Thursday, July 18, 2013

Family Camping Trip Packing List

Some of my fondest memories in Girl Scouts are of preparing for camping and backpacking. I've written before about the "stuff" involved. Although getting out of town puts me on edge and makes me almost unbearable to be around, I actually enjoy the mental preparation for a trip, and I like going over the checklists. I enjoy the anticipation of breaking routine, exploring, thinking about where all this equipment will take us.

Could we get by with less than the list below?  Of course.  The first time I really took the kids camping on my own, I felt that we had really overdone it in terms of equipment.  However, once we had a well-organized camping site, it allowed us to spend several days together without having to flail around, look for things, drop things in the dirt, etc. every time we wanted to prepare a meal or get ready for bed.  A well-organized and well-stocked campsite makes it a lot easier with kids, tell you what.  Mine are elementary aged, and it's the golden age for camping trips.  They are old enough to help, not too whiny, and excited to explore anything new.  I can still get them interested in identifying types of trees, wildflowers, birds and rocks.  It's the best family activity I know.  Hopefully our list helps you prepare your next trip.

This link will take you to my document with any changes I make to it, but here's the list as it stands right now:
Camping Trip Packing List

Shelter and Sleeping
  • Ground cloth
  • Tent(s)
  • Sleeping pads
  • inflatable mattress & pump
  • cots
  • Sleeping bags
  • Pillows
  • Chairs
  • rug for tent entryway

Camp Kitchen
  • folding table
  • Stove (be sure to test it each time before you go)
  • Stove fuel
  • Charcoal and lighter fuel (if grilling)
  • Firewood and kindling (if allowed)
  • Matches/lighter
  • Cooking pots and pans
  • Cast iron grill
  • Extra drinking water & large water dispenser (to get you started & then to refill for your campsite)
  • Utensil set (including spoons, knives, forks, and cooking utensils such as serving spoons, knives, and spatulas) TONGS.
  • Can opener
  • Mess kits for everyone (plates, cups, bowls)
  • sporks
  • Cooler and ice  (make block ice)
  • Dish detergent
  • Dish towels/ small towels
  • Sponge/scraper
  • Plastic basin (for washing dishes)
  • Small bottle of bleach or antibacterial kitchen cleaner
  • Tablecloth
  • Trash bags
  • Foil
  • Ziploc bags
  • Hot pads
  • Citronella candle
  • Food Items
  • Snacks
  • Fruit
  • Peanut butter and bread (very quick and handy if your kids like it)
  • Butter/cooking oil
  • Condiments (salt, pepper, multi-spice, and mustard/catsup when applicable)
  • Beverages (juice boxes, milk)
  • Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate
  • Milk, sugar (if needed)
  • Desserts
  • Makings for s'mores (marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate)
  • 2 big coolers.  Picnic cooler.

Handy Stuff
  • Extra shade-- tarp or whatever
  • Paracord
  • Rubber bands/ zip ties
  • bungee cords
  • extra adjustable straps
  • Clothespins
  • Duct tape
  • Multi-tool/utility knife & vise grips
  • Small handheld broom (for sweeping out the tent)
  • Lantern
  • Headlamps for all
  • Batteries/ car chargers for everything
  • bandana

  • washcloths
  • Soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Shampoo/ conditioner (if showers)
  • Face cleanser/ moisturizer
  • Quarters for pay showers (?)
  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Razor
  • Toilet paper and trowel
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Baby wipes

First Aid/ Medical
  • Bandages
  • Gauze/ tape
  • Ace bandage  (or instead of tape I buy that stretchy stuff that sticks to itself and it can double for an ace bandage)
  • Benadryl
  • Neosporin (with pain relief)
  • Bug repellent
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tweezers
  • Moleskin (if hiking)
  • Prescription meds

Clothing for All
  • Shoes/Boots
  • Shorts
  • Long pants
  • Tee shirts
  • Sandals/flip-flops or water shoes (for public showers)
  • Wool socks
  • Underwear
  • Rain/wind jacket
  • sweater or jacket
  • Pajamas
  • Bathing suits
  • Sunglasses
  • beanie-type hat
  • Sun hat/ cap
  • Swim towels
  • Daypacks

  • Water bottles/ hydration packs
  • Camera
  • Video camera
  • Reading material for all (including good bedtime stories)
  • Guidebooks and maps
  • Camping reservation info
  • Cell phone

Kid Stuff

  • Bicycles
  • Whistle/compass
  • crawdadding equipment (line, hook, summer sausage, bucket)
  • knot-tying books
  • Toys, board games, or deck of cards
  • Journal or sketchbook & writing/drawing implements.

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