You’ve done it. You’ve finally done it. You’ve made the decision to embark on the quintessential family vacation. You’ve been to the theme parks and the beaches. You’ve gone to capital cities and dragged your kids through museums of art and history. Now it’s time to head back to nature.

All the Gear You Need to Make Family Camping a Success

You’re taking your family camping. Yep, you’re taking your family camping, and you hate to admit that you don’t really know the first thing about it. You start by searching, “camping sites near me,” but that’s about as far as you’ve gotten. You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into, but it’s going to be okay. These are the top things you need on your family camping checklist, and they’ll make sure you have an incredible time.

1. Family Tent

Family camping tents are essential to keeping your happy campers happy. In fact, a good tent is the best camping gear investment you can make. You want a model that is roomy enough for all your occupants and also one that is easy to put together. Bonus features to look for are a rain awning and a vestibule, both of which will help you keep the elements out of the inside of your tent.

2. Sleeping Bags

The first thing every camper learns is that it gets really cold at night. No matter what. That means a nice warm sleeping bag is a must. It’s also important to get ones that are waterproof, like this model here, because it always rains. Sorry, but it does.

3. Rain Gear

Speaking of impending rain, it’s a good idea to pack plenty of rain gear with you. Raincoats, waterproof jackets, and waterproof boots will mean that a little drizzle can’t stop you from hitting the trail. It’s also always a good idea to bring along a few airtight storage bags to keep food, supplies, and any electronics dry at your campsite.

4. Cooking Stove

By all means, use the campfire to do some of your cooking, but if you want to deliver mouth-watering meals that will make your family not even realize they’re roughing it then you need a camp stove.

5. Cast Iron Sandwich Maker

These things are literally amazing. The whole reason to go camping in the first place is just to use one. You haven’t made a grilled cheese sandwich until you’ve made it in one of these over an open campfire. It even gets bonus points for the ability to make some pretty killer waffles too. Camping tools with multiple functions are your new best friend.

6. A Coffee Pot

Staying properly caffeinated is crucial to having a great camping experience. A coffee pot like this one can help make it happen. You’ve got to have the energy to lead your little campers on long hikes and keep them safe from bears, so you better have your coffee in tow.

7. Outdoor Toys

You might like to experience nature quietly by sitting on a log and breathing in the beauty of the world. That’s lovely, but children will only remain occupied with the beauty of nature for about three minutes. After that you better have something, like these outdoor toys, up your sleeve.

8. Lighting

Lanterns and flashlights are an absolute must, especially with children running around. Everyone should have a flashlight, and your campsite should have at least one lantern. You can choose a solar powered lantern, so that you don’t have to worry about always having those giant C9 batteries on hand.

9. Collapsible Camping Chairs

No one wants to sit on the ground. Not even your kids with their limber limbs. Collapsible camping chairs are comfortable, lightweight and easy to pack. Whether you plan to drive to your campsite or hike into it, you will be able to easily cart in a few chairs to keep everybody comfortable.

10. A Cooler

Remember, you are roughing it, so there’s no refrigerator to store all your perishable items. That makes a cooler and an assortment of freezer packs pretty important to your meal planning. Opt for a cooler with wheels in case you plan on camping far away from your vehicle or if you want pack it up for a day trip.

You’re Ready to Tackle the Great Outdoors with This Great Gear

Although you may not have gone camping yet, you deserve a pat on the back for making some plans. Once you find the perfect location and collect all the perfect gear, you and your family will have an unforgettable time. You’ll sit and tell stories around the campfire, you’ll conquer hiking trails, and you’ll make some killer s’mores using nothing more than the twigs you found on the ground. You’ll do great.

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