21 Things You Need to Pack when Camping with Children - The Camping and Caravanning Club
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21 Things You Need to Pack when Camping with Children

From essentials like sleeping bags to fun activities like board games, it’s easy to leave stuff at home when you’re going away with the whole family. To help put your mind at ease, we’ve put together a list of the things you need to pack when taking children on a family camping trip.

1. Baby wipes

Kids Packing List 1

Any parent will attest that baby wipes are essential for any trip. Whether it's spillages or sticky hands or muddy knees, baby wipes are always there to save the day. No matter what age your children are, you will find baby wipes helpful in any scenario.

2. Ball games

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Get the family together to play some ball games. From cricket and football to rugby and rounders, sports are a great way to get some exercise and bond with the family. People of all ages and abilities can play these games, so don’t forget to pack some bats and balls in the car. If you’re looking for more games for kids, take a look at our favourite outdoor family activities.

3. Beach blanket

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If you’re camping close to the Great British coastline, you’re bound to be making lots of trips to the beach. If so, you might want to pack a beach blanket for the whole family to sit on. Whether you’re sunbathing, chatting or playing games – it’s important to have somewhere comfortable to sit when taking a trip to the seaside.

4. Bikes

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Attach the bikes to the roof of the car and embark on a cycling holiday. Cycling is a fun way for children to explore the diverse landscape of the Great British countryside. If you’re looking for somewhere to take the bikes, take a look at our top campsites for cycling holidays.

5. Board games

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Board games appeal to people of all ages, bring the whole family together and keep everyone entertained. Whether you’re purchasing properties in Monopoly or using detective techniques to solve murders in Cluedo, board games are bound to be a hit for the whole family. For more activities to keep the kids entertained, take a look at our favourite family-friendly camping games.

6. Books

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According to iconic children’s writer, Dr Seuss: “the more you read, the more you’ll know. The more things you know, the more places you’ll go”. Various studies have shown the endless benefits for children that enjoy reading. There are few better pleasures than when a new book grips you. Pack some young fiction, and watch your kids immerse themselves in a whole new world. Take a look at some of our favourite travel books which could inspire your next camping trip.

7. Chairs

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Pack camping chairs for the whole family to make sure everyone can socialise easily and comfortably. Whether you’re playing games, chatting, or eating food, your children will want something comfortable to sit on.

8. Chargers

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Although camping is an excellent method of getting back to basics, technology has become an inevitable part of our world, and therefore a part of camping too. Whether your children like to play games on phones, or watch television on tablets – remember to pack the appropriate chargers to maximise fun and remove any chance of dead batteries. If you're someone who likes gadgets, take a look at some of our favourite camping gadgets and accessories.

9. Cups and mugs

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Be it a nice warm cup of tea in the morning, or a refreshing soft drink in the evening – your children will need something to drink from. Make sure you pack some cups and mugs on your camping trip for everyone, including the children.

10. First aid kit

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In case of emergencies, it’s essential to take a first aid kit wherever you go camping. Naturally, kids are going to explore their surroundings. Having a fully equipped first aid kit will help to treat most bruises, scrapes, cuts and burns. Before leaving, make sure your kit is fully stocked.

11. Food

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One of the highlights of camping is sitting around the camping stove and smelling the mouth-watering scents of a delicious family meal. If you’re looking for family meals that you can cook in big batches, with few ingredients and minimal difficulty, read our 15 favourite camping recipes. If you’re not sure what equipment you’ll need to be a culinary camping expert, take a look at the essential cooking equipment to take on your next trip. For the perfect family camping holiday – be sure to pack marshmallows and skewers!

12. Hats and gloves

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Even if the weather forecast seems promising, it’s always best to cover all bases when dealing with the unpredictability of Great British weather. Make sure to pack a hat and gloves for your children to keep their ears warm and prevent icy fingers.

13. Nappies

Camping with a baby 1

If you’re planning on taking a baby on a camping trip, you’ll need to remember to pack a lot more things. Perhaps the most crucial necessity is nappies. It’s best to remember that more is always better and that you’d rather have too many and not need them, than not enough and not have any. In short, pack extra!

14. Pack of cards

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Card games show that a lot of fun is possible with so little. All you need is a pack of cards and some willing participants, and you can enjoy hours of friendly and competitive fun. Card games can be enjoyed by people of all ages too. Some of our favourite card games include:

15. Pillows

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High-quality pillows can be the difference between a good nights sleep and a bad one. Pillows aren’t just useful at night but can be crucial to a comfy long-distance car journey to the mountains of the Highlands or the Cornish coastline.

16. Plates and cutlery

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Whether you’re taking adult-sized plates and cutlery, or if you’ve got some plastic ones for children – make sure you take them! There’s nothing worse than cooking a delicious meal on your camping stove and finding you have nothing to eat from or with. Having their own plates and cutlery teaches the children to look after and clean their own dinnerware.

17. Pyjamas

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Remember to pack some comfortable pyjamas for everyone. Research shows that wearing pyjamas at night can lead to a relaxing and deeper sleep. They can also keep you warm on particularly chilling evenings beneath the stars.

18. Sleeping bags

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Whether they are adult-size or designed for children, don’t forget to pack sleeping bags for the kids. A well-made, high-quality sleeping bag will keep everyone warm at night and ensure a deep sleep – which is essential for a full day of exploring the following day!

19. Tent

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In addition to your unit, you might also take a tent for the children. Having their own tent not only teaches young people the responsibility of looking after their own unit, but it also gives the adults some well-deserved peace and privacy. If you're considering buying a tent for the whole family, take a look at our guide to the best family tents.

20. Walking shoes

Walking boots 

Easily forgotten, but if you remember to pack your walking shoes, it can be the difference between an enjoyable holiday and a painful one. When exploring the various terrains of the Great British countryside, your feet must be safe and comfortable. Before buying new footwear, make sure to read our comprehensive guide to walking boots.

21. Waterproof jackets

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Whether you’re camping at the height of summer or in the depths of winter, it’s probably best to prepare for all scenarios. Famously, Great British weather is unpredictable at best, so packing a reliable waterproof jacket is essential to a dry camping trip. When choosing a new coat, make sure to take a look at our guide to waterproof jackets.

Are you thinking of taking the whole family away, but not sure where to go? Read our guide to the best family campsites in the UK. If you’re taking a camping trip - don't forget to take a look at our camping essentials checklist to make sure you haven't forgotten anything.