Everything you need for a family camping holiday

My family love camping! and I see people asking what they need to take all the time so I thought i would put together our list of things that we take along.

If you are a novice try not to think of it as a budget holiday that will save you a mint – obviously it will do once you have everything but I would strongly advise that you pay out beforehand on equipment that will make it more comfortable.

I haven’t listed a tent on the below list as there’s so much out there but I have seen loads of these type tents when we have been camping and they always look spacious but I’m not sure how small they pack up. The below list is also assuming that you have a pitch with electric.

It looks like a lot of stuff so feel free to pick and choose 🙂 if you have any questions let me know below but this is what we would take (in a trailer as well) in order to have a comfortable holiday. The links below are just guides – please double check before buying.


Toilet – we have something similar to this travel toilet which is good – you need to fill it with blue liquid and water to keep it sterile and we empty it every day. If you take one make sure you take toilet roll and hand sanitizer. We bring ours inside at night and then store it outside during the day.


  • Shelving – This one is good as you can zip it up and it means you can stand up while cooking  – this is obviously not essential but it is nice to have
  • Additional food storage – make sure it is insulated and also zip up! We have had animals bite through closed packaging before so keep all packets away – only keep tins out
  • Something to cook on. A few options would be a double ring or BBQ. Make sure you check what gas is needed with it. I would recommend spending out on this a little as it will feel like a hardship if you are cooking everything off one hob and dinner is taking ages.
  • Small folding table – we have always found it useful to have a selection to put drinks on or to play games on in the evening
  • Tea Towels
  • 2 Bags for life (for washing up) – We take 2 with us, one is for the dirty washing and one for the clean to bring it back.
  • Picnic plates and bowls and cups set
  • Knives and forks sets (take extra teaspoons for tea)
  • Mugs – this one looks good as its insulated and had a lid to avoid spills
  • Cups – I always find that extra cups are handy to have
  • Drinking bottles – especially helpful for little ones to avoid spillages
  • Kettle – Try and get one with low wattage if possible
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Washing up sponge
  • Washing up liquid
  • Pans and pots – Travel ones are good
  • Tin opener
  • Plastic bags – always handy to have!
  • Ice packs – to go in food storage. Most campsites will let you refreeze them for a small fee. If you are keeping things like milk in the cool bag you will need to change them every day
  • Cool box – I know in the car these are massive but I find them to work better than a cool bag.
  • Lighter
  • Tin foil
  • Paper towels
  • Black bin bags
  • Tupperwear/small food storage
  • Tongs
  • Food pegs – to close up open food packets
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Mixing bowl – buy collapsible as it takes up less space but it helps to serve food
  • Bin – we have always used plastic bags for this but it helps to keep rubbish off the floor.
  • Washing powder
  • Toaster – consider a low wattage one
  • Wash cloth and scourer
  • Spray
  • Colander – you can buy collapsible ones of these too
  • Oven mitts


  • Toothbrushes
  • Bath towels – We have travel towels that take up much less space!
  • Hand towels
  • Shower gel
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Shoes to wear to the shower – slip ones are best like flipflops or hard bottom slippers
  • Hair brush

Living room

  • Ground sheets
  • Shoe storage – you can buy proper storage but we use collapsible baskets
  • Step – these are so handy as an extra chair or table
  • Candles – you can get insect repellent ones
  • Radio
  • In car charger
  • First aid kit
  • Tissues
  • Airer – if you don’t have space for an airer take some string or a washing line and you should be able to secure it between your car and your tent or you can hang stuff off the guy lines – its always handy though to dry towels!
  • Small airer for washing up bits
  • String
  • Toys/games – we take a lot of outdoor games good ones to take are swingball and boules
  • Duct tape for any emergencies
  • Playing cards
  • Wipes
  • Scissors
  • Clock
  • Camping chairs 
  • Hanging storage – we find this really useful for all sorts of bits!
  • Collapsible baskets – we use these to put our shoes in
  • Flooring – It can make you tent more comfortable and is less slippery than groung sheets
  • Phone charger
  • Collapsible bucket – if kept out the sun this can be used to store milk for a few days (change the water to cold water every day) it can also be used to wash clothes in if needed

Meal ideas

Make sure you keep food stored correctly – we have had sealed bread eaten before because it has been out on a shelf that has been accessed by an animal. Keep food cold in a cool box or bucket of cold water.

Our food ideas will only require a small amount of cold stored food. Obviously some things you may want to buy and eat on the same day. Its just ideas 🙂

  • Eggs on toast
  • Beans on toast
  • Cereal
  • Bacon sandwich
  • Porridge
  • Toast with honey
  • Omelette


  • Cheese and crackers
  • Soup
  • Homous and pitta
  • Filled wraps – ham, tuna, cheese
  • Bagels – ham, tuna, cheese
  • Tortellini
  • Filled sandwich – ham, tuna, cheese
  • Spaghetti on toast
  • Beans on toast


  • 5 bean/lentil spaghetti bolognase
  • Pasta with sauce
  • Tinned fish potatos and tinned peas
  • Hot dogs and salad
  • 5 bean/red lentil chilli con carni with tortilla
  • 5 bean tacos with with salad
  • BBQ and salad
  • Stir fry
  • BBQ and salad

What do you take camping? or if you have any meal ideas let me know below!

One thought on “Everything you need for a family camping holiday

  1. Thank you for all of your tips! I have used then to help me to plan our next camping trip 🙂

    Sarah from Wild in Herts!

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