Gear Guide for Family Camping: Must-Haves for Comfortable and Safe Outdoor Getaways

Gear Guide for Family Camping: Must-Haves for Comfortable and Safe Outdoor Getaways

Got a family camping trip planned? Great idea. An outdoor adventure can be an awesome bonding activity for family, and create memories that you will look back upon for decades.

The planning and preparation can get daunting, though. With family involved, the need to be equipped with the essential camping tools becomes doubly imperative.

We’ll help you build a family camping checklist! This guide will lay out the outdoor family adventure gear you’ve gotta pack, from camping safety gear to cookware sets. See how comfortable camping equipment can help you achieve your ideal family getaway.

The task of selecting outdoor family adventure gear begins with getting the right bags. They do a lot for us on a camping trip⁠—making hiking more convenient, securing our belongings, protecting food and essentials from the elements, and keeping everything organized.

When it comes to camping bags, you can’t go wrong with a good quality tactical backpack. These are designed to replicate the sturdiness and functionality of military grade gear. The 14er Tactical Backpack is immensely durable, with an ultrathick polyester hide that resists puncture and repels moisture. True to its tactical design, this backpack is exceptionally modular, allowing you to customize its structure and adjust its carrying capacity.

Another must-have for a camping trip is a good tent. It provides shelter and comfort. Without it, your family probably wouldn’t have a fun camping experience!

A tactical backpack is a great choice of camping bag. The design emphasizes durability, functionality and customizability.


Your choice of tent depends on how often you plan on using it on family getaways. Are you going to go camping every year? Possibly more than once a year? Then you’ll want a high-durability tent that is sure to last a long time and can withstand the rigors of regular use.

If camping is not going to be a regular activity of your family, then you can make do with a fairly sturdy tent constructed from thick nylon. That will let you spend more on a single tent for yourself, assuming that you enjoy camping and plan to go on trips without your family.

“Instant tents” are a good option for family camping trips. These can be set up quickly so that you can promptly get your family into a workable shelter. Another important consideration is comfort. Even if you are fine with roughing it, your family is likely to appreciate more comfortable camping equipment.

A tent is an essential item of comfortable camping equipment.


Camping outdoors comes with its share of risks. You would be remiss to take your family on an adventure without proper camping safety gear. You want to ensure that your family doesn’t get lost in the wilderness. And you don’t want to be unprepared in the event that someone experiences a physical injury. Being tactical⁠—and being a hiker⁠—means that you’ve gotta be prepared!

Hiking navigational tools are must-haves for your adventuring kit. Such equipment is useful for disaster preparedness in general, so it’s a no-brainer to have them around. For a camping trip, you can choose to rely on a simple compass aided by your tactical navigation skills. These days, many folks also like to bring some kind of GPS tracker. You can find devices that incorporate communication and GPS in one.

Communication tools will prove invaluable if you ever need to call for rescue. No matter how capable you are, you gotta plan for the worst case scenario. Your options for communication include shortwave radios, satellite messengers and personal locator beacons (PLBs). Our guide to outdoor communication tools will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each of these devices.

First aid kits count as essentials. While you can carry one large first aid kit, it would be better for each family member to have their own individual first aid kit (IFAK). Each kit can be customized to include specific supplies tailored to the user’s individual needs. A small kit is also easier to carry and quicker to deploy, and you’ll be able to find the items you need more promptly.

A camping stove will make it easier and quicker to cook a meal or brew a hot drink.

One inescapable truth about outdoor adventuring⁠—it makes you hungry. You’re hiking, you’re carrying a backpack and navigating a rugged trail. It’s quite an exertion! You gotta take a break every hour or so to replenish your energy. Chomp on a trail snack.

When you make camp and settle in for the day, you’ve got to prepare a meal for yourself and your family. Camp dinners are a big part of the outdoor experience! Camp breakfasts, too, for that matter. But dinner time is when you’re all gathered by the campfire, enjoying food and conversation together. That can be very rewarding.

Clearly, cooking tools and supplies should be on your family camping checklist. We suggest that you purchase an outdoor cookware set. It will have the pots and utensils you need for making a campsite meal. This type of cookware set is generally lightweight and easy to pack compactly.

A stove is an important item for your cooking kit. While you can cook over a campfire, it takes time to start one. Using a stove lets you prepare a meal more quickly. Also, campfires are not always allowed in outdoor areas. Certain wildfire-prone locations can be strict about disallowing open fires at campsites.

An IFAK pouch can be attached to the hide of your backpack. It’s a great way to secure your first aid supplies.

Camping can get uncomfortable for your family if the weather turns bad. You can’t do much about the weather, so be sure you have the right camping safety gear to help you through it. Have a contingency in place in the event that you find yourself hiking in the rain. That can be an invigorating experience, actually! But camping in wet conditions is rarely ever ideal.

All of your family members should pack enough clothing that they can wear layers if necessary. The base layer of clothing should be able to retain heat. Ideally, it should also be moisture wicking so that the hiker doesn’t feel discomfort from their perspiration. On top of the base layer, one should be able to add quick-dry layers. Then over that goes a windbreaker or a rain jacket. These clothing layers can be kept in an individual’s backpack and pulled out for use as needed.

You also need to protect the stuff in your backpack. One good strategy is to keep everything packed in a number of drybags within the backpack. This also helps keep your outdoor family adventure gear organized.

Your campsite location should be planned out in advance. Get to know the trail well before you even start your hike. Learn the best locations for pitching a tent and mark these on your map. Add a lightweight tarp to your family camping checklist. If you can manage it, pack more than one. You can use the tarps to create a dry surface or a barrier against the rain.

For more outdoor adventuring tips, check out our guide to hiking with kids: how to plan an educational bonding experience in nature!

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