Tips for Family Car Camping

Heading on a family camping trip might sound daunting and nearly frightening to some people. While it can be an undertaking, these kinds of trips are full of laughs and great memories that last a lifetime. Don’t feel obligated to use a tent the first time if you have never been camping before or just need a little easier of a trip. Look in to renting a cabin at a campground or state park to make the experience a little easier on everyone. One important thing to remember about family camping is to keep everyone involved in the whole experience. A few tips are:

1. Split the family up around meal times and assign tasks for each member of the family. One person can be in charge of the fire; one can help gather wood while another starts making dinner.

2. Don’t worry about the “schedule”. The beauty of being in the outdoors is not having to look at your watch! Eat when you want to, sleep when you are ready and play all day!

3. If you have a larger family, use the buddy system. It is always a good practice to bring someone with you if you are hiking, gathering wood and even heading to the bathroom facilities. This way each person is accounted for and safe.

There are a lot of great resources online to help you prepare for the trip as a family and not forget any essential items. Below are three great options for pre-trip checklists: 

  1. REI Checklist
  2. Cozi Checklist
  3. Coleman Checklist

One great idea for a snack is the classic “Ants on a Log”. This recipe below comes from my wife, Elaine (, and is sure to be a hit for all members of the family!

Time Prep: 7 minutes

6 celery stalks
1 cup of raisins
½ cup of peanut butter 


Wash and cut celery stalks to desired length
Spread peanut butter over celery
Top celery sticks with raisins 

PREPARATION TIP: Make sure your celery sticks are dry after washing. It will make spreading the peanut butter on A LOT easier.  

While heading to the outdoors with your whole family may be overwhelming, see it as a fun memory that your kids will hold on to for a lifetime! Take your time to plan and prepare so that once you get out there, it is a smooth experience. 

Happy adventuring!

Outdoors, FamilyJon DeMeoComment