallows on your list along with firewood, a lighter, and jackets!

Arriving at your campsite fully prepared will help ensure that everyone has an enjoyable camping experience. From food to warm clothes to extras like batteries, shopping for everything you need before your trip will let you create memories that the whole family will cherish.

Related Articles