Camping Essentials for 2023: Everything you need to go camping with the family
If you were thinking about doing some fun camping trips with your family this year, now is the time to start planning and getting your gear together.
Here is a list of camping essentials that you will need for a comfortable and enjoyable trip.
If we've forgotten anything, please let us know in the comments!
Tent (and footprint, stakes)
A tent is an essential piece of equipment for any camping trip. It will provide you and your family with a place to sleep, relax and store your belongings.
Look for a tent that is easy to set up and take down, as well as one that is waterproof and has enough room for everyone in your party.
Don't forget to buy/take a decent groundsheet (often called a footprint) to protect the bottom of your tent from wear and tear, as well as some extra stakes in case you need them.
Related: 5 Cool Tips for Camping with Your Kids
Sleeping bags are another essential - you will need a sleeping bag for each person in your party.
Sleeping bags come in different shapes and sizes, so make sure you choose one that is comfortable and will keep you warm at night.
If you are camping in a colder climate, you might want to consider investing in a sleeping quilt or blanket for extra warmth.
In addition to a sleeping bag, you will also need a sleeping pad (or two) to sleep on. Sleeping pads provide insulation and cushioning, and can make a world of difference in terms of comfort.
Make sure to get a sleeping pad that is the right size for you and your family - too small and you'll be uncomfortable, too large and it will take up too much space in your tent.
A camping pillow is not strictly essential, but it can certainly make your trip more comfortable. If you don't want to invest in a camping pillow, you can use a regular pillow from home (just make sure to pack it in a waterproof bag).
Headlamps or flashlights (and extra batteries)
Bringing headlamps and flashlights is always a good idea when you're camping. You never know when you might need them, and it's always better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.
Pack extra batteries for your headlamp or flashlight, just in case. There is rarely anything worse than standing in the pitch black and realising your flashlight has stopped working...!
Camp chairs are a luxurious addition to any camping trip. They provide a place to sit and relax, and can be used around the campfire or at your campsite.
If you're planning on doing a lot of sitting around the campfire, you might want to consider bringing along some cushions or pillows for extra comfort.
Camp table (if no picnic table)
A camp table can be incredibly useful when you're camping - not just if you are cooking meals at your campsite but also for playing games, doing crafts or even just eating your meals.
If you don't want to bring a camp table, you can always use a picnic table that is already at your campsite (if there is one).
Lantern (and mantles and fuel/batteries if needed)
A lantern is another great item to have when you're camping. It can provide light at your campsite, and can also be used for cooking or as a nightlight inside your tent.
If you are using a propane lantern, make sure to bring along extra mantles and fuel and take the proper precautions.
If you are using an electric lantern, pack extra batteries just in case.
Cooler and ice
Camping can make it a little difficult to keep any food and drink cold , particularly on blazing hot days.
A cooler can help with this, and will also allow you to keep any perishable items (like meat or dairy) from going bad.
Be sure to bring along enough ice to keep your cooler cold - if not, you can usually buy this at the campsite itself or find a local supermarket.
Camp stove and fuel
A camp stove is a great way to cook meals while you're camping, and can be used for anything from boiling water to cooking a full-blown meal.
If you're using a propane camp stove, make sure to bring along extra fuel - and take the proper precautions when handling it.
If you are using an electric camp stove, pack extra batteries just in case.
Cookware and eating utensils
Of course, you will need some pots, pans and cooking utensils if you want to be able to cook while you're camping.
There are a lot of different options out there, from basic sets that include the essentials to more elaborate sets that have everything you could possibly need.
It's up to you to decide what you need, but be sure to pack enough for everyone in your group.
Don't forget about eating utensils, too - plates, bowls, cups, knives, forks, spoons... the list goes on.
Again, there are a lot of different options out there, so it's up to you to decide what you need.
Just be sure to pack enough for everyone in your group!
Coffee maker (if you must have your coffee)
If your morning coffee is non-negotiable, then you might want to consider bringing along a coffee maker.
Of course, there are a lot of different options out there - from single cup makers to full-blown espresso machines. It's up to you to decide what you need.
Water containers (and a way to purify water)
You will, of course, need a way to carry water with you when you're camping.
Water containers come in all shapes and sizes, so it's up to you to decide what you need.
Just be sure to pack enough for everyone in your group, and to account for any activities you might be doing (hiking, swimming, etc.).
If you're not sure where you will be getting your water from, it's also a good idea to bring along a water purifier - just in case.
Dish soap, sponge, scrub brush, dishtowel
You will need to wash your dishes at some point, so be sure to pack dish soap, a sponge and a scrub brush (or two).
A dishtowel is also a good idea, as you can use it to dry your dishes or wipe up any spills.
Food storage containers
If you're planning on cooking any meals while you're camping, you will need some food storage containers.
These can be used to store leftovers or to pack food for a hike.
Again, there are a lot of different options out there - from simple plastic bags to full-blown Tupperware sets. It's up to you to decide what you need.
Bin Bags bags
Bin bags are always useful, no matter where you are.
They can be used for everything from storing your dirty laundry to packing up your wet gear.
Be sure to pack a few extra, just in case.
Firewood and fire starter
If you want to have a fire while you're camping, you will need some firewood and a way to start it.
You can usually buy this at the campsite itself or find it in the surrounding area, however, if not - probably best just to check that they do allow fires onsite?
Just be sure to pack a few extra pieces, just in case.
A fire starter is also a good idea, as it will help you get your fire going quickly and easily.
A first aid kit is an absolute must-have when you're camping.
You never know when someone might get hurt, and it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Be sure to pack a basic first aid kit that includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain medication, etc.
And if anyone in your group has any allergies or medical conditions, be
No one likes bugs, or at least being bitten by them... Arm yourself (and your family) with bug spray to keep the mosquitoes and other pesky critters at bay.
You will be spending a lot of time outdoors, so be sure to pack sunscreen - even if it's not sunny!
Sunscreen is an absolute must-have when you're camping - don't be fooled into thinking you won't get burned if the sky is overcast.
Be sure to pack a high SPF sunscreen and reapply it often, especially if you are swimming or sweating.
A hat and/or sunglasses are also a good idea, as they will protect your face from the sun.
Again, there are a lot of different options out there - from baseball hats to wide-brimmed sunhats.
It's up to you to decide what you need.
Of course, you will also need to pack appropriate clothing for the weather - both day and night.
Be sure to check the forecast before you leave and pack accordingly. And don't forget to pack a few extra clothes, just in case! Depending on where you are going, it doesn't hurt to pack for any eventuality.
If you plan on doing any hiking while you're camping, be sure to pack a pair of comfortable hiking boots or shoes.
There are a lot of different options out there, so it's up to you to decide what you need.
Just be sure to break them in before you go - don't be that person!
So, there you have it - our list of camping essentials for 2023.
Be sure to pack everything on this list, and you'll be good to go! Of course, there are always other things you can bring along - like a fishing rod or hiking boots.
It's up to you what you need and want.
Just be sure to have fun and enjoy your time outdoors!