Family Camping Checklist

The family camping trip is one of the most important traditions of all time. It takes a great deal of planning to make sure that your family has an enjoyable trip. The best way to enjoy your trip is to start your planning with a camping checklist of all the things you’ll need so you are sure not to forget anything. I hate the nagging feeling I get, that I’ve forgotten something, after leaving home on my trip. You know what I mean. Here are some things to consider that will help you build a “Forget Me Not” list for your camping essentials.

The first thing that you should plan to take is of course your camping tent.  If this is your first outing for a while, go through your gear and make sure it’s in good condition and in proper working order. There’s no fun in arriving to find out your tent is damaged or the camp stove will not fire up. You will want to take a steel grate if you plan to cook over the campfire or a small gas grill if not. You also need to make sure that you have all the cooking utensils that you need to prepare your meals. This means plates and bowls as well as knives, forks, spoons, fry pans, pots and cooking utensils. And remember to bring the right supplies for washing up!

Next you are going to want to plan on the food that you are going to take with you on your family camping trip. Planning each meal will also help you remember what cooking gear you’ll need. You’ll enjoy your meals much more if the food you take along is simple to prepare.

If you’ll be camping by a lake, add fishing gear to your list. Fish are really easy to prepare and there’s nothing like fresh fish from the grill! Of course, you’ll want to take a cooler or two to keep your food and drinks fresh. It’s also very important to bring an ample supply of water for drinking and cooking, in case there isn’t any at the campground. Also, remember to keep your food stored safely away to keep hungry critters from helping themselves.

Next on your list of things not to forget on your camping adventure are some basics like bug spray and a well equipped first aid kit. You will also need to make sure that you have lanterns, flashlights and batteries. If you are camping near a lake be sure to bring along swimsuits and plenty of towels. You will also want to bring along some type of rope or cord which always comes in handy. If you plan to grill or start a campfire don’t forget your lighter or matches. Yes, I’ve done that! And, before starting a campfire, have a plan for putting it our properly in an emergency or when you leave to go home.

It really does take a lot of work and planning to coordinate a successful camping trip. The best advice I can offer is to sit down with your family a week before and create a camping checklist. Give everyone a copy and challenge them to improve the list during the week leading up to the trip. This simple exercise will help you enjoy a family camping trip you will remember for years to come. Oh, and don’t forget the camera!

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Anibal L. Mora

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