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Ultimate Checklist: How To Pack Light For Family Camping

Packing for a family adventure is no small undertaking. Small children go through clothes at a rate that exceeds your best hopes and a forgotten item or two can make or break a trip. Learn our best tips on how to pack light for family camping, including all the essentials needed for a great trip. 


Planning your Camping Trip
  • Research Weather Conditions
  • Advantages of packing light to go camping
Creating your Packing List
  • Most common forgotten camping items 
  • Extra non-negotiable items for camping with kids
  • Why you need gadgets and good lighting
  • Kids' Entertainment while Camping
Powering your camping gear

Planning your Camping Trip

A well-planned camping trip and good organization on the road make all the difference for a successful trip where everyone (including the adults) have a good time).

You don’t need to be roughing it to give your kids a camping experience, by throwing in some glamping items you can make life a lot easier for yourself and the kids will have an even better time.

Research Weather Conditions

Whether you are taking the family to a holiday park or a primitive campsite- consider how long you’re going for and make sure to consult the weather forecast; check it not only for the chance of rain but also to gauge the predicted temperatures which will enable you to pack appropriately and avoid anyone being too cold or too hot!

Advantages of packing light to go camping

We’re probably all familiar with the monumental loads of washing required after even a short camping trip and although you do need some clothes, it is possible to bring too many. 

This is one area, when packing, to try to keep to a minimum, opt for quick-dry fabrics, re-wear items and hand wash while you are away. All your clothing will smell like smoke after a campfire regardless! 

Packing less clothing is a great way to carve out some space for the must have travel accessories that will ensure you have a good trip.

Creating your Packing List

Most commonly forgotten camping items 

Instead of listing everything you could possibly bring camping below we’re going to list the commonly forgotten items here instead:

  • French press for coffee!
  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Camp chairs
  • Trash bags
  • Tent pegs
  • Tarp
  • Tin foil or plastic containers for leftover food
  • Can opener
  • Koozie/s
  • Lighter 
  • Lighting
  • Flash Light

Extra non-negotiable items for camping with kids

  • Plenty of drinking water
  • Sun hats
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • An iPad/coloring books/games/toys/balls
  • Plenty of snacks!
  • Swimsuits/wetsuits
  • A picnic blanket or mat for kids to sit on
  • An extra towel or two

Why you need gadgets and good lighting

First and foremost you will want a working phone or radio communication in case of emergencies in rural and remote areas. It is also recommended you have good lighting for safety reasons -  it’s much harder to keep track of kids in the dark.

The latest camp lights have extra functionality, like charging electrical devices or repelling bugs. For example, you might want a lantern that doubles as a mosquito repeller that can illuminate a large area of your campsite for evenings outside. For inside use, create a calm atmosphere with a strand of warm LED lights that can clip right onto your tent frame.

Keeping the lights on after dark requires power, so you’ll need a battery system or portable power source to plug in to.  

Kids' Entertainment while Camping

Secondly, once it’s getting dark and you would rather the kids stay close, (for their own safety and your peace of mind) this is a great time to bring out a device. It may be a habit you avoid at home but the kids will be tired from their day in the great outdoors and this is a surefire way to keep them still for a second. 

Powering your camping gear with a system from REDARC

To create a comfortable camping experience with the family, there are a few extra items that you won’t regret bringing like a camping fridge, the iPad, an e-reader and good lighting. You can power these items even when remote camping with REDARC electronics. Our 12v guide to weekends gives you an overview of what power systems you might choose for off-grid travel for a few days. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fold clothes for camping?

Roll your clothes to pack them, this saves space and also makes it easier to see what you have in there.

What should I pack for light camping?

Prioritise multi-functional gear and opt for items that serve multiple purposes. Versatile items include zip-off clothing, multi-tools or camping knives with various functions to reduce the number of individual tools you need to carry.

How many clothes should I pack to go camping?

Only bring the essentials and the bare minimum, opt for clothes you can layer. You can always hand wash them and sling them up to dry in good weather.

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