Looking for ideas for a low-cost family vacation? Want to get out of town for the weekend to enjoy the fresh air and have some active time with your family? A camping trip is what you need. Aside from all the fun of spending time outdoors, close to nature, your children will love the experience of sleeping in a tent under the stars.
To ensure the success of your camping trip, preparation is key. It’s essential that you bring along the right camping gear to ensure your family’s comfort, fun and safety. Here is a list of the essential pieces you’ll need to pack.
The kind of shelter you have will greatly affect the success of your camping experience. Does it offer enough space? Is it suitable for the location’s weather? Is it easy to set up? When shopping for a camping tent, you need to make sure that you buy one that fits your family’s requirements.
You’ll want to start with the tent’s size. A tent that is too crowded can lead to frustration, which can impact the overall experience. A rule of thumb for tent size is 2.8 square metres for each person who’ll be sleeping in it. But, considering the fact that some gear may need to be stored inside the tent, you’ll need considerably more space. I would recommend you to get as much as 3.5 square metres per person. It’s true that smaller kids will take up less space, but they are going to grow and, at some point, they’ll surely appreciate their own space.
You will notice that there are camping and hiking camping tent models available. The main difference between them is the weight. Hikers need a light tent for easy carrying that is also strong enough to withstand harsh weather elements. Camping tents tend to be heavier. So, to keep your packing light, choose a hiking camping tent. Aside from being lightweight, hiking tents are generally easy to set up. Models with mesh windows will offer great convenience when temperatures get a little warmer. This will allow air to flow through the tent, helping the tent stay cool. Some tents also come with mesh roofs you can cover with a solid rainfly for maximum airflow.
The right sleeping bags can also improve your camping experience. They may all look the same, but not all sleeping bags are created the same. Some work best in warm climates while others keep you snug when the temperature drops. Getting the wrong sleeping bag for your type of camping can leave you shivering or sweating all through the night. So, consider the weather and season you’ll be camping in and choose your sleeping bag accordingly. For a much more comfortable experience, consider investing in foam ground mats and even self-inflatable mats.
Cooking Gear and Food
When it comes to food, you need to think wisely. For example, only taking food that needs cooking isn’t a great idea – what about if the weather doesn’t cooperate. So, you need to consider some emergency options in case the weather turns out bad. For that, there are some sensational and tasty quick prepare meals available on the market that even kids love to eat.
As for kitchen camping utensils, you’ll want to consider heavy-duty plates and cups, a good gas cooker in case you cannot have a fire, some quality cookware for the store or camp ovens over a fire, a washing bowl, some paper towels, table cloth and some foil and plastic wrap to save food. You’ll also want to have some hand sanitiser for quick cleaning while you’re handling food when water is an issue.
Camp Life Gear
This includes a few other things you need to make your camping trip a hit.
Kids are specialists in getting their clothes dirty or wet no matter where they are. Add to that all the temping pounds, and trails surrounding a campsite and you can be sure everyone is going to end up covered in dirt. So, make sure you bring alone extra shirts, pants, socks as well as extra pyjamas. Also, keep in mind that even in peak summer, temperatures can drop drastically once the sun goes down, especially in the wild. Have some fleece sweaters, jackets and hats in the trunk of your car should you find yourselves feeling chilly at night.
To be able to relax around the campfire, drinking and making s’mores, you’ll need comfortable camping chairs. It goes without saying that your chairs should be collapsible. Look for a model that is sturdy, really comfortable and fold up well with their own storage bags.
A Picnik Table
Being able to sit down for meals makes things a lot easier. A fold-up picnic table that is sturdy, can fit at least 4 people and folds up small will make your camping meals stress-free and you can also use it for preparing food.
Torches and Headlights
One of the greatest things about leaving urban life behind and heading into the great outdoors is that the absence of light pollution will give you a beautiful view of all the shining stars in the night sky. However, you and your children may not be used to just how dark nighttime can be, especially if you live in a big city. So be sure to take with you different lighting options like torches, headlights and lanterns. Aside from providing some comfort for kids who aren’t too keen on total darkness, lighting will make it much easier to find the bathroom in the middle of the night as well as keep the fun going even after nightfall.
When shopping for torches and headlights, you’ll come across a wide range of options. To make the right choice for camping, the first factor to consider is lumens. The brightness a torch provides is usually measured in lumens. This can be a good guide when comparing multiple torches as most manufacturers label how many lumens their products are.
As for how many lumens you need, if you’ll be only using your torch for pottering about the campsite, then you don’t really need to get the brightest models money can buy. Plus, higher lumen torches will generally have shorter battery life. Talking about battery life, you’ll also have to decide if you want a rechargeable torch or a traditional one with batteries. Torches that use rechargeable batteries are becoming increasingly popular as most of them use standard USB charging, meaning you can recharge them pretty much anywhere, including cars, solar panels, battery packs. This type of torch sure offers a better value in the long run.
There are some models of torches that can use rechargeable battery packs and traditional batteries interchangeably without affecting performance. This allows you to recharge your head torch repeatedly, and carry some batteries just in case it runs out between charges.