What To Pack For A Family Camping Holiday

What To Pack For A Family Camping Holiday

It’s March and in our household that means only one thing. The start of the camping season. All across the UK my fellow campers are busy dusting off their awnings, servicing their vans, and getting the camping supplies out of the shed.  Campsite owners are opening their gates and bracing themselves for the Easter Weekend madness.

I can’t wait. We’ve had our van now for about 7 years but previous to that we had a number of different tents. As the body started to ache more and more my need for luxury increased.  With more cupboards to fill and more room in the car boot (due to the lack of tent), the supplies I pack are ridiculous. You would swear I’m off travelling for a year rather than just a 2 week break.  Other than the obvious items such as awning, tent etc, what other items do you need for a successful family camping trip?


Camping Essentials Checklist - All the items you need for a successful family camping holiday. As recommended by experienced family camper enthusiasts. Includes a free download.


My Favourite Camping Items

When my husband starts complaining about MPG and weight ratios I know I’ve got to ease up a bit on the packing. But there are a few things I just can’t live without. These are:

  1. Slow cooker – I love sorting it out in the morning, hitting the beach all day and just know tea is there when we get back. I can shower with everyone else (before the bats and spiders come out), and just sit back and relax eating a proper meal.
  2. Full size pots and pans – you still eat the same amount of food don’t you?
  3. A collapsible plastic crate – useful for lugging around the washing up, and also to use as a box to throw the dirty shoes in before entering the van.
  4. A toastie maker – ideal for that quick snack/light lunch.
  5. Wellies – whatever the weather wellies are a must-have!
  6. Wind-break – gives some shelter from the wind and some privacy from fellow campers
  7. Huge waterproof bags – trips to the showers with the kids, throwing stuff in for the journey home, dirty washing bag.

Fellow Camper Camping Favourites

So there are my top 7.  However, there are plenty more and I went out to ask my fellow experienced campers about the items that were essential for their family camping trips.  Other than the obvious – such as tent, ground sheet, caravan etc, here is our list.  In no particular order:

  1. First aid kit – Becky
  2. Doormat – Emma
  3. Washing up bowl – Sarah
  4. Heater – Tracey
  5. Rechargeable lantern – Jennifer
  6. BBQ – Kerry
  7. Binbags – a whole variety of uses other than the obvious so make sure it is a big roll! – Danielle
  8. A torch – Emma
  9. A large plastic trug – use it for washing up, washing clothes, washing a small child, bung mucky things in it to go home – Kelly
  10. Hand sanitiser – Lynne
  11. Solar powered fairy lights – Jade
  12. Dustpan and brush – Katie
  13. An electric cooler box –  Emma
  14. A small gazebo – Liberty


A Few More For Good Measure?

If you happen to have room in the boot for a few more, then there were a couple of other items that although not essential would be useful to have.  I thought I would share them with you just in case you have the space?

  1. Wifi dongle – Christy
  2. Blow up sofa – Lynn  (this has to be my favourite suggestion and one I will follow up on)
  3. Portable DAB radio – Victoria
  4. Portable DVD player (for the inevitable  rainy days) – Michelle
  5. Coffee maker – Tracey


Don’t worry about writing any of this down because I have created a free downloadable for you.  Click this link for the checklist – What To Pack For A Successful Family Camping Holiday

If you have any other suggestions then I’d be keen to hear them.  I can always squirrel a few more things in to the car!  Other than that there is nothing left for me to say other than to wish you a fabulous camping trip away with the family.  I hope you get lucky with the weather.



  1. April 16, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    I never thought of a slow cooker but totally right! What are “wellies?”

    • Melanie
      April 17, 2018 / 9:53 pm

      Wellington boots. Definitely top of my packing list whatever the season 😉

  2. April 17, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    We only bought our van at the end of summer 2017 so still working out exactly what we need, but getting there now. Looking forward to using it in the warmer months. Blow up sofa is a good one! Pinned this for future reference. #Bigpinklink

    • Melanie
      April 17, 2018 / 9:54 pm

      Ah I’m so glad it was useful. Always makes me giggle that suggestion. I think it’s genius 😁

  3. April 17, 2018 / 11:37 pm

    I would never think of taking a slow cooker – but you are so right! What a great way to get dinner (or tea) ready while you are out enjoying the day. I haven’t been camping in years, so I don’t have a great suggestion to add.

    • Melanie
      April 18, 2018 / 11:04 am

      I’m glad I can be of use for your next trip. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

  4. twotinyhands
    April 20, 2018 / 6:34 am

    I love camping! The dab radio is on our essentials list! We try and pack light always as we like to go off on foot and camp. Should be interesting this year as we have two kids instead on one! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

    • Melanie
      April 24, 2018 / 5:07 pm

      Oh wow, that is serious camping. Good luck with having the two of them. Have fun.

  5. April 22, 2018 / 5:37 pm

    There are some brilliant tips here, it’s always so so much more fun when you have the right gear. We have upgraded to a camper van now and it’s bliss.Thanks for linking up to the #bigpinklink this week

    • Melanie
      April 24, 2018 / 5:06 pm

      The camper van is our dream! Lucky you. I am glad you liked my post, and thank you for leaving a comment.

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